Eagles who are turning heads at mandatory minicamp

Can you believe it? Nick Sirianni's Eagles are actually participating in a mandatory minicamp!
The Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If it feels like we're spending a ton of time discussing mandatory minicamp, it's because we are. You have to understand. We have never had the opportunity to do so during Nick Sirianni's era as Philadelphia Eagles head coach. This is kind of a big deal friends. Plus, the Birds have already given us much to talk about.

Fletcher Cox hung out and watched 11-on-11s on Wednesday. James Bradberry was being cross-trained at safety a day earlier. Well, he was during the first day of practice... Then, an injury forced him to leave the field early and he was a spectator on Wednesday.

That's worth making a mental note of. That also opened the door for some young guys. Who knows? Maybe the plan was to get other teams interested by featuring him as a versatile piece the Birds are excited about.

Philly kicked off the first of three practices on Tuesday. Here's a look at a few guys who turned heads during the first two sessions.

Quinyon MItchell, cornerback

Isaiah Rodgers has taken some first-team snaps across from Darius Slay. So has Kelee Ringo. Quinyon Mitchell also stepped in and took some first-team reps on Wednesday.

That's worth noting after Kelee Ringo, Darius Slay, and Avonte Maddox took first-team reps on Tuesday (more on Kelee in a second). Mitchell and Cooper DeJean also took snaps in dime sets as kind of a DB/linebacker hybrid on Day 1.

That last nugget may not mean anything. Vic Fangio says he doesn't like to overload young guys with extra responsibility, but this is certainly worth mentioning for obvious reasons.

Tyler Steen and Grant Calcaterra

This isn't necessarily a practice note, but Jeff Stoutland recently compared Tyler Steen to Brandon Brooks. That's interesting...

Nick Sirianni mentioned Grant Calcaterra by name on Tuesday, and then Grant responded by hauling in a nice catch from Kenny Pickett on a Wednesday afternoon sideline throw.

Let's hope we see steps forward from both guys.

Kelee Ringo, cornerback

Kelee Ringo, as mentioned, has taken first-team reps, and he is looking the part. He's a fast young corner who, this time last year, wasn't in the mix, but if he continues as we have seen, he won't have any issues.

Isaiah Rodgers is also making plays, but right now, it feels like Kelee might be slightly ahead of him if we use mandatory minicamp as our lens.

The second team defense feature Quinyon Mitchell as the left corner, Isaiah Rodgers as the right corner, and Cooper DeJean as the nickel. DeJean also took some snaps at outside corner as well.

Josh Jobe, special teams?

'The Wild Stallion' (as he is called by special teams coordinator Michael Clay) made a nice play during a special teams 'pin the offense back' drill. He's one heck of a gunner who dove into the end zone once to prevent a touchback.

It's hard to imagine scenarios where he makes the team as a cornerback, but will Philly keep a roster spot open for a special teamer? Might that be less likely if Philly dedicates one roster spot for Britain Covey as a punt returner?

Ainias Smith and Kenny Pickett turn heads for the wrong reasons.

Ainias Smith and Kenny Pickett are both enjoying up-and-down sessions. Both are new to the team. It's early, so there's no need to panic.

We must mention, however, that Smith has muffed two punts during a couple of contact-free practices. Pickett has been a mixed bag, finding John Ross on a couple of nice tosses but also missing wide and being guilty of some overthrows.

Josh Sweat is also turning heads for the wrong reasons.

If you're a creature of habit, it may take some time to get used to seeing Josh Sweat in the Number 19 jersey, but here's the weird thing. Number change or none, some think he looks slower in the new ensemble.

Worth mentioning: Landon Dickerson is excused. Sydney Brown still isn't practicing, and Trevor Keegan sits out on Wednesday.

Landon Dickerson has been absent. That's okay. No one panic. Absences were excused. The more interesting thing is Mekhi Becton filled in as the starting left guard in his absence.

Sydney Brown isn't practicing, but he is totally locked in. We talk about mental reps, but he has been on the field several yards behind the defense. Who knows when he'll practice, but he's taking everything seriously.

Rookie Trevor Keegan sat out of the Wednesday afternoon session. He was on the sideline with a trainer while the rest of his teammates went through some drills before the session.

Worth mentioning: Isaiah Rodgers, Will Shipley, and John Ross all took snaps as kick returners. Shipley also shines on offense.

The Birds have a handful of guys on the roster who can handle kick return duties. Several of those guys have been funneled in and out to take snaps there. C.J. Gardner-Johnson did some punt return stuff, but that seems to be more about having a little fun with things.

Keep an eye on RB3 Will Shipley too. He showed promise as a receiving tailback during the second mandatory minicamp on Day 2. Wednesday's session was an impressive one for him.

Tyrion Davis-Price, Britain Covey, Ainias Smith, Kenny Gainwell, and Lew Nichols all took KR reps on Wednesday, and John Ross and C.J. G.J. stood near the punt returners at one point but never did anything that would result with them getting their hands on the football

Final thoughts:

Say what you will about the reason. Maybe the collapse helped make everyone's mind up in determining that mandatory minicamp was necessary. Maybe this is the natural occurrence when the belief is the head coach is auditioning for his job.

Whatever the reason, it's fun to be settling into June and having practices to talk about. Things will intensify at training camp. We can't wait for that either.

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