The Eagles are now halfway through their preseason schedule and we’re beginning to see the 53-man roster take form.
Some players performed well in Foxboro against the Patriots on Thursday night. Some didn’t.
Here are three “stock up” players and three “stock down” from the second preseason game:
Suds is the easiest one to pick from this game. He dropped dimes all over the field at Gillette Stadium. He ended up completing 22 of 39 passes for 312 yards, with three touchdowns and just one interception that came after a drop. But those numbers only tell a very small portion of the story. To me, the biggest reason to think Sudfeld can actually play are the individual throws. We’re talking about perfect passes some starters in the league can’t make. You can question the level of competition, but you can’t look at some of these balls and not be impressed.
I still can’t believe Washington let this kid walk. Did he look like a completely different player down there after they used a draft pick on him? Because the Eagles identified something in him quite early. It’s why they lured him away from Washington to join their practice squad. It’s why they added him to the active roster when the Colts tried to vulture him. And it’s why whenever they talk about their quarterbacks, they don’t stop at Foles and Wentz. They always include Sudfeld.
I really can’t believe this is the same kid who couldn’t catch a cold this time last year. What an incredible transformation. I guess that’s what confidence can do for a young player. He caught five passes for 90 yards against the Patriots and hauled in his second touchdown pass of the preseason.
Gibson again showed off his ability to be a deep threat, but he showed other levels of his game too. On the touchdown catch, that route is really good. And he also showed off his skills as a kick returner, bringing back four for 121 yards.
Some people might have looked at Darby’s game and thought “stock down” because he dropped two interceptions. While that’s true and he needs to start making those plays, he was great in coverage against the Pats. He put himself in position to nearly pick off a couple passes. Without Jalen Mills, Darby lined up at left cornerback, the position he held before his ankle injury early last season. With how well he played there Thursday night, I wonder if the Eagles would consider making the switch and putting him back there.
With a tremendous opportunity to win a roster spot Thursday night, Jones had a dud of a performance. He carried the ball six times for 19 yards; he caught six passes for 32. But the problem was that he dropped three passes, one of which was then picked off by the Patriots.
Remember, not that long ago, Jones was thought to be a talented young running back with starter potential down in Washington. Now? He’s fighting to make the Eagles’ roster as a fourth-stringer and can’t even shake off the competition.
The young receiver from JMU had a pretty good camp as a receiver and even caught a 31-yard touchdown pass. That’s good.
So why is his stock down?
Davis had a chance as a punt returner Thursday night and turned in a really disappointing performance. He returned five punts for just 19 yards. That’s even more amazing because one of his returns went for 15 yards. Two of Davis’ returns went for negative yardage, including a minus-11 that pinned the Eagles back at their own 2-yard line in the third quarter. I know he’s trying to make a play, but that’s terrible awareness.
We could have very well given this spot to Nick Foles, who had a really off night before leaving with an injury. But instead, we’ll give it to the guy who aided that injury. Big V didn’t have a good night at all but his worst play came when he got beat by Adrian Clayborn, who then hit Foles on his throwing arm, knocking Foles out of the game. The play also resulted in a fumble return touchdown for the Patriots. Vaitai was a big part of the Super Bowl team last year, but he thrives on confidence. You wonder about that when you see a play like the one that happened in Foxboro.
Luckily the Eagles are getting Jason Peters back this year, but Big V might be the tackle of the future. There’s some reason to worry about that.