Eagles

Eagles stock up, stock down after 1st preseason game

Eagles

After 11 practices, the Eagles finally got to compete against another team on Thursday night.

Overall, I was impressed by the two first units; the coaching staff had them ready to play. The Eagles ended up losing 24-16, but these games are more about evaluation.

Here’s the latest Eagles stock watch after Thursday’s game:

Stock up

WR Quez Watkins

The Summer of Quez continued on Thursday night. Watkins caught a quick screen pass from Joe Flacco and showed off the burners. He got a couple nice blocks from Richard Rodgers and Jalen Reagor but Watkins really pulled away for a 79 yard touchdown. He would have had a 98-yarder earlier but Jalen Hurts couldn't get it to him after he gained separation.

DL Milton Williams

We saw a lot of Williams as a defensive end and he was wrecking shop. During the draft, I was somewhat skeptical that Williams would be able to contribute immediately but he has put that skepticism to bed this summer. He’s going to play a lot as a rookie.

K Jake Elliott

Elliott struggled last season. No question. But because of his contract situation the Eagles have to hope he turns it around in 2021. He had a nice outing on Thursday, making all three of his field goals: 47, 47, 50.

S Elijah Riley

Sure, it was midway through the fourth quarter in a preseason game, but Riley made a nice play to jump a route and pull in an interception. Riley has been a key special teams contributor, participating on many major units and might be a dark horse candidate to make the roster.

 

DT T.Y. McGill

McGill is 28 and has been in the NFL since 2015 as a journeyman. He played in seven games for the Eagles last season, but still wasn’t a regular on the 53-man roster. He was getting constant push and even had a sack in the first half.

TE Tyree Jackson

After watching him shine all training camp, I was curious to see if Jackson would be able to keep it going in games. He did. The 6-foot-7 former college quarterback had two catches for 32 yards and was targeted five times. He made a great leaping catch on a ball from Joe Flacco for 19 yards in the first half.

Stock down

WR John Hightower

Watkins and Jalen Reagor were making some plays on Thursday night and Hightower is week-to-week with a groin injury. It’s not his fault he’s hurt but he’s missing valuable time after an already up-and-down training camp.

DT Marlon Tuipulotu

There was a clear drop-off on Thursday night from the Eagles’ second-team defensive line and their third. The third-stringers were dominated up front. Tuipulotu was a sixth-round pick so expectations should be tempered but he doesn’t look ready to contribute. I think there’s a good chance he doesn’t make this roster.

CB Zech McPhearson

I have really liked the fourth-round rookie’s aggressiveness in training camp but he got caught on Thursday night. In the end zone, McPhearson got a little too handsy and was flagged for DPI. It happens, but that’s a valuable lesson for the rookie about toting the line.

QB Nick Mullens

There was a moment where I thought maybe Mullens would really have a chance to fight for the second-string quarterback position. That thought is gone. And so is the one about the Eagles’ needing to keep three quarterbacks. Rough night for Mullens, who had a miscommunication with Jackson on Thursday that resulted in an interception and had another in the fourth quarter on a poor pass attempt. His final stat line: 1/5, 4 yards, 2 INTs. Yikes.

WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

In the fourth quarter, I looked up and out there with Hakeem Butler and UDFA players like Jack Stoll and company, there was the Eagles’ former second-round pick lining up as a slot receiver. JJAW has had an OK training camp but has been mostly quiet. He was targeted just once on Thursday and did not have a catch.

LB Rashad Smith

He doesn’t have much of a chance to make the team but it was a rough outing for Smith. While other linebackers are making plays, Smith isn’t. He was one of the worst players on the third-team defense.

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