The Philadelphia Eagles travelled down to New York today for a pair of joint practices with the Jets ahead of Friday’s preseason finale. The Birds are coming off of a disappointing game against the Patriots which was preceded by two practices against New England that Philadelphia came out on top of. Would we see a similar pattern against the Jets?
Here’s everything we learned from the first of two practices.
This could just be coincidental, but with New York still really needing to fill Carl Lawson’s void, a potential trade would make sense and Denzel Mims is a young wideout slipping down the New York pecking order. I dove much deeper into why this trade would make sense (and enrage Eagles fans) here, and it’s something worth watching while staff members from both teams overlap this week, potentially leading to negotiations.
Jalen Hurts building momentum
It was a strong day at the office for Eagles QB Jalen Hurts today, who showed off both his arm strength and overall development.
Hurts did draw some early criticism for taking a few sacks and holding onto the ball too long, but if anything, that probably deserves praise. His biggest flaw last year in the eyes of many was coming off of his reads too quickly and missing wide open receivers. This at least shows a concentrated effort to improve on that front. There are bound to be teething problems while he works on staying in the pocket longer and going through his reads, but the fact that it’s clearly happening is a positive.
Quez Watkins continues to shine
Despite scaring fans by getting up slowly after making a huge catch, Watkins was once again on top form, drawing praise from DT Fletcher Cox after practice.
It’s looking increasingly likely that Watkins will be a starting wideout by the time that the NFL season rolls around.
Andre Dillard returned to practice yesterday, and doubled down with an appearance in team drills today. However, it looks as though it could be too little, too late, as he was relegated to reps with the second unit.
The battle with Jordan Mailata looked like it was over before it really started and Dillard’s injury may have put the nail in the coffin. The next question is whether or not Dillard will be the team’s backup tackle next year, given that Mailata is entering a contract year and could well be looking at another huge season protecting the blindside of Jalen Hurts.
Defense looks good
The Eagles defense has been subject to plenty of praise this Summer, but the front four were especially dominant today against the Jets.
Javon Hargrave’s head-turner is worth noting. Fletcher Cox’s running-mate took a while to get settled after joining the Eagles last year and has been relatively quiet this Summer. If he can hit the ground running in week one, we might finally see Fletch get back to his best with some stability around him.
Milton Williams lining up on the inside is also a fun tidbit. He’s wreaked havoc off the edge during preseason games and flashed the versatility card today, only adding more excitement to what could be an explosive rookie year.
Travis Fulgham struggles
This has been a concurrent theme through the offseason, but Travis Fulgham’s chances of making the final-53 are looking slimmer by the day.
With breakouts from players like Quez Watkins, it’s looking increasingly as though Fulgham, who needs volume to get going, is only slipping down the order and is running out of time to change his fortunes. This is in part what makes the idea of a Denzel Mims trade at least somewhat appealing, to give the Eagles a big-bodied target they can use in set situations.
Both Fulgham and JJAW have a lot of ground to cover this week in what may be their last chance to make an impact.
DeVonta Smith is doing DeVonta Smith things
Should this even come as a surprise anymore? The tenth overall selection was breaking ankles at the Jets facility on Tuesday on the back of a preseason debut that saw much of the same.
It’s a real shame that OnlyFans are prohibiting the posting of adult content from this October. Where else are we supposed to store our DeVonta Smith route-running collection?!
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire