JJAW continues to shine & Mack’s back! Eagles Mandatory Minicamp takeaways

The NovaCare Complex played host to the first day of Mandatory Minicamp for the Eagles today. Here is everything you need to know.

The gang’s all here!

…apart from Nelson Agholor?

Now that the ‘voluntary’ part of the offseason is in the rear-view mirror, everybody is back in the building and ready to get to work, no matter what capacity that may be. Malcolm Jenkins joined Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Alshon Jeffery as vets who took some extra rest during the opening phase of OTA’s and are now practicing fully with the team.

Ronald Darby and Derek Barnett took part in individual drills despite recovering from injury, while Rodney McLeod went through warmups with a helmet on, a positive sign indeed.

Fletcher Cox, Nigel Bradham, Corey Clement, and Brandon Brooks were among those rehabbing injuries away from the heart of the action.

Oh, and uh

MACK’S BACK.

Everyone that should be present, is. No holdouts, no controversies. The only player who won’t be working out this week is Miles Sanders, who is still battling a lower-body injury. This could be significant given how intense the running back competition is shaping up to be, presenting opportunities for more nuanced backs at the NFL level who face futures less secure.

‘Thega” steals the show

The nickname ‘Sega’ may now be out of bounds, but it’s about the only thing that is when it comes to the Stanford product, who was plucking everything from the sky with ease on Tuesday.

The Eagles second-round pick has been one of the spring’s brightest stars and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Wentz on fire

Fresh off of being made a $100M man, Carson Wentz continues to shed any injury concerns, with ease. The NDSU product is now over a year removed from his ACL tear and the rehab for the bank injury that ended his 2018 season seems to be going swimmingly. Wentz looks the healthiest he has since arguably the heart of the 2017 season and nobody can get enough of it.

Confident, content, and hungry, Carson Wentz has done nothing but shine in the spring, moving fluidly and threading the eye of the needle like we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing.

A shift of momentum?

I wrote recently about how there could well be a shakeup in the Eagles secondary, and it seems as though the odds are shortening.

It’s worth noting that both Mills and Darby are still working their way back from injury, but the Eagles seem intent on keeping Maddox on the field, and who can blame them? After such a stunning rookie year, it’s safe to say he has the current ability to start in this defense…but the question is, where, and in place of who?

Offensive line updates

After Doug Pederson made it clear that the cross-training of Halapoulivaati Vaitai is well underway, it’s interesting that he’s continuing to get the first team reps at RG, and not Stefen Wisniewski.

Is this a sign of things to come? Maybe. There’s bound to be movement all along the OL over the Summer, but this may be an early indicator that Vaitai is the preference of filling in for the injured Brandon Brooks, or the cross-training is a priority.

On another note, this is a really nice touch.

The leadership of Jason Peters is hardly surprising. He’s been a strong teacher for younger linemen for years now, with Mailata receiving the same treatment last year. Nonetheless, it’s invaluable to both the Eagles, and their first-round selection.

UnderdogSZN

Earlier today, I wrote about how Greg Ward Jr could have a role to play on this Eagles offense in what is his third preseason with the team. The 23-year old wideout has been on quite the journey since transitioning to wide receiver and with Agholor absent, it’s the former Houston QB who has been getting first team slot reps.

This is interesting for several reasons. The Eagles have a flurry of WR talent on their roster, but they ride Greg Ward with the first-team, which says a lot about their confidence in him. He’s recorded 92 yards worth of receptions in two preseason’s with the team and is coming off a stint in the AAF where he led the league in punt return average. Is the rise of Greg Ward Jr. upon us?

He wasn’t the only underdog to draw attention.

DE Joe Ostman, who has received nothing but glowing praise since signing with the Eagles, is making the most of the spring Sunshine. He could be in-line to see a fair chunk of playing time this season…so these early steps are huge.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

You can contact him here: Phillysportsnetwork@gmail.com

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