Taking note of those rising and falling through the first week

Rookie center Cam Jurgens (51)  with quarterback Jalen Hurts on July 27.

The Eagles are six practices into training camp and Friday’s preseason opener against the New York Jets is less than a week away.

With the team taking Friday off, it’s a good time to take stock of which players have helped their standing on the team and which ones have gotten off to rocky starts this summer.

Here are those who are rising, falling, and meeting expectations going into the weekend.

Cam Jurgens

Looking at Jurgens’ measurable and athletic testing, you’d be forgiven for typecasting the second-round rookie as an athletic center who would need some time to develop the anchor necessary to stand up against bigger, stronger defensive tackles in the NFL. You’d be wrong, though.

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Many Eagles defensive tackles have tested Jurgens, a 6-foot-3, 303-pounder, and almost all of them have been stonewalled. Jurgens won’t have the size advantage against many NFL defensive tackles, but he seems plenty strong.

As Jeff McLane noted in his practice observations, Jurgens doesn’t look like a rookie out there. He has gotten plenty of first-team reps as a result of Jason Kelce getting some snaps off in the dog days of camp. Jurgens has looked very capable of handling a starting role in the early going.

Marcus Epps

All offseason the Eagles’ brain trust expressed confidence in Epps to step into a starting role, and he has shown why during camp. It’s still early, but it’s not a stretch to say Epps has been the team’s best safety so far. He has taken nearly all the first-team reps and has made a couple of plays. He had a diving interception against the first-team offense on the opening day of camp and had another pick off a deflection this week.

Epps went into camp needing to hold off Jaquiski Tartt and K’Von Wallace for a starting job. More than a week in, he has widened the gap.

James Bradberry

Bradberry has had the quiet, low-target training camp that can be a trademark of a sticky cornerback. The former New York Giant was a difficult matchup for young Eagles receivers the last few seasons and that has carried over now that he’s on the other side. He was matching up well against DeVonta Smith until the second-year receiver suffered a groin injury.

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On Thursday with Smith sidelined, Bradberry held Jalen Regor in check for most of the day. Bradberry has been a tough cover in wide receiver-defensive back one-on-ones and hasn’t given up much during team sessions, either.

Brandon Graham

It shouldn’t be taken for granted how Graham good has looked early in camp. He’s coming off a major injury at 34, but you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Credit to Graham, who has embraced a second-team role this summer as he works back from a torn Achilles suffered early last season. His energy has been apparent throughout camp and he often has made relatively easy work of the Eagles’ backup offensive tackles whenever he lines up against them.

Any questions about Graham’s ability to make an impact in Year 13 should be quieted by now. He can still be a force on the edge.

AJ Brown

It’s hard to say brown has exceeded the mountainous expectations he brought into camp, but he has certainly been as advertised.

The 6-1, 226-pound receiver has been a focal point of the offense so far and has added a new facet to what the Eagles did last year. Expect to see a good amount of targets to Brown off quick-hitting underneath routes that allow him to fight for extra yards against smaller defensive backs.

Even when the first-team offense struggles like it did on Thursday, Brown can sometimes be a lone bright spot. He has created consistent separation on shorter routes like slants and comebacks but has also caught a few deep passes.

The Eagles traded for Brown with the hopes that he’d be a true difference maker. So far, he has been exactly that.

Nakobe Dean

Like Bradberry, it has been a quiet camp for Dean. Unlike Bradberry, that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

It’s early, and Dean will likely have plenty of chances to make an impact in preseason games, but he hasn’t made many splash plays in the early going. He has worked mostly with the second team save for a few occasions running with the starters.

Right now, it’s safe to say TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, and even Davion Taylor are ahead of him on the depth chart at linebacker. Shaun Bradley has played well enough to challenge for some defensive snaps as well.

Dean still could develop into a starter at some point, but he’s not there yet.

Carson Strong

Strong was an intriguing draft prospect with a scary medical history. His arm strength made him a sought-after undrafted free agent, but it hasn’t translated yet.

Like most rookie quarterbacks running a sometimes discombobulated third-team offense, Strong has looked apprehensive and lost at times. He has made several errant throws and even his deep passes have been underthrown on multiple occasions.

If the Eagles decide to keep three quarterbacks, Reid Sinnett has the clear advantage to this point.

Devon Allen

Every time Allen gets off the line, you can see he has world-class speed. He closes space on defensive backs in a hurry.

Everything else is a work in progress.

Allen has had a handful of drops in camp and his routes aren’t always the smoothest. It could be rust — the 27-year-old hasn’t played a football game since 2016 with Oregon — but he’s going to have to shake it off soon to unseat some of the more established receivers battling for a couple of roster spots.

Jaquiski Tartt

Tartt was a starter in San Francisco’s defense last season but does not project as a full-time starter with the Eagles right now.

He has worked almost exclusively with the second team at safety and has yet to challenge Epps for a significant role in the defensive backfield.

Perhaps that will change once he gets more comfortable with Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. For now, he’s battling with Wallace and Andre Chachere for a roster spot.

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