When the Eagles return to the training ground on Monday after the long weekend, they will be in full preparation for their opener against the Atlanta Falcons on September 12.
Below, we’ll go over the five players who got a role in the initial game plan in the last month of summer practice and which didn’t.
1. Quez Watkins
Watkins is the biggest winner coming out of training camp, going from one of the receivers battling for a berth on the roster to a presumed starter with the potential to make a difference this season.
The second-year receiver’s 79-yard touchdown on an on-screen pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers is Watkins’ most memorable moment, but he always showed an ability to part ways in joint practices against the New England Patriots. and the New York Jets in successive weeks. .
Watkins appears to be one of the team’s starting outside receivers if / when Jalen Reagor is in the slot. When the Eagles are at 12, it remains to be seen whether Reagor or Watkins gets the green light against DeVonta Smith. Still, there’s reason to believe Watkins will be a major offensive contributor this year.
READ MORE: Eagles’ win-lose predictions for 2021 season | Jeff McLane
2. Jordan Mailata
Mailata had a quiet camp in the best possible way. The 6-foot-8, 346-pound Australian native entered the camp in a competition for the starting left tackle position with Andre Dillard (more on him later) and enters Week 1 as a clear starter .
Mailata has excelled in protecting passes in joint practices, preseason games and even in individual drills which generally favor passer. He notably knocked down Brandon Graham in a team session at the start of camp and forged great racing lanes with key blocks a few times.
Mailata will need to continue his progression and stay healthy to become a long-term starter, but his combination of size, strength and agility could make him a very good attacking tackle for many years to come.
READ MORE: How Jordan Mailata won the Eagles’ starting left tackle
3. Javon Hargrave
Hargrave arrived last year with high expectations after signing a three-year contract worth up to $ 39 million, but injuries during the last training camp got him off to a slow start.
This year has been quite the opposite for the defensive tackle. He arrived at training camp seemingly leaner than before and was constantly disruptive throughout the summer. Against the Jets, Hargrave blew up so many plays that the offensive lineman of a few Jets got nervous with him towards the end of the first day of practice.
If this training camp is any indication, the chances of Hargrave surpassing his career high of 6.5 sacks seem very likely.
READ MORE: How the Eagles stack up against other NFC East offenses | KC Joyner
4. Josh Sweat
Sweat has taken giant leaps every year and this summer was no exception. The 24-year-old has split the first-team defense reps with Derek Barnett and has been cited as one of the players most likely to have an outstanding season by his teammates.
Sweat will likely see an increase in playing time this year (he played 38% of defensive snaps last season) and could be in reserve for his first double-digit sack season.
5. Milton Williams
Another defensive lineman. Williams, the third-round pick in this year’s draft, didn’t immediately project himself as a rotating rusher this season, but he seems to deserve to enter the opener.
Williams displayed capable rushing skills both as a defensive end and as an inside rusher. He mainly played in three techniques in college, but said he believed he would play multiple positions with the Eagles. Williams won’t be a starter and may only get a handful of snaps in every game, but his promising preseason is enough to feel good about his evolution.
Honorable mentions: CB Zech McPhearson, QB Jalen Hurts, TE Tyree Jackson, TE Jack Stoll.
1. André Dillard
For the second summer in a row, Dillard has had a worrying training camp. The 2019 first-round pick also dealt with a knee injury and an apparent hand injury, but experienced several weak spots during team times and head-to-head passes.
Dillard made is playing reasonably well against the Jets in the preseason finals, but had a few disturbing reps in joint practices, including one where he was knocked down by Jets defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga.
Whether Dillard can bounce back from a tumultuous start to his career remains to be seen, but he is just a replacement to start the season.
»READ MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Roster 2021
2. Travis Fulgham
Fulgham is another player who played his starting role during the camp. Unlike Dillard, his inventory has dropped enough to cost him a spot on the list. He put together one of the most productive stretches of any receiver for a short stint last year, but had a quiet camp topped off with an expensive fumble in the preseason finale.
When things turned out, the Eagles chose JJ Arcega-Whiteside and his “willingness” to fight on special teams rather than Fulgham’s potential to reclaim the stretch that led him to be the main receiver of the team last season.
From getting reps with the starting attack on the practice squad, Fulgham has slipped as far as anyone this summer.
3. John Hightower
Hightower was a training camp star last season, but failed to repeat a performance and was eclipsed by Watkins.
The Boise St. wide receiver missed some time with injury, but didn’t do much when he was on the field. He had three catches for 21 yards against the Jets, but it wasn’t enough to earn a spot on the roster.
READ MORE: A closer look at the Eagles ’53-player roster and what Jalen Hurts’ endorsement says about the QB’s future
4. Michel Jacquet
Regardless of Jacquet’s potential as a training squad promotion last year, he’s largely overshadowed by the number of times he’s been beaten, dating back to last year’s game against Dallas.
Jacquet’s long frame is still intriguing, but his lack of ball skills and poor downstream coverage were apparent this summer.
5. Nate Herbig
Herbig opened the camp starting with the left guard in place of Isaac Seumalo and finished it as a center of the second team. There’s a good chance he’ll lose that job in due course, too, with rookie lineman Landon Dickerson fresh out of the IR and expected to be in full health within the next month or so.
Honorable mentions: G Sua Opeta, LB Davion Taylor, S K’Von Wallace, OL Matt Pryor