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Eagles News: Dwayne Gratz among under the radar players to keep an eye on

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/11/17.

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Five under-the-radar Eagles to watch in 2017 - Inquirer
Dwayne Gratz, cornerback. The Eagles obviously need cornerbacks, and the draft is expected to add at least two to the depth chart. But of the returning players at the position, Gratz is an oft-forgotten cornerback who could factor into the roster mix with a good summer. The Eagles signed Gratz last December, and it wasn’t to make a 2016 contribution -- it was to have him on the roster for the offseason. Gratz, 27, started 25 games for Jacksonville from 2013-15. He is 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds and was a 2013 third-round pick. So there is talent for the Eagles to use, along with starting experience. Most of his playing time came on the outside; the Jaguars moved him to the slot before moving on from him last year. After Patrick Robinson, he’s the second most-experienced cornerback on the depth chart. His contract is not guaranteed this season, so Gratz will need to impress the Eagles to make the team. But Jalen Mills is the only cornerback likely assured a roster spot this point, meaning there is an opportunity for Gratz.

NFL Mock Draft: Eagles pick up a running back and a corner - BGN
Do you approve of these selections?

Examining the feasibility of the Eagles acquiring Seahawks corner Richard Sherman - PhillyVoice
From the Seahawks' perspective, a first-round pick might be wishful thinking, and the Revis example is a good reason why. As noted by Banner, Sherman is two years older than Revis was when he was dealt. But also, in this case, the Seahawks are clearly the initiators of a potential trade, which will likely hurt their chances of maximizing their return.

Eagles Are Deep, Talented In QB Room - PE.com
If you like what a player brings to the table, add him to the mix and see what develops. That’s basically the thinking with the Eagles’ move to add quarterback Matt McGloin to a quarterback room with starter Carson Wentz and backup Nick Foles already in place ...

The case for and against cornerback with the Eagles first draft pick - CSN Philly
There's very little debate about the Eagles' biggest need heading into the 2017 NFL Draft. It's cornerback. In fact, a case could be made cornerback is the first, second and third position most in need of an upgrade. At most, that's only slight hyperbole. If the season started today, the Eagles would likely go with some combination of Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and Rob Brooks at corner. Now, who's ready to buy playoff tickets? A trio of Mills, Robinson and Brooks could work out better than people think. Regardless, the Eagles aren't going to leave it at that. It's purely a matter of when during the course of the 2017 NFL Draft the cornerback position will be addressed.

5 Eagles players that could be traded during NFL Draft - NJ.com
How the Eagles feel about receiver Jordan Matthews isn't clear. On one hand, he seems to be a building block for the offense, and has been their best receiver over the past three seasons. On the other hand, they have yet to sign him to a contract extension despite the fact he will be a free agent next offseason. Normally, the Eagles don't let players they value enter the final year of their deal. Couple Matthews' lack of a contract extension with the signings of receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith, and the Eagles would likely be open to moving Matthews if a receiver they like in the draft falls to them unexpectedly.

Beau Allen's injury means big role for Tim Jernigan in Eagles defense - ESPN
While Allen could make it back towards the earlier portion of the Eagles' schedule, it's to be determined just how quickly he'll regain full strength and full form. The team will need to have other rotational options in the pipeline. Perhaps the answer lies within. Destiny Vaeao, an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, showed some encouraging signs as a rookie, and Stanford's Aziz Shittu may find his way onto the roster as well. The Eagles could also use one of their eight picks in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft to address defensive tackle. They have looked into Washington's Elijah Qualls and Michigan's Ryan Glasgow, among others. Both Qualls and Glasgow could end up being mid-round picks.

Five Eagles veterans who could be on the bubble this summer - Morning Call
WR Dorial Green-Beckham. After signing Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery to join fellow WR Jordan Matthews and tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton, who was re-signed as a restricted free agent, there simply might not be much work left for Green-Beckham. Even if he shows dramatic improvement, will he be worth $950,00 -- none of it guaranteed -- to them in 2017? Survey says ... ehhhhhh!!!!

Reception Perception: Measuring Potential Reward that Comes with the Risk of Dede Westbrook - The Fantasy Footballers
It’s easy to cite Westbrook’s sub 180-pound frame as a reason for his disastrous score against press coverage. However, the real concern is that his technique and overall route-running acumen leaves much to be desired. This is not a player that showed any sort of understanding of the nuances of separation in his college film. His releases off the line of scrimmage were often too predictable, and despite his deep game ability, he offered little in terms of head fakes or deception tactics at the breakpoints of routes to earn a slight space for a quarterback to hit him. With poor technique and a lack of size, it’s hard to project Westbrook as an asset in tight coverage.

Former Raiders QB Matt McGloin signs one-year deal with Eagles - Silver and Black Pride
With Carr’s injury in week 16, McGloin got the nod for the season finale against the Broncos. It would be his first start since his 2013 rookie season in which he started 6 games for the Raiders. If he played well, very likely some team would have given him the chance he felt he deserved. He didn’t play well.

Buffalo Bills sign DE Jake Metz, 2016 AFL Defensive Player of the Year - Buffalo Rumblings
In August of 2016, Metz was named the AFL’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with eight sacks. That led to him being signed by the Eagles in late August, but his time with Philadelphia was short lived. He was released on September 3.

NFL draft WR rankings 2017: Clemson’s Mike Williams leads a thin group - SB Nation
There are plenty of fast wide receivers every year in the draft. None of them are as fast as Ross and, more importantly, none of them know how to use it as expertly as the Washington star. Ross uses his 4.22 40-yard-dash speed not just on deep passes. On drag routes Ross gets up to speed in such a hurry that he creates separation going over the middle and the cornerback covering him often times can’t keep up. The acceleration Ross gets out of cuts also makes him a better red zone threat than you’d imagine for a 5’11 receiver. And when he hits a double move? A slow-footed cornerback has no chance. He’ll be an asset as a kick returner. At Washington he averaged 24.4 yards per return.

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