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Eagles training camp 2021: Analysis of all 90 players on the roster

The Eagles have had 10 days of training camp practice and are getting closer to their first preseason game of…

By admint10m , in Arms , at August 10, 2021

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The Eagles have had 10 days of training camp practice and are getting closer to their first preseason game of 2021.

It feels like a good time to assess the roster.

Here’s a look at every player in Eagles camp with some brief analysis:

S Andrew Adams: After missing the first week of practice on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, Adams has looked very good upon his return, even getting some first-team reps. He’s still a bubble player but his experience and special teams ability might help him make the roster. He has had fresh legs.

WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: JJAW talked about how this offseason he tried to get back to his routine from college and he feels like that helped him. On the field, he’s been playing a lot in the slot, which doesn’t feel like a natural position for him. He had a much splashier training camp last year.

DB Grayland Arnold: The second-year UDFA is now dealing with a hamstring injury and is somewhat buried on the depth chart behind the starting safeties, K’Von Wallace, Adams and maybe even Elijah Riley.

WR Jhamon Ausbon: At 6-2, 217 pounds, the UDFA out of Texas A&M is a big-bodied possession receiver. He has been solid in camp, but faces a steep uphill battle to make the roster.

LB Genard Avery: Avery is day-to-day with a groin injury but before he got hurt, he was getting a ton of first-team reps at linebacker. Avery, Joe Ostman and Patrick Johnson are the three rotating at that stand up rusher/off-ball linebacker spot and Avery has gotten the most first-team reps. Although he hasn’t stood out otherwise. I’m wondering if the Eagles are going to shoehorn this position into their defensive scheme.

 

OG Kayode Awosika: Keep an eye on the undrafted lineman from Buffalo. He got a nice chunk of guaranteed money and is a dark horse candidate to take the last offensive line spot on the roster. At the very least, he has shown developable skills worthy of a practice squad spot.

DE JaQuan Bailey: There have been a few times where Bailey has shown some pass rushing prowess; his best rep came when he got a “sack” on Nick Mullens. But he actually hit the ball out of his hand. That’s a no-no.

DE Derek Barnett: He’s been overshadowed by Josh Sweat, who has been the story of the summer, but Barnett has been very good too. Even if he loses his starting gig to Sweat, Barnett is going to play a ton this year.

LB Shaun Bradley: I’m a little surprised with how much rotating we’ve seen at linebacker that we haven’t seen more reps from Bradley with the first team. In any case, he’s a decent backup option and a good special teamer, so he’ll make the roster.

OG Brandon Brooks: Brooks strained his hamstring on Day 2 and finally got back to practice on Sunday as a limited participant. No need to rush him.

WR Hakeem Butler: The tight end experiment is over and Butler is now back at receiver. I was intrigued because I really liked him as a fourth-round pick a few years ago, but he has struggled in camp. He has been a disappointment.

OT Le’Raven Clark: Still on the Active/PUP list, I’d expect Clark to start the season on the Reserve/PUP, which means he’ll be out at least six weeks. The Eagles might not even need him this year, but we’ll see where the depth chart is when he’s ready to return. In recent days, he’s been working with trainers on a side field.

DT Fletcher Cox: We sometimes take Cox for granted. Because while we spend a lot of time talking about the other players on the roster, Cox is still the engine of the defense. And he’s still the best player on that side of the ball. Watching him obliterate everyone in 1-on-1s isn’t fair.

C Harry Crider: The UDFA from Indiana has been working mostly with the third team.

TE Jason Croom: Remember when Croom caught a touchdown pass last year? During this camp, he’s been dealing with a knee injury and is falling behind on the depth chart.

 

OL Landon Dickerson: He’s on the NFI and we don’t know when he’ll be ready to practice, but Dickerson seems to be making a positive impression on his OL teammates, especially Jason Kelce.

OT Andre Dillard: I was excited to watch the left tackle battle play out in camp but I’m ready to call it. Dillard hasn’t been nearly as good as Jordan Mailata. There’s a noticeable gap between the two. Dillard has struggled with both Sweat and Barnett in camp. If I were Nick Sirianni, I’d end the competition and start cross-training Dillard at right tackle for depth purposes.

