May 30, 2024   6 MIN READ

Rep Watch

New Names Stand Out in Latest OTA Practice Session


PHILADELPHIA — In the second OTA practice open to reporters at the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles logged another highly-efficient, 70-minute session amid near-perfect weather conditions.

The team will close out the week Friday with one final practice before looking ahead to next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Context is critical when assessing a May practice, but there was plenty of pertinent information to glean from Thursday afternoon, particularly as it pertains to depth chart notes and multiple players of note returning to the lineup.

Let’s get on with the observations.

ITB Photo: Second Open-Media OTA Session

*Among the handful of players who were not in attendance for the voluntary workout were CBs Darius Slay and James Bradberry, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, T Lane Johnson, WR DeVonta Smith, and DE Josh Sweat.

*WR Jacob Harris (undisclosed) was a non-participant. Second-year S Sydney Brown (knee) and third-year CB Zech McPhearson (Achilles) were also non-participants.

*Third-year LB Nakobe Dean (foot), who last week participated in individual drills but was withheld from team drills, was a full participant. He rotated with Zack Baun with the first-team as well as Ben VanSumeren on the second-team.

*Rookie WR Ainias Smith (stress fracture) was a spectator during individual and team drills but was back fielding punts later in the session along with WR Britain Covey, CB Isaiah Rodgers and Cooper DeJean. On one occasion, Smith muffed a punt and atoned for his mishap with sideline push-ups.

*Conversely, WR Austin Watkins, sidelined last Wednesday with an undisclosed injury, was a full participant. While Watkins didn’t particularly stand out during 7-on-7s, he caught my attention during individual work.

*In light of Smith’s absence, A.J. Brown, Parris Campbell and second-year holdover Joseph Ngata reprised their roles as first-team WRs.

*The first-team secondary was comprised of CBs Isaiah Rodgers and Kelee Ringo, nickel Tyler Hall and safeties Reed Blankenship and Avonte Maddox. Maddox, who also received reps at safety last week, was active and around the ball quite a bit.

*The first-team offensive line consistent of LT Jordan Mailata, LG Landon Dickerson, C Cam Jurgens, RG Tyler Steen and RT Mekhi Becton.

*The second-team offensive line featured LT  Fred Johnson, LG Darian Kinnard, C Brett Toth, RG Matt Hennessy and RT Anim Dankwah.

*The second-team defense featured first-round rookie Quinyon Mitchell and second-year pro Eli Ricks at cornerback, with second-round rookie Cooper DeJean again manning the nickel role. The LBs were veteran Oren Burks and VanSumeren. Mekhi Garner, who registered an interception off an underthrown Kenny Pickett deep shot to WR John Ross, and Tristin McCollum were the second-team safeties.

*Ross, by the way, reeled in a nice catch on an errant pass over the middle. While the 2017 first-round pick is a longshot to make the 53-man roster, he still looks like he has some juice.

*Rodgers and Ringo best exemplified the wealth of talent at the CB position. Both players, particularly Rodgers, were among my top standouts. In one instance, Ringo ran step-for-step with the speedy Campbell and broke up a Jalen Hurts pass after nearly coming up with what should have been an interception. Late in the session, Rodgers jumped a Hurts slant route and returned it for a touchdown.

*There were four interceptions on the afternoon, belonging to Garner, Baun, Rodgers and rookie free agent CB Shon Stephens, who picked off Tanner McKee to end the session. Baun’s interception came via a pass deflection to Brown with Rodgers in coverage.

*With Josh Jobe (who also saw some second-team reps opposite Mitchell) and Stephens operating on the outside and third-year CB Mario Goodrich lining up inside, Covey put a nifty move on Goodrich on the far side of the field, shaking the defensive back and securing the short reception. As noted in last week’s observations, Covey again looked quick and explosive.

*Hurts missed Ngata early on a low, short toss that probably should have been caught, but rebounded with a nicely thrown ball deep left to TE Dallas Goedert with Rodgers in coverage.

*Early in the session, Hurts threaded a pinpoint dart over the middle, through a tight window to Goedert with Maddox swarming.

*A.J. Brown failed to generate any splash plays but Hurts peppered the star wideout with several short-to-intermediate targets. Automatic connection.

*There were a lot of passes thrown in the middle of the field this afternoon, with a couple reserve TEs maximizing opportunities. Most notably, Pickett completed a perfectly placed back shoulder throw along the left sideline to fourth-year TE Albert Okwuegbunam with Burks trailing in coverage.

*One name to perhaps a name to file away is E.J. Jenkins, a second-year TE out of Georgia Tech. Last week, Jenkins was on the other end of the play of the day — securing a seam ball from Pickett. On Thursday, Jenkins snared a back-shoulder Pickett throw with edge rusher Julian Okwara in coverage. And on another occasion, Jenkins reeled in another seam ball from McKee, with rookie free agent S Andre’ Sam closing in over the top.

*Burks produced a nice pass breakup on a pass intended for TE Grant Calcaterra.

*On one rep, Dean carried Ross down the middle of the field. He was replaced on the ensuing play by VanSumeren, who once again caught my attention with his closing speed and urgency. One instance in particular that stands out was on short toss to rookie RB Will Shipley.

*Jobe, an uber-handsy CB, got physical with Watkins at the line of scrimmage, garnering a pass breakup. He also appeared to draw a flag on the play.

*The trend of running back receptions continued Thursday, with Gainwell and Shipley the primary recipients.

*One pass to a back in particular would have likely yielded disastrous results in a live setting, as Hurts floated a short toss to the left for Gainwell that would have resulted in a Sheldon Brown-like hit. Ringo was in the vicinity with momentum. 

*Watching the special teams coverage, a few of the usual suspects took first-team reps: Burks, VanSumeren, Baun and Patrick Johnson.

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

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