Eagles’ Marcus Epps is becoming the favorite to win a starting safety job, but is still hungry to earn his cap.

PHILADELPHIA — Marcus Epps has come a long way from the player who gave up the 36-yard touchdown reception to DK Metcalf that ended the Philadelphia Eagles’ season in the wild card round three seasons ago. Epps was just a rookie safety, catching fire in single coverage against one of the league’s best young talents.

It would be understandable if the Eagles wrote apps off. Instead, they saw something in the first day’s three picks that was worth keeping him around. The Eagles’ hard work could pay off this summer, as Epps gets a chance to earn the starting safety spot in defense of Jonathan Gannon.

He is taking advantage of the opportunity.

“You just have to put on film from last year. Marcus earned his cap,” Eagles defensive passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Denard Wilson said. “He battled his offs. He was tough, he was physical, he was where he was supposed to be and made the plays he was supposed to make. Sal.

“He’s not going to quit. He’s going to take the challenge and he’s going to step up to the plate.”

Epps started three games for the Eagles last season and had a career-high 62 tackles with five passes defended and an interception. A former sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, Epps was claimed off waivers by the Eagles in November during his rookie season and has since worked his way up the depth chart.

Over the last two seasons, quarterbacks have targeted Epps 44 times as the primary defender. Epps has recorded three interceptions and given up just one touchdown, allowing a 56.3 passer rating in coverage — despite allowing a 75% completion rate.

“I’ve always believed in Epps since he’s been here,” Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “Great player, smart. Me and him sit next to each other in the movie room (and) always pick each other’s minds for the most part. He’s just a very smart player, very athletic.

“I’m excited to see what he does this year. He’s been given an opportunity and he’s doing a great job with it right now.”

Epps will have to fight for that spot, as the Eagles also have veterans Anthony Harris and Jackie Tartt competing for safety spots. Regardless of the Eagles’ safety depth, still want to see Epps take the reins as a starter.

Knowing what’s at stake, Epps isn’t about to waver.

“I don’t really think like that. I just stay grounded and come to work every day,” Epps said. “I don’t really try to worry myself about things that I can’t control and I don’t really try to worry about my future. I just try to get better every day. Focus on trying.

“They made it clear to me that I have a chance to compete. I haven’t reached my means. I still have a lot to learn.”