News & Analysis

Jalen Mills appears set to be Eagles starter in 2017

By Mike Alessandrini
May 16, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Mills

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 11: Leodis McKelvin #21 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Jalen Mills #31 in the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
  • 2016 starting Eagles’ cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and Leodis McKelvin departed this offseason, leaving sophomore Jalen Mills (663 snaps as a rookie) atop the depth chart.
  • ESPN Eagles reporter Tim McManus is projecting Mills to be a starter on the Eagles’ defense this upcoming season.
  • As a rookie seventh-round pick in 2016, the former LSU Tiger predictably struggled. He was PFF’s lowest-graded cornerback last season (34.5 overall) while allowing a catch for every 7.1 coverage snaps (ranking 112th out of 117 qualifiers).
  • Despite his rookie bumps, Philadelphia’s coaching staff have admired the resilience of their seventh-round corner. After allowing a first-down reception, Mills allowed a catch on 20 of 31 passes subsequently, giving up only eight first downs and no scores.
  • Mills did show some bright spots in 2016, defending four passes and only allowing one touchdown in primary coverage.
  • It was a minority of major mistakes that wrecked his rookie season. Mills at least showed flashes within games, frequently responding down the stretch.
  • The Eagles are bullish on their young pass defender, and believe he will take a big step forward in 2017.

Jalen Mills

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