Jump to content

Preseason finale offers clues on Eagles’ roster build


Recommended Posts

Preseason finale offers clues on Eagles’ roster build

Best thing about Eagles’ 27-13 loss is preseason is over


PHILADELPHIA — Leave it to Devon Allen, the Olympic hurdler, to inject excitement into the preseason finale for the Eagles.

Allen bobbled the opening kickoff, gathered himself and burst 73 yards to the 27-yard line to set up a one-yard scoring run by Trey Sermon. It was the biggest highlight for the Eagles, who didn’t give their fans even a sniff of their starters together in the preseason in a 27-13 loss Thursday night to the Colts.

Though Kenny Moore’s drop of a sure-fire interception thrown by Marcus Mariota aided the Eagles on the opening possession, with the Colts playing their starters throughout the half, the visitors got a break when they tackled Birds tight end Dan Arnold before a throw got there.

At any rate, that was the only series for Mariota, who went 1-for-2 for 21 yards.

The Colts started their first-team offense, including rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. They didn’t move the ball and score until Colts head coach Shane Steichen went up-tempo against the second and third-team Eagles’ defense. It was 7-7 in the first quarter.

Opening fireworks aside, Colts first round pick Anthony Richardson was just 6 for 17 for 78 yards and a 50.6 passer rating in the first half, the Colts taking a 17-13 lead.

Gardner Minshew, who backed up Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia the past two seasons, played the second half for the Colts, throwing a touchdown pass and an interception.

The Eagles got another interesting performance out of rookie Tanner McKee for much of the game.

At this point the rumors about them being hot on the trail of running back Jonathan Taylor are just that. Any interest the Eagles have in the veteran, who has permission to seek a trade, is nothing more than rumors. Taylor’s act wouldn’t play well in the Philly locker room.

With the cutdown to 53 players to be completed by 4 p.m. next Tuesday here is a snapshot of the depth chart the Eagles are working through.

QUARTERBACKS (3) >> Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee.

Hurts is the only guy here who can win games. The Eagles really could use a veteran backup. And not Trey Lance, the Niners’ bust.

RUNNING BACKS (4) >> Kenny Gainwell, D’Andre Swift, Rashad Penny, Boston Scott.

Adding Jonathan Taylor and taking away touches from an attack of top receivers and tight ends is asking for trouble. Hurts and a running back by committee is much less complicated.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5) >>  A.J. Brown, De’Vonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Britain Covey.

Strongest position on the team. Smith is going to need a contract extension after this season.

TIGHT ENDS (3) >> Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra.

Goedert is borderline elite. Give the man more touches. Calcaterra has amazing hands. Stoll and Calcaterra didn’t play Thursday, meaning they’re likely in.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10) >> Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Tyler Steen, Josh Andrews, Josh Sills, Fred Johnson.

Solid mix of starters and backups with position versatility. Johnson played solidly and just signed a two-year contract. Steen struggled at right guard. Veteran Dennis Kelly is the odd man looking in.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8) >> Josh Sweat, Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Milton Williams, Derek Barnett, Marlon Tuipulotu.

Barnett didn’t play Thursday, so the 2017 first round pick is on the roster or a guy the Eagles will try to trade, although it’s hard to believe they could get more than a third-day selection. Rookie seventh round pick Moro Ojomo (concussion) also is in the mix.

LINEBACKERS (5) >> Haason Reddick, Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, Christian Ellis, Zack Cunningham.

Other than Reddick and Smith, who basically are edge-rushers, this is the weakest position on the team. Nick Morrow might not survive the cut and he’s the guy coordinator Sean Desai brought in to teach his scheme. Look for post-cut signings.

CORNERBACKS (7) >> James Bradberry, Darius Slay, Josh Jobe, Avonte Maddox, Josiah Scott, Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks.

Ricks is on the bubble. Look for post-cutdown turnover here.

SAFETIES (5) >> Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, K’Von Wallace, Justin Evans.

Evans has earned a spot with his stellar play. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles added here, though.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3) >> Kicker Jake Elliott, punter/holder Arryn Siposs, long snapper Rick Lovato.

Elliott booted field goals of 59 and 52 yards Wednesday, proof positive he’s ready for a breakout season. Deep wide receiver Covey, his critics should know, is a lock to be the punt returner. Scott is the kickoff returner, although Allen’s speed warrants consideration.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...