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Eagles News: Philadelphia earns high grade for their 2018 undrafted free agent signings

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/18/18.

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NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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

Grading Every Team’s Undrafted Free-Agent Haul - B/R
The Philadelphia Eagles could bolster the strong parts of their roster that helped lead them to a Super Bowl LII victory. Running back Josh Adams hit the national spotlight behind Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey blocking on the offensive line at Notre Dame last year. Both players came off the board in the top nine selections. Let’s not take anything away from the Fighting Irish’s lead tailback over the past two seasons. He averaged at least 5.9 yards per carry in all three years on campus. Despite his impressive career yards-per-rush average, Adams doesn’t have a second gear to reach the edge on the professional level. He’s spotty at best as a receiver and comes up small in pass protection. The eye test likely hurts his draft stock. The Notre Dame prospect looks like an early-down back, who can contribute to a committee as opposed to a workhorse asset, though, he fits well in an Eagles backfield that lost a downhill runner in LeGarrette Blount during free agency. Bruce Hector and Joe Ostman could make the roster as an underrated pass-rushing tag team on the defensive line. The former finished a three-year college career as a wrecking ball on the inside with 18 sacks. The latter took down the quarterback 26 times in his time at Central Michigan. The Eagles front seven would certainly improve with either Hector or Ostman in the rotation. If they both manage to earn roster spots, Philadelphia should lead the league in sacks. Grade: A.

Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Post-NFL Draft edition - BGN
I’ve spent this week projecting the Philadelphia Eagles depth chart for the 2018 NFL season. I started with the offense, moved on to the defense, and then finished up with the special teams unit. Now that the 90-man roster has been sorted, it’s time for an early pre-OTAs prediction of who will actually make the final cut down to 53. A lot of position battles are still yet to be determined but this projection will provide us with a general sense of what the final roster should look like. We’ll revisit this activity multiple times throughout the offseason. (For fun, here’s a look at what the roster looked like at this time last year.)

I mean, just shut up already, Colin Cowherd, lol - PhillyVoice
Let me start this post by acknowledging that I have taken the loss here. Congratulations on the win to FS1 radio host Colin Cowherd, whose sole purpose in his job is to get reactions, which he has previously (and recently) achieved in Philadelphia for a moronic Sixers prediction that ended up being way off. Because Cowherd was successfully able to draw attention in Philly by trolling Sixers fans, he figured, “Hey, let’s try the Eagles!” I have taken the bait, and will react to a recent monologue by Cowherd that appeared in my Twitter feed today.

Insight from Howie - Iggles Blitz
It really will be interesting to see how things play out this year. Dak Prescott could bounce back in a major way or struggle even more with pedestrian receivers. Eli has better blocking and more talent to work with, but he’s been mediocre the last five years. Smith is coming off a great season, but there are no guarantees that he will play at the same level on a new team and in a new system. This could be a wild season for the QBs of the NFC East.

NFL Insiders predict: 2018 MVP, most improved team, more - ESPN
Mike Clay, NFL writer: Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are the defending champs and -- as rosters currently stand -- also happen to sport the league’s best team on paper. I don’t expect a Super Bowl hangover, so as long as Wentz returns healthy from his torn ACL, I expect another outstanding season behind Philadelphia’s league-best offensive line.

Draft Decisions: NFC East - Rotoworld
2 (49). TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State - Really like his fit as a player and person. Had our eye on him. Coaches excited about the different ways they can use him. More weapons we can put around our quarterback, better it is for our head coach, better our team can be… Was among the players grouped at 32, wanted to make sure we got one of them so that’s why we moved up. Goal was to come away with one of the guys from that list… Relationship with the Colts (HC and GM) helped… Blue-collar kid who works extremely hard. Dominated at his level of play. Showed promising traits before he got hurt at the Senior Bowl. Stepped up against TCU… Could utilize him in a similar way to Trey Burton, on the field with Ertz… Might need to spoon feed a young tight end at first. Have to be a receiver and blocker… High-level competitor. Needs technique work at the point of attack as a blocker… He can see a tight end who separates at the top of his routes… We felt there were different levels of tight ends in this draft… “At the top of the tight end group. That’s why we picked him.”... Carson Wentz and Goedert share an agent… Tight ends have morphed into route runners who can block inline. We aren’t a big point, inline tight end scheme… We view Sidney Jones as part of this draft class.

