Baskett watch: Clovis grad making noise in Eagles’ camp

Hank Baskett (84) was an all-conference wide receiver his senior year at New Mexico (www.philadelphiaeagles.com)

CNJ staff

Former Clovis High standout Hank Baskett is trying to make the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent.

Catching on
Baskett is taking advantage of an injury to a veteran receiver
to make an early impression.

Rather than shuffle the wide receiving corps to fill what they hope is Todd Pinkston’s temporary absence, coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have Baskett working in Pinkston’s first-team wideout role.

Pinkston missed practice Wednesday for a second straight day with inflammation in his left Achilles’ tendon.

Source: Allentown Morning Call

QB taking notice
Baskett, a rookie free agent acquired in the trade that sent Billy McMullen to Minnesota, has responded by consistently getting open and catching the football.

“Hank Baskett has been doing a wonderful job,” Eagles starting quarterback
Donovan McNabb said. “Obviously, he’s a guy that not a lot of people know much about. But he’s opened up a lot of eyes with the big things he can do in this offense. He’s a bigger receiver, a guy who runs great routes and catches the ball. He’s definitely going to help us in so many ways with depth right now at our wide receiver position.”

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

New digits
Baskett showed up at the Eagles training camp Tuesday with new digits on his jersey.

He switched from No. 80 to 84, after fellow receiver Jabar Gaffney claimed his original number.

“As long as I’ve got a jersey,” said Baskett, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from the University of New Mexico. “Being a rookie, especially an undrafted rookie, you can’t afford to have a bad day. Eyes are really upon you. You have to prove you’re a value to the team.”

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Passing grade
In Thursday’s passing drills, McNabb connected with Baskett on a deep route down the left flank. Baskett outleaped two defenders to pull down the pass. The former high jumper has been productive in jumpball situations throughout training camp, one way he’s distinguishing himself from the rest of the rookie free agent receivers.

Source: www.philadelphiaeagles.com

More praise
“He’s definitely picked up on the offense pretty fast, though,” tight end L.J. Smith said. “I think he’s going to be a big target for Don. He’s working in with the ones and that’s pretty good for him coming out of nowhere.”

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

On TV
The Eagles play their first of four exhibition games at 6 p.m. (MDT) Aug. 6 against the Oakland Raiders in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The game is on NBC.

CNJ correspondent Greg Price contributed to this report.