Al-Nusour Training Camp 2022: 10 Defensive Players to Watch

We are less than a week away from the start of Eagles Boot Camp.

A bird report on camp at NovaCare Complex on Tuesday with the first practice of the summer scheduled for the following day.

Every year, I go to a training camp with a list of players that I want to watch very carefully. This doesn’t necessarily mean the best or most important players, but players have some added plots for different reasons. Yesterday, we looked at 10 attacking players.

Now, here are 10 defensive players to watch this summer:

CB James Bradbury

The Eagles failed to address their position at CB2 until May 18, when they agreed to terms with Bradberry in a one-year deal. The Giants cut Bradbury well after free agency began, which meant that any huge financial deals he might have gotten were already off the table. So he wanted to sign with a team that would run a scheme that would make the most of it. Bradberry has excelled at covering the area and Jonathan Gannon runs quite a large area, so it fits right in. While Stephen Nelson has been solid in 2021, Bradbury should be an upgrade at that spot, and he will team up with Darius Sly and Avonte Maddox to form a truly formidable trio.

Bradbury, who will turn 29 in early August, had somewhat of a relegation season in 2021 after going to the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Giants. But even in a down year, he still had four career-high interceptions and added 17 passes. Playing on the other side of CB1 Slay means the teams may challenge Bradbury for a bit in 2022. That’s why CB2’s job is so important in this defence. We won’t know the full story, but we’ll find out soon if Bradbury can get back to his level for 2020.

DT Jordan Davis

The Eagles swapped two positions to knock Davis out of Georgia in the first round. The massive nose tackle was one of the key players in the National Championship Bulldogs defensive tackle and was considered a rhino in the drag circuits. While Davis is huge (mentioned by the Eagles in 6-6, 336), he moves exceptionally well for a man of his size. Davis’ combined results were eye-catching and the athleticism definitely came into play during the Bulldogs Championship.

Davis has been working on shedding some weight and getting in better shape now that he’s in the NFL. This will be an important component of his success at the next level. But it will be fun to watch him move during bootcamp.

LP Nakobi Din

As excited as everyone is for Davis, don’t lose sight of Dean. I think there is a good chance that Dan will end up being the Eagles’ best player outside the ball this season and that will start with a strong showing in training camp. As much as other players were around him in Georgia, Dean was the undisputed leader of one of the greatest defenses in college football history. He’s 5-11, 231 pounds smaller, but he has all the athleticism and instincts to thrive at the next level.

So why did Dean go in the third round? Well, obviously the teams were freaked out by his injury history, but Dean has taken part in the OTAs and is expected to be a full-on tour of training camp. If he is and if he ends up being the player the Eagles expect, he could end up being a draft all the time.

CB Tae Gwan

I really loved Joan’s exit from the UCF last season and so did the Eagles, but they didn’t recruit him. The Cardinals took him in the sixth round and Philly didn’t arrive until Zach Erts’ deal in October. Gowan played minimal during the junior season but there might be some talent there. It weighs 6-1 and 186 pounds (the layout right for the outside corner) and looks like a solution to the Gannon plots.

Since Gowan didn’t join the Eagles until October, this summer will be our first chance to see him in training camp as he battles for a spare corner job with a host of other young players on the roster. Last year’s fourth-round pick Zech McPhearson will probably have one of those jobs, but Gowan is the other outside corner I’ll be watching.

D Brandon Graham

Graham is 34 years old and coming out with a serious Achilles tendon injury but I wouldn’t bet on him. There will be some obvious questions about how well Graham can play in his thirteenth NFL season, but he was playing at a really high level in 2020, when he made his only Pro Bowl career. Although a decade has passed, the last time Graham sustained a serious injury he played in all 16 games was in 2012. However, we don’t really know what to expect from Graham in 2022, which is why we’ll be watching it well. closely this summer.

While the Eagles added Hasson Riddick to speed up the passers, they didn’t really deal with the final defensive stance. The Eagles have Josh Sweat out of the Pro Bowl and re-sign Derek Barnett, but they haven’t added anyone else. So it kind of tells you that they’re still going to be very dependent on Graham in 2022. The boot camp will give us a pretty good indication of whether or not that’s a good idea.

Sam Kieron Johnson

The Eagles didn’t tackle the defensive end point but they did improve SAM’s full-back position. We’ll soon get to sign the free agent, but Johnson, the sixth-round pick from KS should be fun too. Now, it’s only right to temper expectations for Day 3 picks, but Johnson will go head-to-head with Patrick Johnson who picked the seventh inning last year for the SAM reserve position. And Kieron Johnson has some juice.

We saw this juice at Senior Bowl this out of season. Johnson was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster but his performance in Mobile raised some heads. It was really fun to watch him in 1v1 fights, as he outsmarted the tackles that far outsmarted him. If he can do it in an NFL training camp, he’ll get a lot of bang for the buck over the next few weeks.

Sam Hasson Riddick

You could argue that AJ Brown was the Eagles’ biggest off-season acquisition but Reddick is with him. The Eagles finished last season with 29 puck sacks. While the vultures will tell you that bags aren’t everything – and they’re right – this number is pretty low. So they brought in Riddick, who is fifth in the NFL in sacks over the past two years with 23 1/2. Al-Nusour is listing him as a full-back (he will play for SAM) but his job will be to pursue QB.

Reddick’s presence alone indicates a slight shift in the defensive scheme in Year 2 under Gannon. While the Eagles simply won’t turn 3-4, their personnel moves this unofficial season suggest more of a hybrid defense than the one we saw in 2021. Reddick will be a big part of that transformation. It will be up to Gannon to maximize the speed of his talented passes.

S Jaquiski Tartt

The Eagles went after some big-name free agents overseas — Marcus Williams, Justin Reed, Teran Mathieu — but didn’t land one. They let Rodney MacLeod walk and re-sign Anthony Harris. The Eagles didn’t agree to line up with Tartt until June, so he’s a late addition to a lineup that includes Harris, Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere and Jared Mayden. Tartt’s one-year deal is worth $1.12 million with a $500,000 guarantee, according to a league source. So it’s not as if the Eagles broke the bank to get it.

But Tartt is a 30-year-old professional with a lot of experience initially in the NFL. He has been a good player during his seven seasons with 49 players and would pay to play for the Eagles. It will be interesting to see how those safety points fade this summer.

LB Davion Taylor

Due to two notable possessions off the season, Taylor is the forgotten player in the Eagles’ players’ room. Which is a shame because the previous third-round pick began to show some hope during his second season in the NFL before another injury for the year closed him in. Taylor is healthy now and I’m curious how he looks at training camp this summer. Will it continue to show the progress we saw during the 2021 season? He was a disgrace when he was injured, because he really needed those game actors and now he’s buried on the depth chart.

But Taylor is just one injury away from playing a big role with the Eagles. I’ve seen enough of him in the last year to be very intrigued, so I want to keep an eye on him this summer.

LB Keizer White

Yes, there are three off-ball players on this list. We talked about Dean earlier but don’t lose sight of White, who signed with the Eagles on a one-year deal as a free agent. White, 26, is a former college safety team member turned linebacker after the cargo team recruited him in the fourth round in 2018. So he has the kind of covering skill that the Eagles have missed out on from the position. He is coming out of a professional year. White last season started all 17 games and included 144 tackles with 7 TFLs.

But why was it available? And why was it available so cheaply? I think White is a better player than the other failed midfielders the Eagles have brought in over the past several years, but it’s hard to forget Eric Wilson, Corey Nelson, Zach Brown and others. White could prove to be not the latest in that streak over the next few weeks.

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