July 25, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles rookie fifth-round pick Shelton Gibson has not had a stellar start to his career in the NFL.
Seemingly every day during spring practices, Gibson struggled with dropped passes, many of which occurred during individual drills with no defenders on the field. In team drills, you could probably count on one hand the number of catches he made with defenders on the field during media-attended practices.
If you squint hard enough, you can maybe attribute some of Gibson's early struggles to his transition to the West Coast offense from an unsophisticated offense at West Virginia. Clearly, Gibson has some ground to make up in the pros mentally, but that should still have little to do with him dropping routine catches.
On Monday, Doug Pederson acknowledged that Gibson is not where the Eagles hoped he'd be.
"He's coming along," Pederson said. "He's by no means, I think, where he wants to be or where we want him to be, but he's learning our system. He's learning a new offense. He understands his role. He knows he's, you know – he knows he's got to really come in here and compete for an opportunity. I'm excited about watching him, especially when we get into pads and see the physicality.
"Again, he's a speed guy. [I’m] looking forward to watching him use that speed as we go."
As we noted in our wide receiver training camp preview, barring some kind of trade, the following five wide receivers are nearly certain to make the final 53-man roster:
So far this offseason, Gibson has been thoroughly outplayed by other young wide receivers like Greg Ward, Marcus Johnson, and even Bryce Treggs.
It's early, and perhaps a little quick to define a player's career after spring practices and the first day of training camp, but it's pretty clear early on that Gibson is not going to contribute immediately, and seems likely end up on the practice squad if he is unable to work through some of his early struggles in training camp.
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