Ten takeaways from day two of Eagles Mandatory Minicamp

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The Eagles entered day two of their three-day Mandatory Minicamp today and as always there was plenty to be keeping an eye on. Here are ten takeaways from today’s action at the NovaCare Complex.

Jalen Mills has arrived:
Many saw the drafting of Jalen Mills to be a steal considering the amount of upside the former leader of the LSU Defense possesses but he’s been quietly impressive throughout OTA’s and the Mandatory Minicamp…until now.

It’s safe to say Mills had a coming out party and found his groove early on. The seventh round pick was making dominant plays from start to finish and became a focal point of the practice. Mills expects to compete at cornerback but was drafted as a safety, meaning his versatility could really benefit him when it comes to competing for those final roster spots.

 

The Rice is right:
Mills wasn’t the only member of the Eagles Secondary enjoying a good day. Denzel Rice continued to impress and added two more pass breakups to his list of camp accomplishments today.

In what’s set to be a very heated battle for roster positions in the secondary, these early impressions are crucial. It’s fair to say that Denzel Rice has been making the most of the opportunities given to him this offseason..something that could bode very well for his future with the team.

 

Agholor struggles again:
Agholor had another couple of drops today after an inconsistent first day yesterday. The second year receiver has looked great up until recently..but today just wasn’t his day.

This shouldn’t be an immediate cause for concern. It’s only June and there’s plenty of time to iron out these errors before training camp..although there will be plenty of eyes on him tomorrow, all waiting to see if he can rebound from a mild slump or if the drops continue to plague Nelson Agholor.

 

Secondary shakeup:
Today was the first time this spring that we saw Nolan Carroll compete with the first team during the 11-on-11 drills. This may not sound like a huge development, but it is for a couple of reasons.

The first being that it’s a great sign for his health. Carroll has been recovering from an injury and by participating in drills this soon, it’s promising for his conditioning and recovery status to be optimal by the time training camp rolls around. The break after Mandatory Minicamp will be perfect for Carroll to prepare himself for an intense battle at the cornerback position..which brings me on to the second point.

The battle at cornerback is set to be one of the most intense on the roster and while Carroll may not be in any immediate danger of losing his spot on the roster, he could slide down the depth chart if some of the smaller names continue to shine in these practices. It’s important for Carroll to get as much experience learning the system as possible in order to be fully prepared for a training camp war like no other.

 

Smith is back…back again:
Just 24 hours after the first wild Marcus Smith spotting, our bird watchers have spotted an even rarer species. A second consecutive day in which Marcus Smith has turned a few heads.

It’s great to see Smith appearing to flourish at such an early stage. The clock is ticking for the man who has been fighting an uphill battle throughout his NFL career. The recent positional change and schematic switch may prove to be a saving grace for Smith..and give Schwartz one more pass rush weapon at his disposal.

 

Jordan Matthews putting work in:
We all know by now how hard Jordan Matthews during the offseason. If he wasn’t snapchatting his workouts from Vanderbilt, he was ensuring he was mentally ready to be at his very best. His work ethic has carried over into the offseason program, just as expected.

Matthews has rapidly become a fan favorite in Philadelphia, purely because of his heart, dedication and explosiveness on the field. He may have struggled during the early stages of last season..but the early signs are pointing towards a lethal weapon for Doug Pederson and the first 1,000 yard season for Jordan Matthews.

 

The return of Simba:
Nolan Carroll wasn’t the only player back in full action today. He was joined by last year’s rookie sensation, Jordan Hicks.

Hicks has had a fairly limited offseason campaign until today so it’s great to hear he’s back in action and already making plays. Oh, and he loves big orange Donuts…

 

Sleeves is confident, but wobbly:
Coming off of a huge day yesterday, Sam Bradford seemed a little shaky. A dropped interception from Jaylen Watkins was among a couple of the notable errors we saw from Bradford today. Underthrows and overthrows worked their way back into his arm today..but it wasn’t all bad:

So Bradford might not be Michael Vick, but as Jimmy Kempski states, Bradford was very limited in terms of mobility last year due to rehabbing his knee. This is not only something we rarely saw last year, but a confident sign from Bradford who seems comfortable in the Offense and seemingly free of the injury constraints of previous seasons.

 

A fairyPantale ending?
Other than being the worst pun I have ever written, this could be the makings of a special story for former Jets TE Chris Pantale.

Zach Berman makes a very interesting point, but the Eagles could very easily retain three TE’s on the roster and keep Pantale as a fullback. If he can catch over the middle,make runs out of the backfield and block efficiently? There is no reason why the Eagles would need to look further afield for a new fullback when Pantale is consistently getting the job done during workouts.

 

Mixed day for Barner:
It was a strange day for Kenjon Barner. Sending time with the first team despite the return of Darren Sproles was a huge opportunity for the 27 year old..but one he appeared to struggle in making the most of.

Drops are something that the Eagles struggled massively with in 2015 and will be keen to avoid this season. Barner has been impressing most during offseason workouts and it’s good to see him getting regular reps with the first team..but he simply has to make the most of those opportunities. Because with four other running backs on the roster, it’s never clear how many more you’ll get.

 

Photo credit: Getty Images

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