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Eagles News: John Hightower could be on the outside looking in

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/14/21.

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Eagles player review: John Hightower edition - PhillyVoice
Hightower was a 24-year old rookie (he turned 25 in May), so he’s on the older side for a second-year player. He’s actually the third-oldest receiver on the roster, though obviously, it’s an extremely young group. Heading into training camp this offseason, Hightower is probably the seventh receiver in the pecking order. Because he had a strong camp as a rookie, it’s fair to wonder if another good camp won’t help him as much, since he gave the staff and the front office a false positive during the summer last year. The bet here is that he’s probably on the outside looking in at the moment, particularly because he played zero special teams snaps last season, and will have to emphatically outperform some of the receivers ahead of him to earn a roster spot on the final 53.

Eagles mailbag: Top 10 BLE players, Andre Dillard vs. Jordan Mailata, more - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski answer all of your questions in this week’s episode. The guys touch on the Richard Rodgers re-signing, the Julio Jones trade’s impact on Philly, Jamie Newman’s unexpected departure, a potential trade for Gardner Minshew, and much more.

Carson Wentz Is Enjoying His Transition to Indianapolis on and off the Field - MMQB
One interesting trade name that’s been bandied about is that of Eagles TE Zach Ertz, who stayed away from Philly’s offseason program altogether, after having that moment of finality at the end of last season (thinking that was it for him there). So why hasn’t Ertz been traded? Well, I addressed that in a mailbag in May, but thought it’d be worth diving into again here. I believe that, for the right price, Ertz is available right now. The problem is what that right price might be. Ertz is 31, set to make $8.5 million in the last year of his contract, and looked heavier, stiffer and slower on tape last year than he had before—giving other teams the feeling that his decline as a player is well underway. So if you’re trading for him, you’re taking the risk that he’s well into the back nine, and if he rebounds (which is possible), he’d be expensive to keep. That’s why the Eagles haven’t gotten their price. Now, the flip side is, if you’re Philly, are you tripping over yourself to unload a player some had in the Travis Kelce/George Kittle neighborhood a year ago for some Day 3 pick? Or would it be better for you to hang on to him for now, and see if someone gets antsy about their own tight end situation and ups the ante, with the worst-case scenario being that things are a little awkward at the start of training camp? I don’t know. I think this one’s pretty simple to figure out.

Jordan Mailata or Andre Dillard? Breaking down the Eagles’ left tackle competition - The Athletic
The stakes are significant. If Mailata wins, then the Eagles would either relegate their 2019 first-round pick to the bench or look to trade him. Either way, it’s not the outcome the Eagles envisioned when they invested three picks to procure Dillard. If Dillard wins, then they are bypassing the size, upside and promise that Mailata displayed last season. It would mean that Dillard is showing evidence that he can be the player the Eagles envisioned. Make the right decision, and history suggests that player could hold that spot for the next decade.

Eagles’ new RBs coach has a wise approach following Staley - NBCSP
“One of the things that I always do and it doesn’t matter where I’m at, what city, what room it is: I just start with their tape,” Singleton said this week. “And I truly go through each and every one of their carries or their receptions, their pass blocking. And what I try to come up with is some things of: How can I help them get better? Really that’s what I present to players when we meet. ‘Hey, these are some things that I’ve seen on tape, these are things I love, that I think you do awesome. These are some thing that I think I can help you improve on.’”

Film Room: In-depth look at Patrick Johnson’s transition to linebacker - PE.com
Check the tape on LB Patrick Johnson with our latest Rookie Film Room, presented by Lincoln Financial Group.

Big Blue View mailbag: Post mini-camp edition - Big Blue View
The name that leaps to mind [for who has the most to prove besides Daniel Jones] is left tackle Andrew Thomas. He was drafted No. 4 overall a season ago, the first offensive tackle selected. Many would argue that he was not only worse than any of the other tackles taken in Round 1, but that he was the worst left tackle in football in 2020. I believe there were a lot of factors that played into Thomas’s performance a year ago. I’m not going to belabor them here. He needs to be better — much better. To be honest, I think he will be. The Giants have gambled on improvement from a young offensive line that struggled a year ago. They have to get it, or all of the skill position improvements they made aren’t going to matter much. Thomas has to be a big part of that.

Everyone keeps raving about how good Ezekiel Elliott looks this offseason - Blogging The Boys
Maybe it was him just being unhappy with his 2020 season. Or maybe it’s the whispers that his best days are behind. It could be the suggestion that his playing time needs to be trimmed a bit. Or maybe it just is what it is. Whatever it is, people connected to the Cowboys can’t stop raving about how good Ezekiel Elliott looks this offseason as he readies himself for the upcoming year. Elliott appears to have upped his offseason workout routine in order to up his game on the field. His videos posted on social media with his own private running backs coach show a player working on his footwork to become elusive and explosive again. Last year, as we have recounted previously, was a poor year for Elliott. He just didn’t look like the same player who burst onto the scene with the Cowboys as a rookie and was the top dog for a few years.

Three winners & one loser from Washington OTAs and minicamp - Hogs Haven
JAMIN DAVIS: There are high expectations for Davis, but what made him a winner in minicamp and OTAs was that he was challenged by the coaches to step in at the MIKE linebacker spot where he was responsible for calling plays. Learning a defense for any rookie is a challenge. Learning the entire defense and taking a leadership role by calling the plays in May and June is a huge challenge.

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