The left tackle competition between Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard is arguably the biggest position battle of Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland declared he'll rotate both players with the first team each practice, but Mailata has the upper hand on Dillard.
Philadelphia has just four practices under its belt, neither in full pads yet. Mailata has been the more impressive of the two thus far.
"Jordan came back in phenomenal shape," Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said to reporters prior to Saturday's training camp practice. "He had a target weight that he was trying to come back at and he came back at that weight. He came back lighter, he came back more fit and it's showing out there."
Mailata has looked the part of a starting left tackle, starting to realize his potential at that position. This is a reminder the 24-year-old Mailata just started playing professional football three years ago -- and didn't get into a NFL regular season game until last year.
"He's just a big man that can move like a little man," Sirianni said. "And so I'm really, really happy with the way and happy for Jordan that he came back in the shape that he did because, you know, that's the key, right, going against those athletes that he's going against on the other side on the defensive line, he's going to have to be in the best shape of his life.
"I think right now he did come back -- I've only known him for a short time but he said to me, and the strength staff have said, he is in the best shape of his life."
That's significant praise coming from Sirianni, showcasing how Mailata has the early lead over Dillard in the competition. Dillard has been up and down through four practices, getting beat in the one-on-one sessions while Mailata has thrived. Derek Barnett has gotten the better of Dillard in the early going.
Mailata, on the other hand, has handled Josh Sweat when going up against him. Dillard has improved through each practice session, showcasing the toughness he's lacked over his first two seasons.
"I'm very pleased with how Andre went through playing through some bumps and bruises that he has and that's what he's going to have to do during the season, Sirianni said. "The way their bodies feel now is as good as their bodies are going to feel the entire year because the season just continues to go, and your body just continues to hurt and hurt.
"I've been very pleased with the way Andre has been pushing through some of the bumps and bruises that he has and continues to press on each day."