The Eagles split their first two preseason contests, losing to the Jets in week 1 before getting their first victory against the Browns last week. There have been some standout moments so far this preseason and the wealth of talent remaining on the roster makes tonight’s game interesting as the Eagles ponder final cuts.
Per the NFL rule, each team must trim its roster to just 53 players. The Eagles currently have 80 players on the active roster.
Of those 80, I’d like to highlight five that should have your full attention in tonight’s preseason finale against the Dolphins:
WR Devon Allen
Devon Allen has carved out quite the name for himself this summer. His top-end speed was the talk of the town when he signed with the Eagles and he has proven that he can turn he jets on when needed.
Allen, an Olympian track star, caught a deep touchdown pass from Eagles QB Reid Sinnett in the matchup against the Browns and made it look easy for someone that hasn’t played football in six years.
He’s still a bit raw for a receiver, so a spot on the practice squad is likely his best-case scenario, but the 27-year-old speedster may be worth keeping around.
OL Jack Anderson
There are few things the Eagles love more than offensive linemen that can play multiple positions and Jack Anderson does just that.
Anderson, a former first-team All-Big 12 player at Texas Tech, played both center and guard in last week’s game.
If he can flex his versatility and stability again tonight, he may be worth keeping around a bit longer.
TE Grant Calcaterra
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, former SMU tight end Grant Calcaterra is one of my favorites from this year’s class.
Calcaterra projects to be a great receiving option down the line. His soft hands and wide catch radius make him an easy target for quarterbacks, and he has enough speed to rack up yards after the catch.
Frankly, he reminds me a bit of 49ers star George Kittle. Take a look at the measurements of the two:
Calcaterra: 6’4, 241 pounds, 33 1/4 arms, 10 hands
Kittle: 6’4, 250 pounds, 33 1/4 arms, 9 /14 hands
This isn’t to say that Calcaterra will be the world eater that Kittle is, but he certainly possesses a ton of upside as a tight end.
He missed a good chunk of the summer with a hamstring injury, so expect him to use this final game to show the team he belongs amongst the final 53.
LB Nakobe Dean
The vibes around Nakobe Dean have been lukewarm since training camp began. Although it is not atypical for a rookie, at any position, to take time to adjust to the NFL level, but I expected to see a bit more from him.
Tonight, I’ll be keeping an eye on him. Primarily, I’ll be assessing his instincts and how quickly he swarms to the ball.
At Georgia, Dean played like a man possessed and I’m hoping we can see more of that lion-hearted effort in Midnight Green.
S Jaquiski Tartt
One of the few glaring weaknesses on the Eagles roster is the safety position. All summer, various players have competed for keys to the starting gig, but so far none of them have separated from the pack by much.
Jaquiski Tartt, 30, is a dark horse candidate to land the job, but will first need to impress tonight and secure a spot on the roster.
Tartt, who was drafted 46th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, made 64 starts in 80 games with the 49ers. During that time, he collected four interceptions, 18 passes defended, two forced fumbles, four sacks, and 367 tackles. Tartt also made six starts in the postseason, including Super Bowl LIV.
If he can stand out tonight, I like his chances of making the final 53.
Stream the Eagles preseason finale
You can stream Eagles vs. Dolphins on the Eagles app or on PhiladelphiaEagles.com if you live in the Philadelphia market. If you utilize the Eagles app, you will need to update to the latest version to watch the game. Click here to download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
This year, the National Football League launched an exclusive video streaming subscription service – NFL+. With NFL+, fans can take their game on the go. NFL+ offers access to live out-of-market preseason games, live local and prime-time regular season and postseason games (phone and tablet only), live local and national audio for every game, NFL Network shows on-demand, NFL Films archives, and more.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane