I watched Clayton Thorson for 57 minutes tonight. You will find me in the losers section.
Mailata was once again strong in his preseason performance, spending the entire night at right tackle and absolutely road-paving from the very first snap. While he caught the wrong end of a Josh Allen pancake, you can swallow that from a 2018 seventh-rounder against a 2019 seventh-overall pick. Mailata’s improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 is mighty encouraging.
Listen, Thorson threw more than 20% catchable passes this week, which is a measurable improvement from Week 1. He was also a big winner because playing time is objectively valuable for a player as desperately in need of development — yet, because of injury to Nate Sudfeld and Cody Kessler, he’s seeing a ton of playing time. That 4th down throw to Will Tye was great! More of those please.
The third string offensive line — with Opeta in the game as LG, Nate Herbig in at C, Keegan Reeder in at RG, and Pryor and Mailata as the bookends — absolutely dominated their counterparts on the Jacksonville defensive line. The Eagles walked Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey, of all runners, down the field for a fourth-quarter score. Opeta was the most impressive of the players to me — shockingly spry for a dude of his size. He’s an ideal practice squad candidate
Speaking of which, Herbig was a big winner in that he stepped in to snap after Stefen Wisniewski was benched (egads!) for missing on multiple shotgun snaps. That’s bad news for Wis, but Herbig’s role as OC3 (at least, with Seumalo not factored in) is good news for his roster chances. I don’t love his film, but he was dominant with the third-team OL.
Another week, another strip sack for Daeshon Hall, who is clearly outplaying Josh Sweat — his fellow battler for EDGE4 — after two weeks of the preseason. Hall’s ability to turn a tight arc on the outside EDGE track is better than I remember it, and he remains as powerful and aggressive with his hands. Seeing him against ones may temper the hype, but he’s been the Eagles’ most impactful preseason defender.
BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS HIM!
Donnel Pumphrey showing off some wiggle in space... pic.twitter.com/HxCtzEWw3P— Gayle Saunders (@EagleSessions) August 16, 2019
Future Eagles’ Backup QB Alex McGough
Don’t tell me you weren’t watching the Jaguars’ fourth-string QB sling that pill a l’il bit in the fourth quarter! McGough has been an intriguing developmental prospect out of Florida International for two preseasons now — he was first with Seattle in 2018 — and projects to the Nate Sudfeld/Christian Hackenberg mold of player that the Eagles have investigated in the last few offseasons.
Suddenly, the QB cupboard is getting bare. Make the call, Howie.
Who won both of his challenges tonight! Attaboy, Douglas.
As is tradition, an interior defender that I was watching that probably nobody else was: Rutgers UDFA Kevin Wilkins, who is built like a Maytag refridgerator, was stout against the run and disrupt as a bull-rusher. It’s a tough bet for the roster, but he looks like an NFL athlete.
Sweat played fine, but man he’s getting outpaced by Hall. He’s still making some young man errors against the run and letting too many of his rushes die after his initial move. When he hits it, it’s sick — and his first step, strength, and bend let to multiple pressures tonight — but he’s bleeding regular-season snaps to Hall.
Mack Hollins, who is supposedly going to be rostered, does not look like the elite athlete he was billed as out of UNC; was playing significant snaps with the second team; cannot stay healthy. You’re running out of excuses to keep him.
...was really, really bad again.
...had multiple penalties, again.
I was willing to stand up for Wis in the beginning of the 2018 season, when I thought he was receiving undue criticism. But his play has deteriorated over the last two seasons, and the trump card that kept him valuable — backing up Jason Kelce — seems to have fallen away. He’s missing snaps, old, and unworthy of a guaranteed deal. Expect a cut.
Jones gave up some separation and quality targets/catches tonight, and wasn’t looking particularly strong in Week 1, either. I’m not sure if he’s an outside guy or a nickel, and I’m not sure where the reportedly strong camp play has gone, either. You starting him above Sul/Maddox/Darby right now? I’m not.
I don’t watch much baseball, but I’m pretty sure this is good.