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Eagles alternate timeline OTA practice notes

No, I’m not bored. Why do you ask?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In an alternate timeline (read: not the one we currently live in) where there’s no coronavirus pandemic, the Philadelphia Eagles held an OTA practice earlier today. The session was open to media and I was there. Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren’t allowed to wear pads until training camp. There’s only so much to be gleaned from guys running around in shorts but here’s what I noticed.

CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz picked up right where he left off after getting hot down the stretch in 2019. The Eagles’ franchise quarterback excitingly connected with Jalen Reagor, who’s already seeing some first team reps, for a 40-yard touchdown. Reagor’s ability to stack defenders is apparent. Wentz targeted Reagor again on an out route but the rookie receiver dropped it. Hopefully that doesn’t become a common theme in these practices. Wentz threw another touchdown to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in 3-on-3. The second-year used his vaunted jump ball skills to catch the fade for the score. That was good to see considering JJAW struggled with some contested catch opportunities in practice this year. It was a quiet practice for him outside of that one play, however. It looked like Wentz overthrew JJAW on one rep but there may have been a miscommunication. Unclear. Wentz had multiple completions to Greg Ward, who was lining up as the first team slot receiver. Overall, encouraging start to OTAs for No. 11.

ATTENDANCE UPDATES: No sign of Alshon Jeffery, who is still making his way back from the Lisfranc injury he suffered in December. Jeffery also skipped OTAs last year. Dallas Goedert missed practice due to personal reasons.

INJURY UPDATES: Brandon Brooks was doing some conditioning on a side field. Back in January, Brooks told reporters he’s going to be ready to practice at some point in June. Looks like he might be on track for that. DeSean Jackson didn’t participate in team drills; the Eagles are taking it easy on the 33-year-old. Prince Tega Wanogho isn’t practicing yet.

DEPTH CHART UPDATES: Avonte Maddox took all the starting outside cornerback reps outside of Darius Slay. Maybe Sidney Jones will eventually get a look there but for now he’s running with the second team. Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards are the first team linebackers. Jordan Mailata is Andre Dillard’s top backup at left tackle while Jack Driscoll is lining up at right tackle. Driscoll also took some third team guard reps.

Maddox and Slay each had one pass breakup. The latter broke out his finger wag celebration after the rep, which elicited a similar reaction from Jalen Mills. Maddox gave up a couple completions while no one was doing anything against Slay.

• Hey, here’s a new offensive wrinkle: the Eagles are using a fullback more often. This development likely stems from new senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello’s background with Kyle Shanahan. The San Francisco 49ers employ a Pro Bowl fullback in Kyle Juszczyk while Denver Broncos used one on about 13% of their offensive snaps last year. Alex Ellis was the guy lining up as a lead blocker. Could be a good sign for his roster chances.

Edwards had some good moments in OTAs last year and he’s off to a good start again this offseason. The second-year linebacker sniffed out a screen and got in the backfield to disrupt the play. For what Edwards lacks in athleticism he makes up for with mental acumen.

Nate Sudfeld is getting the second team quarterback reps. Up and down showing. He got picked off by Sidney Jones on a pass that was tipped by Jatavis Brown. He did complete a nice ball up the seam to Ellis.

Jalen Hurts’ mobility was on display during his first Eagles practice. Of course, it helps that defenders get near him. Still, he wasn’t shy to take off running when he got the chance. Hurts had some solid completions over the middle but his deep attempt for John Hightower was deflected by Grayland Arnold. Hurts was not used in any kind of Taysom Hill packages. He only lined up as the third team quarterback.

Derek Barnett got by Dillard for a would-be sack. Dillard also effectively stood him up a couple times.

K’Von Wallace is already playing in multiple spots. He tooks some reps at nickel cornerback in addition to being a box safety/quasi-linebacker.

Trevor Williams could be this year’s De’Vante Bausby. The veteran cornerback did well covering Quez Watkins, who looks slight. Watkins looks like he’s going to need some development.

Davion Taylor’s athleticism is apparent but so is his lack of experience. The rookie linebacker blew a coverage and got an earful from the coaching staff.

Kyle Lauletta looked accurate during his limited reps. I wonder if he can actually challenge Sudfeld for a roster spot.

Deontay Burnett made a tough diving grab over the middle. He’s a practice squad candidate if he doesn’t manage to sneak on to the roster. Burnett’s entering his third NFL season but he’s only 22, which makes him younger than second-year JJAW (23) and rookie Hightower (turns 24 this week).

Marquise Goodwin is taking some first team reps.

• Feel free to ask me questions about any players you didn’t already see mentioned here.

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