After an exciting showing against the Jets last week, the Eagles’ rookies have a lot to build on going into the second week of the NFL preseason. The Cleveland Browns are a deeper, more talented team on both sides of the ball and there are a few things to keep an eye on in this game for the Eagles first years.
More Jordan Davis?
Jordan Davis only played a handful of snaps against New York, making the most of every one. Even with a deep group of defensive lineman, it will be interesting to see if the Eagles give him a bit more run against Cleveland. The Browns’ offensive line is as solid as there is in the NFL, and they could be a great test for Davis.
Can the Cam Jurgens Legend Grow?
Cam Jurgens played a ton of football last week with Jason Kelce sidelined, and he kicked ass the whole night. Kelce is set to play this week, but only for a bit. If Jurgens plays a few quarters of football against Cleveland, he should be able to keep the ball rolling on his excellent preseason.
Can Nakobe Dean play with the 1s?
It is only a matter of time before Nakobe Dean is a starting linebacker for the Eagles. You know it, I know it, our grandparents probably know it. The question is when. Dean played an excellent game with the second team defense last week, but we are all waiting for him to line up with the starters. It is unclear what the formations are going to look like in the Eagles defense at this point.
Maybe Dean is a starting nickel linebacker next to Kyzir White but does not play in the base defense. That is all to be seen, and hopefully this game gets the rookie linebacker more time out on the field.
Kennedy Brooks is fighting for a big role on the offense.
The Eagles’ backfield is in a bit of a flux. Miles Sanders is banged up, Boston Scott missed time with a concussion, and Kenneth Gainwell has underwhelmed. The door is open for the undrafted Brooks to prove himself valuable to the team.
Sanders is entering his contract year and has yet to fully live up to the expectations. The Eagles could be looking ahead to see what they have in Gainwell and, possibly, Brooks as viable running back options. If Brooks has another strong game against Cleveland, he could push for a spot as a role player in this offense.
Battle of the UDFA defensive backs.
The Eagles have a ton of undrafted free agent defensive backs on the roster, and they all got some playing time last week. Josh Blackwell and Josh Jobe have been making waves in camp at cornerback, earning a lot of playing time against the jets. Mario Goodrich was a high profile UDFA cornerback signing, but has yet to really leave an impression in practice or play. Reed Blankenship was a tackling machine at safety last week and could see a lot of playing time again this week.
Defensive back depth is up for grabs and the team seems content on letting these young guys battle for a roster spot. It will be fun to see these young players compete and, hopefully, continue to build on strong practices.