PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz will be the most watched No. 3 quarterback in the NFL this summer.
The Philadelphia Eagles gave away several draft picks to move up twice and select the North Dakota State star with the No. 2 overall spot. But they also gave Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel plenty of money — $34 million guaranteed — to be the top two guys on the depth chart.
Bradford had a strong finish last season once he felt comfortable playing after an extended absence and he adjusted to Chip Kelly’s offense. Kelly got fired, though. So Bradford spent another offseason learning a new offense, Doug Pederson’s version of the West Coast system.
Daniel is quite familiar with Pederson’s offense because he played for him in Kansas City. He’s serving as a mentor to Bradford and Wentz.
Fans want to see Wentz, of course. He’s the future face of the franchise and Bradford didn’t win people over with his performance in a 7-9 season.
The Eagles are much closer to a rebuilding team than a contender, but they can’t be completely ruled out in a weak NFC East.
Here are some things to know about the Eagles going into camp:
NOT CAMP KUMBAYA: Pederson played for Andy Reid and coached under him. Like Reid, he believes in a physical camp. Kelly’s camps didn’t feature much hitting. Expect to see live hitting and actual tackling. Most of the hitting will occur the first few days of full-team practices. Pederson isn’t eliminating music, though he’ll have it turned down for some practice periods.
POSITION BATTLES: Starting spots are up for grabs at left guard, cornerback, wide receiver and kicker. Allen Barbre will compete with Stefen Wisniewski and Isaac Seumalo at left guard. Ron Brooks, Leodis McKelvin, Eric Rowe and Nolan Carroll are in the mix for the top three cornerback spots. Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, Rueben Randle and Chris Givens are pushing for playing time opposite Jordan Matthews at wideout. Caleb Sturgis and 2014 Pro Bowl kicker Cody Parkey will battle for a job.
REPLACING DEMARCO: DeMarco Murray was a big bust last year and was traded to Tennessee. But the Eagles didn’t add another veteran running back to team with Ryan Mathews, who has played 16 games only once in six seasons. Mathews ran for 539 yards and averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 13 games last season, so he’s effective when he’s on the field. If he goes down, 33-year-old Darren Sproles and rookie Wendell Smallwood, a fifth-round pick, are Pederson’s options.
SCHWARTZ’S DEFENSE: Players are fired up to play for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, the former Lions head coach. None is more excited than defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who is coming off a breakout season and signed a rich new deal. Cox was miscast in Billy Davis’ defense. His skills fit better in Schwartz’s system. The Eagles were miserable on defense the past three years, so anything is an upgrade. But Schwartz had top-10 defenses in Tennessee and Buffalo as a coordinator and expectations are high here.
ROOKIE IMPACT: If all goes well — Bradford stays healthy — Wentz probably won’t even dress for a game. The Eagles didn’t have a second-round pick, so third-rounder Seumalo is the best chance to get a starter this season out of this year’s class. Smallwood will compete with Kenjon Barner for snaps.