Eagles’ Stock watch: Risers and fallers ahead of preseason opener

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Offense

Shelton Gibson

It seemed like it was only a matter of time before Gibson was surpassed by JJAW, but to see himself surpassed so early in the season must sting. Shelton has always shown glimpses of the downfield burner he was in college, but after watching the team add young receiver after young receiver, the realization that his time with the Eagles may be closing is on the horizon. Mack Hollins’ health will weigh heavy on Gibson’s chances at making the final roster.

Jordan Mailata

Being the third option on an NFL roster just years after learning the sport of football is nothing to scoff at. The truth is, Mailata shouldn’t be expected to beat out Vaitai for the backup position this early on his career. His name on the list is simply a reflection of the reality that he isn’t as close as last season’s hype train would have you believe. In his own words, he’s still only got a half bag of peanuts. If Lane does need a spell, it will be interesting to see if Big V shifts back to tackle and Wisniewski slots in at guard, or if the team is willing to give Mailata some run. The depth chart suggests the former.

Greg Ward Jr.

The former college QB and the Eagles have had a dramatic on-again-off-again relationship. He definitely has the upside to make a push for the final roster. However, seeing his name behind CFL recruit Marken Michel is not a good start. Both will get plenty of reeps this offseason, but Ward faces an uphill battle and doesn’t have the special team’s experience that Michel does.

Braxton Miller

Another former college quarterback, at one point this was thought of as a very savvy addition by Howie Roseman. Since his arrival, we haven’t heard much from Miller in Philadelphia. Mentioned as a possible breakout candidate this off-season, he will have to upstage veteran Charles Johnson to even have a shot at the roster. For now, his spot on the outside looking in seems firmly cemented.

Stefen Wisniewski

The Eagles signed Wiz in hopes he could be the backup center but that plan has backfired as of late. Last week Wiz had issues with snapping the ball, now he’s already been replaced with Seumalo at center. There’s a high possibility that Wiz could be at the end of the road with Eagles after preseason.

Wendell Smallwood

After somewhat of a breakout season in 2018, to see four names in front of Smallwood is telling. There is little room on the roster for the former WVU back and he will have to fight tooth-and-nail to stick to the final-53. Even after looking the better runner in the early-goings of last season, Wendell finds himself behind Corey Clement, who is returning from a knee injury.

Josh Adams

Despite leading the team in rushing yards last season, Adams faces an uphill battle to make the team this year. The Eagles seem to be content letting him hit waivers in hopes to sneak him onto the practice squad. After an impressive rookie campaign, it seems unlikely none of the other 31 teams take a flyer on the young back. Adams’ career in Philadelphia could be over before it really started.

Donnel Pumphrey

2019 will be the last year of the annual off-season Pump project. It may also mean curtains for the FBS’ 4th all-time leading rusher’s NFL career.

Clayton Thorson

Many questioned Howie’s decision to spend a 5th round selection on Thorson. If he can’t show enough upside to keep castoff Cody Kessler at bay, those doubters’ thoughts will grow thorns. In spite of a couple of nice deep balls, from all accounts, Thorson has struggled this summer. He does not have a star-studded college stat line to point to that would suggest any overnight improvement either.

Mack Hollins

It looks like Hollins is battling another injury once again, this time it has no relation to his previous issues. With Hollins back in the fold, it looked as if he would give the rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside a run for his money but that doesn’t look likely. Instead it has only assured where on the depth chart JJ belongs and unfortunately for Hollins, it’s ahead of him. With the injury bug hitting Shelton Gibson next, it would benefit Hollins to find a way to get back on the field.

Defense

Orlando Scandrick

The thought was that Scandrick was brought in as a camp body after news of Leblanc’s injury surfaced. This depth chart all but confirms that theory. Scandrick will likely be looking for work again before the year is over. With reports that Josh Hawkins has been making plays, it might be sooner rather than later.

Blake Countess

The man was expected to make an impact after showing some growth with the LA Rams. However, his return to the Eagles may be a brief one if we’re placing bets based on the list above. He should still be able to make a run for a special teams spot if this chart is true-to-size, but to lose an early battle to Tre Sullivan would be disappointing to say the least. The last secondary spot could easily go to new addition Jonathan Cyprien unless Countess comes to play.

 Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

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