After two games - one good and one bad - I thought it would be a good time to examine who is playing well, and who could use a kick in the behind.
On offense, my stock up players are Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders and Quez Watkins.
Mailata has obviously been playing out of his mind. He is the second-highest graded tackle in the league by PFF (although that grade is somewhat suspect) and has been a beast in the run game. The opinions on him aren't 100 percent as evidenced by this tweet
Doug Farrar ✍ on Twitter: "I counted three reps where if it wasn't quick game or mush-rush... it could have been ugly. Mailata lets guys through to both sides, and he's still learning to recover from bull rushes." / Twitter
but I think this is somewhat medieval thinking. If he is pushing DTs five yards down the field on run plays, that makes up for a lot of shaky reps on pass plays. And he went against Bosa in week 2, and I could argue that he won't face a better pass rusher this season.
Seumalo has been low-key excellent this year, which is par for his career. He tends to have really good games with a clunker or two each year, but so far so good.
Lane has had a few penalties so far, but his blocking has been excellent. There's really not much to say here. He continues to be a rock on the right side. He is the one older player that the Eagles are really tied to beyond this year, so him playing well is a real positive.
Miles Sanders is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and 8.6 yards per reception, which are both really good. He also hasn't had any drops, which was an issue last year and during training camp. And he is heading into a week where he should have a field day. He's banged up, which is concerning, but I also have a lot of faith in Kenny Gainwell.
What is there to say about Quez Watkins except get him on the field more. He has caught every target, and has already surpassed his rookie yardage total. Why he is not on the field for every play is beyond me. Meanwhile, a receiver I will mention in a second, is not producing like he should. At some point, the coaches have to make a tough decision.
Stock down - Zach Ertz, Jalen Reagor.
I didn't include Landon Dickerson on this list because I will give him a mulligan for the 49ers game, but the leash has to be short.
Ertz may be a victim of circumstances. He has three catches on four targets, so he is productive when he gets the ball. But his production is clearly down, and I wonder if having him on the roster is doing us more harm than good.
Jalen Reagor has been a disappointment. He has gotten open at times, but he is looking like a decidedly mediocre receiver. Getting forced out of bounds on a go route by a rookie corner is inexcusable. He also ran a poor route on another deep ball against the 49ers that led to a lack of separation. His snaps should be going to Watkins, and he should be exclusively used out of the slot. His 6.8 yards per reception is really bad.
The question becomes, does Sirianni have the stones to give Smith and Watkins the majority of the snaps on the outside, and split time between Ertz and Reagor on the inside? Because if I am a defensive coordinator, seeing Ertz and Reagor on the field together makes my life a whole lot easier.
On defense, my stock up players are Avonte Maddox and Javon Hargrave.
Hargrave is having a monster year. In 15 games last year, he had 4.5 sacks, 37 tackles and 5 tackles for a loss. After two games this year, he has two sacks, 12 tackles and 4 TFLs. He has been playing at a pro bowl level, and soon teams are going to have to consider double teaming him.
Maddox has been rally good in the slot, which was a huge question coming into the year. He's the seventh-ranked corner by PFF, and had also made a good number of tackles. Our corners will face a stern test this week, but so far so good for all three.
My stock down players on defense are Derek Barnett and Eric Wilson.
Barnett is good for a stupid penalty every other game or so, and has not disappointed this year. It was a mistake to bring him back at $10 million, and at this point I would have him fourth on the depth chart even with Graham out. Let Williams, Kerrigan and Sweat take the majority of snaps. Heck, Avery, Johnson and Jackson can play DE on passing downs.
Wilson has been bad in coverage and bad against the run, so I don't understand why he is on the field. Singleton and Edwards haven't been great, either, but at least they play the run well. If Wilson were outstanding in coverage I could see why they are playing him, but he hasn't flashed at all.
Our safety play has been underwhelming, and that whole group could make this list as well, but I think poor linebacker play has put them in tough spots.
It will be interesting to see what Gannon does moving forward. Dallas will provide the defense with a stern test, and it will be interesting to see how quickly we will make changes if we struggle.