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:
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.
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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