Well, Eagles fans today is the day. The Philadelphia Eagles report to training camp today. Tomorrow is when practice actually begins. We are one step closer to football being back. The Eagles open up the preseason in two weeks against the Tennessee Titans. The Eagles have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. This means that some good players will be cut at the end of the preseason. Here are five players that could use a strong showing during camp to help their roster chances or improve their standing on the depth chart.
1. Donnel Pumphrey
A lot of people still question the Eagles selection of Pumphrey during the 2017 draft. Injuries have prevented the former San Diego Aztec from showcasing his talent. The NCAA all-time leading rusher is finally healthy and is looking to impress. The Eagles possess a crowded running back room which became even more crowded when Darren Sproles signed a one year deal.
With Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, and Sproles locked into roster spots that means Pumphrey will be competing with Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, and Boston Scott to make the roster. A strong camp and preseason can get Pumphrey’s career back on track and even if he isn’t with the Eagles this is a chance to show the other 31 teams what he can do.
2. Sidney Jones
Now before everyone gets mad Sidney Jones is going to make the roster. However, he has to showcase that he can stay healthy. Jones has shown glimpses here and there but so far hasn’t displayed enough to garner starting in the secondary. Out of a possible 37 games he’s only played in 10. With a strong training camp and preseason, this could push Jones into a starting position and help cement himself as a starting cornerback for years to come. Before Jones Achillies injury he was viewed as a top 10 pick.
Still just 23 and entering his third season Jones has all the opportunities in front of him. In a crowded secondary it’s now or never for the former Washington Husky.
3. Josh Sweat
The Eagles defensive line is among the deepest in the league. With Guys like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Malik Jackson just to name a few its a quarterbacks worst nightmare. Sweat is entering his second year out of Florida State after ending last season on IR. The Eagles value depth along the front four and rotate several players. With Chris Long retiring and Michael Bennett being traded to New England there are a few more snaps to go around.
On talent and athleticism alone Sweat is a special talent but he fell to the fourth round due to injuries. Now healthy Sweat could be poised for a breakout season. At 6’5 250 with 4.5 speed its a reason the NFL has him as a breakout candidate.
4. Nate Sudfeld
Now Sudfeld is pretty much locked in as the team’s backup quarterback. However, this year things are different. If something happened to Wentz all eyes would be on Sudfeld whos only thrown 25 passes in real NFL action. It’s also different than having Foles as a backup who was proven to be a quality NFL starting quarterback.
The Eagles did bring in former Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler for more competition. Kessler has experience as he has made 12 career starts and could push Sudfeld for that backup position. Sudfeld will certainly have to prove he can hold it down with a good preseason in which he should see plenty of action.
5. Greg Ward Jr
The last of the five players who need a strong training camp is Greg Ward Jr. Ward has been battling for a roster spot for the past few seasons now. Undrafted out of Houston Ward is in his second stint with the Birds. After being released last offseason he spent time in the AAF with the San Antonio Commanders.
When the AAF folded Ward returned to Philly. Now the Eagles top four receivers are set with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside who should see plenty of playing time. After that its a bit up in the air. Mack Hollins has been injured for what seems like years so in no way should his spot be secure. Shelton Gibson will be looking for a breakout season as well among others. The former Houston Cougars quarterback faces an uphill battle but if he can turn heads has a shot at the fifth or sixth spot on the depth chart.
Training camp is here
Football is finally back! The Eagles begin practice tomorrow with the first preseason game in two weeks. All in preparation for the September 8th opener against the Washington Redskins.
featured image via ESPN Images Allen Kee
Stats via pro-football-reference.com
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