Pro Football Focus releases the top five graded players from each team after every single NFL game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Philadelphia Eagles following their preseason game against the New York Jets.
G Dallas Thomas, 86.6 overall grade
CB C.J. Smith, 85.1 overall grade
LB Joe Walker, 84.6 overall grade
DI Elijah Qualls, 84.0 overall grade
G Tyler Orlosky, 81.6 overall grade
Thomas is a player I probably should have included on my 53-man roster prediction. I think the Eagles will keep Chance Warmack due to Jeff Stoutland’s bias, but then again he’s one making the cuts (Howie Roseman is). Earlier this offseason, Adam Caplan noted Thomas is a player the Eagles like.
Risky, as Barbre carries very manageable salary ($2.05m). But Eagles want to go younger. Dallas Thomas figures to get a shot as 6th OL. https://t.co/wcnfeLRpnh— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 4, 2017
Unlike Warmack, Thomas has experience at both guard and tackle. The 2013 third-round pick also has 37 career starts to his name.
Thomas made his case with a strong performance against New York.
The highest-graded player in the game did not allow a pressure over 29 pass blocking snaps. Thomas was dominant in the run game as well (86.5 run block grade).
Smith had an up and down preseason overall. At one point, before the Ronald Darby trade, it looked like he might push for a starting job. He’s since fallen down the depth chart a little. He played a lot of snaps against the Jets, which signals the Eagles weren’t too concerned about risking injury. I think Smith ends up on the practice squad.
As I mentioned last night, Walker helped his stock with a good showing against the Jets. Here’s what PFF had to say about him.
Walker played a team-high 52 defensive snaps and affected every facet of the game. He had two run stops and led Eagles linebackers with a 9.1 run stop percentage. He also only allowed four receiving yards on two targets.
Walker could fit in as the main backup to Jordan Hicks, although the Eagles have suggested they might just put Nigel Bradham on the inside with Mychal Kendricks at Bradham’s spot if Hicks is out. Either way, Walker could be a key special teams contributor in addition to being an important backup linebacker. He certainly hasn’t shown a lack of physicality.
Qualls had a rough start to camp but rebounded quickly. He’s really shined in the preseason games. The Eagles’ sixth round rookie consistently showed a great first step. He was bursting into the backfield all night long.
A constant disruption in the New York backfield, Qualls was excellent as his 84.0 grade indidcates. On 44 total snaps, he collected four run stops (18.2 run stop percentage) and a sack and hurry when rushing the passer.
Qualls finished the preseason with 11 combined tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits.
It feels safe to say Qualls is a lock to make this roster. The Eagles can’t risk making him available on waivers.
The Eagles’ top undrafted free agent signing has had a quiet summer. The Eagles moved Orlosky from center to guard during the middle of camp. That might not be a good sign for him because it means he’s the fourth center on the depth chart (behind 2016 practice squad member Aaron Neary). But maybe the Eagles wanted to “hide” him by sticking him at a different position.
In any case, Orlosky graded out well against the Jets. I’m not sure he makes the main roster, though. I’d think the Eagles will try to keep him on their practice squad.