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Eagles News: Alshon Jeffery’s skill set could really help Carson Wentz

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/23/17.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Bowen: Alshon Jeffery a fit for Carson Wentz, Eagles' system - ESPN
"If he's covered, it doesn't mean he's 'covered.' You still throw the football. And you say, 'OK, there’s a 50 percent chance my guy is going to catch the ball.' I think with Jeffery, it's probably 60-40, maybe even 65 percent that he's going to come down with the football because he's so strong, he's got a great catch radius, he's got great hands and he knows how to use his body." Despite some of those high-degree-of-difficulty efforts, Jeffery was charged with just one drop on 92 targets this season. Meanwhile, Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham had 11 combined drops, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Eagles mock draft picks are already getting boring - BGN
In case you missed it, there’s a new BGN Radio with a lot of draft talk.

Carson Wentz, Adjustments, and the Importance of Play-Specific Mechanics - ITP
While playcalling could seem simple at times (insert Darrell Bevell joke here), it’s far more complicated in actuality. Offensive coordinators may come out with a formation or motion in the first quarter, only to return to it late in the second half and repeat that concept or tweak it just enough to confuse the defense. Usually, these kinds of plays are built off basic concepts, familiar enough to the offensive players to be installed without difficulty. They can then be used to trick the defense, which is expecting the more common play. At its core, the play-action passing game is just that – an unexpected transition for linebackers and safeties from seeing run looks to having to play the pass.

NFL Combine preview: Running back prospects who could interest the Eagles - PhillyVoice
Curtis Samuel, Ohio State (5'11, 200) - Samuel led NCAA running backs with 865 receiving yards on 74 receptions in 2016. He also had 7 touchdown receptions. Samuel was such a weapon as a pass catcher at OSU that some project him as a receiver at the pro level. Here, we'll project him as a running back with stellar receiving ability. As a runner, Samuel rushed 97 times for 771 yards (a lofty 7.9 YPC) and 8 TDs last season. Samuel is a very skilled route runner, which would enable the Eagles to move him around the formation, creating mismatches against opposing linebackers, similarly to the way the Eagles use Sproles.

Guessing Game - Iggles Blitz
We can talk about 3-year plans or 5-year plans or whatever schedule you want, but the truth is that we really don’t know what is going to happen. Each year a football team is a chemistry experiment. The 1998 Rams went 4-12. Their offense was 24th in points and 27th in yards. The next season they went 13-3, led the league in yards and points and won the Super Bowl. For my money, that was the best offense I ever saw. The Rams didn’t have more than 7 wins in any other season in the 1990’s. That team just exploded from bad to great. Andy Reid’s Eagles built year-by-year. Bad to good to very good from 1999-2001. Then from 2002-2004, the Eagles were one of the best teams in the league.

Previewing the Eagles' offseason: Linebackers - Philly.com
They are exploring the possibility of a trade, according to NFL sources, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The reality is that almost every player on the roster is available for the right price – but some more than others. And Kendricks could get the Eagles some value in return. He’s not even 27. He has enviable athleticism for a linebacker. He has some position versatility having played both in a wide-nine 4-3 and a two-gap 3-4. But he can be undisciplined in space. And he has a dubious history with injury. Considering all that, how much would a team part with to acquire Kendricks? A fifth-rounder? Maybe. More like a sixth or seventh. Or possibly a player-for-player trade, a “give us one of your odd men out and we’ll give you ours” trade.

Combine Preview: Tight End - PE.com
I do believe Howard is the best this tight end class has to offer because not only is he a marvelous athlete, but he’s also a proven blocker, a skill he’s improved in each of his four seasons with the Crimson Tide. At 6-6, 249 pounds, Howard has NFL size. He can also be a factor in space with his speed and overall athleticism. Entering the Senior Bowl, some draft analysts questioned how good his hands were. He responded by catching nearly everything thrown his way. Howard was underused in the Tide’s offense, so his numbers aren’t staggering, but he can be an every-down player right away in the NFL and has the look of a top-20 selection.

What Should the Eagles do With Jordan Matthews? - Philly Football Talk
I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Jordan Matthews is what he is. For three years now, Matthews has put up better counting stats than his actual play suggests. His counting stats make it seem as if he’s on the same tier as guys like Allen Hurns, Doug Baldwin and Michael Crabtree but we all know that’s not true. The only reason he puts up stats is because, what other receiver is worthy enough to get the ball thrown their way? Matthews is the best option out of a terrible bunch, and on top of that, seems to only drop the ball when it matters most. Sure, his overall drop numbers aren’t horrendous but if you look at the situations, it’s almost always when the team needs it the most.

BYU RB Jamaal Williams' power comes from Walter Payton influence - EaglesWire
Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook are the two names that frequently come up in this year’s running back class. BYU running back Jamaal Williams is a prospect that has drawn plenty of interest from teams because of his physical running style.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston: 'I would love to have DeSean' - TampaBay.com
"I've met him before, and we want DeSean. You better believe we want DeSean here," Winston said. "I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean."

The five most risk/reward free agents - PFF
1 - Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery - Between the fact that Jeffery had an injury-riddled 2015 and was subsequently popped for PED usage in 2016, there are some reasons to be wary of doling out big money to him. Coming off of a season in which Jeffery played under the franchise tag, one has to imagine that’s his starting point for any sort of contract negotiation. That will be a steal though, if he can get back to his 2013 form. In that season Jeffery’s average of 2.37 yards per route was the sixth-best of any receiver in the league.

NFL free agents 2017: Current top 100 players available in free agency - SB Nation
The NFL’s annual free agent frenzy kicks off on March 9. Keep track of where the best players are headed with our handy list.

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