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Eagles News: Philadelphia now has two of the top rated deep threats in the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/23/18.

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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

Tyreek Hill, Marvin Jones among best deep-threat WRs of 2017 -
10) Nelson Agholor. Passer rating: 99.0 (14th). Catch rate: 37.5 percent (15th). Percentage of yards: 35.8 percent (15th). Deep touchdowns: 3 (ninth). Score: 53. After Agholor’s first two NFL seasons, the idea that he’d find himself on a top-10 list like this would have been nearly unfathomable. Yet, here we are. A move to the slot revived the wideout’s career in his third pro campaign, and he enjoyed a breakout season for the eventual Super Bowl champions. Agholor looked at home running routes from the inside and began to demonstrate the big-play ability that made him a first-round selection back in 2015. While just 16.8 percent of Agholor’s catches in 2017 came on deep passes, he made them count, totaling 275 yards and three touchdowns. The USC product heads into his fourth NFL season as a well-established top piece in the Eagles’ well-oiled offensive machine. Agholor is now the poster boy of why you shouldn’t write off a young player when his career gets off to a slow start.

[BLG Note: Wallace didn’t make the list of top 10 deep threats in 2017 like Agholor did but we all know he brings vertical speed.]

Mel Kiper regrades the 2017 NFL Draft - BGN
Overall, I think the Eagles got two sure-fire starters with Barnett and Jernigan (if you count him). If you want to count Elliott as well, that’s three. Jones and Hollins and maybe even Clement have starting potential but still need to prove more. Pumphrey, Gibson, Gerry, and Qualls are likely fighting for their roster spots this offseason. If you get anything out of them, it only makes the class even better.

Mailbag: How screwed are the Eagles when it’s time to pay Carson Wentz? - PhillyVoice
Going forward, there will be no more payouts to guys like Bradford or Daniel, and whenever Foles is no longer on the roster, whether that be via trade or Foles leaving in free agency next offseason, the Eagles would no longer have an expensive backup. Is Wentz eventually going to make more than the roughly $15.5 million the Eagles are going to pay their quarterback position as a group this year? Yes, of course he is. So the cost is going to rise. Still, quarterbacks drafted anywhere in Round 3 or beyond are going to make less than a million per year over the course of their rookie contracts. Drafting a new one roughly every other year would alleviate the necessity of paying big money to guys like Daniel or Foles, thus helping offset the extreme cost of paying your elite starting quarterback.

Another Weapon in the Fold - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles now have an impressive set of receivers. Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Wallace give them a terrific trio. Hollins should take a big step forward this year. He showed a lot of promise as a rookie. Gibson is very raw, but should also be improved this year. He primarily played on STs. That could still help him. Just being on the field for a Super Bowl team had to help his confidence and he definitely has a better idea of what game speed is. Wallace should be an upgrade on Smith. Wallace has been more productive over the years and has better hands.

WR Mike Wallace Finds Right Fit -
In two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Mike Wallace caught 124 passes for 1,765 yards and eight touchdowns, playing in 31 of 32 games. He brings deep speed to the Eagles’ offense. He brings depth. He brings personality and confidence ...

Film and numbers: What Mike Wallace brings to the Eagles’ offense - The Athletic
Against the Steelers, Wallace made a tremendous move at the line of scrimmage and got free deep, even though he couldn’t hold on to the pass. Overall, Wallace will drop some passes, but his 5.5 percent drop percentage last year was better than league average. Wallace caught eight passes on balls that traveled 20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage; that was tied for 15th in the league. And according to Next Gen Stats, he ranked 20th out of 72 receivers in terms of average separation created. As a point of reference, Torrey Smith ranked 49th.

College experience shows Daryl Worley has character, makeup Eagles are looking for - Inquirer
“It was kind of a transformation, me playing defensive back and taking it 100 percent serious,” said Worley, who grew up in North Philadelphia. “I’m not the overly sized guy. I was going to be a middle-sized receiver coming in. I mean, we had a lot of great receivers coming out of there at that time. … We had a lot going on. I was looking for anything, as a young freshman, just to be able to get on the field.” By the end of his junior season, Worley had developed into a member of the all-Big 12 first team, coming so far as a cornerback that he didn’t return for his senior season, choosing instead to enter the 2016 NFL draft, where the Panthers picked him in the third round. He admitted this week that his overall performance last season, playing mostly on the outside, was inconsistent. But he’s still just 23, and during his introductory news conference Monday, he said he was willing to line up wherever the Eagles might need him: on the outside, in the slot, at safety.

NFL Insiders predict free-agency impact: The biggest head-scratching move so far - ESPN
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Minnesota Vikings. Over the past two seasons, Richardson ranked 139th among defensive linemen in ESPN Stats & Information’s disrupted dropback percentage metric. Rewarding this caliber of production with a one-year, $8 million deal is the definition of head-scratching.

Report: Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks has surgery on ankle - PFT
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks had surgery on his ankle on Thursday, according to Tim McManus of Kendricks had the surgery in Green Bay, which indicates a likelihood it was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson, who used to be based in Charlotte before moving to Green Bay, is the foot and ankle specialist many NFL teams call upon when surgeries are necessary. The surgery is only expected to sideline Kendricks a few weeks.

Philadelphia Eagles show they still value Super Bowl experience when making additions - PennLive
Three of the four players the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles acquired this month have rings of their own. Defensive end Michael Bennett claimed his with the Seahawks in 2014, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl a year earlier and linebacker Corey Nelson was on the Broncos title team in 2016. The fourth newcomer, Daryl Worley, spent his first two NFL seasons playing cornerback for the Panthers. And perhaps most importantly to the Birds, Bennett and Ngata played a part in building perennial contenders in Seattle and Baltimore, respectively.

PFF names Raven’s Mike Wallace the best at this route - Baltimore Beatdown
That’s actually a pretty remarkable stat given that when a receiver runs a slant over the middle, they’re likely to take a hard hit from a linebacker. As PFF mentioned, some of Wallace’s best plays have come from slants, including the longest receiving touchdown in franchise history. Much has been made of what the Ravens will do with Wallace, who carries a cap hit of $8 million, $5 million of which can be saved if he is cut. A case can be made the that the Ravens need Wallace, but I still believe if he is to stay on the roster, the team will need to restructure his contract in order to free up cap space to improve the team.

2018 Packers free agency: Jordan Matthews meets with Green Bay - Acme Packing Company
The Packers and Matthews share plenty of ties, several dating back before the wide receiver entered the NFL. As a collegiate wideout, Matthews caught passes for Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Matthews also played head coach James Franklin, a former Green Bay offensive assistant. In another coaching stop at Kansas State, Franklin coached Jordy Nelson, whom the Packers selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

What Are the Cowboys Waiting For? - The Ringer
With Dak Prescott on a rookie contract, Dallas’s Super Bowl window is wide open. But the team has dragged its feet during free agency and hasn’t made a decision on Dez Bryant. What gives?

JPP’s Giants career: A hint of greatness, followed by ... what? - Big Blue View
But ... but ... but ... Pierre-Paul’s career with the Giants always felt it could have — no, should have — been more than it was. He always seemed to promise more than he could deliver, and the amazing promise of 2011 always seemed to leave whatever he did produce falling short of what you hoped he would produce. I was always left wanting more from Pierre-Paul — feeling like there should have been more. More All-Pro seasons. More sacks. More dominance. Maybe even more maturity and willingness to lead.

The Cowboys are bringing in new players, but they’re really just old players - Blogging The Boys
As you’re likely aware (I assume you’re smart, don’t worry), Joe Thomas had a cup of coffee on the Cowboys practice squad back in 2015. So while the Cowboys deserve credit (I guess?) for bringing in two new players, they aren’t really two new players. This kind of feels like the M.O. of the Cowboys towards all things, really. They believe in what they believe in, and they believe that the things they’ve touched will turn to gold. For crying out loud, Kellen Moore is this team’s quarterbacks coach.

Rainy Pro Day Does Nothing to Dampen Enthusiasm for Sam Darnold as Likely Top Draft Pick - Sports Illustrated
The Eagles’ additions of Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett, who are a combined 66 years old, may or may not workout. But I applaud the premise of the moves, which is to build strength on strength, something the Giants did on their defensive line back during their Super Bowl years. The idea is that the last thing a club can afford is for a couple injuries to turn a team strength into average-or-worse section of the roster, and guarding against that is something good franchises have habitually done.

Why SMU receiver Courtland Sutton could be one of the biggest steals in the NFL Draft - SB Nation
He hasn’t gotten the same kind of attention as some of the draft’s other receivers, but retired NFL defensive end Stephen White sees a player who could be big surprise in the pros.


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