Eagles training camp 2021 observations, Day 6: Jordan Mailata keeps extending his lead

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Eagles training camp observations: Mailata keeps extending his lead originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles held their sixth training camp practice of the summer on Tuesday morning and it was the first time they were in full pads.

The Eagles have two more days of practice this week before a players day off on Friday.

Let’s get to today’s observations:

1. As always, a few housekeeping observations:

• Ryan Kerrigan (thumb) was added to the injury report after leaving practice early on Monday. He is listed as day-to-day, along with Brandon Brooks (hamstring), Jason Croom (knee) and Michael Walker (foot). None of them practiced.

• Davion Taylor (quadriceps) is listed as limited but he had to go to the medical tent and then inside today. He has been having a good camp, but is now dealing with injury. Shakial Taylor (lower body) is also limited.

• The week-to-week players: Isaac Seumalo (hamstring), DeVonta Smith (knee), Nate Meadors (hamstring).

2. Smith didn’t practice on Tuesday and he won’t for a while because of a knee sprain suffered at Saturday’s practice. But he was in attendance today and spent most of his time with his fellow receivers. He even stopped for a mid-practice chat with owner Jeff Lurie.

Before practice, Smith worked on his hands. He can’t practice but it looks like he’s trying to stay sharp:

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“Yeah, just being in the training room working to attack the training room and get himself healthy and just be mentally in it when he's out,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “So, the meetings are huge for him, just to stay mentally sharp, and he is very mentally sharp. He's really into the meetings, really into practice of watching it while he's not able to participate.”

3. Rookie fourth-round cornerback Zech McPhearson continues to make plays. He had several pass breakups in team drills and another in 7-on-7s. McPhearson is sticky in coverage and just seems to have a knack for being around the ball.

His first PBU came in 7-on-7s, when he jumped in front of running back Elijah Holyfield. He jumped another pass from Nick Mullens in 11-on-11s and finished his day with another breakup on Joe Flacco pass that ended up in an interception for safety Grayland Arnold.

After the addition of Steve Nelson, McPhearson doesn’t figure into the Eagles’ plans as a starter this year but he’ll need to be ready as a backup. He looks very good so far.

4. The Eagles were in full pads on Tuesday but were not tackling to the ground. Sirianni said there’s an ongoing conversation about whether or not they’ll have tackling periods at all. But still, with the pads on today, they had a “thud” practice, which can still bring some big hits. And it did.

Safety Anthony Harris absolutely rocked Travis Fulgham in the open field during a team portion of practice. Fulgham popped back up, but it was quite a hit.

5. Jordan Mailata was with the first team as the rotation and competition at left tackle continues. He just keeps on extending his lead over Andre Dillard.

Mailata had a tremendous block on Brandon Graham — he really finished it too — in the first set of team drills and then he sprung Boston Scott on a big run. Later in practice, Dillard was beaten by Josh Sweat for a sack and then missed reps with what might have been an injury.

During the OL-DL 1-on-1s, Mailata had a really nice rep against Derek Barnett and so did Dillard. But Dillard was also beaten by Milton Williams with a speed move inside. That’s notable because Williams is more of a DT, so if he beat him with a power move, that’s one thing. But he shouldn’t be beating Dillard with quickness, even if it’s set up by the threat of power.

Some other notes from OL-DL drills:

• Rookie Tarron Jackson had a really quick outside move against Mailata. After practice, he wouldn’t say whether or not he thought won it; it could have gone either way. He got wide on Mailata but I think he got too wide and Mailata took him there. I’d give the win to Mailata on that one but Jackson is showing real quickness and nice bend.

• UDFA Kayode Awosika had the rep of the day against Brandon Graham, who rushed as a DT. This should be a mismatch, even with Graham rushing inside, but Awoskia got Graham off balance and tossed him to the ground. Graham popped up and ran it back against Awosika. And again the rookie held his own. You might not be familiar with his name, but the guard from Buffalo got quite a bit of guaranteed money and the Eagles seem to like him. He might be a dark horse candidate to make the roster.

• Javon Hargrave has been really impressive in these 1-on-1s. He’s winning consistently. That’s good news because with how much attention Fletcher Cox garners, Hargrave will see a lot of 1-on-1s this year.

6. The offense struggled to line up for a play in team drills and Nick Sirianni was furious. He was animated as he yelled at his players. While Sirianni is a players coach, he is tough too. He really holds his guys accountable and that’s been clear early on.

7. Some notes from WR-DB 1-on-1 drills:

• The session started off with a nice breakup on a pass intended for Travis Fulgham. It was broken up by Avonte Maddox.

• Rough period for Darius Slay, who is normally very strong in these drills, which are definitely geared for the offensive player. Slay got called by the officials in attendance for a couple defensive holds and also got beat by Fulgham on a double move deep down the left sideline.

• John Hightower made a really nice catch over long cornerback Michael Jacquet on a perfect ball from Joe Flacco. Hightower made a few plays on Tuesday. If he starts stacking a few of these days, he could make the receiver competition very interesting. Because Quez Watkins has looked better early. Watkins continues to make plays every day and today was no exception.

8. Early in practice, Jalen Hurts was really struggling with his accuracy throwing to running backs. He was wild. Balls were sailing everywhere and he really struggled to hit guys in stride. This is surprising because he’s actually been pretty good at that early in this camp.

Whatever his issues were, Hurts seemed to clear them up by the time team drills began. He was much better at those short and intermediate throws.

9. Jake Elliott went 6-for-6 on his field goal attempts today. He hit from 33, 36, 39, 41, 44 and 47 yards. The first one was a bit of a wobbler but they all went through the uprights.

10. Another day, another big run from Jason Huntley. The second-year speedster broke one during team drills. He navigated through some traffic and then out-sprinted defenders down the right sideline. With his pure burst and ability as a kick returner, he’s definitely in play to make the roster.

Stupid Observation of the Day: Before each practice, I take attendance as players make their way onto the fields. I had a weird flashback on Tuesday. I saw Connor Barwin (special assistant to the general manager) and instinctively tried to cross him off the list. Barwin hasn’t played here since 2016.

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