Now that I’ve watched a week’s worth of Philadelphia Eagles training camp practices, here’s an update on whose stock is rising or falling this summer. Keep in mind the Eagles only put the pads on beginning on Saturday and haven’t done anything live tackling yet. That starts tomorrow. There’s also still plenty of practices and preseason games left for things to change. But for now, here’s a list of the top Eagles risers and fallers in camp so far.
Wentz has simply been on fire the past two days. He completed 100% of his passes in team drills on Saturday before looking sharp again on Sunday. He’s throwing with accuracy and making good decisions. He’s mixing in highlight throws with consistency. Wentz looks real good. He’s pretty critical to this team’s success, if you didn’t know, so the hope is he can keep it up.
Alshon is really good, man. He makes everything look easy out there.
Some have pegged Smith as a “surprise cut” candidate. They’ve pointed out he only received $500,000 guaranteed and he could be this year’s Rueben Randle. Think again. Smith is one of the best receivers on the this team. He’s clearly no Alshon Jeffery but he’s looking good.
Returned to practice after missing the entire spring. He looks mostly healthy, so that’s good news.
I might have included Agholor in the “falling” section if not for a standout practice performance on Sunday because he had a quiet start to camp. He impressed fans at the Linc, however, with route-running, speed, and surprising sure-handedness.
Continues to catch everything thrown his way despite not wearing gloves. Hollins gets suprisingly good separation for a 6-4 guy.
The No. 89 jersey suits Ward a lot better than No. 4. He looks more like a receiver now and he’s really playing like one too. Ward looks surprisingly advanced for a player making the transition from quarterback to receiver. Daniel Jeremiah listed Ward as a “sleeper.” He could potentially push for the sixth receiver spot on the 53-man or more likely a practice squad job.
Philly nuggets: Wentz is dialed in & ready for a big year. Jernigan will be a problem for opponents on passing downs. Sleeper-WR Greg Ward— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 30, 2017
Jermiah also had praise for Johnson, calling him “explosive.” Johnson’s showed off good hands. He’s made some nice plays at all levels of the field: short, intermediate, and deep. Johnson’s efforts have been rewarded with some first team snaps. He was also running with the starters when Jeffery missed some reps. That seems to bode well for his roster chances.
Appears to be in shape and he’s running hard. He’s also catching the ball well. Not much to not like.
I’m not sure if he’ll make the roster but Brown is at least putting himself in the conversation for the Eagles to keep a fourth tight end. Brown has caught everything thrown his way. Now he just needs to prove he can block. The Eagles would be wise to keep Brown around if they believe in him long-term. Brent Celek is likely to be cut after this year and Trey Burton is a free agent so the team will need another option behind Zach Ertz.
Brooks makes a play or two every day in practice. He’s been picking off and breaking up passes. He’s also showed some physicality. Brooks should be the third safety behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. At this point, he’s fighting to earn playing time rather than the job itself.
Doug Pederson mentioned Vaitai and Gordon (see below) as two reasons why the Eagles felt comfortable trading Allen Barbre. Big V had a nice block on Brandon Graham, who’s pretty good, in practice on Sunday. The team seems to believe in him as their swing tackle.
Gordon is an interesting developmental guy. The Eagles stashed him on the 53-man roster last season. He seems bound to make the team again given Pederson’s praise for him. Gordon has lined up as the second team left tackle. He’s also been getting a lot of instruction from Jason Peters, who is similar to Gordon in some ways. Both players were undrafted tight ends entering the NFL.
I’d be surprised if Kamu doesn’t make the team. He’s made some plays in coverage and run support while playing WILL. He also proved to be a nice special teams contributor as a rookie last year. He could be a potential Mychal Kendricks replacement if he continues to show up.
Cherry came up with a few interceptions last week. It’s also worth noting how he’s lining up with the first team special teams unit. All the other guys he’s lined up with are locks to make the roster. Cherry is hardly a lock himself but he seems to be in the mix. Plus he plays Overwatch so that’s cool.
McCalister hasn’t really done much to impress but Jim Schwartz praised him unprompted last week: “We do like a good, young player in the pipeline in Alex McCalister.” I still think of McCalister as a practice squad guy, but maybe the Eagles will keep him over Steven Means.
Long hasn’t looked bad as a pass rusher. I couldn’t not include him in this section after he provided us with this gem:
Robinson isn’t a lock to make the final roster despite practicing with the first team right now. He’s had a few good reps but the bad has outweighed the good so far. He’s been burned often. Robinson doesn’t have any guaranteed money in his contract so the Eagles could easily move on if he continues to really struggle.
Douglas stood out in spring practices by being around the ball and knocking down passes. He’s cooled off since then. Douglas just doesn’t look like a player who’s ready to play a majority of the team’s defensive snaps this season. I know there’s been an argument to stick him out there and “let him take his lumps” but you also don’t want to destroy the player’s confidence. And he needs to earn his playing time. You don’t just award it to someone because they’re young.
I’d be surprised if Gibson makes the roster at this point. The practice squad should be in play, but based on merit I wouldn’t keep him there. He’s dropped way too many passes. He’s been the worst out of the eleven wide receivers on Philly’s roster.
I doubt Foles will lose his backup spot to Matt McGloin but he’s not looking like an inspiring option behind Wentz. He struggled in Friday’s practice. Now he’s missing time with an elbow injury. Foles was away for a good week or two of spring practices due to the birth of his child, so he’s missed a decent amount of reps this offseason.
Qualls entered training camp trying to catch up from behind after missing all of OTAs. He struggled during OL vs. DL one-on-one drills on Saturday. Qualls injured his groin and now he’ll miss even more time. Not good for the rookie sixth-round pick.
Just clearly not as good as Brooks. I’ve seen some project the Eagles to keep five safeties but that doesn’t seem necessary to me. Watkins’ time here should be up.
Means hasn’t been bad. He actually had a good spring. I haven’t noticed him much (good or bad) in camp, but I’m putting him on this list due to Schwartz’s mention of McCalister instead of him.
Jimmy Kempski timed the hangtime of Donnie Jones’ punts and Johnston’s punts. To no surprise, Donnie was way ahead of the rookie punter from Ohio State. Johnston is just a camp leg.