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July 13, 2016

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Jalen Mills

Eagles NFL
070916JalenMills Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Jalen Mills had a good college career, but poor Combine workout numbers hurt his draft stock.

Leading up to training camp, as we did last year, we'll be comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current NFL players. In case you missed the first five Eagles draft pick comps, you can find them below:

     • Carson Wentz, QB, 1st round
     • Isaac Seumalo, C/OG, 3rd round
     • Wendell Smallwood, RB, 5th round
     • Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, 5th round
     • Blake Countess, CB/S, 6th round

Today we'll find a comp for CB Jalen Mills.

One player who had similar circumstances as Mills coming out of college was former Eagles seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer, who is now a safety for the Cleveland Browns. Like Mills, Poyer was thought of at one time during his final season in college as a potential second- or third-round pick. However, off-the-field incidents and poor showings at the Combine hurt their respective draft stocks. Both players ended up being taken in the seventh round.

A look at Mills' and Poyer's measurables:

Measurables Jalen Mills Jordan Poyer 
 Height6'0 6'0 
 Weight191 191 
 Arm length31 1/8 31 3/4 
 Hand size9 1/8 9 3/4 
 10 yard dash1.58 1.51 
 40 yard dash4.61 4.54 
 Bench press16 
 Vertical jump37 30 1/2 
 Broad jump123 118 
 3-cone drill6.86 6.87 
 20 yard shuttle4.00 4.20 
 60 yard shuttle11.53 11.51 

As you can see, Mills and Poyer have identical height-weight measurements. In terms of athletic measurables, Poyer's bench press and vertical jump numbers were horrendous, while Mills' 40 time of 4.61 surely scared teams off.

This is a very imperfect comp, as Poyer moved to safety, whereas Mills is likely to be a corner or nothing. Poyer showed a willingness to stick his nose in and make tough tackles, whereas Mills has too many moments on film in which he's content to watch his teammates finish the job. You can get away with that as a corner if you can cover, but it's unacceptable at safety. Additionally, Poyer had better interception numbers in college, although both players possess good instincts.

Both Mills and Poyer play with a lot of confidence, which makes sense for Mills, considering he was a four-year contributor in the SEC at LSU. A list of receivers drafted into the NFL that Mills played against during his college career at LSU:

Amari Cooper, Alabama14
Sammy Watkins, Clemson14
Mike Evans, Texas A&M17
Will Fuller, Notre Dame121
Josh Doctson, TCU122
Laquan Treadwell, Ole Miss123
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson127
Chris Conley, Georgia376
Sammie Coates, Auburn387
Ace Sanders, South Carolina4101
Ricardo Louis, Auburn4114
Kevin Norwood, Alabama4123
Demarcus Robinson, Florida4126
J.J. Nelson, UAB5159
Ryan Swope, Texas A&M6174
Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech6186
Bruce Ellington, South Carolina6187
Kolby Listenbee, TCU6192
Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas6197
Cody Core, Ole Miss6199

Plus he played against Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry every day in practice.

Mills got an extended look as the nickel corner with the first-team defense in OTAs and minicamp, and he looks like he might be a player. He played with confidence, trusted what he saw, and often got his hands on the football. He didn't look at all like a rookie. Now let's see what he can do when they put the pads on.

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