The Eagles have started trimming their roster down as the offseason draws to a close. With just one preseason game remaining, players have one last shot to prove that they deserve a spot on the 53-man roster. Here’s one player from each position in need of a big performance against the Colts on Thursday.
Ian Book was very underwhelming in the preseason opener, at least in comparison to Tanner McKee. He didn’t get any reps in the tie against Cleveland which means he should get extensive action in the preseason finale, but he simply has to make the most of it.
McKee likely passed him for the QB3 spot on the roster and it’s going to take a Herculean effort to stop those cogs from turning.
Trey Sermon has been great this preseason, but it looks like the Eagles already have a four-man rotation. Unless Sermon can unseat Rashaad Penny, which did randomly become a thing on Twitter last week, then he’s going to struggle to make the cut. With that said, he has looked very good between the tackles in both games so far and if the Eagles deem his health a little more reliable, then who knows? But he has to shine once more for that to happen.
Tyree Jackson and Jack Stoll look like they’re going to be the backup tight ends behind Dallas Goedert this year, with one specializing in receiving and the other blocking. However, Jackson’s inability to stay healthy has been a problem and Grant Calcaterra does have a strong collegiate resume with Jalen Hurts.
Could Calcaterra break out against the Colts and force the Eagles to keep him on the 53?
Quez Watkins has been battling a hamstring injury, Olamide Zaccheaus had to exit the game against Cleveland, and Tyrie Cleveland is out for the season. Depth at wideout could go from strong to weak in the blink of an eye, and Ngata has been consistently impressive this Summer. If he can ball out in the final game, the Eagles might deem his upside too valuable to risk losing.
Dennis Kelly/Jack Driscoll
The Eagles added a former player of theirs this offseason to compete for a backup role on the roster. But with so much potential from players like Sua Opeta, Brett Toth, and Jack Driscoll, the Eagles might find it difficult to prioritize experience over long-term growth.
Kelly is a great backup to have around and Driscoll brings the versatility to play both spots as well as being a former draft pick. There is a chance that whichever player out of these two makes the roster, the other won’t.
At what point is enough, enough? Barnett has not developed over the last few years and turned into a flag merchant who can’t keep himself out of trouble at practice. If there’s a brawl, he’s likely involved somehow.
The EDGE position has undergone a brilliant renovation in recent years and the versatility of guys like Nolan Smith and Haason Reddick means that the Birds don’t need Barnett’s services. If it comes down to a choice between a young player like Tarron Jackson and a proven and regressing Barnett, I know who I’m picking.
Carter, Davis, Cox, Williams. That’s a ferocious four-man rotation. If you include the recently drafted Moro Ojomo, that’s a five-man unit that could wreak havoc this season. There might just not be enough room for Marlon Tuipulotu, who played in close to 40% of the team’s defensive snaps last year. He needs a big day.
Perhaps the retirement of Myles Jack automatically promotes BVS to a special teams role, but it’s not a guarantee. Despite a brilliant preseason, the Eagles are notorious for being a little tight at the linebacker position. The Eagles likely have their four fore of Dean, Morrow, Elliss, and Cunningham, which means BVS could emerge as the special teams ace if he can prove his worth on Thursday.
His explosive pick-six in the preseason opener certainly put the CB position on notice and he’s done nothing but impress since. Zech McPherson’s season-ending injury might open the door to a roster spot, but with Slay, Maddox, Bradberry, Ringo, and Jobe all likely already penciled in, Ricks still has to stand out from the rest of the crowd to ensure that spot goes to him.
It’s been a topsy-turvy Summer for Wallace, but that’s par for the course at this point. He has flashed at times but been really disappointing for a player the City desperately wanted to succeed. With Blankenship, Brown, and Edmunds all likely already on the roster, it comes down to Justin Evans vs K’Von Wallace for that final role, and Evans has the ST card up his sleeve.
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri