Remember 7th round pick DE Alex McAlister? He’s on IR, but that doesn’t mean he’s not busy. Dave Spadaro has an update on him.
4. ROOKIE McCALISTER BULKING UP FOR NEXT YEAR
Rookie defensive end Alex McCalister is making the most of his time on Injured Reserve. A seventh-round draft pick from Florida, McCalister weighed 239 pounds in the summer and, frankly, had a tough time gaining leverage with his 6-6 frame. A torn calf muscle suffered in the preseason ended his rookie campaign, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve been training. Lifting, working hard,” McCalister said. “It has made such a big difference. I see the gains. I feel them. I am more explosive. I just need to get the calf all the way healed so that I can run and work my legs and improve there, but my body is different.”
McCalister says he is up to about 252 pounds and he’s gained a lot of muscle, which is obvious looking at his arms and chest. The Eagles like his long arms and his get-off at the line of scrimmage, so he could be an entirely different player next spring as he prepares for 2017.
“I’m just going to keep pushing my body, keep getting ready and when it’s my time, take advantage,” McCalister said. “Day by day, I feel a lot different and a lot better.”
Marcus Smith may not be in the team’s long term plans. Connor Barwin isn’t getting any younger. Steven Means isn’t guaranteed to be back. There could be a roster opening for McAlister so it is important he’s ready to challenge for it. He has good rush skill and terrific length.