Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Training Camp Preview
The Philadelphia Eagles are once again looking to make a playoff push in the wide-open NFC East. Head coach Nick Sirianni is heading into his second season with the Eagles after a 9-8 campaign last year. This will be quarterback Jalen Hurt’s second year as a starter, as he tries to take the next step as a young QB. The Eagles had a busy offseason with acquisitions of wide receiver AJ Brown, cornerback James Bradberry, and linebacker Haason Reddick. Philadelphia had a solid draft, and they have young players on their team that can continue to progress. Can they build off their playoff appearance from last year with a deeper run in 2022? These are things to watch for heading into the Philadelphia Eagles 2022 training camp.
Three Position Battles to Watch
Right Guard: Isaac Seumalo, Jack Anderson, Jack Driscoll
The Eagles offensive line is relatively set in stone. They have talented veterans across the line that have the starting job locked — the only exception is right guard. As of right now, Isaac Seumalo has the starting nod, but the position is very much up for grabs. He is heading into his seventh year, and he has had injury concerns in the past. If his play is not up to par, then backup right guard Jack Anderson will get his shot. Although, it is more likely that backup right tackle Jack Driscoll, who is going into year three with thirteen starts under his belt, will slide over to right guard.
Wide Receiver: Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor
The Philadelphia wide receiver room has more depth and talent than previous years. They have one of the better wide receiver trios in the league with AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Quez Watkins. The fourth wide receiver spot will be between Zach Pascal and Jalen Reagor. Reagor is a highly scrutinized wide receiver. The Eagles selected him over young star Justin Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, and this will be his last year to prove himself with the team before the draft bust label is definitively stamped on him. Pascal is a speedy wide receiver that has spent his first four seasons putting up modest numbers in Indianapolis. This will be a good battle to see who can take control of that fourth wide receiver spot.
Middle Linebacker: T.J. Edwards, Nakobe Dean
TJ Edwards is entering his fourth year with the Eagles. He has started over twelve games in his last two years, and he has produced on the field. However, Nakobe Dean was a steal in the 2022 NFL draft when they got him in the third round. He was widely labeled a first-round prospect by many analysts and scouts. Dean has the talent and intelligence to put some pressure on Edwards for the starting spot during training camp. I expect Edwards to get the nod, but Dean to be starting at a linebacker position by the end of the season.
Ready to Breakout: DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith, also known as the slim reaper, is poised for a breakout year in 2022. The former Heisman winner had a great rookie season, finishing with 64 receptions, 916 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He demonstrated his speed, hands, and body control week in, week out. Smith did this with Jalen Hurts in his first year as a starting quarterback. Now in 2022, their chemistry will be better, and I think they will both take strides forward. Finally, on top of all that, AJ Brown is now on the Philadelphia Eagles, meaning Brown will inevitably open up defenses more for Smith.
Rookie To Watch: Nakobe Dean
The Eagles’ rookie to watch is linebacker Nakobe Dean. Jordan Davis is another deserving option, but the Eagles are stronger in the trenches than at linebacker. Dean was selected in the third round after he fell due to his injury status during the draft process. However, he is an absolute stud that has the potential to be special in the NFL. Dean is undersized for his position, but he offers way more positives than negatives. He is an athletic linebacker with high football IQ. He piled up all types of stats in 2021 and was one of the leaders of that national champion Georgia defense. Dean is a versatile linebacker that can defend the run and pass, as well as play at multiple linebacker positions.
Fantasy Sleeper: Quez Watkins
Watkins has a solid year as he started twelve games in his second year with the Eagles. He finished with a quiet 43 receptions, 647 yards, and one touchdown. He is a talented young wide receiver and is one of the fastest wide receivers in the league. The Eagles look poised to have a good passing attack this year, and Watkins could be a great wide receiver three. He is an effective deep threat and will continue to round out his game. Watkins will be more of a boom or bust weekly start option, but he is capable of huge plays like his 91-yard touchdown last season.