The Eagles have done well so far with plugging in the remaining holes on the team. While free agency is far from over, and the draft is still looming, several players can make significant strides in their development. Here are three players that could be better than you think:
S Reed Blankenship
While Blankenship should be an obvious answer, there’s still a bit of doubt overshadowing his potential. Although he may be slotted into the starting role for a defense that has high expectations; Blankenship is more than prepared for the challenge.
When C.J. Gardner-Johnson went down last season, Blankenship filled in for him better than expected. He was instinctive, productive, and extremely reliable. It will be interesting to see what Sean Desai does with him in the Eagles’ defense.
WR Devon Allen
This is a curious one because we didn’t see anything at all from Allen. He spent the entire season on the practice squad but he did show some potential last preseason. So why am I bringing him up? To me, Devon Allen’s development screams Jordan Mailata.
While he is 28 years old and his best football could be far behind him. It would be very interesting to see what his role may look like next season. He could be a very key special teamer for a team that needs that badly. He looked great in the gunner role for the Eagles during the preseason and has the beyond-elite speed to be a difference-maker.
RB Trey Sermon
We heard the praise that Nick Sirianni had for the former 49ers running back. It was a bit of a head-scratcher for me last season when Sermon never saw the field. Sirianni mentioned this about the Eagles’ running back just a couple of days ago,
“Trey didn’t get an opportunity to showcase his talents except for that game against Jacksonville … but I can’t tell you how many times at practice he made a cut, or you just saw him in his pads, or he made a play on a screen or whatever it was, and you’re like, ‘Man, this guy has a chance to be really good.’”
While the Eagles did bring in Rashaad Penny and the idea is that Kenny Gainwell will make be the head running back, Sermon could sneak his way into the starting role if he has a great camp and preseason. If the Eagles were that impressed by him last year then this year can only bring more praise.
OL Cam Jurgens
Jurgens is expected to be the Eagles’ center once Jason Kelce retires. Fortunately, Kelce is returning to the Eagles but that should be unfortunate news for the former 2nd round pick. Ironically it isn’t because the Eagles were already cross-training Jurgens last season.
With Jeff Stoutland in his corner and being sandwiched between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson at right guard, I would expect a huge season from Jurgens. He’s strong, he’s fast, and he’s learning from the best that the NFL has to offer. This could be a very good start to a good career.
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