Wake-Up Call: The Eagles After Day 1

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Here’s where the Eagles stand as they enter the second day of free agency:

There was plenty of chatter surrounding the team Tuesday but they ended up signing just one free agent — New Orleans’ safety Malcolm Jenkins. They also re-upped punter Donnie Jones and cut Patrick Chung.

Jenkins should be an upgrade over Chung but the Eagles are still thin at the position. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

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Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.

He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.

“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”

The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.

There is more to the story, though. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Notes On Barr, OLB Prospects

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Linebackers took center stage along with defensive linemen at the combine Monday. Some notes to pass along:

– Could the Eagles be within striking distance of UCLA’s Anthony Barr on draft day? Mike Mayock, for one, doesn’t believe Barr is a top-10 player.

UCLA’s Anthony Barr is Mayock’s No. 3 linebacker, but Mayock doesn’t think Barr is a top-10 pick. While Barr is a good pass rusher, Mayock said that “when he doesn’t win with speed,” he has issues. Mayock also said Barr is best against the run as a chaser: “He’s not real strong at the point of attack.”

Some pundits disagree. Mel Kiper, as an example, has Barr going sixth overall.

The 6-4, 255-pounder out of UCLA recorded 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons while playing outside linebacker. This after starting his college career on the offensive side of the ball as a running back and wide receiver. He estimated that he dropped into coverage about 30 percent of the time last season, and said he fared pretty well. Rushing the passer, though, is his primary objective. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Lyerla Wants To Land In Philly

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INDIANAPOLIS — You could hardly see Colt Lyerla through the thicket of reporters and cameras.  He was seated at a round table inside the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium Thursday, surrounded by a large contingent of media that were firing off one probing question after the next. Once through the throng there he was, face flush,  hands clasped tightly together in between his knees, revisiting a past that he is trying to escape.

“Probably the night I spent in jail,” responded Lyerla, when asked about the moment he realized his football career might be over. “That was huge for me, and like I said, it gave me time to self-reflect and realize that’s a place I never want to be again.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: ‘Best Draft In Ten Years’

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NFL analyst Mike Mayock opened his conference call with reporters Tuesday by offering the following:

“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year,” he said. “I think there is more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Ducks In the Draft

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Chip Kelly likes him some Oregon players, you may have heard.

From Dennis Dixon to Jeff Maehl, he brought in plenty of familiar faces to play a variety roles as he transitioned from college to the pro game. There are six Ducks currently on the roster (DE Brandon Bair, S Patrick Chung, LB Josh Kaddu, Maehl, LB Casey Matthews and WR Will Murphy), which is the most players from any one university on the squad.

Safe to say Kelly will have some opinions on the Oregon players that have declared for the 2014 draft, seeing as he recruited and coached them in a former life. It’s probably a good idea that we become familiar with them. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Draft Offers Options At Receiver

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

A record 98 underclassmen have declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Within that wave lies  a group of talented receivers that has enriched the position significantly.

“When you talk about the underclassmen, that’s where the guts of this draft is. Last year was more senior-heavy,” said Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Eagles. “This year we’re talking about 9-10 underclass wide receivers that are first, second-round players in my opinion.”

Jeremiah sees seven receivers being selected in the first round, which would be the most since 2004. And they are: Sammy Watkins (junior, Clemson), Mike Evans (redshirt sophomore, Texas A&M), Kelvin Benjamin (redshirt sophomore, Florida State), Marqise Lee (junior, USC), Paul Richardson (redshirt junior, Colorado), Jarvis Landry (junior, LSU) and Davante Adams (redshirt sophomore, Fresno State).

Mel Kiper, incredibly, has nine going in the first round in his latest mock draft. (He projects LSU junior Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Eagles at 22.)

Howie Roseman agrees with the sentiment that this is a strong class of wideouts, and must decide how much — if at all — that will impact some key decisions that are before him.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why the Vets Bought In

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Once the 2013 season was a wrap, Chip Kelly thanked his players for taking a chance on a rookie coach.

“He was just proud of his guys and just appreciative of everyone buying into his program,” said Eagles receiver/special teamer Brad Smith, via SI.com. “A lot of people didn’t know if it would work — a college coach coming into the NFL and how guys would respond and how they would respect him.”

It wasn’t so hard generating that level of respect in the latter stages of the season when the Eagles captured seven of eight to win the NFC East. It was early on, around the time that Philly was 1-3 and then 3-5, that could have presented problems. There were skeptics inside the locker room for sure, but the majority of players were on board despite the sub-.500 record. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Kiper Through Eagle Eyes

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Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with media members Thursday and touched on several subjects that could interest Eagles fans. Some highlights:

(Note: I linked to some film of each of the players mentioned, courtesy of DraftBreakdown, in case you want to study any of them a bit more.)

– Kiper is very high on this wide receiver class. He has nine going in the first round alone, and thinks quality will still be there later in the draft.

“There’s going to be an opportunity I think at wide receiver to see guys in the third, fourth, fifth round get it done. That’s going to be a very deep position with 19 underclassmen coming out at that spot.” Read more »

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