Marcus Johnson is slightly ahead of Shelton Gibson on Eagles depth chart

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 28: Shelton Gibson
MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 28: Shelton Gibson /

Questions about Shelton Gibson making this Eagles team have increased because Marcus Johnson is doing everything he can to make sure he isn’t left off of the final 53-man roster.

When the Philadelphia Eagles hit the practice field on the first day in August, there will be eleven wide receivers on the roster. That, alone, makes Marcus Johnson a long shot. The Eagles figure to take a maximum of six receivers into the 2017 season, and Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor all figure to be locked in. So does Jordan Matthews if he’s still on the team and isn’t traded.

If all of those are accurate guesses, that leaves Mack Hollins as the fifth man on the depth chart. He’s another favorite to make the team (unless something catastrophic happens). Shelton Gibson, if he’s to make the team, will have to beat out five other guys, but you better believe Marcus Johnson, Bryce Treggs, Paul TurnerGreg Ward and David Watford won’t go quietly. Treggs, Turner and Johnson have already spent time on the Eagles’ practice squad and proven their mettle.

Competition heats up:

After the first week of practice, one thing was certain. None of these receivers showed up with the idea of filling up a roster space. None of them are interested in a spot on the practice squad either. Ward, who’s making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver, is balling out.

Treggs actually made the team a season ago but was inactive early. No Eagles fan will forget his 58-yard touchdown reception against the hated New York Giants.  Similarly, the efforts of Paul Turner earned him a spot in the hearts of Eagles fans last preseason. He was a victim of the numbers game in 2016. Eventually, he made the practice squad. Later, was elevated to the active roster, but that was later in the season.

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Gibson was the 166th-overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he’s struggled. He’s struggled in OTAs, minicamp and, now, during the first week of training camp. That led to him dropping just about everything.

Johnson, on the other hand, has been the anti-Gibson. He’s snagged just about every ball tossed in his direction, and when Jeffery left the field during the team’s sixth practice with a minor injury, it was Johnson, not Gibson who took his place.

That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on anybody who’s been paying any attention to this Eagles team.

There’s a long way to go.

Johnson has been so impressive that head coach Doug Pederson is already on record by saying he’ll continue to get looks with the first-team offense. “He’s made an impact. He’s shown up. He’s making some plays. He’s one of the guys that will continue to kind of give some reps from time to time with that first group and see where he’s at.” That was a statement made by the head coach about Johnson, not Gibson.

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The regular season is a little over a month away. If Gibson doesn’t wake up, it will be Johnson or someone else on the 53-man roster, and Gibson’s career in Philly will be a short one.