This isn’t a game to be focusing on Carson Wentz.
Wentz will likely make little more than a cameo, playing one or two series. Whether he performs well or not in this game is mostly irrelevant.
The first thing I want to see is how well, if at all, the corners are able to hold up. They may not have to go up against Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, but if the combo of Patrick Robinson and Jalen Mills is able to hold up against the likes of Brett Hundley, hell I’ll take whatever positives I can get at this point.
Robinson has been given a starting role off of the streets to lose, and so far he’s done everything he can to lose it. Mills hasn’t been assured a starting role at this point either.
I would expect Rasul Douglas and C.J. Smith to get a lot of run in this game. Smith has a legitimate chance to vault himself into the starting lineup if he performs well. He was excellent in last year’s preseason, though never got much of a chance to prove himself in the regular season. The opportunity is there for him to step up and prove he can play in this league, I’m excited to see how he responds.
I don’t think the Eagles want to rush Douglas into action. They’ve got a third-round pick invested in him, and they’ll want to give him time to develop. I don’t think he’s ready, but I’m still curious to see where he’s at.
New-Look Defense Line
We’ll get our first look at the Eagles’ new and supposedly improved defensive line on Thursday as well.
I’m eager to see first-round pick Derek Barnett in action for the first time. I want to get a look at how Tim Jernigan’s presence could really open the door for Fletcher Cox to cause more disruption.
I also want to see if Vinny Curry, who played almost all of last season with a partially-torn ACL, shows the same explosiveness he had two years ago. Curry enters the preseason as a starter on the team’s depth chart, we’ll see if he’s able to secure that role, or if the first-rounder Barnett will take it away from him.
- The Eagles released their first official depth chart early in the week, and there were several notable rankings. Wide receiver Marcus Johnson was on the second team behind Alshon Jeffrey, while fifth-round pick Shelton Gibson was listed with the third team. Dillion Gordon was ahead of Matt Tobin on the offensive line depth chart. Most notable of all may have been that Terrence Brooks and Corey Graham, who was just signed several days ago, were ahead of Jaylen Watkins on the safety depth chart.
- Preseason depth charts should always be taken with a grain of salt, but I found these interesting nonetheless.
- Brooks is another guy that we’ve heard nothing but good things about. He’s been making plays day in and day out. I’d love to see the team move on from Watkins, who is a guy that I’ve found to be a liability whenever he’s been given a chance to play.