Philadelphia Eagles: 3 takeaways from Day 1 of Training Camp

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

2. Milton Williams is the Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham 2.0

When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Milton Williams with the 73rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it was far from a universally lauded move.

Seriously, just ask senior football adviser Tom Donahoe, who was noticeably cheesed off by the decision to trade back to select Williams when Aaron Robinson, the UFC cornerback picked by the New York Giants, was still on the board.

But do you know who was very excited to see Williams land in South Philly? Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, and for good reason: Milton Williams is going to play a lot all over the Eagles’ defensive line.

Now granted, this isn’t news news. I actually called this when the pick was announced on draft day, as very few players are capable of being full-time defensive tackles at 278-pounds at the NFL level, but getting the confirmation and effective endorsement of the decision from Fletcher Cox must feel pretty vindicating for Howie Roseman and company, especially since defensive end is a deceptive need for the Eagles moving forward.

Presumably filling the “Big end” position made famous by Everson Griffen during Gannon’s tenure in Minnesota, Milton should serve as a solid defensive run-stuffing end with the enticing speed/power combo needed to rush the quarterback who can then kick it inside on obvious passing down.

Do you like when BG lines up at the three-tech to rush the passer against slower NFL guards, like on his famous strip-sack of Tom Brady during the Super Bowl? Well, imagine that look if Graham was 13 pounds heavier and ran a 4.67.

That, my friends, should be very fun to watch.

With Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, and Ryan Kerrigan all set to hit the open market at the end of the season, getting the 24-year-old LA Tech product on the field early and often should let the Eagles’ brass see what they have heading into the offseason all the while determining if the team has finally found their next great homegrown edge rusher.

If that happens, even Tom Donahoe will concede to a successful draft selection.

Bonus takeaway: Steven Nelson will wear 3 this fall, joining Darius Slay as the only defensive backs wearing single-digit numbers for the Eagles this season.