Studs and Duds from the Eagles preseason (8/31/21)
With the preseason now in the rearview mirror, the Eagles are currently trimming down their roster to 53 players with the regular season being only two weeks away.
As for every preseason, there are players that stand out and others that don’t. Here are my three studs and duds from this Eagles preseason.
Taken in the 5th round of this year’s draft, there was a lot of hype surrounding Kenneth Gainwell. At Memphis, he became a runningback that flashed the ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
His skillset has translated to the NFL. During the three preseason games, he was able to make multiple plays out of the backfield, and show to the coaching staff on what he could bring to the table on the offensive side of the ball.
Starting running back, Miles Sanders, even said that Gainwell has the best hands out of everyone within the Eagles runningback room.
Expect him to see a heavy workload throughout the season, and don’t be surprised if he becomes the second runningback behind Sanders.
The signing of Joe Flacco is looking like the Eagles best free agent acquisition of the 2021 offseason.
In two out of the three preseason games, Flacco looked sharp. In the first game against the Steelers, he managed to connect with Quez Watkins on a screen play, and he ended up taking it all the way for a touchdown.
Last game against the Jets, he threw for 188 yards, threw two touchdowns, and completed 13 out of his 16 passes. Even though he was playing against second and third stringers, it was still impressive none the less.
The Eagles recently acquired Gardner Minshew from the Jaguars, so expect him and Flacco to battle it out for the backup quarterback spot throughout the season, but as of right now the backup spot belongs to Joe.
To name a defensive player that became a standout during the preseason, it would have to be defensive tackle, T.Y. McGill.
Eversince being undrafted in the 2015 draft from North Carolina State, McGill has been a journeyman throughout his career, as he has played for eight different teams, including a short lived stint with the Eagles back in 2018.
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if he made the 53 man roster or at least make the practice squad. Throughout the preseason, he led the team in sacks with three, and wreaked havoc on the opposing team’s offensive line.
Expect for McGill to be a depth piece behind Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Milton Williams.
After leading the team in receiving yards last season with limited playing time, Fulgham was expected to have a breakout season, but that was certainly not the case, as today he was cut by the team.
While him getting cut was a bit of a stretch, you can’t say that his preseason was all that spectacular, because it certainly wasn’t by any means.
In three exhibition games, Fulgham only managed one reception. Not only in the preseason, but throughout training camp it was reported that he was having attitude issues, and that ultimately led to his subpar play.
This is an obvious one. Mullens started a career high ten games last season with the 49ers because Jimmy Garoppolo was suffering a high ankle sprain throughout much of the season.
He then signed a one year deal with the Eagles, and performed terribly throughout training camp and the preseason.
Against the Steelers, he completed only one of his five passes and threw two interceptions.
When he played against the Patriots, he completed only five of his ten passes and threw another pick.
He played much better vs the Jets, but it wasn’t enough for him to make the team’s 53 man roster.
Cutting Mullens was an easy decision for the team, especially after they traded for Gardner Minshew.
Dillard is looking like another disappointing draft pick made by Howie Roseman. Him and Jordan Mailata were battling for the starting left tackle job during camp, and Dillard lost the job right from the start.
While not his fault, Dillard suffering a knee injury definitely didn’t help his case for the starting job.
The injury could’ve been the reason why he didn’t perform up to his 1st round pedigree, and the reason why he got bullied by defensive lineman a multitude of times during camp and in the preseason.
There have been trade rumors swirling around Dillard, and if the Eagles were to trade him, then now would be the time to do so.