If you’re planning on watching Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts lead the Eagles’ offense against the New York Jets on Friday, you better get on TV fast.
The third-year signalman and the rest of the starters will only play about a series or two, according to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.
“We’re thinking about a series or two with the starters,” Sirianni said Wednesday.
So who will play against the Jets?
Just because we won’t be seeing many first-team members doesn’t mean there’s no reason to watch the team’s first pre-season game.
A preview of what to watch during Friday’s pre-season action:
WR: Jalen Reagor and Britain Covey
With AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal to make the team, the next group of guys will be fighting for a spot on the roster.
Leading that group is none other than Jalen Reagor, the former first-round pick, who was a complete disappointment in his first two seasons in Philadelphia. The wide receiver had a strong camp and was ranked high on the depth chart on kick return and punt return.
Two names that might challenge him are Covey and Cain.
Covey, 25, was a very productive player at the University of Utah. He had 2,311 total yards, 11 touchdowns and five scores in the return game. If he can show he can be a playmaker in the second leg, he might be able to overtake Reagor, who hasn’t been very productive in that role.
“I don’t think it will be a secret for the rest of the NFL is how fast he is,” Sirianni said. “Everyone is going to see how fast he is.”
AR: Jason Huntley and Kennedy Brooks
The Eagles are a bit thin at running back, adding two players last week with injuries in Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott.
Running back Jason Huntley has a chance to show he belongs as fourth running back and in the return game.
the former Lions fifth-round pick has the speed to shake things up in the return game, but also in the passing game out of the backfield.
Huntley showed speed and quickness in camp, using a stiff arm and some tenacity along the way. He has consistently stood out in camp this year, both with the ball and with his ability to catch passes. .
Another name to watch in the running back room is rookie Kennedy Brooks, who is a taller running back, who had three very productive years at Oklahoma, racking up 3,529 yards from scrimmage and 31 total touchdowns.
CC: Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe and Mario Goodwich
The cornerback position behind starters Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Avonte Maddox is up for grabs.
McPhearson is the highest-drafted player in this group, but there’s plenty of intriguing talent in the position.
Jobe is one of those intriguing talents, who could make the team as an undrafted free agent. The Alabama alum has a good size and has shown his ability to cover in camp so far. Will this translate to the speed of NFL play? It’s something to watch out for.
Another player to watch who has received accolades is Mario Goodwich.
Goodwich has a good size and is a quick and physical player who only started a year at Clemson. However, he made the most of it, signing with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
Apart from this trio, Kary Vincent, Tay Gowan, Mac McCain III and Josh Blackwell should also be on your radar.
“It’s a good room,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “I like where they are and I’m excited to see these guys playing against other people.”
LB Nakobe Dean
TJ Edwards and Kyzir White have stood out in camp so far, but it could take some game action for Nakobe Dean to jump off the page and show what he can do. .
Of the three, Dean will likely order the most eyeballs on Friday night.
Although Edwards and White have solid camps, Dean might still be the most intriguing linebacker in the bunch. Playing in the team’s first preseason game will be the first chance for Eagles fans to see Georgia’s third-round pick.
The most important thing to watch in terms of Dean is his performance in game situations, his athleticism and his speed, which the Eagles linebackers have been lacking for some time.
“He’s very smart, he’s tough and he’s very physical,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “Happy with where he is. He will continue to improve, and we’ll get a good look at him here in the next few weeks.”
Tonight will be the first opportunity for Eagles fans to get a good look at Dean.
You can listen to the Eagles and the Jets with Merrill Reese and Mike Quick. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 a.m., kick-off at 7:30 a.m. on the official South Jersey home for Eagles football 97.3 ESPN.
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