June 5, 2024   7 MIN READ

Ramping Up

Day 2 Minicamp Observations for the Philadelphia Eagles


PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles wrapped Day 2 of mandatory minicamp on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. The 67-minute practice again showcased a timely and efficient session, with little idle time. The session, like Tuesday, had a fast-paced feel and greater intensity compared to the previous OTA sessions.

The Eagles will hold one more practice on Thursday before breaking for an extended period ahead of training camp in late July.

ITB Photo: Eagles offensive lineman work with coach Jeff Stoutland during the second day of mandatory minicamp.

Let’s get on with the observations.

*Non-participants: CB James Bradberry (undisclosed injury), WR Jacob Harris (undisclosed injury), OL Trevor Keegan (undisclosed injury), G Landon Dickerson (excused absence).

*Second-year S Sydney Brown, recovering from a late-season knee injury, has been present, intently observing practice and logging mental reps. He looks to be ahead of schedule. T Le’Raven Clark, placed on injured reserve earlier this offseason, was again seen on the sideline in his Roll-A-Bout. Worth noting I did not see CB Zech McPhearson, who works his way back from an Achilles injury.

*In Dickerson’s absence, veteran Mekhi Becton once again filled in as the first-team left guard. The mammoth-sized lineman looks fairly comfortable playing inside. While the Eagles will afford second-year OL Tyler Steen every opportunity to win the right guard job, if there’s truly an open competition, I’d expect Becton to give him a serious run for his money.

*The first-team offensive line (L-R): LT Jordan Mailata, LG Mekhi Becton, C Cam Jurgens, RG Tyler Steen, RT Lane Johnson.

*The second-team offensive line (L-R): LT Anim Dankwah, LG Darian Kinnard, C Brett Toth, RG Matt Hennessy, RT Fred Johnson.

*When the Eagles took the field for 7-on-7s, it was Isaiah Rodgers — not Kelee Ringo — who took the first snaps at right cornerback opposite Darius Slay. Ringo and first-rounder Quinyon Mitchell worked in with the first-team as well. Reed Blankenship and C.J. Gardner-Johnson were the starting safeties and Avonte Maddox again got the nod at nickel, though rookie Cooper DeJean also got some first-team work. Worth noting the free-agent addition Tyler Hall garnered some first-team nickel reps on Tuesday.

*The first-team linebackers were once again Devin White and Zack Baun. I closely watched both in coverage and came away impressed with their movement skills and eye discipline. White, in particular, is rangy and sticky in the short-to-intermediate levels.

*Nakobe Dean and Oren Burks comprised the second linebacking unit, while Ben VanSumeren and rookie Jeremiah Trotter Jr. reprised their third-team roles.

*One note on Dean: He looks noticeably bigger to me. The added muscle should aid his progression in a critical third season.

*Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense got off to an ominous start. Hurts, zeroing in on DeVonta Smith on a short pattern in the early going, was intercepted by Blankenship. While most of Hurts’ throws were of the mid-range variety, the two deep shots he did attempt fell incomplete. There was a long pass to TE Dallas Goedert down the right sideline in which Hurts threw to the wrong shoulder. To Hurts’ credit, he responded with a pinpoint accurate corner route to Goedert, who reeled it in for a gain of roughly 25 yards despite plaster coverage from Blankenship.

One another instance on an ill-fated long ball occurred when Josh Sweat jumped offsides during 11-on-11s, prompting Hurts to try to cash-in on a free play. A.J. Brown had a couple steps on Rodgers down the left sideline, but Hurts overshot his star receiver.

*Strong showing from the Eagles’ top two draft picks, Mitchell and DeJean. Working as the first-team nickel, DeJean drew WR DeVonta Smith in coverage. DeJean read Hurts’ eyes, pivoted and swooped in to get a hand in to breakup the short throw to the left. Should have been picked off, but DeJean demonstrated high-level instincts and ball skills on the play. Mitchell, who seems to always remain in phase with his receiver and compete for the football, also garnered a handful of reps at dime linebacker.

*Ringo logged another impressive practice, demonstrating patience, trusting his technique and appearing noticeably more confident. On play in particular that stood out occurred on a Kenny Pickett pass to WR John Ross. Ringo broke on the ball, getting his outside hand over to breakup the pass. Earlier, he surrendered a catch to Ross on an out route.

*Another play of note, Ringo contested a reception that went to rookie WR Johnny Wilson, but the 6-foot-7 wideout used his length and catch radius to his advantage, plucking the ball away at its highest point.

*Wilson, by the way, reeled in a Tanner McKee pass thrown short and toward the right sideline, taking it upfield for a sizeable gain. It appeared CB Eli Ricks was in coverage. Wilson also recorded a drop.

*Interested to see who emerges from the crowded group of reserve TEs. Grant Calcaterra has flashed, most recently on Wednesday, snaring a Kenny Pickett pass on a corner route with Mitchell defending.

Then there’s the enigmatic Albert Okwuegbunam, who has commanded my attention on multiple occasions in the practices open to the media. The athletic, big bodied TE capitalized on a glaring mismatch with DE Tarron Jackson in coverage, hauling in a deep pass from McKee.

*One of the more interesting facets occurred midway through practice, with the Eagles practicing the new kickoff rule. Among the returners were Rodgers, WRs Britain Covey, Ainias Smith and Ross as well as RBs Will Shipley and Tyrion Davis-Price.

*Some of the names who appeared on the Eagles’ first-team kickoff: VanSumeren, Baun, Patrick Johnson, Josh Jobe, Tristin McCollum and Julian Okwara. On the latter: There were a few defensive reps that caught my attention, as Okwara moves well and has some athleticism. The fact that he was on the first-team kickoff piqued my interest as a potential player to keep an eye on when the team reunites for training camp.

*Operating on the second-team kickoff, Okwuegbunam garnered some praise from a coach following the rep. With the battle for backup tight end so close, special teams could be the deciding factor. Some good reps for Albert O.

*Shipley, the Eagles’ rookie RB, had a nice day catching the football, fielding the ball cleanly and quickly getting upfield. He seems to be settling in after appearing to really fight the ball in previous OTA sessions. While on the subject, Saquon Barkley caught a short pass in the flat. These short dumpoff plays really highlighted the closing speed and athleticism of White and Baun, who always seemed to be in the vacinity.

*During an early 11-on-11 rep, Steen was placed on his backside by Jalen Carter. Strong rep from Carter, who gets off the line with ferocity and juice, but Steen needs to showcase better balance and power and remain upright.

*Ross strung together a succession of productive practices, collecting several mid-range throws and showcasing his downfield speed on several occasions, even if the passes failed to connect. On one play during the team session, Ross reeled in a nifty one-handed catch and walked off gingerly walked off the field. He immediately reverted to the sideline, where he received prompt attention from a trainer, stretching his right hamstring. He popped right back up and didn’t miss any time.

*WR Griffin Hebert, participating on a tryout basis, certainly helped himself with an active afternoon. Hebert, in his opportunities, has been sure-handed and has shown well as a route-runner.

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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