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Observations from Eagles rookie camp


Photo Credit by John McMullen/JAKIB Sports

PHILADELPHIA – We got a quick first look at the Eagles’ rookies, along with a few selected veterans and a host of tryout players on Friday and while you can’t make any grandiose predictions, there were a number of notable things to jot down in the notebook.

-New defensive coordinator Sean Desai watched the stretching period with elevated offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, perhaps bonding over the harsh reality of expectations that await the duo who are replacing newly-minted head coaches Jonathan Gannon and Shane Steichen. Once things broke off into individual work, Desai spent quite a bit of time with the defensive backs. A Vic Fangio disciple, Desai certainly understands communication on the back end is paramount for the defense to click.

-A league source confirmed that Matt Patricia is officially on board as a senior defensive assistant, mirroring Marcus Brady, the ex-Colts offensive coordinator, on offense. Brady was spotted chatting it up with receivers coach Aaron Moorehead before practice.

-A total of 43 players were at rookie camp which includes the seven-man draft class draft picks, the nine depp undrafted class, a selected group of veterans who haven’t seen NFL action yet, and 19 tryout players.

-Rookie third-round pick Tyler Steen, a tackle only in college at Vanderbilt and Alabama, did indeed start at right guard. The projection to Steen inside was something Howie Roseman talked about extensively after making the pick with the move traced to arm length and Steen’s size which could project well especially after he gets into an NFL strength program. Cam Jurgens, the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2022, is still the favorite to replace Isaac Seumalo at RG but the Eagles clearly have some concerns about his size and still look at Jurgens long-term as the heir apparent to Jason Kelce at center.

-Steen confirmed he did have a top-30 visit with the Eagles so Philadelphia used four of its seven picks on players that were invited to the NovaCare Complex, a group that also included the Georgia defenders: Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, and Kelee Ringo.

-Carter by the way denied an Adam Schefter report that he called Nick Sirianni to reiterate he wanted to play for the Eagles.

“Nah, I didn’t call. I don’t remember that,” Carter said.

As good as Schefter is he was also wrong on the Gannon-Fanio timetable in his speculation on a Philadelphia-area radio station this week as well.

-Of the undrafted players, receiver Joseph Ngata of Clemson certainly looks the part. At 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, perhaps Ngata can offer the Eagles some of the dirty work Zach Pascal provided.

-On hand as a tryout player was Austin Proehl, the son of former long-time slot receiver Ricky Proehl. Proehal was by far the sharpest route runner of the WRs assembled.

-For the numerology people, the Eagles issue numbers, and the headliner was D’Andre Swift becoming the first player in franchise history to get the number 0.

Jalen Carter moves to 98 from his 88 at Georgia and Nolan Smith has to take 3 with Jake Elliott already having No. 4. The biggest news, however, was Arryn Siposs moving from No. 8 to No. 10. The move itself isn’t that big of a deal because you want to pay deference to veteran backup quarterback Marcus Mariota and give him his familiar No. 8. The notable part, though, is Siposs having to share No. 10 with sixth-round pick Tanner McKee.

To me, that’s a clear indication that undrafted punter candidate Ty Zentner out of Kansas State will have a real opportunity to compete. Now Zentner was given No. 49 so it’s not like he’s the favorite or anything and if the KSU product actually wins the job, he’ll ultimately change the number.

That’s it for the numbers talk for the year and it was probably already too much of it.

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