The first preseason game is in the books and as expected, there is plenty to talk about. With positional battles raging throughout the roster, here’s a look at the main movers and shakers from Thursday Night and what that means moving forward.
Each player is color coded.
Blue signifies a starter,
green signifies a good night,
amber signifies an average night (or nothing happened to move his place on the depth chart)
and red symbolizes a bad day at the office, or external circumstances hurting his value.
Carson Wentz (DNP)
Nick Foles (DNP)
Nate Sudfeld was the big mover in week one. He wasn’t perfect, but the former Indiana quarterback scored two beautiful touchdowns and moved the chains consistently. If it wasn’t for some miscommunication and a rookie error, he would’ve been one of the most impressive players on the team.
Joe Callahan performed as expected during his first snaps as an Eagle. It’s clear which quarterback has spent a year under Doug Pederson, watching the offense and learning every nuance of the offense and who has had to pick it all up in a hurry. There were some signs of promise, but at this stage, Sudfeld looks the more impressive and game-ready of the two.
Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams split 6 rushing attempts each on Thursday night. Smallwood had a sloppy fumble and averaged 3.5 yards per carry, while Adams broke off a 15-yard run that placed the spotlight onto the Notre Dame prospect who’s running like a man possessed. This will be the fringe battle that transcends preseason but Smallwood is rapidly losing his grasp on that fourth spot.
For Pumphrey, the best kind of ability is availability and a lower-body injury kept him sidelined, pushing a him a little further out of the equation.
The Eagles offensive line was essentially cut into four slices on Thursday night. The starting four don’t really need any analyzing here apart from even in the few series they played, they still man-handled as if it was a playoff game. The big mover in my eyes was Matt Pryor, who went pedal-to-the-metal at right guard and made a really positive impact when placed into the game.
From a fundamental standpoint, Taylor Hart has clearly come a long way since first catching on with the Eagles and this is bound to play a factor when deciding whether or not he clings a roster spot. A big preseason performance will be needed.
The big name was Jordan Mailata, who played his first E V E R Football game. Despite literally learning the sport this year, he gave up just 2 pressures and a sack in his 32 offensive snaps. Not bad considering his complete lack of any amateur or professional experience and definitely a building block to work with.
Greg Ward Jr
Shelton Gibson was the big time winner here. The West-virginia standout caught his first ever touchdown pass as an Eagle and if he can maintain that form, he could really give both Wheaton and Wallace a run for their money. Neither of the two caught a pass in the preseason opener and Wheaton especially could be on unpredictable ground. If Gibson can exude confidence and show the coaches he’s ready, there’s no reason why he can’t make the jump.
DeAndre Carter flew around the field, albeit inconsistently, while Bryce Treggs and Rashard Davis both showed flashes of potential. If any of the wideouts below the bubble are to make an impact, they have to keep up this form in the hopes of unseating the vets.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports