Sep 052011
 
New Eagles WR Ronald Johnson

The Eagles added former USC Trojan Ronald Johnson to the practice squad

The Eagles have added the final two members to their 8-man practice squad — wide receiver Ronald Johnson and tight end Anthony Hill.

Johnson is a 5-11, 199 pound rookie sixth-round pick of the 49ers.  The former USC Trojan has decent upside as a receiver and does have experience returning punts.  Here’s a summary from draftbreakdown.com:

Ronald Johnson makes plays. He is a tremendous athlete, yet raw enough in some areas to develop. His quickness and elusiveness are 2 of his many qualities, as he always found himself behind defenders and found open field. His offense relied on him for big plays and he always came through. As tough as he is speedy, he has no problem going over the middle and absorbing hits. The return game is where his value rises. As a punt returner he is dangerous; oftentimes being one block away from 6 points. He explodes through holes and easily finds open space. Upper body strength and route running are both areas of where he must improve, as he has all the makings of a solid NFL slot receiver.

Hill was a fourth-round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2009 draft.  A big target at 6-6, 278, but as a tight end he’s much more of a blocker than receiver.  Who knows, knowing how much offensive line coach Howard Mudd likes light, athletic lineman it’s possible he will gain a little weight and try to convert to tackle.  Here’s a synopsis of his skills pre-draft via nfldraft101.com:

Strengths
A three year starter for an offense without a star quarterback. A huge target in the red zone. Finds open holes in zone coverage. One of the best blocking tight ends in the draft.
Weaknesses
Not esp. fast. Lacks deep threat ability. Cannot make tacklers miss in the open field. Has injury concerns related to a knee injury from his junior year. He has never returned to the same level of play he displayed as a sophomore.

On the practice squad Johnson and Hill are joining recently cut defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, receiever Chad Hall, disappointing 2010 third round pick defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, guard/center Dallas Reynolds, as well as rookie seventh-round picks fullback Stanley Havili and linebacker Greg Lloyd.

This likely means the end of the line for tight end Cornelius Ingram, who just never recovered from two torn ACLs.  It’s a shame as the former Eagles fifth round pick had tremendous potential as an athletic pass catcher but injuries have likely torn his NFL dreams away.

As teams continue to churn the bottom of their rosters expect some of these names to change as the season plays out.

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