Eagles Fill 2021 Practice Squad

Embed from Getty Images

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles, after cutting the roster to 53, have filled their practice squad.

Of those signed, the Eagles were able to retain all of their close cuts after no Eagles were claimed off waivers or signed elsewhere as free agents, so the initial practice squad features only two new faces.

The squad will consist of:

RB Jordan Howard

Howard looked really good in camp and was a surprising cut, but getting him back on the practice squad is an excellent move that gives the Birds a very viable option should an injury befall one of the three backs currently on their 53-man. He seemed to have made improvements in areas like pass catching that had previously been a weakness.

RB Jason Huntley

Acquired off waivers at cuts last season, Huntley provides additional speed to the running back room and someone who knows the offense. His speed could also allow him to be an effective return man should the Eagles have need for a change in that area.

WR Travis Fulgham

The Eagles leading receiver in 2020, Fulgham was also a waiver claim by the team in August of last season. He has the size and he’s shown he has the talent, but he failed to make the roster seemingly due to his fairly-well documented inability to stay focused. Fulgham has reportedly lacked a passion for the game in the past and that seems to be what is holding him back here, making him a flier. He’s a guy that if the staff can get through to, they have a steal. Otherwise, they haven’t lost a roster spot.

WR KeeSean Johnson

One of the two players signed who were not in Eagles camp, Johnson has two years of playing experience with the Cardinals. He offers an experienced depth piece at a position where the 53-man has just five players and the other practice squad options are more or less lottery tickets.

WR John Hightower

A day three selection in the 2020 draft, Hightower possesses speed. While he played a ton of snaps in 2020, he was largely unproductive. There were numerous long balls that he could have caught, but were either dropped or he couldn’t reach because he stopped running when he looked up to locate the ball. It’s no surprise the Quez Watkins passed him on the depth chart, but Hightower still has the raw talent if the staff can work with him to refine his route running and pass catching abilities.

OL Sua Opeta

Opeta, a former undrafted free agent, is a huge guy with plenty of strength. He appeared in quite a few games last season, even starting a few, so he brings experience with his youth. Opeta is good enough to be on an NFL roster as a depth piece, so it’s good news for the Eagles depth that he didn’t make the 53-man and is still available on their practice squad. He primarily plays guard.

OL Ross Pierschbacher

A college teammate of Jalen Hurts, Pierschbacher is a guy who would seem fairly unlikely to contribute to the team this year via the 53-man, but will provide valuable practice snaps from the center position.

OL Kayode Awosika

The guard/tackle combo is a monster. Reports are that the Eagles hid the 6-5, 315 lb lineman by not playing him much this preaseason, always intending for him to get to the practice squad where Jeff Stoutland can work with him and look to turn him into another gem for the Eagles offensive line.

OL Le’Raven Clark

Speaking of Jeff Stoutland, word is that former Colts starting tackle Le’Raven Clark, who signed with the Eagles as a free agent this offseason, had plenty of interest from around the league after being cut. He chose to return to the Eagles so he could work with their offensive line guru. Clark brings starting experience to the practice squad, giving them now six players across their roster and the practice squad who have started an NFL game at the tackle position.

DT Raequan Williams

The Michigan State product has been a decent depth player for the Eagles, but has so far been limited in his playing time. The Eagles have enough depth that they cut Hassan Ridgeway this season, but Williams is younger without an injury history and the team appears to be placing more of a focus on that this season.

DT Marvin Wilson

A once promising Florida State prospect, Wilson had a very poor season and fell completely off the draft board, winding up a free agent. The Eagles will sign him to a deal to see if he shows promise, but it may be important to remember that veteran TY McGill is currently on the COVID list. If Wilson doesn’t show anything much that makes the Eagles want to see more, his time on the practice squad may be short lived.

DE Matt Leo

Leo was with the team all last season and, unless he was really bad, was at least going to stick on the practice squad this year because he has an international exemption that prevents him from counting against the practice squad capacity. Leo continues to develop, but would seem to be a fairly long shot at seeing meaningful snaps this season.

LB JaCoby Stevens

Stevens was drafted this year, but was the only pick that did not make the 53-man roster. The former LSU safety is undergoing a position change and looking to develop into a larger role next year.

CB Craig James

The former team captain is an excellent special teams player and offers decent depth to the corner position, so is a solid signing.

CB Michael Jacquet

Though fans will only remember the bad game where he got absolutely toasted for 300+ yards, Jacquet was still an undrafted rookie who was pressed into service with no other corners available. He also looked good, making great plays just a week beforehand. He’s shown some promise, so having him on the practice squad where the staff can look to work with him and build off of that is a shrewd move by the Eagles, even if many fans don’t like it.

S Elijah Riley

Riley was a guy who had a really strong camp and preseason. He may have been in line for a spot on the 53, but instead the Eagles were able to sneak him through waivers. Riley was an undrafted free agent last season, so has plenty of room to grow.

S Grayland Arnold

Yet another 2020 undrafted free agent, Arnold had a ton of hype surrounding him last preseason, but not so much so this year. he provides some positional versatility even though he is primarily listed as a safety.

Go to top button