Eagles Wake-Up Call: Clinton-Dix And the Six

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

We were reminded during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game of the Eagles’ pre-draft flirtations with Green Bay safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Ed Maryonwitz, the Eagles’ assistant director of player of personnel who once led Alabama’s recruiting efforts, sent Clinton-Dix an article about the team’s interest in him during the lead-up to the draft, to which the safety replied, ‘Come get me, please. Whatever it takes.’ ”

Clinton-Dix was still available when Arizona — holding the 20th pick — went on the clock. Receiver Brandin Cooks was, too. Those were the only two of the Eagles’ targeted six still remaining. (Most agree that the desirable six were Cooks, Clinton-Dix, Anthony Barr, Odell Beckham, Jr., Kyle Fuller and C.J. Mosley). To ensure they landed one of them, the Eagles would have to part with a third-round pick to move into the Cardinals’ spot. Instead, they stood pat. The Saints offered their third to get from 27 to 20 and grabbed Cooks. Green Bay followed by taking Clinton-Dix. And the Eagles went to Plan B, which included trading back and selecting Marcus Smith.

Clinton-Dix had two interceptions against the Seahawks Sunday and nearly came away with a third. It wasn’t all rosy for the rookie — he was covering Luke Willson on the critical two-point conversion in the fourth quarter — but overall it was the best game of his young career. He appeared in all 16 games for the Packers this season and finished with 94 tackles, six passes defenses, a sack and a pick.

How did the rest of the six perform this year? Let’s take a quick look:

OLB Anthony Barr
Selected: 9th overall by Vikings.
Results: Appeared in 12 games. Recorded four sacks, 70 tackles, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Was placed on injured reserve near the end of the season with a knee injury.

WR Odell Beckham, Jr
Selected: 12th overall by the Giants
Results: Caught 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing the first month of the season because of injury. A star is born.

CB Kyle Fuller
Selected: 14th overall by Bears
Results: Played in all 16 games for Chicago, registering four interceptions, 10 passes defensed and three forced fumbles.

LB C.J. Mosley
Selected: 17th overall by Ravens
Results: Had a monster year, posting 133 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and eight passes defensed. He became the first rookie in Ravens history to be named to the Pro Bowl.

WR Brandin Cooks
Selected: 20th overall by Saints
Results: Had 53 catches (70 targets) for 550 yards and three scores in 10 games. He did not play from mid-November on because of a thumb injury.

It would have cost a sizable amount to get into Barr, Beckham and Fuller territory. The more realistic gets would have been Cooks and Clinton-Dix and to a lesser extent Mosley. Each flashed (at the very least) potential in their rookie seasons.

By trading back and acquiring draft choices, the Eagles essentially turned their 22nd pick into Smith, Jaylen Watkins and Taylor Hart. And by not sacrificing a third to move up, they were able to select Josh Huff. It’s possible that a couple of these players pan out, which could affect the way we look at their draft-day decision-making. But early returns suggest the Eagles should have acted on their original attraction.


LeSean McCoy grabs Nick Foles’ back; Marcus Mariota on possible reunion with Chip Kelly.

“No matter how many cycles Mariota’s stock goes through, he’ll end up exactly where we think he’ll end up now.” Some weekend reading.


Jeremy Maclin is sitting out next week’s Pro Bowl. More from CSN Philly. 

After being added to the Pro Bowl on Friday, Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has opted out of the game because of personal reasons, an NFL source told CSNPhilly.com Sunday.

Maclin made his first Pro Bowl on the strength of a career season following an ACL tear the year before.

The 26-year-old posted career highs this season in catches (85) and yards receiving (1,318), while tying his career high with 10 touchdowns. Among single-season franchise marks, he finished third in yards receiving, fourth in catches and seventh in touchdowns.

Bill Musgrave is being considered for the Raiders’ offensive coordinator post, according to an ESPN report. 

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave is a leading candidate for the job. Musgrave was the Raiders quarterbacks coach in 1997 and was Del Rio’s offensive coordinator for two years in Jacksonville. He has seven years of NFL experience as an offensive coordinator.

The NFL Network also reported the Raiders asked Denver permission to talk to offensive coordinator Adam Gase about the same job. Of course, Del Rio and Gase worked together the past three years for the Broncos. The NFL Network reported five teams are interested in Gase. Former Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has also interested Del Rio.


Senior Bowl week is here. Sheil will have it covered.