Get (mildly) excited! The Eagles’ first depth chart is finally out.
Yes, it’s interesting to take a look at the starters on offense and defense but pay extra attention to the return specialists. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp made a point to not reveal his top kick and punt returners on Tuesday during a Zoom call with reporters. His exact words: “We’ll find out Sunday.”
Remember, this list is very much unofficial as it gets compiled by the Eagles’ media relations department, not the coaching staff. Let’s get to the surprises on the depth chart, most notably at the wide receiver position.
The starters on the outside are Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, with Greg Ward penciled in the slot. Again, this is consistent with what the team has been saying throughout the offseason. Jeffery will be a big part of the offense and likely keep his spot as the X receiver when he returns from injury. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is expected to start there for Week 1 in Washington.
Round 5 Pick 172: RB Jason Huntley NMSU 5’9 195 lbs:
– good balance
– Return ability
1 Negative Trait:
– Drops the ball pic.twitter.com/WmzW1vW1CR
— J- Okudah For Life🌶🌶🌶 (@Lion4lifedet) May 17, 2020
Meanwhile, Jalen Reagor was listed as the top punt returner and Boston Scott was slated for kick returner. There had been growing speculation that newcomer Jason Huntley might assume the punt-return duties with Reagor (torn labrum) out until Week 2.
However, Fipp was rather evasive when asked if he could “plug-and-play” Huntley in such short of turnaround time. He still needs to learn the playbook despite having extensive experience on special teams in college.
Was Fipp lying about his intentions? Maybe. It’s called gamesmanship — and head coach Doug Pederson perfected it.
“We’re definitely excited about getting him in the building,” Fipp told reporters. “Obviously, we have seen all his film. We talked about him through the draft process. So, we’re excited about Jason. Whether or not you just plug and play, I can’t really answer that.”
#Eagles unofficial depth chart has Alshon Jeffery, Greg Ward, DeSean Jackson as the 3 starting WRs.
Jalen Reagor listed at punt returner. Boston Scott at kick returner.
— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) September 8, 2020
T.J. Edwards at MLB, Matt Pryor at RG
The only other (kind of) lingering question was in regard to the linebackers. T.J. Edwards is slated to start at middle linebacker, flanked by Nate Gerry and Duke Riley. They were the three best linebackers throughout training camp and thud practices.
“It’s time for us to see if those guys can play,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told reporters on Aug. 1. “Whether it’s T.J. Edwards or Nate Gerry … he’s already played a lot of defense for us. We’ve had a couple of draft picks this year, too, or a guy like Duke Riley who we traded for last year. All those guys are in the mix. All those guys we’re excited about.”
TJ Edwards in 2019:
– Didn't miss a single tackle
– Most tackles by an Eagles special teams player since 2009
– PFF's 11th best special teams player in the league
— Thomas R. Petersen 🦅 (@thomasrp93) July 5, 2020
Meanwhile, the offensive line will trot out: LT Jason Peters, LG Isaac Seumalo, C Jason Kelce, RG Matt Pryor, RT Lane Johnson. No surprises there, barring injuries. Pryor slides over to his more natural position at right guard while Peters goes back to left tackle. Hopefully, Johnson is 100-percent for Week 1.
“At right guard, Matt Pryor is an option there. We do have some other younger players,” Pederson told reporters on Tuesday. “I mean, Herbig has been working in there. [Jack] Driscoll has been working in there. We’ve got some options at the right guard position. But with this move with Jason Peters, it really kind of solidifies that left side for us and really puts us in a little bit better position moving forward.”
Here is the complete list, via the team’s official website:
QB: Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts
RB: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Jason Huntley
WR: Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor
LT: Jason Peters, Jordan Mailata
LG: Isaac Seumalo, Nate Herbig
C: Jason Kelce, Nate Herbig
RG: Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig
RT: Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll
TE: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert
WR: Greg Ward
WR: DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower
DE: Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Genard Avery
DT: Javon Hargrave and Malik Jackson
DT: Fletcher Cox, Hassan Ridgeway
DE: Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Casey Toohill
OLB: Nathan Gerry, Alex Singleton
MLB: T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley
OLB: Duke Riley, Davion Taylor
CB: Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc
CB: Darius Slay, Craig James
S: Rodney McLeod, K’Von Wallace
S: Jalen Mills, Marcus Epps, Rudy Ford
P: Cameron Johnston
K: Jake Elliott
H: Cameron Johnston
LS: Rick Lovato
PR: Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, DeSean Jackson
KR: Boston Scott, John Hightower, Jason Huntley
There are also some number changes to announce:
• S Marcus Epps goes from 37 to 22
• new RB Jason Huntley will wear 32
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