We updated our five Eagles position battles twice already, but it’s time to do it again. 

We looked after four days of training camp (see story) and after eight (see story)

A few more days of camp and the first preseason game have happened since then. 

Let’s jump in:

Nickel corner

8/5: Sidney Jones gets first-team reps again. This is the fifth time in camp he’s gotten reps there, while De’Vante Bausby is relegated to second team. 

8/6: Bausby gets first-team reps, but still hasn’t had as many days there as Jones. Malcolm Jenkins also takes some reps as the nickel. Jones goes into the medical tent briefly but gets his ankle taped and returns to practice. 

8/7: Jones was back with the first team as the NCB. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s Jones 6, Bausby 4, Jalen Mills 1. Jones nearly had an incredible interception diving backward. 

Preseason Game 1: Jones starts the game as the NCB, but even stays in that spot with the second team. The Eagles really want him to learn that spot. He makes a few good tackles but doesn’t get tested through the air. He sprains his left ankle, but after the game says he was OK (see story).


Updated prediction: This is Jones’ job if he can stay healthy. 

Weakside linebacker

8/5: Nate Gerry continues to get first-team reps and Kamu Grugier-Hill continues to make plays. KGH makes a diving pick on a Nate Sudfeld ball. 

8/6: Gerry gets first-team reps again, which has become really common this summer. 

8/7: It seems like Gerry is running away with this. He was back with the first unit again today. 

Preseason Game 1: Gerry starts the game at WILL and plays pretty well, but Grugier-Hill really stands out again. He makes a few really athletic plays and leads both teams with six solo tackles. 

Updated prediction: Gerry looks like the guy, but if KGH keeps playing like this, he has a shot. My money is on KGH. 

Defensive line 

8/5: Didn’t really notice too much during 11-on-11s, but Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls perform well in 1-on-1s against the OL. I think it’s their leverage that helps. 

8/6: Michael Bennett gets reps with the first team at DT. He is out there with Chris Long, Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox. 

8/7: The same starters were out there again. Vaeao continues to work next to Cox as a starter. 

Preseason Game 1: Long, Vaeao, Cox and Barnett start. But we see on third down that Bennett came into the game for Vaeao. That’s going to be dangerous. Cox plays briefly but is a game-wrecker, even against All-Pro guard David DeCastro. 

Updated prediction: This defensive line is going to be crazy good once Brandon Graham gets back. Bennett is going to play a lot inside. 

Third safety 

8/5: Game-changer. The Eagles bring back veteran Corey Graham, which pretty much wraps up the third-safety battle. Tre Sullivan can still make the team as the fourth safety. Jeremy Reaves let Rashard Davis blow past him, but recovers to get a PBU on a deep ball. The Eagles release rookie Ryan Neal. 

8/6: Graham is clearly the third safety. He takes Jenkins’ spot when Jenkins moves up into the slot. Graham also stays on the field in the dime package. 

8/7: Shut it down. Graham is the dude. He was back out there again and looks spry for an old dude. 

Preseason Game 1: We don’t get to see Graham, so Sullivan gets a chance to play more. He doesn’t have a great game. In fact, he struggles some. Don’t like his effort getting over on that long 71-yard touchdown pass. 

Updated prediction: Graham is obviously the third safety and I have Sullivan on the team as the fourth, but he can’t afford to have a bad finish to camp and the preseason games. 

Running back 

8/5: Donnel Pumphrey has a bad drop in the end zone. He tweets at a reporter later in the night, blaming the drop on glare from the lights. Josh Adams is coming on stronger, looking good in padded practices. Matt Jones returns from injury. 


8/6: Pump and Adams make some plays in the non-padded practice. 

8/7: Adams is able to bust through the line and make a nice cut to find the hole. Darren Sproles continues to defy age, getting balls pitched to him on misdirection plays; expect to see some of that this year. 

Preseason Game 1: Pumphrey suffered an injury on Tuesday and misses the game. That’s a shame. Jones also misses the game. The top running backs (minus Sproles, who didn’t play) look good; Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement look in midseason form. Don’t see anything special from Wendell Smallwood. Adams is impressive with minimum time. He’s definitely deserving of more snaps. 

Updated prediction: I really don’t know right now. I’d still guess Pump has a slight advantage but I wouldn’t rule out any of the four backs fighting for a roster spot. 

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