Matt Lombardo
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Cornerback was one of the Eagles' biggest positions of need heading into last offseason, and after drafting an injured Sidney Jones in Round 2 of April's NFL Draft, Rasul Douglas in Round 3, and signing Patrick Robinson in free agency, it is fair to question whether or not the team did enough to bolster one of the most important positions in coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme.
Prior to last week's mandatory minicamp, Eagles defensive backs coach Corey Undlin talked about each of the cornerbacks on his roster, and his optimism about the group taking a step forward from a relatively disappointing 2016 campaign.

On Jalen Mills:
"He's got a year under his belt, which is obviously huge," Undlin said of Mills. "He's played in games. He's played in big games. He's played good in some games, he's played bad in some games.
"The biggest thing for Jalen, whatever happens, is wherever he plays or whatever his role will be this year, there's a lot more good play than there is good and bad. He was a rookie last year. I'm proud of what he did, but he needs to play at a more consistent level. He's got a ways to go, like we all do. We've got a ways to go before we play that first game."

What's next for young players Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith?
"Both of them are trending upward," Undlin said of Mills and Smith. "Both are getting better. They've both done a good job. They were both here last year, and obviously Jalen played more than C.J. did.
"After being here for a year, they both have the daily exercise of showing up every single day with the mindset to get better. They're not rookies in that sense anymore. They're different players in that way, but we still have a way to go."

Can Patrick Robinson be a leader?
Given that the Eagles are so young at corner, there is a chance that not only will free agent pickup Patrick Robinson be called upon to start this season, but also as a leader.
"In the meeting room, on the field, or during individual drills, as Patrick goes through it and I'll coach him ... Then, I'll turn around and Patrick's right there coaching the next guy.
"I've really enjoyed him in the meeting room. The guy knows football. He's played a lot. He gets the game. For players to hear it from me all day long, and for them to hear it from other players is big."

Undlin high on rookie Rasul Douglas
"I've liked him the whole time," Undlin said of third-round rookie Rasul Douglas. "From the Combine -- obviously I went down there and spent a bunch of time with him in West Virginia -- We had him on our top 30 board, we were fortunate enough to get him there in the third-round.
"I like his length. I like his change of direction. I like his mindset. The guy loves football. He's only been here for a month, but he comes in every single day with the mindset to get better. He wants to talk football all the time. Loves watching tape. He texts me all the time. I like where he's going. He's a big man.


What does Douglas have to work on?
"The technique part of that is what we're going to consistently have to work on. It's hard to consistently play that position at a high level when you're taller," Undlin said. "You've got to be able to bend. You have to stay down. You have to be consistent with your upper body and not just your lower-body.
"He's gotten a little bit better since he's been here. He's a good player. I like where he's going right now."

What will Jaylen Watkins' role be this season?
"He's progressing like everyone else is," Undlin said of Watkins, who will likely primarily play safety. "We have a strong battle going between him and Terrence Brooks for that third safety spot. I feel pretty good about Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins.
"I think just like anything else, Jaylen having been here the past two years with me, mentally for Jaylen it's coming faster for him. The less you have to think back there at safety the quicker it frees up your body to just play.
"That's the biggest thing I've noticed about Jaylen this spring. He's so athletic, but he doesn't have to think very much. He can play all three spots."

What are Corey Undlin's first impressions of Sidney Jones?
"There's a lot that stood out on his tape," Undlin said. "Competitiveness, effort, change of direction, ball-skills. He could find it down the field, which is obviously imperative for us.
"I liked everything about him, through the whole process. The first interview at the Combine, he was outstanding in that part of it. The guy's a good player. Great control of his body. He's violent in, and out of his breaks. The guy plays like his hair's on fire and he obviously checks all of the boxes."


Any improvement in this secondary , what so ever, will be a vast improvement for the Birds , as a team .