Eagles rookie scenarios for Jets preseason game
The Eagles’ 2022 season is just around the corner and the anticipation is high. Among the things to get excited about is the Eagles’ rookie class and we get our first glimpse of the youngsters in a game this Friday. With the Jets on deck for the Eagles’ first preseason game, there are a handful of things to watch for in the Eagles’ first year.
Where, when and how does Jordan Davis play?
The Eagles’ 2022 first-round picks are a big part of their defensive plans. The question is how quickly he fits into the rotation, where the team will primarily deploy him, and how he fare (obviously).
The Eagles defensive line runs deep, with Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave as established veterans inside. If the team plans to lighten the load on its veterans in the preseason, it’s possible we’ll see Jordan Davis early and often against the Jets. If Davis only plays a little, however, it could also be a sign that the team expects him to get a plot of snaps come the regular season.
Davis is one of many new Eagles who can be a chess piece in a Jonathan Gannon defense that should be very multiple this year. The former Georgia star can line up anywhere from technical five to zero. His size and athleticism allow him to thrive wherever he plays. Friday could give fans a taste of what his role will look like early on.
Finally, how Davis plays will be important. Obviously, a learning curve is to be expected, and the Jets have a really solid starting offensive line to test Jordan Davis. However, expectations for Davis are reasonably high and it would be nice to see some flash games when he’s on the court.
Can Cam Jurgens take advantage of Jason Kelce’s absence?
Cam Jurgens was drafted as the heir apparent to Jason Kelce’s spot as the Eagles’ starting center. The rookie could have an early chance to fill those big shoes as Kelce struggles with an elbow injury. Jurgens could see quite a bit of play on Saturday, even after the starters exit.
The Jets defensive line has some serious players who will test Jurgens. The undersized center has a lot to prove about how he can handle the NFL’s strength, and Friday will give us our first look at his trajectory. Obviously no one expects him to be an instant center of impact, but it would be nice to see him stick it out.
How does Nakobe Dean adapt to the size and speed of the NFL?
It was basically consensus that Nakobe Dean was a steal by the Eagles in the April draft. Injury issues let him down in the third round, but there was no doubting his talent on the pitch.
Among the on-field concerns is how a smaller linebacker would fit into the NFL when much of his game was based on how fast and aggressive his opponents were.
In the NFL, it will be more difficult for him to “outclass” his opponents as he did in college. He will have to adapt to a more physical and faster game, a game that can match the speed he played in college. His first shots and games may be a rollercoaster ride, but he’s the type of player who will learn and adapt to those challenges.
I doubt the team will show its full hand in the preseason on how it will deploy Dean, but Friday will be a good opportunity to see how quickly he can adapt to the base jump to the NFL.