OL Jack Driscoll: He began camp exclusively as a right tackle but has gotten some work at guard in recent days. Unfortunately for Driscoll, that meant getting thrown in to the deep end against Cox. It hasn’t been going well, though that’s a tough ask. But there’s a lot to like about Driscoll and he had a good offseason, adding some much-needed weight and muscle.

LB T.J. Edwards: With the linebacker rotation, I’ve been surprised how often Edwards has been working with the third team, especially because I think he’s been making plays. Edwards is still the Eagles’ best option as the third linebacker in their base package. He even had a pick early in camp.

K Jake Elliott: Because of his contract, the Eagles are kind of stuck with Elliott. The good news is that he’s been hitting all of his field goals in practice recently.

S Marcus Epps: After K’Von Wallace, Epps has been getting the most first-team reps next to Anthony Harris in team drills in Rodney McLeod’s absence. Epps had a big interception off Joe Flacco at the open practice and has an inside track on a roster spot.

TE Zach Ertz: Ertz can still play. After a strange offseason, Ertz has been getting a lot of first-team reps and has made some big plays and Jalen Hurts is looking for him. I’m still not totally sold on him being here this season but if he is, he’ll still have a decent role in the offense; I’m not sure what that means for Goedert or the scheme.

QB Joe Flacco: I thought Flacco got off to a poor start but he’s looked a little better over the last week. Initially, Nick Mullens looked better than him, but Flacco clearly has the stronger arm. Although, Flacco did call a timeout during Sunday’s open practice, which was weird.

WR Travis Fulgham: On Sunday, Fulgham finally made a few key catches; he was due. Because before then, it seemed like he has had so many chances to pull in some tough catches and just wasn’t doing it. With DeVonta Smith still out, Fulgham is getting a lot of run with the ones. He needs to start making the most of it.

 

RB Kenny Gainwell: It took a few days for the fifth-round pick to acclimate but since then he’s looked much more comfortable, especially as a receiver out of the backfield. The Eagles are tipping their hand here by how many passes have gone his way. If Gainwell can carve out a niche as a rookie, it’ll be in the passing game.

TE Dallas Goedert: After failing his conditioning test because he ran a drill wrong, Goedert has had a solid camp. He and Jalen Hurts are forming a bond that has been most evident in the red zone. Goedert is in line for a big season.

DE Brandon Graham: Lane Johnson has to get annoyed sometimes by how hard Graham goes on every single play. Take a break, dude. Just kidding. Graham’s relentless motor and energy is always fun to watch.

DT Javon Hargrave: Last training camp, Hargrave was already hurt and it set him back. This year, he has been a standout, especially in 1-on-1 drills. That’s important because Cox is going to get doubled a ton and Hargrave as the ability to get after quarterbacks.

S Anthony Harris: We knew about Harris’ ball skills after his six-interception season in 2019, but I’ve been impressed by his physicality in these practices. They’ve been “thud” periods, but Harris has two of the hardest hits so far. He has also spent time as a box safety, something he didn’t do a ton in Minnesota. The safeties will need to be interchangeable.

OL Nate Herbig: Herbie slimmed down and got in much better shape over the offseason. That was a good idea by him. I think that’s why the Eagles went to Sua Opeta last year for a bit over Herbie; they wanted that athleticism. But Herbig looks good after losing weight and working out with Lane Johnson in the offseason. In recent days, he’s been getting some work at center too.

WR John Hightower: Now he’s hurt — week-to-week with a groin injury — but even before then, Hightower was having an up-and-down camp. He made some plays but left some out there too. He needs to be more consistent. His roster spot is in jeopardy.

CB Lavert Hill: At Saturday’s practice, Hill jumped a route and took it to the house for a pick-6 against Joe Flacco. Still a big long shot to make the roster.

RB Elijah Holyfield: Many of the running backs battling for one of those last roster spots have stood out, but Holyfield has not. Perhaps he’ll get his chance in games. As a big-bodied back, these “thud” periods aren’t exactly suited for him.

RB Jordan Howard: Some people thought Howard was done at 26 years old. Heck, no other teams were even calling. But he has looked pretty good in camp and is pushing for a roster spot. He’s been getting a ton of carries.

