3 Eagles to Watch in NFL Preseason Week 1
By Larry Rupp
It's been an interesting offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, as they traded away longtime quarterback Carson Wentz and fired head coach Doug Pederson. The team is set to enter a new era of football and will be looking to bounce back after finishing last in the NFC East division last year.
Fans will get their first glimpse at this Eagles squad when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason Week 1 action on Thursday night. While not every starter will be playing, there are a ton of players fighting for roster spots worth watching for in this one.
Here are three Philadelphia players worth keeping an eye on.
1. Jalen Hurts, Quarterback
This will be the first glimpse of quarterback Jalen Hurts running an offense he has worked with all offseason. He didn't get a chance to fully showcase his skills during his four starts in 2020. Reports claim his play has been erratic in training camp so far and the first-team offense has not looked impressive. Hurts gets to face one of the best defenses in the NFL for a drive or two, which makes this a perfect opportunity to prove those doubters wrong. Eagles fans have to hope he can show some improvement on his accuracy issues.
2. Steven Nelson, Cornerback
The Eagles made a splash late in free agency by bringing in veteran cornerback Steven Nelson on a one-year deal. The six-year pro gets to face his former team on Thursday night and may get targeted early on in the game. Plus, Nelson is getting his first action in front of a passionate Philadelphia fan base. He can either make a good first impression or get on the fans' bad side rather quickly. It's worth keeping an eye on what happens if any Steelers' quarterbacks throw in his direction.
3. Kenneth Gainwell, Running Back
The running back room is full of depth in Philadelphia right now as the pecking order behind starter Miles Sanders is yet to be sorted out. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell is expected to be fighting for a roster spot and could use the first preseason game to his advantage. He has shined as a pass-catcher during practices, but has yet to show he can be an efficient ball-carrier. It's clear the 22-year-old has the ability to be one after rushing for over 1,400 yards in his final college season. Gainwell has a shot to turn some heads if he is able to put together some big plays on Thursday night.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.