The newest additions to the Eagles roster stole all the headlines during the team’s OTA sessions last week, but there are still several players who have a lot to prove once training camp rolls around.
The starting depth chart on both sides of the ball is essentially set in stone. It’s the fringe players that we need to pay close attention to this summer. And almost all of these fringe guys have question marks surrounding them.
Here are five of the most intriguing players with the biggest question marks following Eagles OTAs.
RB Jason Huntley
For the past few seasons, former New Mexico State product Jason Huntley has been a training camp hero in Philly. Despite his 5-foot-9, 193-pounds frame, Huntley is hard to miss. Mostly because of his blazing speed and quickness.
In last season’s meaningless season finale against Dallas, Huntley saw substantial playing time for the first time in his Eagles career. With a backup offensive line blocking for him, against the starting Dallas defense, Huntley saw 13 carries and managed to rack up 51 yards (3.92 YPC). His longest run of the contest was 18 yards.
Huntly isn’t the type of back you want to give extensive carries to. But, if Nick Sirianni can manufacture touches for Huntley and allow him to use his elusiveness in the open field, the third-year back could be a legitimate weapon for the Eagles offense.
As it stands, it appears that Huntley is in line to be the fourth running back on the final 53-man roster. He could also earn a spot as the teams kick returner, something he did during that Week 18 game against Dallas.
Huntley has spent the majority of the past two seasons on the practice squad, but the camp standout may finally get the opportunity to have an impact in the regular season this time around.
WR Britain Covey
One of the many undrafted players the Eagles brought in following the NFL Draft, Utah wideout Britain Covey was turning heads during OTA practices. When asked about standouts, Dallas Goedert singled out Covey.
Like Huntley, Covey is undersized. He’s just 5-foot-8 and weighs in about 170 pounds, but he also has tremendous speed and quickness, like Huntley.
On the final day of OTAs, the Eagles top receivers were all absent, so Covey got some run with the first team offense. If the Eagles end up keeping six wideouts on the final roster, Covey has a chance to snag the final spot. He’ll likely have to beat out Greg Ward, a veteran who’s been on the roster for a few years now and has a role as the team’s punt returner. Covey also got some run at returner during OTAs.
It’s a long shot, but if Covey showcases enough potential as a legitimate wide receiver during camp, he could potentially bump Ward out of his spot.
WR Devon Allen
Of all the new additions to the Eagles roster, track star Devon Allen might be the most interesting. He hasn’t played football since 2016 as a member of the Oregon Ducks. Truth be told, there’s a reason his playing career didn’t materialize after that. He just wasn’t that productive during his collegiate career.
Allen’s sophomore campaign in 2014 was his best season at Oregon. He appeared in 14 games, hauling in 41 receptions for 684 yards (16.7 YPC) and 7 touchdowns. Following his 2014 outing, Allen never recaptured the same production. Part of that was probably due to his time spent on the track, where Allen really shined. He won multiple national meets as a member of Oregon’s track and field team and is a two-time olympian.
Regardless of the fact that Allen is 27 and hasn’t played football in six years, giving an olympic level athlete an opportunity to play football is undeniably intriguing. He’s set to race in the world championships in Eugene, Oregon in July, and then he’ll be off to training camp.
As Allen said himself, “I expect to be the fastest I’ve ever been in my life,” entering camp.
He just ran the third-fastest time ever recorded for a 110 meter hurdle on Sunday. So, he may have been onto something there.
Of course, the Eagles had success grooming another insane athlete into a starter along their offensive line, Jordan Mailata. Will the Eagles strike gold two times in a row? Only time will tell.
CB Zech McPhearson
For two years in a row now, Zech McPhearson appeared to be in line for the starting cornerback spot opposite of Darius Slay. And for the second year in a row, the Eagles front office filled the vacancy with a proven veteran.
We haven’t heard a whole lot about McPhearson this offseason, probably because all eyes are glued to the starting CB tandem. Nevertheless, he has potential and showcased some of that in his limited playing time last season.
On 179 defensive snaps last season, McPhearson only saw 13 balls get thrown his way. He allowed a completion percentage of 61.5 and a passer rating of 77.4 on such throws. Not too shabby for a first-year corner, but it’s certainly not enough to draw any grand conclusions on what his career will look like.
If there’s just one injury to either Slay or James Bradberry, McPhearson will likely be called upon to fill in. We know he can hold his own in short spurts, but for an extended period of time? We just don’t know yet.
CB Mac McCain
When the Eagles acquired Mac McCain last season, he was a backup nickel who rarely saw the field. During OTAs this offseason, McCain actually got significant run with the second-team defense. And it wasn’t as the slot corner, it was opposite of McPhearson on the outside.
According to reporters in attendance, McCain held his own. He didn’t make any splash plays, but he also didn’t give up any either.
He has the length to play on the outside, but McCain’s 175-pounds frame could make it difficult for him to stick out there. Regardless, it seems that the defensive coaching staff likes what they’ve seen out of McCain. If he can continue to limit big plays during training camp, McCain could end up being a valuable depth piece for the Eagles secondary.
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