The Eagles kicked off their 2021 rookie minicamp today and I was there to observe the relatively brief portion of practice open to the media. Here’s what I observed!
- Nowhere else to start than with the team’s 2021 first-round pick: DeVonta Smith. Seeing him up close for the first time, it’s impossible not to notice his slender frame.
The Slim Reaper. pic.twitter.com/jQ7O75vHFw— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
Of course, his weight hardly prohibits him from being a good football player. Aside from an early drop, Smith looked pretty smooth during wide receivers drills:
DeVonta. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/CXTFHjkZ6n— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
DeVonta coming at ya. pic.twitter.com/C3CdD87Xc7— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
DeVonta over the shoulder. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/9C8ViMn5tl— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
Is there any doubt that this guy is going to be anything less than a future Hall of Famer?
All jokes (?) aside, it was cool to see Smith in action. Generally speaking, there’s been more fan apathy surrounding this team than I can ever remember. But Smith’s presence gives the Eagles some much-needed juice. Really excited to watch him play in the real games.
- Savvy move by Nick Sirianni for going out of his way to dap up every media member watching practice along the sideline. It was the new head coach’s first time meeting all of us in person.
Nick Sirianni dapping up media members, meeting us in person for the first time. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/i9JsPjI0TP— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
Unfortunately for me, I choked hard in this moment. I missed a huge opportunity to throw out paper with a flat hand and beat Sirianni in RPS. Terrible job by me.
- It was good to see Landon Dickerson participating in practice to some extent. He warmed up with the team and did some individual work. Not sure that he’d be ready for an actual padded practice, though, as he recovers from his ACL injury.
- Elsewhere in injury news: Marlon Tuipulotu wasn’t able to practice due to a hamstring tweak. The team is said to be taking it easy with him.
- I noticed new Eagles running backs coach/assistant head coach Jemal Singleton get on Kenny Gainwell a little bit for either dropping or fumbling a ball (didn’t see exactly what happened). Rookie jitters, perhaps.
- UDFA signing Jamie Newman is the only quarterback at Eagles rookie minicamp. He’s wearing No. 10. Last worn by DeSean Jackson. Chase Daniel was the last Eagles quarterback to wear No. 10.
Only QB here for rookie minicamp: Jamie Newman. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/nYzDbxMgVQ— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
- The Eagles have five tryout players in rookie minicamp camp: CB Obi Melifonwu, OT Caleb Benenoch, OT Casey Tucker, S Benny Wells, and LB Zane Zandier. Melifownu is the most intriguing name as a 2017 second-round pick (No. 56 overall). The Eagles are also listing him at corner instead of safety, which he’s previously played
- Now that we have Eagles UDFA jersey numbers, BGN Radio’s much-anticipated #JerseyNumberAnalytics podcast will be coming your way in the near future. Benjamin Solak and I can’t wait to get in the studio for that one.
Eagles UDFA jersey numbers:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 14, 2021
QB Jamie Newman 10
WR Jhamon Ausbon 48
OG Kayode Awosika 72
DE JaQuan Bailey 66
C Harry Crider 73
WR Trevon Grimes 47
TE Jack Stoll 85
That’s all for now. The Eagles will practice again tomorrow and Sunday but those sessions won’t be open to media at all.
With Eagles veterans collectively deciding not to attend voluntary OTAs, the team won’t be back together on the NovaCare Complex practice fields until their three-day mandatory minicamp begins on June 8.