I answered half of your questions yesterday and saved the rest for today.
The first batch were about Shelton Gibson, Mack Hollins, training camp and I picked a candidate to have a breakout season.
Let’s get to the rest right now:
Biggest concern for the birds (besides Wentz being healthy/durable) heading into training camp? #birdgang— Harper Stewart (@AyoNedd) June 20, 2019
I’m tempted to say the health concerns about the offensive line, but instead I’m going on defense to the defensive end position. In my last mailbag, I picked Derek Barnett as a breakout candidate for 2019, but even if he does break out, the Eagles don’t have great depth at the position. They started last season with these top four defensive ends: Brandon Graham, Barnett, Michael Bennett and Chris Long. This year, their top four are probably: Graham, Barnett, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat/Shareef Miller. That could be a problem.
At least the Eagles now have much better depth at defensive tackle with Malik Jackson and a presumably healthy Tim Jernigan. But will that be enough to cover of the deficiency of depth at edge rusher? Not sure.
Who do you believe will be the rookie of the year for the eagles?— Mudassir Ali (@MudassirAli94) June 20, 2019
I’ll make the safest bet here and say Miles Sanders. I don’t like that Sanders was forced to miss the entire spring with an injury, but among all the rookies, he has the best chance to get significant playing time. Andre Dillard won’t play unless Jason Peters gets hurt. JJ Arcega-Whiteside is behind three very talented receivers. Shareef Miller has room to grow. And Clayton Thorson won’t play. Maybe there’s an undrafted guy who carves out a role, but we know Sanders is going to play and be a complementary player with Jordan Howard and Corey Clement. In fact, I still think Sanders can have a big year as long as he can stay healthy during training camp.
Is cross-training Vaitai at OG meant to give them flexibility or increase his potential trade value with Dillard and Mailata in the wings at OT?— Ianbot5000 (@ianbot5000) June 20, 2019
I think they’re doing it to give themselves flexibility. If a team were to trade for Halapoulivaati Vaitai, they’d do it because they think he can play tackle, not because he learned how to play guard. And based on the spring, it seems like the Eagles are preparing Vaitai to play right guard if Brandon Brooks isn’t ready for Week 1. Doug Pederson even mentioned the importance of Lane Johnson learning how to play next to Big V; that comment wasn’t lost on me. Ultimately, I think the versatility can only help Vaitai and it might help extend his career.
Who fills the 3rd LB spot after Zach Brown, and Bradham? Obviously Malcolm will move down a lot, but when in a traditional 4-3. Kamu? Gerry? Worrilow?— Joshua Murray (@justajock33) June 20, 2019
It’ll be Kamu Grugier-Hill. He played 32 percent of defensive snaps last season and I think he can handle even more this season. I thought he played well when he got the chance last year and he’s in line to have a big role in the defense this year. Zach Brown is kind of playing catch-up as he learns the defense. He’ll play in base defense, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Nigel Bradham and KGH on the field in nickel situations.
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