The Eagles wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp with a short indoor practice on Thursday and are now on a break until training camp in late July.
In total, there were 13 practices this spring, 10 OTAs and three minicamp days. Of them, reporters were allowed to watch seven of them. I was at all seven, but this piece comes with the caveat that I was allowed to watch just over half of the team’s total practices this spring.
I think by now you’ve realized that Carson Wentz is a big winner from the spring. Even without his play on the field, he got a huge contract extension with over $100 million in guaranteed money. And on the field, he’s been really good too. He’s looked so good, Howie Roseman joked he felt more pressure to get the deal done with every practice. Wentz, sans knee brace, looks healthy, he looks strong, he looks like the guy who had a near-MVP season two years ago. Wentz has been showing off his arm strength, touch and mobility over the last few weeks. He could be in line for a big season.
Anyway, here are five other winners and losers from the last few weeks:
The Eagles don’t even consider Goedert to be a backup as he enters Year 2. They have two starting tight ends and are going to play in 12 personnel quite a bit this season. We started to see it last year, but in these camps, Goedert is always using his big body to separate the ball from defender. He’s a clear red-zone threat and will likely be used in that role again. Four of his 33 catches last year (12 percent) went for touchdowns. Expect more of that this year.
As the fourth receiver, I’m not sure how much Arcega-Whiteside is going to play as a rookie, but he will deserve snaps in the red zone. We’ve seen incredible body control from the second-round rookie this spring. It seems like every practice, we’ve seen him leap up and make spectacular grabs, using his basketball background and elite body control. He has been very impressive.
The stout running back has looked good in these practices and has drawn comparisons to Darren Sproles. That might be a little premature, but it’s easy to see why. Scott is a short back with some cutting ability and ability to catch out of the backfield. Really, being a punt returner might be his best chance of making the roster as the Eagles’ fourth running back.
Without Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, Maddox has gotten all first-team reps this spring, along with Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. Honestly, all three have looked good, but I wanted to single out Maddox, who has thrived inside and outside. I found it interesting that at times this spring, he’s been playing outside in base and inside in nickel. I’m still not saying he absolutely has to be on the field as a starter, but he’s making a strong case.
Everyone was ready to cut Sendejo to save a compensatory pick and maybe that still happens, but I think he has a good shot of sticking around. He’s clearly the third safety and has consistently made plays all spring. I guess that’s to be expected for a well-rested 31-year-old veteran. When Malcolm Jenkins showed up for minicamp, it was Sendejo and not Tre Sullivan as the other starting safety in the absence of recovering Rodney McLeod.
The rookie second-round running back participated in rookie minicamp but missed all 13 practices in OTAs and mandatory minicamp with a hamstring injury. It’s not the end of the world, but even Doug Pederson admitted “it hurts a little bit.” It’ll be up to Sanders to stay in the playbook and catch up quickly when training camp comes.
The rookie QB got off to a hot start, but really cooled off later this spring. There’s a lot going on for a rookie quarterback and maybe it just started to overwhelm him a little. He clearly has plenty of arm strength and his legs are better in person than on tape, but his accuracy hasn’t been great recently. All a part of the learning curve for a fifth-round rookie QB, I suppose.
It’s not that Strap hasn’t played well this spring; he actually has. But even without Darby and Mills, he still didn’t get any first-team reps. In the practices we’ve seen, all those reps went to Douglas, Jones and Maddox. LeBlanc played really well in the slot as a starter late last season, but he’s been relegated to the second team this spring. He’s the sixth CB on the roster.
This time last year, Gibson had a tremendous offseason; haven’t seen that this year. I didn’t really notice Gibson too much all spring and then he got hurt, missing the last two days of camp with an undisclosed injury. Before the injury, guys like Arcega-Whiteside, Charles Johnson and Greg Ward were getting first-team reps over him. Gibson is a really good gunner on the punt team, but will that be enough to keep his roster spot? And, now, it looks like Mack Hollins will be back for training camp.
Wiz couldn’t find a starting job as a free agent so he returned as a backup here. Fine. But this spring, the Eagles have been using Halapoulivaati Vaitai as their first-team right guard in place of a recovering Brandon Brooks. And it seems like the Eagles are prepping Big V to play there this season if Brooks isn’t ready to go for the opener. Maybe this is just a case of the Eagles’ knowing what they have in Wiz, but it doesn’t seem great that he might not be the top backup guard.
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