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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Glenn Erby

Eagles vs. Jets: 7 rookies to watch in the preseason opener

The Eagles’ vaunted rookie class will get their first opportunity to shine on an NFL field when the team hosts the Jets in a preseason matchup on Friday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia’s starter will play a series or two, allowing the reserves and players on the roster bubble to see extended action against an improving AFC East roster with a talented second-year quarterback in Zach Wilson.

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Notable rookies like Carson Strong, Kennedy Brooks, Mario Goodrich, and Josh Jobe will move up the depth chart. At the same time, two former Georgia Bulldogs will look to transfer their SEC dominance into a versatile scheme under Jonathan Gannon.

Reed Blankenship, S

(AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

The former Middle Tennessee safety is a player to watch at a safety position lacking quality depth and playmaking ability.

We’ll be watching to see if Blankenship has NFL speed and can diagnose NFL offenses.

Britain Covey, WR

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Covey has been the talk of training camp, and the big plays made during practice will now need to translate to on-field NFL game action.

Kennedy Brooks, RB

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The former Oklahoma Sooners running back will get the carries with Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell banged up, and he’ll need to show quality NFL speed and the ability to make defenders miss.

Jordan Davis, DT

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Davis isn’t on the roster bubble, and after a magical training camp, it’ll be amazing to see the physical marvel face NFL competition on the opposing team.

Nakobe Dean, LB

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

For obvious reasons, Dean is the player to watch on Friday night.

A star with the Bulldogs, Dean is currently running with the second unit and will need to prove that he can read NFL defenses at his size while transferring his incredible SEC speed to the NFL against comparable athletes.

QB Carson Strong

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The former Nevada star signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent, receiving a huge deal to challenge Reid Sinnett for the third quarterback job.

The assumption was that Strong would elevate throughout this season and assume the backup quarterback role when Gardner Minshew moves on in 2023.

Scouts and evaluators for Philadelphia will look to see Strong avoid pressure while displaying the big-armed passing acumen that broke Mountain West Conference records.

CB Mario Goodrich

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The former Clemson star is a talented cornerback who should flourish in Jonathan Gannon’s zone scheme, and he’ll get an extended look against the Jets’ passing attack on Friday night.

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