One of the best battles we’ll see in Philadelphia Eagles training camp will occur in the secondary between Cre’Von LeBlanc, Jalen Mills and Josh Hawkins.
Here’s one of those controversial statements people in the media and fans tend to argue over. What if we told you that there’s no guarantee that Jalen Mills makes the Philadelphia Eagles final 53-man roster? Nine cornerbacks and one prospect listed as a ‘DB’ currently sit on the squad, and by the looks of things, Mills might be in a battle with the likes of Cre’Von LeBlanc and Josh Hawkins all the way until the end.
Let’s do a quick roll call on everybody else.
Among the 90 men that will attend Philly’s training camp in July are the aforementioned LeBlanc, Hawkins, and Mills.
That leaves the guys that we think are among the favorites to make the final roster: Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, and Avonte Maddox. That means Jay Liggins, Jeremiah McKinnon, and Godwin Igwebuike will join the competition for what might be two roster spots.
Did we mention that this might be one of the more interesting battles at camp? Let’s check out the tale of the tape on three of the more talented guys on the bubble.
After going undrafted in the same class that included one Carson Wentz, Hawkins found his way onto the Green Bay Packers active roster in 2016 after a decent showing in the preseason. From there, he’s become a bit of a journeyman.
Stops with the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs led to his shot with Philly. He was signed to the Birds’ practice squad on December 11th after being waived by the Chiefs just five days earlier. Philly promoted him to the active roster a day before Christmas.
He has 42 tackles, a forced fumble and seven pass deflections on his young career.
If there’s anyone on Philly’s journey who can understand Hawkins’ NFL journey, it’s LeBlanc. He’s had a bit of a tour of his own, including time with the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions and, now, Philly.
To the Eagles fans, he’s already earned a place in their minds and hearts. Picking off Drew Brees in a playoff game will do that for you, but if that wasn’t enough to convince you of his NFL pedigree, perhaps his 88 career tackles, 14 pass deflections, two interceptions and forced fumble will do the trick.
He also has a sack and a defensive touchdown on his resume. We know he can play, but will he play for Philly this season?
Last but not least, we have ‘The Goblin’. Mills’ first three seasons in the NFL have been full of ups and downs. This former seventh-round draft choice was seen as a potential second rounder in 2016.
This is actually Mills’ contract season, but his inconsistent play, and the fact that he’s coming off of an injury has the public’s perception of him all over the place. Some think he makes the roster. Some think he won’t. Others say he’s trade bait.
What do the Eagles think? That’s what’s important. Training camp is approaching. Let’s make long stories short. LeBlanc, Mills and Hawkins can all make the roster. They can all be cut, but then again, that’s what being on the ‘bubble’ means. We’ll soon see what happens.