time2rock Posted May 12, 2021 Share Posted May 12, 2021 Best battle at each position on Eagles’ roster Let the competition begin. The Eagles offseason schedule has been released, and although players are skipping out on the voluntary portion of the offseason program, they should be on the field at the NovaCare Complex for a mandatory minicamp June 8th-10th. Yes, every year minicamp features competitions for both starting spots and roster spots, but this year should be even more intense than usual. One reason is head coach Nick Sirianni seems intent on making sure players feel they need to compete for snaps. The other is this roster for the first time in years really does have a ton of open spots. Here is an early look at some of the top battles on the roster: Quarterback: Joe Flacco vs. Jamie Newman The Eagles will indeed be having a competition at quarterback — it just won’t be for the starter. The money that the Eagles paid Flacco will certainly give him an edge in this battle, but it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Newman is the better player in camp. Newman likely would have been drafted if he played in 2020 and brings the same kind of dual-threat to the quarterback position that Hurts does. If Hurts goes down it would be a lot easier to keep running the same offense with Newman than it would Flacco. It is going to take an outstanding training camp too make it happen, but Newman becoming the backup over Flacco should’t be ruled out. Running Back: Boston Scott vs. Jordan Howard The Eagles should still have Miles Sanders as their No. 1 running back, although it is very possible Nick Sirianni goes with a running back by committee approach. The decision to claim Kerryon Johnson is an indication Sirianni is leaning that way, and makes three running backs pretty much a lock to make the roster — Sanders, Gainwell and Johnson. It is possible that the Eagles keep five running backs, but realistically only four are guaranteed. That means two players that might have made the roster prior to the Eagles claiming Johnson, Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, are now fighting for one roster spot. Wide Receiver: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside vs. Travis Fulgham We know DeVonta Smith is going to lead the Eagles’ receivers in snaps. Jalen Reagor is going to be given every chance to get a ton of playing time as well. The real question is when the Eagles want a bigger receiver on the field, who will they be going with, Arcega-Whiteside or Fulgham? Fulgham had an outstanding three-game stretch last season, but was essentially benched for Alshon Jeffery once the veteran returned. Arcega-Whiteside has never produced since coming to the Eagles in 2019. The Eagles are going to be counting on Nick Sirianni to turn either Fulgham or Arcega-Whiteside into a starting, contributing player. The player who losses out? He very well could be cut from the roster. Offensive Line: Jordan Mailata vs. Andre Dillard This is going to be one of the most interesting and most important battles on the roster. The left tackle spot is obviously a very important one and really the only spot on the offensive line that is in question. Mailata played well last season when given the chance to start and certainly showed enough potential to be back as a starter this season. He was not perfect, however, which could give the Eagles enough of an excuse to let Dillard’s status as a first-round pick give him the job. There is no question the Eagles will be hoping Dillard wins the job — but they have to be willing to give it to Mailata if he clearly outplays him. Defensive Line: Derek Barnett vs. Josh Sweat The battle between Barnett and Sweat isn’t going to be taking place just on the field, but off it is as well. Both Sweat and Barnett are entering contract years, and with a strong 2021, both could find themselves demanding big deals next offseason. Sweat showed a ton of potential last season and on most teams would be set to be a starter. Barnett, however, has always been given the majority of snaps when fully healthy. Like Mailata vs. Dillard, the battle between Sweat and Barnett could come down to draft capital invested in the player. Linebacker: Alex Singleton vs. Davion Taylor This battle won’t as much attention as the others, but it should be a good one. Singleton was one of the few pleasant surprises for the Eagles last season, finishing with 120 tackles, two sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. He earned a spot on the field, even as one of the two linebackers when they go into nickel. With Eric Wilson now on the team, however, one linebacker spot is locked up. Taylor, a third-round pick, wasn’t expected to play much last season but that isn’t the case this year. He has had a full season of watching and practicing. Now, it is time to show he can play. Taylor is the best athlete amongst the linebackers, and if he shows he is ready, it is going to be tough for Singleton to keep him off the field. Cornerback: Avonte Maddox vs. Zach McPhearson The Eagles need at cornerback is no secret. It is a lock that another cornerback will be added to the roster, and chances are, that cornerback will be projected to be the starter. Until then, however, the battle is seemingly going to be between Maddox and McPhearson for playing time on the outside. Although both are probably better off inside, the Eagles lack of bodies at the position could force them to start either Maddox or McPhearson opposite Slay. Safety: K’Von Wallace vs. JaCoby Stevens Stevens was announced as a linebacker by the team, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he is ultimately counted as a safety when it comes down to final cuts. Position title aside, he projects as being good at a lot of the same things Wallace does — playing close to the box, tackling, covering tight ends, etc. Wallace will be fighting for a roster spot this season as there is an entirely new coaching staff on defense, and unlike the staff that helped pick Wallace, this one that just had a role in selecting Stevens. The Eagles should have a role for either Wallace or Stevens on the defense. It is unlikely they will have both on the field at the same time. https://www.audacy.com/94wip/sports/eagles/best-battle-at-each-position-on-eagles-roster?fbclid=IwAR2rgFlBDhYGM57oKy6vCm-lcHinz4ZKQdsLaaEekKGUcsCKT30IBPGkthc Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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