Breaking Down the Practice Squad

Posted: September 2nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Breaking Down the Practice Squad

The roster is set, for now.

The next order of business is the practice squad. That also is set, for now. Always remember that there will be changes. Lots and lots of changes.

So let’s break that down.

RB Josh Adams – Many wanted Adams on the roster, but he just didn’t do enough this summer to earn a spot. He did show NFL talent and he’s perfect for the practice squad. He can develop as a blocker and receiver, while also mastering the playbook. Adams will have a much better shot to make the roster next year. If there is an injury, he could be promoted during the season. Adams isn’t some long term project. He’s a typical college RB that got to the NFL and realized there was a lot more to do than run the ball. He was hurt for a couple of stretches this summer and that didn’t help matters.

WR Greg Ward – Based on the preseason, Ward has no business on the PS. That tells you the coaches see something different in practices. Ward does offer value because of his versatility. He was a QB in college and has moved to WR in the pros. If you’re going to face a mobile QB, you may want Ward to act as that guy during practices during the week. He also could serve as a scatback. If the Eagles are going to face someone like Tarik Cohen or Chris Thompson, Ward could fill that role in practice. The coaches have wanted him to develop as a WR, but there’s been little progress on that front.

WR Rashard Davis – Similar to Ward, Davis has some value as a practice tool. He was a great punt returner in college, but has really struggled in that area in the NFL. He did show some progress as a WR this summer. The Eagles do have some interest in him developing as a slot receiver and RS.

TE Billy Brown – There were high hopes for Brown back in March. He showed real promise last summer. Brown then spent time on the practice squad during the 2017 season. With his combination of size, skill athleticism and time on the PS, the thought was that he would make a serious push for a roster spot. Didn’t happen. Brown didn’t build on his 2017 showing. It was like he started at ground zero all over again. I don’t know if the Eagles are keeping Brown for stability or if they still think he can develop in the future.

OL Jon Toth – The Eagles like OCs who have good movement skills and Toth fits that. He’s not as athletic as Kelce or Seumalo, but he can pull and block on the move. I thought Toth showed some good things this summer, but he’s got a pair of good players ahead of him. Toth did have some snapping issues in the preseason finale.

DE Joe Ostman – I liked Danny Ezechukwu better, but I can understand going with Ostman. He’s the new Steven Means. Chris Long called Ostman “the Energizer Bunny” based on his practice style. As we’ve seen with Means, that has real value. Ostman has NFL potential, but he needs a lot of work. First, he must get bigger and stronger. He got blocked by OTs and TEs too easily on run plays. Ostman does have good quickness off the ball. He has an excellent shoulder dip. Ostman’s best asset right now is a non-stop motor. That helps a lot in practice.

As for the Means comparison, both players went to MAC schools in college. Both were highly productive at that level. Both faced questions about whether they should play DE or OLB due to a lack of ideal size. Means has developed into an NFL players, but it took time. He entered the league in 2013. Ostman has to show he can develop like that and it will likely take some time.

DT Winston Craig – If you have read my stuff for a while, you know I’m a bit nuts for football. The other night I laid in bed for quite a while debating Craig vs Shittu vs Qualls. There was an argument to be made for all three. Qualls was the draft pick and had an interesting combination of bulk and athleticism. Shittu was the quickest off the ball and looked very disruptive at times. The argument for Craig is that he simply stood out every time he was on the field. Effort is the biggest thing he’s going going for himself, but Craig does have some athleticism. He played DE here and there. Craig can be quick off the ball and he’s got a knack for making himself skinny so he can shoot gaps and be disruptive. He does not have a high ceiling, but Craig could develop into a role player at DT.

LB Asantay Brown – The move I’m most curious about. Brown missed a lot of time this summer due to injury. I re-watched preseason games to focus on Brown. He got some snaps in the finale and had some good moments at OLB. He can move. He tackled well. He just didn’t stand out to me.

I wonder if the Eagles see him as the next Kamu Grugier-Hill.

The Eagles claimed KGH off waivers. They drafted Nate Gerry. Now there is Brown. Clearly they like former safeties who project to LB. Brown could develop into a really good STer. We don’t have a good feel for his potential as a LB.

CB De’Vante Bausby – Obvious move. Bausby could easily be on someone’s roster so the Eagles are lucky to get him on the PS. Bausby can play in the slot or outside. Might even be able to play S if needed. If the Eagles lose Ronald Darby next offseason, Bausby could make another push for the roster. Seems like someone will try to poach him after an injury to a CB this year.

CB Chandon Sullivan – Love this move. I think Sullivan is very much a Jim Schwartz type of corner.

Watch the part of the replay that focuses on Sullivan. I think that is exactly how Schwartz wants his guys to play. Sullivan has NFL ability. He needs to develop this season so he can push for a roster spot next year. I think he’s got a future with the Eagles.


Deiondre’ Hall is suspended this week. He’ll be added to the roster next weekend. My guess is that Tre Sullivan will be cut and added to the PS. That means someone will have to go. I don’t have a good feel for who that will be.


The Eagles cut MLB Joe Walker when they claimed D.J. Alexander off waivers. Alexander is a better STer. Simple as that.


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