Clayton Thorson

Sorry, Clayton Thorson, Eagles found a new developmental QB

Sorry, Clayton Thorson, Eagles found a new developmental QB

The Eagles have found their new developmental quarterback. See ya, Clayton Thorson.

Former Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta is joining the Eagles’ practice squad, according to his agent Mike McCartney.

Lauletta, 24, was released by the Giants at final cuts this year. He was a fourth-round pick out of Richmond just a year ago.

The Eagles drafted Thorson out of Northwestern in the fifth round this year, but he really struggled this training camp and preseason and was waived at final cuts. (Update: Thorson is reportedly joining the Cowboys' practice squad.) There were a few flashes of his ability at times, but overall, he just wasn’t very good. You can now consider that a quickly failed pick.

Here’s what Howie Roseman said about cutting Thorson on Saturday:

“I think for us, when we made the decision to sign Josh [McCown], obviously that put Clayton in a tough spot. We look back at the situation that we've been in the last couple of years in that quarterback room, and just how Josh would fit in with Carson [Wentz] – sometimes we forget Carson is 26 years old and Nate [Sudfeld] is a young player – and having that veteran in there with those guys. You see the chemistry developing already and [we are] really excited about that quarterback room. And by the same token, obviously then you let go of a fifth-round pick.”

The Eagles have now found a different young QB to develop. While it should be disappointing the Eagles basically wasted a fifth-round pick, at least they didn’t keep Thorson around just because they drafted him. They put their needs over ego and they found a better player.

While Lauletta played very little in 2018 (he attempted just five passes and didn’t complete one), but showed some promise in this preseason.

Here are Lauletta’s preseason stats over the last two preseasons:

2019: 37/62 (59.7%), 453 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 103.8 rating

2018: 17/35 (48.6%), 1 TD, 2 INTs, 51.4 rating

The Eagles have three quarterbacks on their active roster, but Sudfeld is still recovering from a broken left wrist. So there will be scout team reps for Lauletta when the Eagles get back to practice.

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Eagles go light on offense in initial 53-man roster, keep just 2 tight ends

Eagles go light on offense in initial 53-man roster, keep just 2 tight ends

The Eagles kept one more player on defense than offense on their initial 53-man roster in 2019 and kept just two tight ends. 

That’s probably the biggest surprise of cut-down day. They also kept two undrafted free agents and cut a veteran who started in Super Bowl LII. 

As always, the initial 53-man roster is fluid. The Eagles will be scouring the waiver wire and Howie Roseman is never shy about trades and roster turnover. 

For now, though, here’s the Eagles’ initial 53-man roster for 2019: 

QB (3): Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld

No real surprise here. The Eagles waived rookie Clayton Thorson, who struggled this preseason. They enter the season with two healthy QBs, but Sudfeld is expected to return at some point, probably in October. 

RB (4): Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles

The Eagles could have gone with five running backs but instead, they stick with four, getting rid of Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott, Josh Adams and Donnel Pumphrey. Smallwood was the fourth running back in last year. From last year’s 53-man roster, the Eagles swapped Jay Ajayi and Smallwood for Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. 

WR (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins

Tough cut for Greg Ward, who did everything he could to earn a roster spot. In the end, the Eagles valued Hollins’ upside and ability on special teams. 

TE (2): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert

This is a surprise. After putting Richard Rodgers on IR and waiving Josh Perkins, the Eagles should be looking to add another tight end. Perkins wasn’t just on the team last year, he played a decent role at times. 

OL (10): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig

The big cut here was veteran Stefen Wisniewski, who had a tough summer, especially as a center. The surprise who made the team was Herbig, who actually took over for Wiz as backup center. Despite a back injury, Mailata is on the roster for the second straight season. 

DE (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller 

Keeping six defensive ends is probably too many, but it was probably hard to cut one of those last three guys. In the end, they just kept all of them. Hall had a great preseason and Sweat and Miller were both fourth-round picks in consecutive years. 

DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway

The only notable cut here was Treyvon Hester, who became a hero last postseason after getting a finger on the double-doink. But the Eagles traded for Ridgeway in April. This is light at defensive tackle, but it’s a pretty good group, especially at a position where Destiny Vaeao started last year. Going light at DT allowed the Eagles to go a little heavier at DE. Also, Graham and Curry can play inside. 

LB (6): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, Nate Gerry, L.J. Fort, T.J. Edwards 

It was a good day for rookie T.J. Edwards, who is one of two UDFAs on the initial 53-man roster. With Bradham and KGH not at 100 percent, the Eagles went heavy here. 

CB (5): Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc

The only slight surprise here was that the Eagles cut Orlando Scandrick, but he could possibly return if they need him. Jalen Mills was also put on the Reserve/PUP, which means he’ll be out at least six weeks. This means the Eagles are light at corner going into Week 1. But that’s a good sign about Darby’s health. 

S (5): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien, Rudy Ford

The Eagles traded for Ford, but then he got hurt and didn’t play in the fourth preseason game, but he’s still on the roster. He has played 455 special teams snaps in the last two years. 

ST (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato 

This was never going to change.

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A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

The good news is the Eagles’ defense held the Jets to six points in the fourth and final exhibition game of 2019 on Thursday night. The better news is the preseason has concluded.

The bad news is the Eagles’ offense scored zero points. Didn’t even get a field goal try.

The overwhelming majority of these guys won’t be on the Eagles’ roster come Saturday, so we can probably cut them a little bit of slack. That being said, we’ve got a report card to fill out, and at least in one phase, it wasn’t pretty.

Quarterback

Clayton Thorson: 12/26, 84 YDS, INT

Early on, it didn’t look like Thorson was getting much help, which is sort of the nature of these preseason finales. Yet, as the rookie’s confidence waned, so too did his performance. Thorson took some hits and threw to some blanketed receivers. He also missed a bunch of opens targets and made a poor decision with the pick. Looking like the practice squad is in his future.

Grade: D

Running backs

Wendell Smallwood: 7 ATT, 23 YDS

It probably doesn’t matter, but Smallwood’s fumble killed the Eagles’ only decent drive — though he did log the backfield’s only gain over three yards. Not much running room in general, but too much dancing from the Josh Adams and Boston Scotts of the world.

Grade: D

Wide receivers and tight ends

Marken Michel: 2 REC, 30 YDS

Were the receivers not open or was the quarterback not able to get them the ball? Little of column A, little of column B. The highlights were a 15-yard reverse by Greg Ward and a diving, one-handed catch by tight end Alex Ellis, which gained five yards on 3rd-and-forever.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Not great, but certainly not the Eagles’ biggest problem. For what it’s worth, the unit only surrendered five quarterback hits and two sacks, even if Thorson did not have to move in the pocket on occasion. Then again, there’s a reason backs carries 15 times for 22 yards.

Grade: C-

Defensive line

Kevin Wilkins: 7 TKL, 4 TFL

Can’t say enough about Daeshon Hall’s preseason, and he led the way again with three quarterback hits, a sack and a forced fumble. Plenty of strong performances here, though — especially Wilkins, now no longer just the guy who carried the starting D-linemen’s pads after practices.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Alex Singleton: 12 TKL, QBH

Singleton and T.J. Edwards combined for 22 tackles and were generally solid or better, even if they made few splash plays between them. Chris Worley also showed nice awareness on an interception — granted, it was more of a poor throw/decision/busted play than anything.

Grade: B+

Defensive backs

Josh Hawkins: 6 TKL, INT

The Eagles’ secondary had a rough preseason, particularly its young cornerbacks, so it was nice to see Hawkins get a pick and make some nice tackles. Jets quarterbacks still completed 76.3 percent of their passes for 6.6 yards per attempt, which seems high for a preseason finale.

Grade: C+

Special teams

Alex Singleton: 2 TKL

Coverage was excellent all around, but Singleton stood out, perhaps making his case for a roster spot. Cameron Johnston’s job was never in question, but dropping five of six punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line is impressive nonetheless.

Grade: A-

Coaching

No Carson Wentz. No starters at all. Nothing to talk about.

Grade: N/A



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