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The Linc - Meet Jaylen Watkins, Taylor Hart, Ed Reynolds, and Beau Allen

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/11/2014.

Sam Greenwood

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Draft Wrap - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
The Eagles got better this weekend. They added tough, talented weapons on offense. They added a pass rusher, a couple of good DL and a couple of good DBs to a defense that needed some help. My favorite pick is Marcus Smith. My least favorite pick is Ed Reynolds. Just didn’t wow me. I think Josh Huff is a guy that will surprise some people. The more I hear about Jordan Matthews, the more I like him. That is one dedicated, focused individual. I’ve been following the draft for a long time. I can’t tell you how many guys have failed due to simply “not getting it”. Matthews has size, talent, speed and skill, but his desire to succeed might be his best quality. That wouldn’t mean as much if he was a 5-9, 180 guy from Maine, but we’re talking about the all-time leading receiver in the history of the SEC.

2014 NFL Draft profile: The Gators fan's scouting report on Jaylen Watkins - Andy Hutchins, Alligator Army
Sammy's older brother is pretty good at football, too. Can Jaylen Watkins's versatility make him an NFL stalwart?

Four Oregon Ducks Taken in 2014 NFL Draft - Matt Takimoto, Addicted to Quack
Chip Kelly, job creator, was at it again in Round 5.  After taking Josh Huff in Round 3, the Eagles scooped up DE Taylor Hart in the 5th round. Hart has a strong bond with Eagles coach Jerry Azzinaro, and already knows the 3-4 two-gap scheme that the Eagles run. Those may have been factors in the pick, but Hart has NFL size and NFL skills, and will add depth to an Eagles defensive front that sorely needs it.

Philadelphia Eagles pick Ed Reynolds: Another Stanford product joins the Bird Gang - Jack Blanchat, Rule of Tree
Scouts had mixed views of Reynolds as a prospect coming into the draft - but their unclear perspectives don't matter now - and he should be right at home on the east coast. Reynolds' father played for both the Patriots and the Giants, so he's somewhat familiar with the tumultuous NFC East already. Reynolds might be able to compete for a starting spot at the jumbled safety position in Philadelphia, and he's definitely make his mark on special teams this fall. Reynolds may need a bit of an adjustment period to covering NFL wideouts, but he proved he's a capable and aggressibe tackler in 2013, finishing third on the team in tackles.

NFL Draft 2014: So You Drafted a Badger, Beau Allen Edition - Andrew Rosin, Bucky's 5th Quarter
So, long story short? You have someone who has a good motor, good pursuit and can attack a gap with power. He should be highly draftable, right? Well, for one thing, Allen's pass rush is basically trying to engulf a blocker in terms of a bull rush. As I've told you, it was reasonably effective as a Badger. But he doesn't have a second move, and with a level-up in competition coming, you have to wonder if there will be some questions about his ability to penetrate. Also, if you discuss his lateral agility, you're discussing something Allen either never had an opportunity to show or simply something he struggles with. So basically, you're getting a defensive lineman who might be a little too straight-lineish, but he's a veteran whose shown great skills at holding up from the point of attack. If you're a 3-4 team with some good linebackers, Allen might be an absolute steal on the third day.

Applaud Eagles for going against the grain - Mike Sielski, Inquirer
But the NFL draft itself - not the hype and hubbub, but the actual selection of talent - isn't about "consensus." It's about science, or as close to science as pro-football player-evaluation gets, and the questions about whether the Eagles "reached" to take Smith or should have selected another player or attached too much value to acquiring an additional draft pick when they moved down on the board through their trade with the Cleveland Browns don't matter.

Jordan Matthews’ numbers are even better than you thought they were - JimmyK,
In 2013, Vanderbilt finished 67th in passing yards, and 92nd in rushing yards. To say the least, their offense was less than spectacular. And yet, new Eagles WR Jordan Matthews finished 4th in the country in 2013 both in receptions and yards. In other words, Jordan Matthews basically was Vanderbilt's offense, and that is something that appealed to Chip Kelly.

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