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Eagles Practice Notes: Dallas Goedert, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Sidney Jones among standout players

Observations from Philadelphia’s final OTA practice.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles held their final 2019 OTA practice open to reporters on Wednesday and I was there to soak it all in. Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren’t allowed to wear pads yet. There’s only so much to be gleaned from guys running around in shorts, but here’s what I noticed.

CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Quiet day for No. 11. Kind of to be expected given that the Eagles’ three starting wide receivers (DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Nelson Agholor ... plus Mack Hollins) weren’t practicing. Wentz did have a short touchdown throw to Donnel Pumphrey, which isn’t exactly something you expect to see in the regular season. Wentz would’ve had a nice deep touchdown to Zach Ertz up the seam but Deiondre’ Hall flew in an broke it up at the last second. Wentz didn’t look bad but it wasn’t his sharpest day. Overall, he was fine.

ATTENDANCE UPDATES: Malcolm Jenkins, Alshon Jeffery, Lane Johnson, and Jason Peters still aren’t at OTAs. The aforementioned Jackson and Agholor were also absent.

INJURY UPDATES: Didn’t see Miles Sanders, Brandon Brooks, Jalen Mills, Nigel Bradham, Fletcher Cox, or Derek Barnett. Ronald Darby, Corey Clement, Mack Hollins, and Josh Adams all got some rehab work (sprinting) in on a side field.

DEPTH CHART UPDATES: Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas continue to work as the first team outside corners with Avonte Maddox lining up in the nickel. Deiondre’ Hall took first teams reps as the third safety with Andrew Sendejo and Tre Sullivan also out on the field. Hall has had a pair of good practices this week.

• You may not believe this but Dallas Goedert is really good. The second-year tight end was getting open with ease against the Eagles’ defense. He looked pretty uncoverable out there. On the topic of tight ends, the Eagles utilized some 13 personnel with Goedert, Zach Ertz, and Richard Rodgers all on the field at the same time. There was at least one rep where Goedert lined up as an H-back in the backfield and ran a route from there. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come with the Eagles being creative with Goedert. Here’s a highlight catch from Goedert during routes on air:

• JJ Arcega-Whiteside made another impressive leaping red zone catch. The rookie wide receiver ran a nasty route to shake off Jeremiah McKinnon before making a leaping catch in the back corner of the end zone. JJAW isn’t going to be a full-time player as a rookie but he should have some kind of role in this offense.

• Nasty Nate Sudfeld turned in his best spring practice so far. The Eagles’ backup quarterback especially got the best of the defense during red zone drills. He threw a number of touchdowns, including one in a super tight window to Richard Rodgers. McKinnon was draped all over Rodgers (defensive pass interference) but the tight end showed good strength by making the catch anyway. The offense was fired up about that one and the defense was demoralized.

• It was the defense who would ultimately have the last laugh, though. After previously dropping an easy pick he should’ve had, Sidney Jones redeemed himself with a diving interception on the final play of practice. The defense was super energized by that play.

• Clayton Thorson aided the defense by really struggling. Easily his worst day of OTAs to this point. Thorson’s wobbly deep pass meant for Will Tye should’ve been picked off by Jones. Thorson threw another near pick to a diving L.J. Fort. Thorson’s last throw of practice meant for Braxton Miller was way too low and picked off by Jones instead.

Malik Jackson’s height/length is something that’ll come in hand for the Eagles this year (no pun intended). The 6-5, 290 pound defensive tackle knocked down a Wentz pass at the line of scrimmage. Jackson has averaged 3.83 pass deflections per season since 2013.

Josh Sweat notched a sack where he pushed an offensive lineman into Sudfeld, which caused the quarterback to get tripped up and fall.

• Good news for the #BostonScottHive: the Eagles running back was the first team punt returner. He also had a nice screen reception and another short catch for a touchdown during a red zone drill.

Zach Brown also came up with a pick while covering a tight end. Ended up being a deflection instead. Quality coverage by the veteran linebacker.

• T.J. Edwards seems to play the run well in terms of knowing where to be. The undrafted rookie had Scott lined up for a tackle for loss.

Wendell Smallwood had a bad drop. He later got praised by Duce Staley for good pass protection while going up against Malik Jackson.

Shelton Gibson got called for a false start. He also made a nice catch on a ball thrown behind him while running a slant.

Cody Kessler’s arm strength is ... pretty bad. The fourth-string quarterback threw an absolute duck into the secondary that was easily picked off by Rasul Douglas.

• Joe Douglas continues to show up at Eagles practice, despite the rumors he could be leaving Philly as early as this week.

• Doug Pederson is no longer wearing a sleeve on his leg after having foot surgery earlier this offseason.

• Here’s a 20-minute video from Eagles practice (click here if you can’t see the embed):


Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Remaining offseason workout schedule

OTA Offseason Workouts: June 6.

Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13.

BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: June 11-13. I’ll be at all of those practices. Follow me for live updates: @BrandonGowton.

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