Eagles training camp 2022: 10 offensive players to watch

Eagles training camp 2022: 10 offensive players to watch

We’re less than a week away from the start of Eagles training camp.

The Birds report for camp at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday with the first practice of the summer scheduled for the following day.

Every year, I go into training camp with a list of players I want to watch extra carefully. That doesn’t necessarily mean the best or most important players, but the players with some added intrigue for various reasons.

Here are 10 offensive players to watch this summer:

WR Devon Allen

The 27-year-old receiver is fresh off a controversial DQ in the 110-meter hurdles at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon. Allen handled that in stride but it seems like he got cheated by that disqualification. If he wants to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster, he’ll need to put all that out of his head very quickly. This is already an uphill battle for the world class hurdler who hasn’t played competitive football since 2016. His best college season for the Oregon Ducks was way back in 2014.

This is obviously one of the most intriguing storylines of training camp. Allen has Olympic speed but there are questions about how that will translate on the football field after years away from it. The Eagles were impressed by Allen, who ran a 4.35 at the Oregon pro day this spring, and there’s no downside to bringing him to camp. The Eagles are taking a shot in the dark here. If it doesn’t work, no harm done. If it does, the Eagles found a cheap way to add some elite speed to their roster at the receiver and returner spots.

 

TE J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

The former second-round receiver has officially switched positions this offseason. He’ll enter this training camp as a tight end, having packed on extra pounds in an attempt to make this position switch. After three disappointing seasons in the NFL, it seems very unlikely that JJAW will ever live up to his draft status as the No. 57 overall pick. That ship has sailed. This position switch is about him trying to extend his career and stick around. With that said, he faces a steep uphill climb to make the roster.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be intriguing to watch. While JJAW’s chances to make the roster aren’t great, it’ll be fascinating to see just how far he’s come in such a short period of time as a tight end. Arcega-Whiteside was previously listed at 6-2, 225 pounds but the Eagles are already listing him at 237 pounds going into this training camp. Will there be a noticeable difference once camp starts? Whenever a player switches positions, it’s fun to watch their progress. Even though many fans are ready to give up on JJAW — I get it — I want to see how he performs this summer.

WR A.J. Brown

Arguably the Eagles’ biggest addition this offseason. The Eagles traded for Brown on draft night and then gave the former Titans receiver a four-year, $100 million contract extension, making him one of the highest-paid wideouts in the NFL. In Philly, Brown will reunite with his best friend, quarterback Jalen Hurts. The two became close on a recruiting visit many years ago and have remained close. They’ve worked out together before but actually playing on the same team will still be an adjustment. Heck, Hurts and DeVonta Smith had actually been teammates before and there was still a feeling out phase between the two of them last season.

Brown (6-1, 226) is a unique player in the NFL. He’s big and strong but also quick and fast. He’s one of those big-bodied guys who has no right being as fast as he is. If you’ve seen much of the Titans over the past three seasons, then you know how much fun this guy is to watch. He’s a YAC machine and it’ll be fascinating to see what his role looks like in Nick Sirianni’s offense. I’d expect Sirianni to draw up plays designed specifically for Brown and I think we’ll see him work outside and in the slot at times this year.

WR Britain Covey

On any other team without a world class hurdler, Covey would be the most intriguing story in the receiver room. The Utah receiver/return man is an older rookie at 25, having missed two college seasons on mission trips. And he’s just 5-foot-8, 173 pounds. Covey is the second-lightest position player on the roster. But forget his size and his age for a second and just look at what Covey did at Utah. He was a fine receiver but he was a dynamic return man who took four punts and one kickoff back for touchdowns.

 

In his college career, Covey had 184 catches for 2,011 yards with 11 touchdowns. And he also averaged 11.9 yards per punt return and 25.4 yards per kickoff return. He was an electrifying athlete in college, but he went undrafted. Will his collegiate success translate to the NFL? I can’t wait to find out.