 

RB Jason Huntley: Another running back fighting for a job, Huntley has been a pleasant surprise. The Eagles claimed him after final cuts last year so this is his first camp in Philly and he has been a standout. He has made several big plays in the run game, showing off his breakaway speed.

QB Jalen Hurts: Hurts got off to a rough start, then improved but has had an overall up-and-down camp. Of course, he hasn’t had his full starting line and his best receiver has been missing. And, remember, it’s tough to evaluate him in a practice setting because he can’t really use his legs. Overall, there is a lot of room for improvement but I wouldn’t panic because just because he hasn’t been perfect.

DE Tarron Jackson: I didn’t know a ton about the draft pick from Coastal Carolina but he has flashed from time to time, especially in 1-on-1 drills. He’s not Barnett, but Jackson has some pretty good bend around the edge.

TE Tyree Jackson: The 6-foot-7 former quarterback has been turning heads. It seems like he makes plays every day and has quickly become Joe Flacco’s favorite target. Will the Eagles risk losing him or will he earn a roster spot?

CB Michael Jacquet: Early in camp, Jacquet was working with the second team and sometimes with the ones when Darius Slay would get a day off. Since then, he has been surpassed by rookie Zech McPhearson. Jacquet’s roster spot is not guaranteed.

CB Craig James: James is in a similar boat as Jacquet on defense, but the difference is that James is a standout special teams player. He will likely be on the roster and will be the Eagles’ top gunner on the punt team.

OT Lane Johnson: This camp is all about kicking the rust off for Lane. He just needs to feel comfortable on that surgically repaired ankle.

RB Kerryon Johnson: He’s still just 24 but the knee injuries were concerning to me. In these practices, though, Johnson has looked like there’s plenty of bounce left in his legs. That running back battle is the best one of the summer.

LB Patrick Johnson: The seventh-round pick from Tulane has gotten some first team reps in that Avery/Johnson/Ostman position. It’s a lot to expect the edge rusher to play as an off-ball linebacker. I think the best idea for Johnson is practice squad in Year 1.

C Luke Juriga: A UDFA from last year, Jurigia is quietly having a very good training camp and might make the 53-man roster as Jason Kelce’s backup. Juriga is pretty athletic and has the ability to get downfield for some blocking assignments.

 

C Jason Kelce: Kelce has looked like typical Kelce.

DE Ryan Kerrigan: Early in camp, Kerrigan suffered a thumb injury so he’s been limited over the last week. It’s important that Kerrigan learn the scheme, but as long as he’s healthy by Week 1, that’s all that matters.

WR Adrian Killins Jr.: The Eagles finally changed Killins’ position to receiver after he worked there exclusively all camp. His pure speed makes him intriguing. Killins (5-8, 177) has worked out of the slot and is a matchup problem.

DE Matt Leo: The Eagles have an international exemption for Leo (he’s the 91st player on the roster), who was just activated off the COVID-19 list on Monday. He won’t be on the team but they’ll keep trying to develop the 29-year-old Aussie.

LS Rick Lovato: Lovato is the long snapper.

CB Avonte Maddox: The move to sign Steve Nelson helped Maddox because now he’s back in the slot, where he’s just a better fit. He looks so much better inside than he did outside. He has been having good battles with Greg Ward in 1-on-1s.

OT Jordan Mailata: I can’t believe Mailata is just a few years removed from his introduction to football. He is running away with the left tackle position and it’s going to be time to start thinking about signing him to an extension. He’s the left tackle of the future.

DT T.Y. McGill: At 28 years old, McGill is often overlooked but he’s been disruptive during these practices, outplaying another veteran in Hassan Ridgeway. Still not sure about his roster chances but if he doesn’t get a job elsewhere, he’s worth keeping on the practice squad for depth.

S Rodney McLeod: Still on the PUP, McLeod has said his goal is to be ready for Week 1. We’ll see about that, but he has been working all camp on a side field. His workouts have been much more intense than Le’Raven Clark’s. It’s clear McLeod is much closer.

CB Zech McPhearson: The rookie fourth-round pick is aggressive, physical and has ball skills. He has made more plays on the ball than any other corner in camp. He’s played so well that if one of the outside corners goes down with an injury this year, I think the Eagles would opt to start McPhearson outside and leave Maddox as the nickel.

