Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Eagles Offseason Overview

The Eagles' three-day minicamp last week effectively ended the offseason program. The team will reconvene for the start of training camp in late July. Here's what we learned during Doug Pederson's first spring as coach:


1. Leodis McKelvin. The free-agent cornerback who played for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo is virtually guaranteed a starting spot. But can the 30-year old handle No. 1 receivers?

2. Allen Barbre. Pederson, unlike Chip Kelly, wasn't afraid to list his depth chart long before the season. He gave Barbre the early nod at left guard, which makes one wonder whether the coach watched last season's tape.

3. Rueben Randle. The former New York Giants receiver has all the skills, and got an early endorsement from Pederson, but can he eradicate his loafer reputation?

4. Vinny Curry. While non-contact drills made it difficult to assess line play, the defensive end, playing in a system suited to his talent, was in the backfield constantly.

5. Chris Pantale. He spent most of last season on the Eagles' practice squad, but he might force Pederson to keep four tight ends. Taking on fullback duties could help Pantale's case.


1. Josh Huff. He doesn't have a protector in Kelly anymore, but a third-round investment means he'll likely stick around for another year. Drops and inconsistency (again) marred his spring.

2. Eric Rowe. The second-year cornerback has talent and looked ready to become an every-down starter after his rookie season. But he appears to have more growing pains to work out.

3. Taylor Hart. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle, but Hart doesn't have the accelerator to be a one-gap, penetrating interior linemen.

4. Matt Tobin. Zone blocking will remain a large part of the offensive scheme, but Tobin's athleticism will be neutralized some.

5. Kenjon Barner. He isn't the only leftover running back who isn't adept at catching the ball out of the backfield (see: Ryan Mathews), but it is paramount in the West Coast offense and Barner dropped multiple screen passes in camp.


1. Cornerback. With McKelvin all but set on one side, the competition for the other corner spot will be among Rowe, Ron Brooks (who ran with the first team for most of the spring), Nolan Carroll, rookie Jalen Mills and JaCorey Shepherd.

2. Left guard. Stefen Wisniewski and Malcolm Bunch could be Barbre's main combatants. But don't count out rookie Isaac Seumalo and veteran Andrew Gardner.

3. Wide receiver. Jordan Matthews will get most receiver snaps, primarily from the slot, and Nelson Agholor will get his opportunity on one outside spot, but the other side is up for grabs. Randle has the early edge, but free agent Chris Givens and Huff will be worked in, as well.

4. Kicker. Both Cody Parkey and Caleb Sturgis come with question marks. Parkey is coming off groin surgery, and Sturgis was shaky last season. The former was slightly more accurate in the spring.


1. Sam Bradford. He caused a furor by skipping workouts and asking for a trade, but after the quarterback ate his crow and returned, he had a strong spring – his first healthy one in three years.

2. Chase Daniel. His comfort in Pederson's offense after three seasons was readily apparent. Daniel might have flown under the radar, but he was the most consistent quarterback during open practices.

3. Carson Wentz. He has a big arm, obvious athleticism and a gunslinger's mentality. But he's still a rookie and has much to learn.


1. Jalen Mills. The seventh-round corner was maybe the biggest surprise of the rookies. Off-field issues dropped him in the draft, but Mills clearly belongs and could play right away.

2. Wendall Smallwood. It's tough to judge rushing when there isn't any tackling, but Smallwood has good hands and speed running straight ahead. He could edge Barner out of a roster spot.

3. Isaac Seumalo. The offensive lineman missed all of organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp – along with running back Byron Marshall and defensive tackle Aziz Shittu – because of the NFL's graduation rule (a rookie may not participate until the academic year at his school is complete). All three have ground to make up.

4. Destiny Vaeao. The undrafted rookie benefitted from Fletcher Cox's absence with plenty of first- and second-team repetitions at defensive tackle. A lack of interior line depth could lead to a roster berth.

5. Myke Tavarres. He's another undrafted rookie who could profit from playing a position (linebacker) that is thin. He flashed at times this spring.


1. Fletcher Cox. He missed all voluntary workouts, but showed for minicamp even though a contract extension remains in limbo. Cox said he was "expecting" to attend training camp. That's not a 100 percent affirmative.

2. Darren Sproles. The running back said he stayed away from voluntary practices because of "family stuff," and denied reports that he wanted a new deal or to be traded. But is he happy?

3. Beau Allen. The defensive tackle didn't participate in team drills, and Pederson would say only that he's dealing with a medical condition related to medication. Allen declined to comment.


1. Audibles. Kelly's insistence on tempo didn't give his quarterbacks the ability to check out of bad plays. Pederson's offense places more on the QB's plate, which could mean fewer negative-yardage plays.

2. One-gap. Schwartz's scheme will allow for Cox, Curry and company to penetrate gaps in the offensive line. But smart offensive coordinators will be able to use the Eagles' aggressiveness against them.

3. Interchangeable defense. Schwartz said he was still trying to figure out if he wanted to have set or interchangeable linebackers and safeties. Either way, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham are the likely linebackers and Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are cemented at safety.

4. Extra blocking. Pederson's offense will allow for more tight-end and running-back chip blocking and help tackles who were too often left alone in Kelly's scheme.