The Eagles spring workout program is in the books and as we hold our breath for Training Camp, here’s a look at some of the players currently standing on the edge of the 53-man roster fence.
QB: Clayton Thorson
It’s safe to say that at this stage in the offseason, Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson is at the bottom of the QB pecking order. The Eagles drafted Thorson in the fifth-round in an effort to resume their almost cyclical drafting of signal callers, but Spring hasn’t exactly been kind.
Cody Kessler and Nate Sudfeld are performing at a very similar level behind $128M man Carson Wentz, leaving Thorson with a lot of ground to make up. Would the Eagles risk exposing him to waivers in order to assign him to the practice squad? It’s probably too soon to say…but it’s a possibility barring a strong improvement that forces the team to keep him on the 53, instead parting ways with Kessler.
RB: Wendell Smallwood
The Eagles backfield is littered with questions again. Miles Sanders is still out with injury and behind Jordan Howard, we can expect a whirlwind battle. But Corey Clement and Boston Scott excel in specific niches, while Wendell Smallwood is more of a jack-of-all-trades who struggles to stand out from the pack. Now in his contract year, this could be the beginning of the end if he is unable to show significant improvement in what is becoming a very diverse backfield.
OG: Sua Opeta
Penn State’s Ryan Bates is someone that the team are high on and Big V’s move inside is only going to complicate matters at interior guard. There are too many chefs in the Kitchen at this point, and Opeta may just be the odd man out, although his 6’4, 301 lbs, frame that was dominant as a tackle at Weber State, may be a developmental name to watch if he reaches the practice squad.
OT: Casey Tucker
Tucker was an undrafted free agent who worked out for the Eagles during rookie minicamp and was offered a contract after impressing. As things currently stand, there seems to be a very natural structure at the position, one that Tucker will be fighting to be a part of this Summer.
TE: Josh Perkins
Perkins failed to really show anything when given opportunities last year. It’s easy to forget that somehow, he was taking receiving snaps over Dallas Goedert in the first few games of the season. That promptly changed. With Will Tye and Richard Rodgers in the wings, Perkins will have a lot to do this offseason.
WR: Shelton Gibson
Gibson enjoyed a preseason breakout last year but aside from a rogue blocking snap against the Bucs and a 48-yard catch against the Vikings, Gibson failed to really make any kind of offensive impact. However, he does provide deep speed and could easily be a shoo-in for a gunner role on special teams. But, considering this is now his fourth NFL offseason and there are sizeable UDFA’s breathing down his neck, the pressure is piling up.
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