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May 22, 2017

Five players we'll be watching at Eagles OTAs

Tuesday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles will kick off day one of OTAs this offseason. It will be the first time the team as a whole will practice together in 2017, and media will be allowed to watch the entirety of practice.

Here are five players we'll be watching.

Rasul Douglas, CB

The Eagles' third player drafted tops this list? Why? Well, the practice will be conducted in shells and shorts (no pads), so trying to evaluate line play is sort of pointless. Hence, watching Derek Barnett won't tell you much. And then obviously, second-round pick Sidney Jones won't be practicing anytime soon after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles.

With very little at corner, Douglas has a legitimate chance to earn a starting job as a rookie. He looked good in person at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama back in January, but this will be the first glimpse of him against pro receivers.

Alshon Jeffery, WR

Jeffery is the big-name free agent acquisition. Of course, there's going to be a media focus on him. It'll be interesting to see what types of throws Carson Wentz and Jeffery really work on in the first practice of the offseason. Logic would dictate that those types of throws will be the priority of what they intend to master.

Shelton Gibson, WR

Back before Chip Kelly cut DeSean Jackson for no reason other than that he didn't like him, Jackson was uncoverable in training camp because of his elite speed. Gibson showed some similarities to Jackson with his play at West Virginia but ran a disappointing 4.50 at the Combine. When you watch Gibson play, he looked far faster than a 4.50 guy.

I'll be looking to see if he gives similar headaches to the defensive backs covering him that DeSean did years ago.

Donnel Pumphrey, RB

Is he a running back, or is he going to be primarily used as a slot receiver? Pumphrey's first full practice with the vets could give us some clues.

Joe Walker, LB

Walker was lost for the season with an ACL tear during the preseason a year ago. Assuming Mychal Kendricks is not on the final roster in 2017 (and yes, we still assume that), the Eagles will be sorely lacking depth at linebacker. Walker could be an under the radar player of importance in 2017. We'll be watching how he looks moving around post-injury.

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