Most important Eagles for 2020: Jalen Mills takes No. 14


Over the next four weeks, we’ll be counting down the 20 most important Eagles for the 2020 season. 

20: Nate Sudfeld 
19. Avonte Maddox
18. Nathan Gerry
17. Dallas Goedert  
16. Derek Barnett

15. Jalen Reagor 
14. Jalen Mills

The Eagles drafted Mills in the 7th round of the 2016 draft and in the four years of his rookie contract, he was a starting cornerback with plenty of ups and downs. 

He’s not a corner anymore. 

With the departure of Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles brought Mills back on a 1-year deal to play replace Jenkins and play safety. Yes, saying Mills is going to replace Jenkins is an oversimplification because replacing Jenkins isn’t really possible. But Mills is now the strong safety and will be the safety in the box when Rodney McLeod is the single high. 

It’s not a guarantee that Mills has this job locked up but he certainly has first crack at it, ahead of Will Parks and rookie K’Von Wallace. Chances are, Mills will be a starter when the 2020 season starts. 

The Eagles, of course, aren’t going into this blind. Mills played some safety at LSU and over the last few years, the Eagles have observed him in situations they think will translate to his new position. The best example came last year against the Patriots. While the Eagles lost, Mills played all over the field and had his best game of the season. 

“I had fun that game,” Mills said earlier this offseason. “I was around the ball almost every play. I think the biggest thing for me is always wanting to be around the ball, whether it’s getting a pass breakup, getting a chance to pick the ball off or make a tackle, blitz. I think that’s the biggest thing, trying to be a tone-setter and a game-changer.”

All that said, there’s a reason the Eagles signed Mills to a one-year prove-it deal. First off, Mills hasn’t been able to stay healthy in his four years in the league. And, two, they have to see if he can play the role left vacant by Jenkins. 

If Mills performs well, they will stick with him and then probably try to extend him after the 2020 season. If it doesn’t go well, look for Parks or Wallace to take over. 

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