With the Eagles shifting to the second phase of their offseason workout schedule, we’ll finally get a glimpse of what this team will look like come September.
OTAs will look a bit different this year, with the team opting for more mental work than actual on-field action. But nonetheless, the majority of the team will be at the NovaCare Complex competing and working together for the first time this offseason.
There are a handful of Eagles players who must perform well during these OTAs and in training camp to solidify their roster spots. Howie Roseman and Co. injected a lot of youth into this squad, which means some of the fringe veterans could lose their jobs this summer.
Here are three Eagles players who must show up and show out during offseason workouts to keep their spot on the depth chart.
The Eagles added a surprising amount of running backs to their backfield this offseason. They added Jordan Howard and Kerryon Johnson in free agency, and then they went out and selected Memphis halfback Kenneth Gainwell in the fourth round of this year’s draft.
We all know Miles Sanders will be the feature back of this group, but where does that leave Boston Scott? Scott’s skill set in past years has been utilized in the third down back role. Now the team has better options in Johnson and Gainwell, which could make Scott the odd man out.
Especially if Nick Sirianni wants a power back that he can turn to, Howard will be that guy, not Scott (obviously).
There isn’t a back on this roster with as much pressure as Scott has heading into camp. If he doesn’t show out in August and the preseason, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he’s cut before Week 1.
The writing is probably already on the wall for Arcega-Whiteside. The team has gone out and acquired a handful of wideouts since JJAW was drafted two years ago — due in large part to his disappointing NFL career thus far.
Heading into training camp this year, JJAW is fighting for his roster spot. He likely won’t start, unless the team suffers an abundance of injuries, but he can still earn himself a roster spot if he does well in August.
Travis Fulgham is most likely a lock to make the roster as the second X receiver behind Jalen Reagor, so that leaves JJAW and UDFA Trevon Grimes to battle it out for the final spot. Grimes is more physically talented than Arcega-Whiteside, and with a new coaching staff in place, JJAW won’t have the benefit of knowing the offense like most vets usually do.
The cards are stacked against Arcega-Whiteside this year. This very well could be his last chance to prove that he can be an effective NFL receiver.
Derek Barnet isn’t on the chopping block heading into camp, but his playing time could certainly decrease if he fails to live up to his first round expectations this season.
In four NFL seasons, Barnett has accumulated 19.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, and 65 quarterback hits. On the surface, those aren’t terrible numbers. But they’re far from elite. He hasn’t been the pass rushing difference maker most fans expected he would be coming out of Tennessee, and this could be his last year to prove he can be that in Philly.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Barnett has to perform at a high level in order to get an extension next offseason. With the recent addition of veteran pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan and the emergence of Josh Sweat last season, Barnett needs to be effective from Week 1 in order to keep his starting spot. If Sweat continues to develop as a pass rusher and be serviceable as a run stopper, Barnett’s days could be numbered.
Barnett has the physical talent to be a premiere pass rusher in this league, and at just 25 years old heading into this season, he still has time to become that. But with his contract set to expire and the Eagles potentially having three first round picks next year, Howie could elect to use one of those picks to replace Barnett rather than shoveling out money to him.
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