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With 3rd team in 4 years, Torrey Smith hopes to find stability with Eagles

June 1st, 2017 at 1:51 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Nobody could’ve predicted Jalen Mills would wind up the Eagles’ No. 1 cornerback a year after he was taken in the seventh round of the draft. It’s still a little difficult to comprehend now.

It’s also reality for the Eagles in 2017. Mills is the only corner left on the roster who’s appeared in more than six games with the club, and there are no big-name free agents or first-round draft pick obviously intended to supplant him.

It’s not as if Mills’ rise up the depth chart is entirely performance-based either. His promotion at least in part by default; even the Eagles will tell you they need to see improvement from the 23-year-old.

“I’ll sum his rookie season up â?? it was a rookie season,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “There were some things that he did well and he flashed. There were times he didn’t play as well as we needed him to. His challenge is creating that consistency.”

Mills played meaningful snaps in all 16 games for the Eagles last season, finishing with 61 tackles and seven pass breakups. He was targeted 91 times in coverage, allowing 58 completions (63.7 percent) for 9.3 yards per attempt and one touchdown â?? a 97.7 opponents’ passer rating that tied for 53rd out of 79 cornerbacks, according to ProFootballFocus.

Not bad for a seventh-round rookie. Not good for a No. 1 corner. 

Yet if Mills can build on that effort, in addition to the upgrades the Eagles have made, the unit has a chance to be better overall.

“It’s his second year in the league, and he’s been through a training camp before,” Schwartz said. “He’s been through OTAs before, all those things, but we can’t take anything for granted. He can’t take anything for granted.”

If Schwartz is projecting anything less than total confidence in the Eagles’ current cornerback situation, maybe it’s because Mills already has enough to go around. This is the same player who as a rookie …

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Tags: Alshon Jeffery, Chip Kelly, Eagles, John Harbaugh, Reuben Frank, Torrey Smith

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