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June 19, 2017

Five Eagles players who did not impress during spring practices

Eagles NFL

A week ago, with the Philadelphia Eagles having wrapped their spring practices, we noted five players who can feel good about how they played during in OTAs and minicamp.

Here are five who should not feel so good heading into the summer:

Shelton Gibson

Seemingly every day, Gibson struggled with dropped passes, many of which occurred during individual drills with no defenders on the field. Gibson is coming from an unsophisticated offense at West Virginia, so he has some ground to make up in the pros mentally, but that has little to do with him dropping routine catches.

It's pretty clear early on that Gibson is not going to contribute immediately, and he may even end up on the practice squad if he is unable to work through some of his early struggles in training camp.

Marcus Smith

Smith voluntarily missed all of OTAs, because, um... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Smith's base salary this season is $889,515, with a roster bonus of $594,000 coming on the third day of training camp, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry. If the Eagles were to trade (lol) or release Smith prior to the third day of camp, they would save $1,483,515. 

That is a no-brainer, especially now that Smith became a fourth-string defensive end, behind Brandon Graham, Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Steven Means, and even Alex McCalister at DE when he returned for minicamp.

The only chance Smith had of sticking with the team would have been if he came out in OTAs and minicamp and played lights out. When he skipped OTAs, he pretty much guaranteed his exit from the team.

Wendell Smallwood

I want to be very clear that Smallwood hasn't looked bad, necessarily, but he isn't getting anywhere near the number of reps that rookie Donnel Pumphrey has so far this spring. A season ago, Smallwood flashed receiving ability, and the Eagles were doing different things with him, in terms of moving him around the formation. This year, his reps seem to have been cut, and they've been very basic when he's been on the field.

Alex McCalister

I know McCalister is a fan favorite (or hope, or whatever) for his freakish length and athleticism, but I'm sorry, I just don't see anything there at all.

Dorial Green-Beckham

During one practice during minicamp, on a deep ball down the sideline, DGB looked like he thought he couldn't catch up to the throw, so he didn't try, instead simply jogging down the sideline after it. As it turned out, the throw landed nowhere near him, but if he ran hard he may have had a shot at getting there. His effort is spotty, at best.

Additionally, DGB never seems to win contested catches, despite his huge frame. I will say that the guy does run an OK slant route, but that's about it.

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