Eagles Wake-Up Call: Combine Notebook

Plus: What weird questions did NFL teams ask players this year?

Braxton Miller. (USA Today Sports)

Braxton Miller. (USA Today Sports)

Braxton Miller can admit it now.

After his second shoulder surgery, he couldn’t return fully healthy to play quarterback at Ohio State. But it ended up being a blessing in disguise as his draft stock skyrocketed after his switch to receiver in July.

“Absolutely, for sure,” Miller told reporters at the NFL Combine on Friday. “I love it. I’m just thankful to play football again. I’m out here doing what I love to do and putting everything in god’s hands. That’s what I’ve been doing, just perfecting my craft. I want to be one of the best. That’s what I’ve been doing since I switched positions.”

ESPN projected Miller to be a Day 3 selection the month before his position change, but now some expect him to go as high as the first round. The most common projection for him seems to be the second round, as NFL Network’s Mike Mayock predicts, despite Miller catching just 26 passes in 13 games last season.

Some thought Miller’s slower-than-expected 40-yard dash time (4.5) would hurt his stock, but Mayock told reporters on Saturday that it doesn’t matter.

“What you see with him is he’s really raw,” Mayock said. “We were all excited at the Senior Bowl; he doesn’t know how to run routes yet, even though he’s further along than most converted quarterbacks. He’s going to get return production as a punt return guy and he’s going to have to learn how to play slot at a higher level than he does today. 4.5 is plenty fast because he’s so quick, so competitive and so athletic; it didn’t change my opinion of him at all.”

Miller’s time ranked 11th among receivers, but it was a significant drop from the impressive mark — 4.32 — he posted when he was still a quarterback in college. However, in his position group at the combine, Miller finished first in the 60-yard shuttle, second in the 20-yard shuttle and third in the 3-cone drill.

His elusiveness was on full display several times last season, including his 53-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech.

The Eagles don’t have a second round pick in April, but they could still select Miller on Day 2 of the draft. Regardless of where he ends up, Miller thinks his experience playing quarterback — including a fifth-place finish in the 2012 Heisman voting — will benefit him in the NFL.

“A lot,” Miller said. “Reading defenses, how you can point out things even before the play even starts. That’s what the team was surprised about, like I know it all from playing quarterback. It ties into receiver a lot, too.”


One of the most famous traditions at the NFL Combine is teams asking prospects strange questions during interviews. Here are several from this year:

Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango: “Would you share your internet history with me? I said yeah. I search a lot of food, directions, how to spell words because I’m dyslexic, things like that.”

Arkansas guard Sebastian Tretola: “How do you feel about taxes?”

Iowa center Austin Blythe: “I think it’s odd that every interview I’ve had to answer whether my parents are still married or not. If I grew up in the home with both of them. I think they ask that for stability, wondering if a guy has been guided by both parents, or what the scenario is.”


Mike Mayock explained why Paxton Lynch is “a little bit of a project.”

“Roseman survived unlike many in this business who receive a demotion.” Weekend reading.

Combine notebook: On Lynch, the increased salary cap and more.


The Eagles increased their offer to Sam Bradford, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

“The Eagles met with Sam Bradford’s agent, Tom Condon, this week and increased their offer on a long-term deal. The goal would be to get it done before he hits free agency, and Bradford, as he’s said, has interest in returning. But don’t expect a deal to get done until at least the anti-tampering period.

“That’s one option for the Eagles, if they can find the right deal. The other option appears to be signing Chase Daniel in free agency then potentially trading for Nick Foles.”

So basically, Bradford is the only option.

Les Bowen of the Daily News explains all of the unanswered questions still facing the Eagles.

I know there are people who think Roseman is on a short leash this time, that he and Pederson are less a blueprint for the future than placeholders for an owner who was determined to move on from Kelly, no matter what, even before the Eagles dropped out of playoff contention last season. If 2016 is a disaster, maybe Jeffrey Lurie finally hires a respected, experienced general manager, for the first time in his 22-year tenure.

In Indianapolis, Roseman didn’t sound like a guy who was going to avidly chase the high-end free-agent market, which is almost always a scene of pending disappointment, anyway. If the Eagles are willing to gamble on losing Bradford by trying to sign him at a lower figure than they would have spent by using the franchise tag ($19.953 million) or the transition tag ($17.696 million), what is their Plan B? Pending Kansas City free agent Chase Daniel, a long-term backup who has started two NFL games as he approaches his 30th birthday in October? Foles, after he failed spectacularly in St. Louis? Do they think Denver’s Brock Osweiler might make it to free agency?


The Return of the (T-) Mac.