S Obi Melifonwu: I get why Melifonwu is getting so many chances. He’s 6-4, 224 and is extremely fast. But he’s already hurt, listed as day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

QB Nick Mullens: After a very good start, Mullens has come back to Earth. He’s the third-stringer for a reason. But it’s been great to have a decent third-string quarterback for the purposes of evaluating the players on the third-team offense. Will the Eagles keep him on the 53? Could go either way.

 

CB Steve Nelson: I’ve been impressed by Nelson coming in, learning a new defense and working with the starters from Day 1. He’s a veteran and it shows. He’s not a Pro Bowl player but he was clearly an upgrade from what they had. He’s been seeing a lot of Fulgham and winning most of those battles.

OG Sua Opeta: Something Kelce said about Opeta was very interesting. He said Opeta is finally catching up on the mental side of the game. Coming out of Weber State, Opeta was a project of sorts but definitely has the athleticism. He’s pushing for a roster spot.

LB Joe Ostman: The third member of the Avery/Johnson/Ostman position, Ostman has also gotten some first-team reps as Gannon tries to figure out what that role in his defense looks like and if he has a player worth keeping to use it.

WR Andre Patton: A late addition to the roster, Patton has some NFL experience and it shows. He’s been making some plays and his familiarity with Sirianni likely helps. Still not a great chance to make the roster.

OL Ross Pierschbacher: A deep reserve guard from Alabama, Pierschbacher was with the Eagles last year too. A former fifth-round pick of Washington, he might be ear-marked for the practice squad.

OL Matt Pryor: Kelce has been very impressed by Pryor’s training camp but I wonder if the Eagles have better options for their depth offensive linemen.

WR Jalen Reagor: Reagor failed his conditioning test after the murder of a childhood friend so his training camp got off to a rough start. But since he’s been back at practice, he has made some plays, including the catch of camp. In a 1-on-1, he made a spectacular one-handed catch over Darius Slay in the end zone. It was one of the best catches I have ever seen at training camp.

DT Hassan Ridgeway: The veteran defensive tackle has been having a quiet summer and I’m starting to wonder about his job security. He does have familiarity with Gannon, which might help, but he’s behind Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave and likely Milton Williams on the depth chart.

S Elijah Riley: The former UDFA from Army might be another special teams standout. And if McLeod isn’t ready for the start of the season, Riley might be a surprise on the 53-man roster.

TE Richard Rodgers: The veteran tight end has had a solid but unspectacular training camp. I wonder if he might be a veteran to be released and then brought back in Week 2 to avoid guaranteeing his salary as a vested veteran.

RB Miles Sanders: As a runner, Sanders has looked explosive and smooth all camp but there are a couple big concerns. One was a fumble during a team drill. But the bigger worry is his drops. After dropping eight passes in 2020, it has been a problem in camp so far. It’s an area he’s been working to clean up.

 

RB Boston Scott: While Sanders has struggled as a receiver, Scott has looked very smooth as a receiver out of the backfield. He and Hurts have been connecting often. And Scott has also been getting the second-most first-team reps after Sanders.

CB Josiah Scott: Nicknamed the Gnat, Scott has been around the ball plenty. The nickel job belongs to Maddox but Scott is pushing him slightly. Remember, the Eagles traded for him.

OG Isaac Seumalo: He’s missed all of camp with a hamstring injury but is now listed as day-to-day, which means he’s getting closer. It will be big to get him back out there and get Mailata reps next to him on the left side of the line.

CB Kevon Seymour: Seymour was added during last season after the Eagles were decimated by injuries. Seymour has been OK in camp but I don’t expect him to stick around.

LB Alex Singleton: After missing the beginning of training camp on the COVID-19 list, Singleton has been back for a few days and has looked good. With fresh legs, he’s already getting first-team reps next to Eric Wilson and nearly picked off a pass in his first day back. I’d expect Singleton and Wilson to be the two true starting linebackers this year.

P Arryn Siposs: I’m still surprised the Eagles didn’t bring in any competition for Siposs. For what it’s worth, he’s looked fine in camp but still hasn’t played in a real NFL game. It seems like he has built a good rapport with Lovato and Elliott.

