Justice for Eagles: Philly signs second-round lineman

Updated: July 18, 2006, 8:53 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Philadelphia Eagles on Monday signed second-round draft choice Winston Justice, the standout offensive tackle from Southern California, to a four-year contract.

Eagles '06 Draft
RD NAME POS SCHOOL
1 Brodrick Bunkley DTFla. St.
2 Winston Justice OTUSC
3 Chris Gocong DE Cal Poly
4 Max Jean-Gilles OG Georgia
4 Jason Avant WR Mich.
5 Jeremy Bloom RS Colo.
5 Omar Gaither OLB Tenn.
6 LaJuan Ramsey DTUSC
With the Justice signing, the Eagles now have all but one of their eight selections from the 2006 draft under contract and still must come to terms with defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, their first-round choice. Philadelphia rookies are scheduled to report to training camp on Thursday at Lehigh University.

Eagles officials and the agent for Bunkley have said they expect the former Florida State star to be in camp on time. The Eagles have the NFL's earliest reporting date.

The 39th player chosen overall, Justice signed a contract worth $3.71 million. The deal includes $2.1 million in guarantees and minimum base salaries all four years.

Justice was projected by some scouts as a first-round draft choice and Philadelphia actually considered taking him in the opening stanza. When he slipped to the Eagles in the second round, they quickly chose him.

A three-year starter for the Trojans, principally at right tackle, Justice probably will be groomed to eventually replace Eagles' veteran left tackle William Thomas. Because Thomas missed time this spring while being treated for blood clots, Justice logged considerable practice time at left tackle.

Justice has prototype size (6-feet-6, 319 pounds) and, in his "pro day" workout, he demonstrated surprising athleticism, turning in a 5.16-second time in the 40. Scouts around the league feel that his footwork is certainly good enough to allow him to move to the left side and become a formidable pass protector.

The former USC star is only the fifth player in the second round to agree to a contract and is one of only 10 players selected in the first three ronds to complete a deal.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.