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June 16, 2017

Five Eagles players who impressed during spring practices

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles have officially broken for the summer and gone their separate ways, ideally not finding cabana boys to punch. Here are five players who can feel good about how they played during the spring.

Donnel Pumphrey

Spring practices in helmets and shorts are set up perfectly for players like Pumphrey, who is a small but shifty, elusive player. In spring practices, Pumphrey got more reps than any other back on the roster, and the Eagles moved him all around the formation. It seems pretty clear that they want to get him involved in the offense in a dynamic role.

Additionally, Pumphrey looked comfortable fielding kicks and punts. That's not something he did much of in college games, since he essentially was San Diego State's offense, and they didn't want to risk getting him injured on special teams. However, it is something he worked on in practice every day at SDSU, which is already serving him well at the pro level.

Alshon Jeffery

Jeffery caught a lot of passes this spring, and made it look easy. He looks very much like a No. 1 type of receiver who will pose matchup problems against many of the Eagles' opponents. He'll also give the Eagles a bigger red zone threat at wide receiver that they have lacked.

Zach Ertz

This is nothing new. Ertz always looks good in the spring, which makes sense since his best attributes are his route running and hands. To be determined if he can put together a whole season of great numbers, as opposed to just the final quarter of the season. The one thing that is very obvious is that Ertz is Carson Wentz's go-to receiver when he gets into trouble.

Rasul Douglas

Douglas did a great job getting his hands on the football throughout the spring. As we've noted, he seems like a very cerebral and aggressive player who always knows when the ball is coming, looking to make a big play. There are legitimate questions about his long speed, but he showed a lot more good than bad in OTAs and minicamp.

Jalen Mills

Mills impressed last spring as well, however, he looks more quietly confident this year than last year. I can't recall seeing a single finger wag yet this offseason, though I'm certain he'll break it out against opponents.

A season ago, Mills did not produce any turnovers. This season, in a defense that he now knows, he's been on the hunt for bigger plays, and has made a bunch so far.

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