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August 31, 2020

Eagles player stock up / stock down media poll

Eagles NFL
083120JohnHightower (Pool Photo) Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Eagles WR John Hightower has far exceeded expectations in his rookie season training camp.

Each year during Philadelphia Eagles training camp (usually after the first 10 practices), we poll the Eagles' media contingent on which players have looked good so far throughout camp, and which ones have not looked so good.

For this exercise, I asked 18 Eagles media people, all of whom have attended every practice (or close enough to it) to identify one player whose stock is up, and one whose stock is down. We normally poll around 30-40 folks for this exercise, but attendance was limited this year, for obvious (COVID) reasons.

Stock up

On the stock up front, nobody ran away with it this year, as 11 players received votes:

Stock UP Votes 
 John Hightower
 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
 Deontay Burnett
 Corey Clement
 Jack Driscoll
 Elijah Holyfield
 Desean Jackson
Jalen Reagor 
 Elijah Riley
 Nickell Robey-Coleman
 Josh Sweat

For full disclosure, my vote was for Hightower, though I was torn between him and Arcega-Whiteside. For me, Hightower had a simply outstanding camp, as he far exceeded any expectations one should have of a fifth-round rookie.

Here are the players in the past that have gotten at least four "stock up" votes:

 YearPlayers with at least 4 "stock UP" votes 
 2017Marcus Johnson (13), Nelson Agholor (4), C.J. Smith (4) 
 2018Kamu Grugier-Hill (4), Matt Pryor (4) 
 2019Sidney Jones (10), Miles Sanders (7) 

I would say that our biggest miss as a media contingent was Sidney Jones last season. We did nail Miles Sanders, however, as well as Nelson Agholor, who had his lone impact season in 2017. We also correctly identified guys like Marcus Johnson and C.J. Smith as players who entered camp as longshots, but deserved to make the team, and did.

Stock down

On the stock down side, eight players received votes, but Jones took the stock down crown this year, with 61 percent of the vote. If we had more voters like in previous years, he would have easily surpassed Patrick Robinson as the highest stock down vote-getter in the four years we've conducted this poll.

Stock DOWN Votes 
Sidney Jones 11 
 Nate Sudfeld
 Genard Avery
 Jordan Mailata
 Jason Peters
 Anthony Rush
 Michael Warren

My pick on the "stock down" vote was Jones, who entered camp in something of a "now or never" situation, but hasn't been available, an all too common theme throughout his Eagles tenure.

Nate Sudfeld got two votes, which was a mild surprise. His stock was down when the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round of the NFL Draft, but in my view, while Hurts is clearly more talented, he didn't outplay Sudfeld in camp.

Here are the players in the past that have gotten at least four "stock down" votes:

 YearPlayers with at least 4 "stock DOWN" votes 
 2017Patrick Robinson (14), Shelton Gibson (10) 
 2018Corey Nelson (7), Isaac Seumalo (5), Chance Warmack (5) 
 2019Clayton Thorson (9), Jordan Mailata (7), Mack Hollins (5), Stefen Wisniewski (4)

Robinson had one of the worst starts to camp that I've ever seen, but he got better as the summer progressed and ended up becoming one of the best slot corners in the NFL that season, making a HUGE play in the NFC Championship Game along the way.

Otherwise, our stock down picks have been very predictive of bad seasons.

  1. Shelton Gibson played in five games as a rookie, catching two passes.
  2. Corey Nelson got cut before the end of camp.
  3. Isaac Seumalo got benched Week 2.
  4. Chance Warmack actually got into nine games in 2018. He didn't wreck any games, but he wasn't good, either.
  5. Clayton Thorson was a fifth-round pick who got cut.
  6. Jordan Mailata still hasn't appeared in an NFL game.
  7. Mack Hollins was useless as a receiver in 2019 before the team dropped him in-season.
  8. Stefen Wisniewski got cut. (He did go on to start for the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs).

So, for the most part, like most Philadelphians, we can identify a bad player when we see one.

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