Five Thoughts on the Eagles First Depth Chart
As the Eagles gear up for their preseason opener Thursday against the Tennessee Titans, the organization released its first depth chart of the season Tuesday.
While most elements of the 90-man depth chart should be taken with a grain of salt, there are some interesting takeaways on offense, defense, and even special teams.
OT Jordan Mailata needs a big preseason
Mailata has had an up and down second training camp as he makes the transition to right tackle. The first depth chart has him behind both Andre Dillard and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who are currently the top backups for Jason Peters and Lane Johnson.
The second-year tackle made significant strides in the 2018 preseason which convinced the Eagles to stick with the project of turning Mailata into a football player.
To keep the coaches and front office committed to his development, Mailata will look to replicate his previous preseason success. Only this time, he will look to do it at a new position.
Ronald Darby may not need to compete for a starting job
Despite a strong training camp from Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, it looks like there might not be a path for both to earn an outside job at CB.
The Eagles have Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox as the top two corners despite Darby recovering from a torn ACL.
This shouldn't come as a surprise considering the front office brought Darby back on a one-year deal worth up to nearly $9 million.
While the veteran has suffered two serious leg injuries in back to back seasons, on top of inconsistent play, the coaching staff and front office clearly still believe he is a better option than the younger players in the group.
Big V in the lead to fill in at RG
As Brandon Brooks recovers from a torn Achilles, it looks like Vaitai is in the lead to start the season at RG over Stefen Wisniewski who is listed as the primary backup for Jason Kelce and Issac Seaumalo at center and left guard.
It is a bit surprising the Eagles might be looking to have Vaitai play a brand new position over a veteran that started at guard during Philadelphia's Super Bowl run in 2017.
Marken Michel in the lead for WR6?
The brother of Patriots RB Sony Michel appears to be in the lead for the sixth WR spot.
Of course, the Eagles could elect to carry just five receivers, but Doug Pederson has preferred six on the roster over his four years as head coach.
Michel had a particularly strong spring at mini-camp which he will look to carry over to Thursday.
Shelton Gibson's injury could open the door even more for Michel and the other receivers competing for a job.
The Eagles could be scary in the return game
It is crazy to see both Darren Sproles and DeSean Jackson as options to return punts.
They are two of the best to ever do it. Sproles will likely take the majority of return duty but in certain spots, Jackson will be used. Perhaps even with Sproles also set deep.
At kick returner, Miles Sanders and Corey Clement are the current starting two.
Clement has been a very efficient returner on kickoffs, averaging 25.6 yards per return in 2018. That included a 48-yard return.
Sanders has appealing explosiveness, vision, and cut ability that makes him an attractive candidate for the other KR job.
The first depth chart isn't likely to reflect the final starting lineup. Thursday night's opener against the Titans will be the first opportunity for players to either hang onto a spot, or change it in their favor.
Follow Louie on Twitter- @DiBiaseLOE