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Eagles vs. Buccaneers: 12 most interesting players to watch in Philadelphia's first preseason game

Who will you be keeping an eye on?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are scheduled to play a meaningless football game tonight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The final result doesn't matter, but it will still be interesting to see how Philadelphia's players perform as they prepare for the 2016 NFL regular season. Here are the 10 most interesting Eagles players to watch in tonight's game. Keep in mind the starters will only play for a series or two.

1) Carson Wentz

Duh. No other way to start off this list.

The Eagles plan to keep Wentz inactive this year with Sam Bradford as the starter and Chase Daniel as the backup. Wentz is set to play most of the second half on Thursday night. It could be one of the most extended looks he'll get all year, other than the fourth preseason game.

Philadelphia clearly believes Wentz is the future of the franchise after trading a big bounty of picks to acquire him in the 2016 NFL Draft. The rookie quarterback has had his ups and downs in training camp so far. Now we'll get to see how he looks in live game action. We'll also probably get to hear the "We want Wentz!" chants that were already present at Philadelphia's open training camp practice if/when the rookie scores a touchdown.

2) Lane Johnson

The Eagles' starting right tackle hasn't officially been suspended yet, but reports indicate he could miss the first 10 games of the 2016 season. It'll be interesting to see what the Eagles do with Johnson. Will he start at right tackle? Will they want to get one of the backups there instead? If that's the case, it could be Dennis Kelly since Matt Tobin is starting in place of Jason Peters at left tackle.

3) Trey Burton

Burton has been so good in camp. He's caught nearly everything thrown his way. He's made good plays on a consistent basis and the Eagles coaching staff has taken notice. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said he "loves" Burton. The Eagles only used Burton as a special teams guy over the past two seasons but it's clear the team needs to get him more involved on offense. The Birds could and should look to use three tight end sets this season. We could get a sneak peek of those tonight.

4) Jalen Mills

The favorite to win the Na Brown award is an obvious candidate to make this list. Mills has been very impressive in training camp, especially for being a seventh round pick. The rookie cornerback has already climbed ahead of 2015 second round pick Eric Rowe on the depth chart. Mills has stood out by making a number of plays on the ball; pass breakups and interceptions galore. The one area where he's been weak, however, is defending deep passes. He'll need to show improvement there before he can be truly reliable.

5) Jaylen Watkins

Watkins was mostly an afterthought heading into camp, but he's flashed while playing safety. The former cornerback is set to start on the back end of the defense with Malcolm Jenkins set to miss the game. Doug Pederson said Watkins will split time with Chris Maragos. The Eagles need a third safety behind Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Watkins will have a chance to step up and earn that spot. His versatility to play safety and corner could help him make the 53-man roster.

6) Kenjon Barner

Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles probably won't play much tonight so Barner could get a lot of work. The Eagles coaching staff has praised Barner a lot this offseason. The former Oregon Ducks rusher hasn't really stood out much in camp but he's looked good in the preseason over the past two years. Maybe he'll shine again this year. With Sproles not returning punts, he'll also have an opportunity to impress on special teams.

7) Cody Parkey

Caleb Sturgis has decisively outkicked Parkey during spring and summer practices. Now we'll get to see how the kickers fare in real game situations. Parkey needs to really shine on kickoffs and his field goal attempts this preseason while hoping Sturgis struggles. Otherwise, The Power Sturge will likely steal his job.

8) Joe Walker

The Eagles have reportedly had talks with veteran Stephen Tulloch. They've also reportedly been trying trade for a middle linebacker. Currently, Walker is the second team MIKE behind the talented but injury-prone Jordan Hicks. Perhaps Walker could play well enough to put the Eagles' mind at ease when it comes to searching for more linebacker depth.

9) Stefen Wisniewski

Wisniewski lined up as the second team center during the spring. Then he was used as the first team right guard with Brandon Brooks missing practice early in training camp. Now Wiz is back with the second team, though this time at right guard. Wiz, who has never been a backup in his five-year career, might be able to beat out Allen Barbre at left guard if he plays well this summer. Depending on what happens with Johnson, it's also possible the Eagles could kick out Barbre to tackle and insert Wiz at left guard.

10) Steven Means

With Marcus Smith out due to a concussion, Means will be the fourth defensive end behind the starting trio of Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, and Brandon Graham. If Means continues to shine like he has in practice, he could convince the Eagles to part ways with their 2014 first round pick.

11) Eric Rowe

Rowe has fallen all the way to being the fifth cornerback on the depth chart. He's behind Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, Nolan Carroll, and Mills. Rowe struggled during spring practices but he's been better in training camp since the pads have come on. It's up to Rowe to prove the coaching staff is wrong to be down on him. He could climb back up the depth chart with a strong summer.

12) Nelson Agholor

Philadelphia's 2015 first round pick has had a very quiet camp, which isn't the best sign coming off a highly disappointing rookie season. The Eagles desperately need one of their young players to step up at receiver, especially with Jordan Matthews now missing time due to injury. Agholor has talent. Can he live up to it?

Bonus: Doug Pederson

It'll be interesting to see how the Eagles head coach fares in his first game. The regular season will be the real test, obviously, but we'll still get to see how Pederson calls plays and manages the game. It feels inevitable that he'll burn a timeout in Andy Reid fashion and then everyone will lose their minds.