Well, two preseason games have come and gone for our Philadelphia Eagles. We have two more games to go before the beginning of the highly-anticipated regular season. In the two games that have taken place so far, some players have shined, while others have shown they still need to make some progress in the next two games to make the team and earn playing time. Let’s take a look at some of the studs and duds of the Eagles preseason so far.
Mark Sanchez: STUD
Who would have guessed through two games, Eagles free agent pickup Mark Sanchez would look like the best backup quarterback in the NFL? In his second preseason game, against the New England Patriots, Sanchez threw for 117 yards, completing 11/12 of his passes and throwing two touchdowns. Those are fantastic numbers.
Sanchez has eliminated any questions of his arm strength after recovering from a shoulder surgery that held him out all of last season. In the first preseason game, Sanchez threw a hail mary pass that hung in the air for over 60 yards. Head coach Chip Kelly gushed over that throw after the first game. The Eagles are going into the season again this year with a solid solution in case starting quarterback Nick Foles goes down.
Marcus Smith II: DUD
The Eagles used their first round pick this year on a Louisville pass-rush specialist Marcus Smith. Going in, the Eagles knew Smith was going to be a project. In two preseason games, Smith has yet to record a sack. While he did flash some playmaking ability against the Chicago Bears by batting down a pass, he has yet to really show worthiness of the first round pick used on him.
Pass-rushers generally take about a year to acclimate to the NFL, so we can’t be shocked if he doesn’t perform well this season. We all knew he was going to be a project, but I’m not sure getting a project pass-rusher was the best move this year. The Eagles needed help in too many places on the defensive side of the ball. However, Smith has a very high ceiling. Here’s to hoping he develops quickly!