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Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins called himself just a “Padawan” when it comes to his touchdown dance, so he was hesitant to put himself too high on the list of top Eagles celebrations this year.

“I mean the home run one, any time we hit a deep ball we’ll do the home run one,” said Hollins, beginning his rankings. “I saw an edit of Nelson [Agholor] when he fell back and they turned [the end zone] into a ball pit; that was pretty cool.”

“I could put myself up there, but I could be better. You can always grow,” he joked.

The Yoda of “The Backpack” — the dance Hollins broke out following a 64-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins — is 15-year-old Russell Horning from Georgia, an internet sensation who gained attention when he stole the show during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” with Katy Perry. Hollins and Horning connected after Hollins did his rendition of the dance.

“He’s way more famous than me or viral than me,” Hollins said. “Hopefully we can get him to a game. We’ve talked and we’ve exchanged words. Maybe we can get him to a game and we can make a video together.”
Eagles rookie Mack Hollins broke out “The Backpack” after scoring his first NFL touchdown on Monday night. James Lang/USA TODAY Sports
Hollins is starting to get his own following. The long touchdown and ensuing celebration in front of a national audience didn’t hurt. Nor did the fact that he was spotted riding his bike to Lincoln Financial Field on the day of the game, pedaling past fans largely unnoticed.

“No,” he responded when asked if he gets recognized, “but I’m sure they will now.”

Hollins said he doesn’t have a car yet — “just gotta find the right deal, I guess” — and lives pretty close to the sports complex, so he opts for the 15-minute bike ride over taking an Uber. He rode a motorcycle when he attended North Carolina, “but they’re not too fond of motorcycles in the NFL. So that’s sitting at home,” he said.
His work performance isn’t hurting any. Hollins hasn’t been used a lot, but has fully maximized his opportunities to this point. Wentz has targeted him six times, and he has converted each into a catch for a total of 134 yards (22.3-yard average), with three first downs and a TD.

“Every time he is in there, it seems like he just makes plays,” said Wentz of Hollins, a fourth-round pick. “He finds a way to get open and he is effective. And I don’t think a lot of teams really respect that or know that about him. So he is just a big weapon for us when we need a guy.”

Having caught the attention of his teammates and coaches, it’s likely Hollins will have a bigger role moving forward, which should mean more chances to up his TD celebration game.

“It’s only been a couple days,” said Hollins, when asked if he knows what he’ll do next. “I’ve got to wash the mind and get some new material.”


Cheap Authentic NFL Eagles Derek Barnett Jerseys

247Sports previews each player on the Philadelphia Eagles 90-man roster. Next up, Derek Barnett.

Derek Barnett (DE)

Height: 6-3

Weight: 259

Age: 20

Season: 1st (1st round, 2017 NFL Draft, No. 14 overall)

2016 Stats (at Tennessee): 56 tackles (19 for loss), 13 sacks, 1 INT, 6 pass deflections, 5 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles.

Career Stats (at Tennessee): 198 tackles (52 for loss), 33 sacks, 1 INT, 6 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles.

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2016 Review

Barnett’s junior season at Tennessee was one of the best in college football. He had 56 tackles (19 for loss), 13 sacks, five pass deflections and two forced fumbles last season for the Volunteers, earning All-America honors.

His 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss each led the SEC. Barnett’s 91.9 Pro Football Focus overall grade in 2016 was second-best among all edge players in the country (Myles Garrett led the nation with 92.1).

Barnett was selected by the Eagles in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

How Barnett preformed in 2017 minicamp

The Eagles had a plan to ease Barnett in with the second team at defensive end, but Barnett left defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz with no choice but to elevate him up the depth chart.

Barnett got better throughout the four weeks of minicamp, adjusting to the speed of NFL offensive linemen while learning the playbook at an accelerated rate.

Barnett beat Lane Johnson on consecutive plays at right defensive end during Eagles mandatory minicamp, which continued a strong few days of practice for the rookie. Barnett’s “ankle flexion” was on display, which is when he gets so low to the ground without losing speed and makes it tough for offensive linemen to get hands on him.

Johnson and Barnett had quite a few battles over the four weeks of minicamp.

Outlook for Barnett heading into 2017 training camp

Barnett will compete with Vinny Curry for the defensive end spot opposite of Brandon Graham, but he is the front-runner to win the job heading into training camp.

The Eagles have rotated Barnett at left and right defensive end, but would prefer to keep Graham on the left side and line up Barnett on the right.

A strong training camp and preseason from Barnett will land him a starting defensive end spot come Week 1 of the regular season. The Eagles just need to see how he performs in full pads and against NFL defenses first.

Barnett will get plenty of opportunities to do so.