Philadelphia Eagles: Predicting Training Camp Standouts


Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Football is almost back! The Philadelphia Eagles training camp begins tomorrow when players report to the facility. I can’t wait to read reports about how individual players are doing and with that in mind, I decided to breakdown five players who should look great throughout training camp. There are no lineman on the list as it is harder for them to impress during camp, they will get their chance during preseason. However, these five players should have no trouble standing out:

Byron Maxwell 

The Eagles new starting cornerback will have a point to prove when camp begins after his big money move to the Eagles. The cornerbacks will be able to get physical with receivers which will suit Maxwell’s style and he won’t be tested by a true number one receiver throughout camp. He will also face a lot of Mark Sanchez while Sam Bradford recovers. Playing as an outside cornerback against Mark Sanchez almost guarantees that you will look good in camp.

One of Maxwell’s best games of the season came against Jordan Matthews last year so if Maxwell is asked to cover him in the slot throughout camp I expect Maxwell to win that battle. Maxwell shouldn’t have much problem lining up against receivers like Josh Huff, Riley Cooper and Miles Austin either. While first round pick Nelson Agholor may cause Maxwell some trouble I expect it will be minimal. Maxwell will want to prove those who have doubted him wrong very early.

Kiko Alonso 

It can be hard for linebackers and lineman to make an impact in camp.

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However, I don’t think Alonso will struggle to make an impression at all. Alonso is so athletic that he will stand out throughout camp because of how instinctive and fast he is. Reports from OTAs suggest that you couldn’t even tell that Alonso was coming back from an ACL injury. If that is the case throughout training camp, Alonso’s coverage skills, athleticism and instincts will impress anyone watching. He will also have to compete with

DeMeco Ryans


Mychal Kendricks

and that should force him to give it his all and not take anything for granted.

Zach Ertz 

Everyone’s breakout player from last year, Zach Ertz didn’t have the season that everyone expected. I have said I expect Ertz to breakout this season and I blamed Chip Kelly rather than Ertz’ talent level for his slightly disappointing performance last year. I strongly believe that Ertz is one of the Eagles most talented players and their most talented pass catcher. Ertz should shine in the training camp environment too as he has phenomenal hands and OTA reports show that Bradford continually targeted him. I hope Ertz will get more first team snaps than Brent Celek too and can take over the number one tight end position.

Mychal Kendricks 

Anything that you can do, I can do better. This will be Mychal Kendricks mentality throughout camp assuming he isn’t traded. Kiko Alonso will wow those watching and Kendricks might find himself practicing with the second team if DeMeco Ryans and Alonso play together a lot. That would be absolutely absurd after how good Kendricks was last year but it could happen.

Don’t forget about Kendricks though who I believe is a better player than Alonso and I’ve discussed this here. Kendricks may feel threatened and disrespected by Chip bringing in Alonso and continually speaking about Kendrick’s injuries despite the fact he only missed four games last year and played at an all pro level when on the field. Competition brings out the best in players and Kendricks like Alonso is incredibly athletic and instinctive and should shine.

Jordan Matthews 

Think back to last years training camp, how great was Jordan Matthews according to reports? Matthews is the Eagles hardest worker and should always shine in training camp due his unbelievable work ethic. Last year he began training camp with the second and third team, this year he will be the teams number one receiver and receive a lot of targets. Mark Sanchez will throw a lot too and we all know how much he targets Matthews. I think Matthews will be significantly better than the Eagles other receivers throughout training camp.

Next: Five Players That Could Disappoint in 2015

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