Eagles Wake-Up Call: Draft By the Numbers

Blake Countess. (USA Today Sports)

Blake Countess. (USA Today Sports)

Here are some numbers of note as it applies to the Eagles’ 2016 draft class:

57.1 —   Carson Wentz‘s accuracy percentage under pressure last year according to Pro Football Focus. That ranks 27th among quarterbacks in this draft. Paxton Lynch had a 70.3 completion rate and Jared Goff 64.7 when pressured by comparison. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Recalibrating Carson

-USA TODAY Sports

-USA TODAY Sports

The taste for contact was developed at an early age.

Carson Wentz always wanted to be a quarterback, but was denied the opportunity his first year playing organized ball.

“Fifth grade football,” Wentz recalled during a session with writers in the media room Friday night following his press conference. “I wanted to play quarterback but they let the other kid for some reason, [so they put me at running back] and just gave me the ball every time instead.”

Young Wentz played inside linebacker on defense that year. On both sides of the ball, he was right in the physical thick of things.

“I maintained that mentality,” said Wentz. “I always played both ways, even in high school all the way through. I just loved the contact, I love football. I loved defense dang near just as much as offense, but obviously offense was a much better fit once I got to the next level.”

He still managed to get his licks in at North Dakota State, though, despite playing QB exclusively. Read more »

Takeaways From Draft Weekend

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

A lot to digest following an eventful several days at the NovaCare. Here’s what stood out.

— A story about Carson Wentz I liked:

It would be understandable if the 23-year-old out of Bismarck needed a couple weeks to hibernate. Since capping his college career off with a championship-game win over Jacksonville State, it’s been a whirlwind tour. From the Senior Bowl to the Combine to his pro day; from official visits to private workouts to independent training; media obligations; a trip to Chicago for one of the biggest days of his life, and then off to his new home — Philadelphia — to meet with the masses…it’s been an exhausting run over the last several months.

And yet he’s not interested in any breathers. Read more »

Eagles Go With Jalen Mills, Alex McCalister In Seventh

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are not shying away from players with question marks in their past.

In the fifth round they selected West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, who was accused of intimidating a witness in a fatal shooting case in 2014. According to the Delaware News Journal, prosecutors dropped the charges against Smallwood after his friend plead guilty to second-degree murder.

In the seventh round, they chose a pair of players with potential character concerns. Read more »

Eagles Select OL Isaac Seumalo In Third Round

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles selected Oregon State offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo with their third round pick (79th overall).

Seumalo (6-4, 303) played center, guard and a handful of games at tackle over his college career. The plan is to start him off at guard, per Howie Roseman.

“I think this kid can come in here and compete and give us great depth at the spot,” said Doug Pederson. “I do agree that he could challenge for a starting job.”

The left guard spot is the position seemingly most up for grabs, with Allen Barbre, Stefen Wisniewski, Malcolm Bunche and Andrew Gardner all competing. Here is a breakdown of Seumalo, who joins that mix, courtesy of NFL.com:
Read more »

The Rapid Growth Of Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

In need of a big favor, Carson Wentz turned to the man upstairs.

Technically he wasn’t asking for much —  a few inches, really — but it would make a world of difference. Wentz had plenty of physical gifts to work with, but fell a bit short in the size department as a kid. Unlike his older brother Zach, who was about 6-2 entering high school, Carson checked in at 5-foot-8 as a freshman.

“I remember when [Zach] was a senior and almost 6-3, I was just praying, I’m like, ‘I just want to be six-feet tall. I feel like I’m pretty good. I just need…give me a couple more.’ And I just kept shooting up. I’m very thankful for that.”

Wentz grew some nine inches from his freshman to senior year, giving him all the real estate he needed and then some. A blessing, obviously, but all that growth in such a short period of time (Wentz now stands at a touch over 6-5) proved a lot for the body to handle while the transformation was ongoing.
Read more »

Baldy, Middlekauff Talk Mid-Round Fits For Eagles

 Paul Perkins -- USA Today Sports

Paul Perkins — USA Today Sports

Now comes the business of finding players to grow alongside that new quarterback of theirs.

After selecting Carson Wentz  No. 2 overall, the Eagles currently have six picks remaining in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are:

Third round (No. 79 overall)
Fifth round (No. 153 overall)
Fifth round (No. 164 overall)
Sixth round (No. 188 overall)
Seventh round (No. 233 overall)
Seventh round (No. 251 overall)

The second and third rounds will take place Friday night (7 pm) while rounds 4-7 are on Saturday (noon).

To help get a feel for what players they might be targeting, we checked in with former Eagles scout John Middlekauff and NFL analyst Brian Baldinger to see who they have in mind as potential fits for Doug Pederson, Jim Schwartz and Co. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Wentz To Deal With Bradford ‘Professionally’

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

The first day of the draft came and went, and Sam Bradford remains on the Eagles roster. What’s more, the team that reportedly inquired about him — the Broncos — moved up and selected Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the 26th overall pick, thereby closing the door on a potential landing spot more than likely.

Not that Howie Roseman planned on dealing his projected 2016 starter in the first place.

“No,” said Roseman, when asked if he would honor Bradford’s request to be traded. “Sam’s our quarterback. We’ve been clear about that from the first time we had this conversation. Whenever he comes back we’ll welcome him with open arms. This is the voluntary period of the offseason so players have the right to do what they want.”

Doug Pederson tried to put a positive spin on it, saying that it would give the other quarterbacks an opportunity to get more reps in the interim, but obviously this is far from ideal. For one, the new head coach is in the process of installing a brand new offense, and the chosen leader of said offense is no longer showing up for work. Bradford has not been in contact with either Roseman or Pederson since issuing a trade demand, they said.

So there are the potential effects this all could have on 2016, and then there’s the issue of how it could impact the hopeful quarterback of the future in Carson Wentz. Read more »

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