We’re halfway through training camp and the first preseason game is Thursday.
Football is back.
There have been players who’ve done well and players that have struggled. Most of the strugglers are players you probably have never heard of and probably won’t ever again.
We’re still a ways away from the 53-man roster deadline of September 1, but the overall group of Eagles looks set for the most part.
Let’s take a stab at this:
Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld
Missing out: Joe Callahan
There’s no question about this position. Despite not practicing in team drills, Carson Wentz looks fine. He just needs to get rid of some rust.
Running backs (4)
Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey
Missing out: Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones
The big question here will be Pumphrey and Adams. Pump has definitely improved from last year’s training camp, but Adams has had a very good stretch of practices this past week. I think Adams is the better player and it’ll be hard to give him up to 31 other teams, but Pumphrey stays for now. There’s a reason why the Birds traded up to get him last year.
Wide receiver (6)
Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Mack Hollins, Markus Wheaton, Shelton Gibson
Missing out: Greg Ward Jr., Rashard Davis, Bryce Treggs, Kamar Aiken, Tim Wilson, Anthony Mahoungou, DeAndre Carter
Jeffery (once he returns from shoulder surgery), Agholor, and Wallace will be the starting wideouts. Mack Hollins has had a quiet training camp. Wheaton will be a good addition on a one-year deal, but the big story is Shelton Gibson and his improvement from last year. He’s still dropping some passes, but not as many as he did last year, and he’s making some nice grabs. Ward and Davis have also impressed, and Treggs has recently returned from the NFI list with some good catches in his first two days back.
Tight end (3)
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers
Missing out: Billy Brown, Josh Perkins, Gannon Sinclair
All you need is three tight ends. Ertz and Goedert are the easy 1-2, while Rodgers is a great veteran to have as a number three.
Offensive line (8)
Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo
Missing out: Chance Warmack, Taylor Hart, Jordan Mailata, Darrell Greene, Toby Weathersby, Ian Park, Aaron Evans
The starting line and Big V are locks. Pryor has had some flashes as a backup during camp and has definitely been more impressive than Chance Warmack. Seumalo at center has been a rough ride with his high snaps, but he brings in some versatility and can play anywhere on the line.
Defensive line (10)
Chris Long, Michael Bennett, Fletcher Cox, Destiny Vaeao, Haloti Ngata, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Steven Means, Elijah Qualls
Missing out: Tim Jernigan (PUP), Aziz Shittu, Danny Ezechukwu, Joe Ostman, Adam Reth, Bruce Hector, Winston Craig
Obviously the notable exception is Jernigan, who will probably start the season on the PUP list. I think he’ll miss at least the first six games. Graham hasn’t practiced yet, but he should be ready to go for week 1. Doug Pederson mentioned Aziz Shittu as one of the young players that has stood out, but for now I’m going with in-game experience in Qualls.
Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Joe Walker, LaRoy Reynolds
Missing out: Corey Nelson, Kyle Wilson, Asantay Brown
Grugier-Hill and Gerry have gotten first team reps when Jim Schwartz has gone with three linebackers. Walker is a good special teams player, while Reynolds has done more than Nelson in camp and is cheaper to keep.
Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, De’Vante Bausby, Avonte Maddox
Missing out: D.J. Killings, Chandon Sullivan
Everybody in this group (except the rookie Maddox) has improved since last season. Despite being the subject of trade rumors, I don’t see Darby getting moved. He’s looked phenomenal thus far in a contract year. Sidney Jones is going to be fun to watch, and I’m loving Rasul Douglas and his confidence as well.
Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Tre Sullivan
Missing out: Chris Maragos (PUP), Stephen Roberts, Jeremy Reaves
Corey Graham just re-signed on a one-year deal today, which wasn’t a huge surprise. That helps the depth with Sullivan being a fourth safety, but I think there’s a big question revolving around Maragos. He’s a great special teams guy, but is it worth keeping him on the roster?
Special teams (3)
Rick Lovato (long snapper), Cameron Johnston (punter), Jake Elliott (kicker)
They have no competition. I’m surprised to see the team not bringing in another punter to compete with Johnston. He has power, but he’s sometimes shanking his punts.