LG Landon Dickerson

This time last year, Dickerson was being put on the Active/Non-football Injury list thanks to an ACL tear in college. With the laundry list of injuries in his college career, it was fair to wonder about the gamble of taking him with the No. 37 overall pick. But Dickerson ended up having a really impressive rookie season. He came off the NFI before final cuts and ended up starting 13 games. While the Eagles loved his versatility when they picked him, Dickerson played so well at left guard that the Eagles aren’t moving him. He has officially taken Isaac Seumalo’s job.

Dickerson, 23, got off to a rough start when he was thrown in to the fire last year but that’s understandable. He was coming off a serious injury and missed all of training camp. But he got much stronger as his rookie season went on and now I’m excited to watch him in his first full NFL training camp. The 6-6, 333-pound Dickerson is a heck of an athlete and seeing him next to Jordan Mailata every day this summer should be a treat.

QB Jalen Hurts

Duh. All eyes are always going to be on the quarterback. But it’s even more true when the QB isn’t well-established. It’s easy to forget because of how poorly he performed in the playoff game, but Hurts did some good things in his first full year as a starter in 2021. He was certainly better last year than he was in his limited playing time in 2020. But it also wasn’t a linear progression throughout his first season as a starter. There were good games and bad games. And there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Hurts needs to continue to improve.

Hurts in 2022 will enter the second season in the same offensive system for the first time since high school. And the Eagles went out and traded for his best friend, who happens to be a Pro Bowl receiver. The Eagles had the 25th-ranked passing offense in the NFL last year but they hope it’ll be much better in 2022. Hurts will be a huge part of that.

RB Jason Huntley

We know the Eagles’ top three running backs are Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott. Maybe they keep just three on their 53-man roster. But if the Eagles want to keep four running backs there could be a really fun battle between Huntley and UDFA Kennedy Brooks. While there’s a lot to like about Brooks, we know Huntley will be impressive this summer because he was dynamic during last year’s camp. Huntley can absolutely fly and his skillset puts him in a position to really stand out in summer practices.

 

Last training camp, it seemed like every time Huntley touched the ball, he had the chance to break off a 50 yard run. He does that a few times this summer and he could earn a roster spot.

C Cam Jurgens

The Eagles were able to convinced Jason Kelce to return for one more season — credit Nick Sirianni and a keg of beer — but they also drafted his replacement. The Eagles used the No. 51 overall pick on Jurgens out of Nebraska. Normally, watching center play isn’t all that exciting but Jurgens was the center that reminded the Eagles of Kelce most. At 6-3, 303 pounds, Jurgens isn’t the biggest guy at the position but he’s very athletic and moves extremely well. So all those highlight blocks downfield that have made Kelce a fan favorite? The Eagles think Jurgens will eventually be able to fill those shoes.

Aside from just watching Jurgens play with the second team during training camp, it’ll also be fun to watch his interactions with Kelce. In just a very limited viewing window at OTAs, we already saw Jurgens and Kelce forming a connection. Every bit of down time during practice, we’re going to see Jurgens soaking up as much information as he can from his legendary teammate.

RG Isaac Seumalo

We talked about Dickerson earlier and how he solidified himself as the Eagles’ starting left guard. That left Seumalo without a position but the Eagles are giving the veteran the first crack at winning the right guard job. As long as he is cleared medically at that point — he’s coming off a Lisfranc injury — then Seumalo will be lining up as the first-team right guard.

After early-career struggles, Seumalo turned into a solid player but he’s struggled to stay healthy. Seumalo has played in just 12 games over the last two years and has just one full season in his six years in the NFL. Now 28, Seumalo is being asked to flip sides of the line but will still be a starter if he performs well this summer.

QB Carson Strong

The Eagles spent crazy money on their undrafted class in 2022 and no one got more than Strong. The Nevada quarterback got a signing bonus of $20,000 and $320,000 in guaranteed money. The Eagles lured him to Philadelphia. Strong (6-3, 226) was once thought of as a first-round draft pick but the long list of injuries to his right knee, dating back to high school, left him undrafted. That knee is an obvious concern.

But Strong has talent. In 2021, he completed 70% of his passes for 4,175 yards with 36 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has an absolute cannon for an arm. He will likely be the Eagles’ No. 3 quarterback with a chance to be their backup in 2023.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.