Matt Pryor Coming To Grips With Life In NFL -
“Once he gets his hands on you, you’re done.” Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland praised the hand strength of rookie sixth-round pick Matt Pryor out of TCU. When asked during the Rookie Camp about his coach’s comment, the versatile lineman cited specific exercises and the way the strength coaches in college focused on upper-body development. He couldn’t come up with a definitive reason for it. Is it the hand size? At 11 1/2 inches, Pryor’s hands were the biggest of all the offensive linemen at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, although he did not get an invite. Our own Fran Duffy’s research indicated that the average hand size of a tackle/guard (separate from players who were only interior linemen) drafted over the past decade was 10 inches.

Roob’s 10 observations: Eagles playing hurt, Lurie’s anniversary, Foles stats - NBC Sports Philadelphia
I think the Eagles are going to be very careful with Jay Ajayi’s workload, both during training camp and the season. Ajayi averaged only 10 carries per game after joining the Eagles in November, and that number jumped to 14 per game in the playoffs, and he was healthy and productive when the Eagles needed him the most. Ajayi is only 24, but obviously the Eagles are concerned about his knees. I love Ajayi’s ability, but I don’t think he gets more than 200 carries during the regular season (12 ½ per game), and it’s clear the Eagles want to add as much talent as possible around him — Matt Jones, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, perhaps Wendell Smallwood, perhaps Josh Adams, perhaps even Donnel Pumphrey — so the Eagles can rotate guys and keep Ajayi’s workload down. Pederson loves rotating backs anyway, and even without LeGarrette Blount, you’ll continue to see that.

Five Eagles numbers that matter: Carson Wentz edition - The Athletic
49.0 – The percentage of third downs that the Eagles converted last year when Wentz dropped back to pass. That was the best mark in the NFL; no other quarterback was higher than 44.3. It is also tied for the best mark by any quarterback since 2011 when Drew Brees converted 55.2 percent of his third-down chances. Wentz averaged a ridiculous 9.5 YPA on third down; no other QB was better than 8.4.

6 individual milestones within reach for Philadelphia Eagles players in 2018 - PennLive
4) Jason Peters needs to make the Pro Bowl to move into a tie for the most Pro Bowls in Eagles history. Jason Peters, a star left tackle, has earned nine Pro Bowl invites in his career and seven with the Eagles (he played in Buffalo from 2004 to ‘08, before arriving in Philly through a trade). Hall of Fame linebacker Chuck Bednarik is the only player to make eight Pro Bowls as a member of the Birds; Peters’ seven is tied with Brian Dawkins and Reggie White for second in franchise history.

I’m a Pro Football Player Now, but I’ll Be Black Forever - New York Times
Activism is important to Bennett. It’s why he’s involved in eliminating food deserts in black communities. It’s why the death of Charleena Lyles, shot by the Seattle police after she called to report an attempted burglary, tied him to the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s why he’s uncomfortable merely calling himself a feminist, deciding to act on his beliefs by helping provide science, technology, engineering and math programs to young women of color. It’s why he’s adamant about taking inspiration from the June 1967 meeting of pro athlete social activists that’s come to be known as the Ali Summit. And it’s why Colin Kaepernick, still in exile from the N.F.L., has his lifelong support. The conversation Kaepernick’s actions helped ignite, Bennett believes, was more valuable than any of his own paychecks.

The Biggest Bets of the 2018 NFL Offseason - The Ringer
The Giants stuck with Eli Manning, the Cowboys filled Dez Bryant’s role with a receiver-by-committee approach, and the Bears put all their chips down on Aaron Lynch. But did they make the right call?

Speed, Discipline and a Whole Bunch of Cash: Inside the Odd Sale of the Carolina Panthers - Sports Illustrated
The soon-to-be-official sale of the franchise to David Tepper didn’t go according to plan for Jerry Richardson nor the NFL. Other sections include: Jason Witten’s TV advantage; the NFL’s stance on gambling; the budding Gruden-Carr relationship; and more.

Four Downs: AFC East - Football Outsiders
Biggest post-draft holes all reside on offense in the AFC East, except for the Pats who could still use a real edge rusher.

The 1 position each NFL team should feel great about before the 2018 season - SB Nation
Philadelphia got more veteran help to its front line by trading for Michael Bennett this offseason. He’ll bring a wealth of postseason experience to a Super Bowl champion line that already features Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Chris Long, Haloti Ngata, Timmy Jernigan, and Derek Barnett. They also picked defensive end Josh Sweat in the fourth round, a talented player who could prove to be a steal. That’s a wealth of talent that should be able to improve on last year’s relatively low sack rate while remaining a top-10 unit against the run.


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