CB Darius Slay: It’s clear that Slay is the Eagles’ top corner. Even after the addition of Nelson, you can see the gap on the field. Slay is fun to watch, especially in 1-on-1s against receivers. He’s sticky in coverage.

WR DeVonta Smith: It’s obviously a shame that Smith is hurt. He has talent and that was on display very early in camp, although he was feeling his way through. He dropped a couple passes, which is very much unlike him. It would be good to see him return for the joint practices and for some of the preseason.

LB Rashad Smith: Haven’t noticed a ton from Smith aside from a play where Tyree Jackson ran him over in the middle of the field. He has rotated with the other ‘backers.

LB JaCoby Stevens: Stevens had a big interception working with the first-team defense and promptly landed on the injury report the next day. He’s week-to-week with a hamstring injury, which is a shame because he was starting to build momentum.

 

TE Jack Stoll: I think Stoll has been overshadowed by Jackson but the undrafted rookie from Nebraska is starting to make some plays in the passing game. The Eagles all of a sudden have some depth at tight end, which doesn’t help Stoll’s chances of making the roster.

DE Josh Sweat: Sweat has been the star of training camp. There’s a ton of buzz around him entering his fourth NFL season. He needs to play more than 38% of the team’s defensive snaps. If he does, he’ll have a real shot at a double digit sack season.

LB Davion Taylor: Early in camp, Taylor was getting a lot of first-team reps but then he got hurt. He’s week-to-week with a calf injury. For most players that’s not a good thing. For Taylor, who is very raw in overall football experience, it’s an even bigger deal. He really can’t afford to miss this time he’s missing.

OT Brett Toth: I’d still consider Toth to be a project player and I’m a little surprised he’s not a further along by now. Jeff Stoutland really seems to like Toth but I don’t think there’s a roster spot for him.

OT Casey Tucker: The veteran camp body was having a decent summer before he landed on the injury report with a biceps injury. He’s week-to-week and doesn’t seem to have a future here.

DT Marlon Tuipulotu: I expected more out of the sixth-round pick from USC but he’s had a very quiet training camp. Maybe that will change once the preseason games start.

WR Michael Walker: The former Jaguar has a strong special teams background and I thought maybe that would help him make the roster but I think he’s clearly buried on the depth chart. Missing time with a foot injury didn’t help either.

S K’Von Wallace: With McLeod out, Wallace has gotten the bulk of the first-team reps next to Anthony Harris. I think of Wallace as a box safety but Gannon has been playing him deep at times too. Wallace has looked good entering Year 2 and even when McLeod returns, I expect him to have some role defensively.

WR Greg Ward: There are questions about all the Eagles’ receivers except Ward. He’s just a steady force, who catches the ball every day. I have said plenty of times that I think the Eagles need more explosion from the slot — looking at you, Jalen Reagor — but Ward will be on the team for good reason.

WR Quez Watkins: The second-year receiver has been one of the stars of training camp. His best day came at the public practice Sunday night but things had been building to that point. Of the second-year guys — Reagor, Hightower and Watkins — Watkins has been the best and most consistent this summer. He has been getting a few first-team reps but he deserves more.

 

DT Milton Williams: The third-round pick has impressed me for several reasons. First, his natural athleticism is fun to watch. He’s strong and quick, with an explosive first step. But his versatility is what has really shocked me. I thought the Eagles would start him at DT and eventually get him some reps at end. But he’s been doing both and doing both well all camp.

DT Raequan Williams: The second-year DT from Michigan State is a forgotten guy but at 6-4, 305 pounds, he is a force inside at times. Sure, he’s more of a run-stuffer but worthy of a practice squad spot.

TE Caleb Wilson: Wilson hasn’t done anything wrong at camp, but like we mentioned earlier, the tight end room is crowded. He’s behind Ertz, Goedert, Rodgers, Jackson and Stoll. Tough sledding.

LB Eric Wilson: Early in camp I was surprised to see Wilson working so much with the second team, but I guess Gannon already knew what he had in Wilson and wanted to see other combinations. Since then, Wilson has been with the ones and has shown off his coverage skills. He had an interception on Saturday and on Sunday covered Gainwell about 40 yards downfield in a 1-on-1.

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