Today marked the fifth Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2022 NFL season. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. UPDATE: The BGN Radio practice recap podcast is live!
• JALEN HURTS STOCK REPORT: This was Hurts’ best practice.
There have been multiple reps where he’s displayed a good knowledge of where to go with the ball and an ability to accurately deliver it to his receiver in stride on a slant route to maximize YAC potential.
More positive stuff: Hurts aired it out deep to Jalen Reagor for a 70-yard touchdown reception. Ball was right on the money. Hurts salvaged a sloppy snap that was rolling on the ground by picking it up and getting another completion off to a sliding Reagor for a back-shoulder completion. Good recognition by Hurts to make the most out of a free play since the defense had jumped offside. When faced with a blitz barreling down on him, Hurts lofted a ball to a crossing A.J. Brown to avoid the oncoming pressure.
Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith in the end zone during 1-on-1s after the receiver burned James Bradberry. Hurts also gave Brown a chance to make a play on a 50-50 ball to beat Darius Slay.
It wasn’t a perfect practice for Hurts. He simply missed a throw to an open Dallas Goedert along the right sideline. There was another rep where he threw to ... no one in the area, may have been a miscommunication. Hurts also had a 7-on-7 attempt over the middle knocked down by Bradberry.
Still, more good than bad. It’s a performance for Hurts to build on moving forward. The Eagles will hope to see him start stacking these positive days.
• JALEN HURTS STOCK TRACKER OVERVIEW:
Day 1: Stock even
Day 2: Stock down
Day 3: Stock down
Day 4: Stock even
Day 5: Stock up
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT: Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Zach Pascal (illness), Greg Ward (toe), and Mac McCain (knee) all missed practice. The Ward and McCain injuries are new. Unfortunate news for my guy Mac. Andre Dillard, Quez Watkins, and Isaac Seumalo notably got banged up in today’s practice. Dillard left and did not return ... we’ll have to wait to hear more on him. Watkins returned to the field but stopped practicing due to “illness.” Seumalo looked to be in pain but is seemingly OK.
• A.J. Brown is good. He made the best catch of camp so far when he ran a go route to beat Slay for the catch. Slay had good coverage as he was closely trailing behind Brown and got a hand on the ball but Brown was able to stick with it and pin it to his helmet with one hand for the catch. That’s the kind of catch you would expect to see from an elite WR. To a larger point, Brown has gotten the better of Slay throughout camp. And that’s not meant to knock Slay as much as it is a testament to Brown being good. Brown has been an effective weapon on slant routes, making tough catches in traffic. One downside to Brown’s physicality is the risk of committing offensive pass interference, as he did once in 1-on-1s today.
• James Bradberry continues to have a good summer. The veteran cornerback had sticky coverage on DeVonta Smith, who’s a savvy route runner, to help force an incompletion in 1-on-1s. Bradberry squeezed John Hightower close to the sideline on a go route to prevent a deep pass from Hurts. Bradberry also knocked down a Hurts pass over the middle in 7-on-7s.
• Today was the best Jalen Reagor practice I’ve ever witnessed?! His success wasn’t merely limited to 1-on-1s, which is usually where he flashes (if at all). Seeing Reagor actually burn the defense for once was refreshing; he effectively got behind McPhearson and Andre Chachere for a long score. Reagor made some other good catches, such as the sliding back-shoulder grab. Reagor has a long way to go before anyone can truly believe he’s turned a corner ... but having your best practice ever is a start. I wonder if the Eagles will post his deep reception on social media to get that trade market cooking?
• On the whole, it’s been a relatively disappointing camp for Zech McPhearson. He hasn’t seized the top backup cornerback spot as much as he’s given up ground to his competitors. But McPhearson did have an impressive leaping interception after being in phase with Hightower down the left sideline. The refs ruled him out of bounds, so maybe it wasn’t a pick after all. Regardless, he prevented a completion from happening. He’ll hope to build off of that play.
• Brandon Graham continues to look very healthy and good. He excelled in 1-on-1s and was involved in blowing up a reverse to Quez Watkins.
• Josh Sweat generated a sack while going up against Jordan Mailata. Quality rep. Mailata was banging his head in frustration after the play.
• Gardner Minshew had two ugly throws that may have been miscommunications because they weren’t even close.
• Reid Sinnett made some solid throws, including a ball to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over the middle where it was thrown away from where a defender could get to it. Sinnett did have a pass knocked down by Mario Goodrich and another picked by JaCoby Stevens.
• Miles Sanders dropped the ball that came his way on the Eagles’ very first 11-on-11 rep. Sanders has undoubtedly looked good as a runner but he hasn’t exactly put concerns about his pass-catching ability to bed.
• Still waiting to see anything from Nakobe Dean, who took his first first-team reps this summer. The most memorable play from him in camp thus far is overrunning a tackle attempt on A.J. Brown today. Dean’s been outshone by T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, and Shaun Bradley thus far. That much is hardly the end of the world; Dean is obviously a rookie while those guys are multi-year vets. Still, Dean’s invisibility could serve as a sign to pump the brakes on him being making an immediate impact this season.
• I wouldn’t hold your breath on the Devon Allen experiment. The track star has failed to make much of an impact. He had multiple drops today. Allen did have a good rep against Mario Goodrich in 1-on-1s but the speedster has yet to really burn anybody. In fairness to him, he might need more of a transition period before he really gets going. But the early returns aren’t encouraging for his roster chances.
• UDFA running back Kennedy Brooks did a nice job of dodging two “tackle” attempts to gain about eight yards. He would’ve had a chance to break off a bigger play if Reed Blankenship hadn’t flown in to put a good pop on his fellow rookie. Blankenship has quietly done some nice things as of late.
• After scrambling, Carson Strong wayyyyy overthrew a wide open Jaeden Graham crossing the field towards the right sideline. The rookie is nowhere near ready to play in a meaningful game.
• OL vs. DL 1-on-1: Jordan Davis looked real powerful. Cam Jurgens prevented Marlon Tuipulotu from getting by him. Tarron Jackson tripped while attempting a spin move and fell at the feet of Le’Raven Clark.
• Wouldn’t expect UDFA offensive lineman William Duncle (aka Billy D) to make the team. He got beat badly by Tarron Jackson for a sack in red zone 11-on-11s. He also hasn’t stood much of a chance against Davis in 1-on-1s.
• There were a lot of yellow flags thrown by the refs at today’s practice. Part of that probably has to do with stressing points of focus for the regular season. Part of that might just be sloppy play, though. The Eagles committed way too many penalties in the first half of the regular season last year.
• Notable penalties: McPhearson, Tay Gowan, and Josh Jobe all got flagged for DPI in 1-on-1s. Landon Dickerson had a false start.
• Today in Jimmy Kempski’s daily training camp interview series for BGN Radio: Les Bowen.
UP NEXT: The Eagles are holding a walkthrough on Wednesday that’s closed to media access. They’ll return to practice on Thursday morning starting at 10:00 AM Eastern.