2018 Eagles Training Camp Preview – The Young Guys
Matt Finocchio - Head Writer
Recently, I outlined some injured vets I’ll be keeping my eye on during camp. Now I’d like to talk about some of the younger guys who I’ll be paying attention to:
Dallas Goedert: With the less-athletic Richard Rodgers at his main competition, Goedert should easily take on the role as the team’s #2 Tight End. He clearly has the size, hands and athleticism to excel in the NFL. The only possible question-mark in his game is his blocking ability at the pro-level. With his size, I don’t think this should be an issue, provide that he puts in the effort. What I’m most looking forward to is seeing how the Eagle’s offense will change with the addition of Goedert. I’d envision a lot more two tight end sets, with Zach Ertz and Goedert on the field at the same time. This tight end combo will be an absolute match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. Sadly, I’m assuming the pre-season formations will be pretty vanilla, but I expect Dougie P. to unveil some creative formations come September.
Josh Sweat: During his senior year of high school, a serious knee injury almost ended Sweat’s football career (a severe dislocation & torn ACL). Miraculously, Sweat not only fully recovered, but went on to have a good career at Florida State and ended up posting the fastest 40-yard dash time for a DE at this year’s combine (4.53) along with posting an impressive 39.5” vertical. Though the Eagles have a lot of depth at defensive end, I think Sweat will impress enough in camp to earn snaps as a rotational player by the time the season rolls around (think Derek Barnett’s role last year).
Sidney Jones: Jones is an intriguing story for obvious reasons; he is a first-round talent who we’ve yet to really see at the pro level due to the torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day. This year might feel like a rookie season for Jones, but he should already have a good grasp of the Eagle’s defensive schemes from being on the team last year. Getting comfortable playing football again will be his biggest challenge. He has been cleared to practice after missing mini-camp with “lower-body soreness”, which we can assume was just precautionary or a possible tweak/sprain. If he can stay healthy, Jones will be competing with DeVante Bausby for the nickel corner spot, and he might even end up competing with Jalen Mills for a starting corner spot opposite Ronald Darby. I expect him to have a great camp and possibly break into the starting line-up for week 1.