Take a deep breath.
Training Camp starts on Monday. Actual football is getting closer.
We will have things to talk about that actually matter, not just pointless speculation. Now training camp isn’t exactly Super Bowl excitement but after the dead zone that is July, I’ll take what I can get.
Here is a few things to look out for over the next few weeks.
Johnson vs Barnett
During OTA’s reports stated Barnett was in a fierce battle with Lane Johnson, getting the better of Johnson on one play, with Johnson schooling the rookie the next (see here). That’s a great sign, Barnett is already showing he has the potential to be a top Defensive End at the next level. Johnson is the best RT in the game and with Barnett holding his own and then some against a vet like Johnson, is a very encouraging sign.
Seumalo vs Barbre
In an ideal world Seumalo would make the job his own from day 1 and he will likely be given every opportunity to do so, but Barbre won’t go down without a fight. Barbre was graded as the 16th best Guard by PFF last year and although he is 33 years old, he seems to be getting better as time goes by. Seumalo will hopefully win the job through merit relegating Barbre to a backup role providing the Eagles with what would probably be the best backup O-Lineman in the league. With the Eagles abundant depth along the O-Line and the fact Barbre only has a year remaining on his contract, he could also be good trade fodder for a contender looking for a solid Tackle or Guard at a low cost.
Who will be the starting Cornerbacks?
Jalen Mills is all but assured of at least one of the outside Cornerback roles purely due to the lack of talent at the position. I believe Mills has what it takes to be a nice player in the league but ideally he wouldn’t be starting right now. The rest of the group is a mystery, Patrick Robinson will probably begin the season as the starter opposite Mills due to his experience but the Eagles will be hoping rookie Rasul Douglas can put pressure on Robinson and push for the job on the outside moving Robinson inside where he is more suited. Sidney Jones will hopefully be red-shirted for the season to make sure he recovers back to 100%. Ron Brookes played last season in the slot before being injured and will return. CJ Smith, Aaron Grymes and Dwayne Gratz make up the rest of the Corners fighting for a place on the roster, with both Smith and Grymes showing flashes of ability last summer, both could be intriguing depth players. The Eagles could also attempt to trade for a player with upside such as the Bears, Kyle Fuller which has been widely discussed this off-season and a topic I covered in an earlier post (see here). The whole position is a bit of a mystery and it’s going to be intriguing to see who survives to see the final roster.
Wide Receiver depth chart
Apart from Alshon Jeffery as the No.1 every other position on the depth chart is up for grabs. With Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson and Marcus Johnson all vying for 5 or 6 spots on the roster, this position group is looking 100x healthier than last year. It looks likely the top 5 will be Jeffrey, Smith, Matthews, Agholor, Hollins with one of Gibson or Johnson in the last spot. There has been talk of trading Matthews as he’s in the last year of his contract and the Eagles likely won’t pay him over Jeffrey next off-season. So if a trade happens the Eagles will probably only keep 5 receivers. The last spot is probably the most interesting. Johnson way outperformed Gibson at OTA’s but will the Eagles be willing to give up on a 5th round pick so soon, and risk losing him on the practice squad to another team? Also we need to talk about Nelson Agholor who looked phenomenal by all accounts during OTA’s (see here) and anything better from him than the last two season will be a huge boost for this group. It’s up in the air what this group will look like come the end of training camp, but the one thing we do know is that there’s no more DGB (WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!).
‘Till next time.