The Eagle put the pads on Tuesday for their first padded practice of training camp, our first chance to get a really good look at how the roster is shaping up.
Here are some takeaways from the practice:
Jalen Hurts: Hurts had his best day throwing the ball of camp on Monday and he picked up right where he left off on Tuesday.
Hurts completed his first 14 passes of practice, hitting players all over the field and moving the ball against the first-team defense. Hurt didn’t have his first incompletion until the final team period of the day when Miles Sanders dropped a pass that hit him right in the hands. His first true incompletion on a poor pass wasn’t until his second-to-last pass of the day.
What really stands out about Hurts is how he his players in stride. The catches never look difficult and as a result there haven’t been many drops in camp.
One of Hurts’ best passes of the day came during the end of practice in an 11-on-11 drill. Hurts stepped up in the pocket, avoided the pressure, kept his eyes down the field and found tight end Zach Ertz for a 10-plus yard completion. Hurts has started to attack the middle of the field more as camp has gone on and the offense has been better for it. Hurts didn’t take many deep shots on Tuesday, which was a bit surprising considering he has been doing a nice job in camp with his deep passes.
Hurts continues to look better-and-better as camp goes on.
Hurts Stats: 16/19, 0 TD, 0 INT, 28 reps
Hurts Grade: A-
Jordan Mailata vs. Andre Dillard: Mailata is starting to put some serious distance between him and Andre Dillard in the battle to be the team’s starting left tackle.
Mailata was with the first-team offense on Tuesday, a good indication of where he stands considering it was the first practice with pads. The best indication of how Mailata played was that he didn’t stand out — meaning he kept his side of the field clean and blocked his defender throughout practice.
Dillard, on the other hand, did not.
Dillard was beaten badly during an 11-on-11 drill by defensive end Josh Sweat. Sweat bulldozed Dillard at the snap, pushing him back and onto the ground on his way to the quarterback. Dillard was on the only one of the 10 linemen on the field who ended the play on the ground, something that has been a common occurrence for the third-year tackle.
It is getting to the point with Mailata and Dillard that giving snaps to Dillard is a waste of a snap and is just stopping Mailata from getting prepared to be the starting left tackle in Week 1.
Josh Sweat: Sweat is having an outstanding camp. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t make an eye-opening play, whether it be as a pass rusher, against the run or batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Sweat taking a big leap forward this season would really help the Eagles’ defensive line and it appears he is going to be doing just that.
Quez Watkins: With DeVonta Smith sidelined the Eagles started a receiver trio of Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham on the outside with Greg Ward in the slot — but it was Quez Watkins who looked like he belonged with the starters.
Watkins had another strong day, catching two passes in team drills and dominating his matchups in the receiver-vs.-cornerback drills. What stands out about Watkins is how much he seems to have improved since last season. Last year he really counted on his speed to get him open. This year he seems to be winning at the line of scrimmage much more often, and when that is combined with his speed, he has been a very tough cover for any cornerback matched up against him.
Don’t be surprised if Watkins ends up getting plenty of snaps this season on offense.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!