Stock Up, Stock Down for Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp
The Philadelphia Eagles have been at training camp for about a week, their first of the Chip Kelly era. Let's just say that there have been more than their fair share of interesting occurrences.
There's been the open competition, not just at quarterback, but at every other position. There's the change from Lehigh to the NovaCare Complex. There's the upcoming joint practices with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. And of course, there's the awful Riley Cooper controversy.
While it's certainly been interesting, it's also still very early in camp. August just started and the players will have several more weeks to prove that they are worthy of a spot on the official 53-man roster.
The following slides will highlight eight players whose stock value has increased or decreased throughout the first few days of training camp. They are in no particular order.
Stock Up: Brandon Boykin, Cornerback
It's been a tremendous training camp thus far for the Eagles' second-year cornerback.
Last year, Boykin emerged as the nickel corner, playing in just over 500 snaps on the defensive side of the ball. He had his share of rookie struggles, but he also flashed signs of potential, particularly in the week two victory against the Baltimore Ravens, when he knocked down two of the three passes thrown his way.
Stock Down: Riley Cooper, Wide Receiver
By now, the entire football world knows what happened to Eagles' fourth-year wide receiver Riley Cooper, who was caught on tape using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert.
Cooper has since apologized but there has reportedly been dissension among his teammates, particularly LeSean McCoy. The Eagles have already fined Cooper, and the league has decided not to suspend Cooper, but this entire situation could get uglier if Cooper's teammates don't change their opinions of him.
Cooper was considered by many to be the favorite to replace veteran Jeremy Maclin as the second wide receiver after Maclin was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Now he isn't even guaranteed a roster spot.
Stock Up: Michael Vick, Quarterback
The veteran quarterback is in an absolute battle for his starting job, as he is competing with Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley to be the starting quarterback for the Eagles in 2013.
He's done enough to potentially emerge as the favorite as of now, according to some reports. He also deserves praise for the way he handled the entire situation with Riley Cooper, saying that he spoke to Cooper and he was able to forgive the wide receiver for his hurtful comment at a Kenny Chesney concert.
Vick is the unquestioned leader of the Eagles. He's proving it this training camp.
Stock Down: Cary Williams, Cornerback
What a disappointing acquisition Cary Williams has been so far.
A starting cornerback for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, Williams has done very little right since he signed with the Eagles at the beginning of free agency. He made an enemy of himself with the fan base following several missed OTA practices. He's also been suffering from a minor hamstring injury that has kept him out of camp for a few days.
Brandon Boykin has been working in Williams' spot recently, and if Williams doesn't pick it up soon (or if Boykin doesn't slow it down), Williams could find himself delegated to the nickel role by the start of the 2013 season.
Stock Up: Chris Polk, Running Back
Chris Polk should have no trouble winning the job as the Eagles' fourth running back, assuming Chip Kelly keeps four.
Polk reported to training camp a lot lighter than he had been last year. His added speed will definitely help him, especially with a head coach who is infatuated with speed.
If Polk keeps impressing at camp, he'll easily have the fourth (or possibly third) running back spot locked up.
Stock Down: Matthew Tucker, Running Back
An undrafted free agent, Matthew Tucker was already a long shot to make the Eagles' final roster. He entered camp as the fifth running back and immediately distinguished himself as the worst of the bunch, possibly on the whole team, as he failed his conditioning test.
Only one other player failed the test, and he (Brad Wing) was a rookie punter. Tucker is a running back. It's hard to justify a running back making the final roster when he can't pass a conditioning test, which should be relatively simple for an NFL player, no matter how good he may play at training camp.
Stock Up: Damaris Johnson, Wide Receiver
Teammates had already been raving about Damaris Johnson's future following the 2012 season, in which he recorded 19 catches and handled all the punt returning duties.
His spot on the team should be completely assured following the season-ending ACL tear to Jeremy Maclin, as Johnson is one of many candidates to replace Maclin at receiver.
With his speed, versatility and impressive training camp so far, he could quickly become one of Chip Kelly's favorite players.
Stock Down: Matt Barkley, Quarterback
My pick to win the starting quarterback job for week 1 of the 2013 season has certainly not done much to distinguish himself through the first few days of training camp.
Matt Barkley looks to be the clear third choice for the starting quarterback, per Jordan Raanan's tracking of the quarterback stats throughout training camp. Barkley has completed just 43-of-101 passes, an alarming total when you consider the fact that both Vick and Foles are up around 75 percent.
Barkley is working with the third team offense, which may be more difficult for him, but he's got a lot of work to do if he wants to emerge as the starter.