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Eagles News: NFL scouts weigh in on Philadelphia’s potential draft targets

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/28/20.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 USC at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Matt Miller’s Scouting Notebook: Latest Buzz for Every NFL Team at 2020 Combine - B/R
Philadelphia — It’s very easy to say the Eagles need a wide receiver—they do. They also need upgrades in the secondary and will look for more weapons in the pass-rushing department, according to scouts who know the team. Henry Ruggs III and Brandon Aiyuk were mentioned as targets in Round 1.

NFL Combine 2020: Day 1 Winners & Losers - BGN
LOSERS — Tee Higgins, Clemson. All that talk about running in the 4.4s and you pull out to “rest”? Come on, man! Some betting sites had Higgins’ O/U at 4.57, which looks about right based on his film. He ran a 4.75 coming out of high school, which is not fast (#analysis). Maybe he was feeling more like his high school self and decided to save it for more favorable conditions at the Clemson pro day? Either way it’s a disappointment and a box left unchecked.

Stock up, stock down: Eagles WR targets after NFL Combine testing - PhillyVoice
Stock down — Laviska Shenault, Colorado. Shenault clocked a somewhat disappointing 4.58 on his first run, and then curiously didn’t participate on his second run. Shenault is a physical beast and a YAC monster at 6’1, 227, so that’s not a deal-breaker, but there was hope that he would also test very well in Indy. That lack of a good timed speed and a long injury history puts his first-round status in question.

LT Drama - Iggles Blitz
Henry Ruggs ran 4.27. We knew he could fly so that time just put a quantifiable number on his speed. He might not make it to pick 21. He was expected to be a blazer so the fast 40-time might not change much. Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb ran more in the 4.5 range. Doesn’t matter. They are the two best receiver prospects. Lamb was especially impressive. I guess it is possible Ruggs could go ahead of Jeudy and then Jeudy could be on the board at 21. Not likely, but possible. NFL teams can fall in love with elite speed. Notre Dame star Chase Claypool measured in at 6-4, 238. I thought that would push him toward TE for sure. Then he ran a 4.38 and jumped well. He will now go in the 2nd or 3rd round. That’s a rare-size speed combo. And he has good game tape. Claypool isn’t just a workout warrior. Justin Jefferson had a strong day. He could be in the mix for pick 21. Jefferson had an amazing year in 2019 and ran better than expected in Indy. Terrific NFL prospect.

NFL Combine results: 6 winners, 3 losers from WRs/TEs on bench press, 40-yard dash and more - SB Nation
2. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah provided the perfect evidence that Jefferson had a great showing at the NFL Combine. When the LSU receiver took off down the track in Indianapolis, Jeremiah told Rich Eisen, “I don’t anticipate that we’ll see a really fast — well, never mind. Hey now!” Just as Jeremiah was lowering the expectations for Jefferson, the receiver finished the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds. That’s a tremendous time for a receiver who already showed he can do everything else at an extremely high level. If Jefferson wasn’t already a first-round pick, he made his case even stronger Thursday.

Time is right for Eagles to pursue Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones - ESPN
All signs point to the Philadelphia Eagles going hard after a top-end cornerback when the new NFL league year opens March 18, putting the likes of Dallas Cowboys starter Byron Jones in play. The Eagles haven’t handed out many significant contracts to free agents over the past couple of years, opting to search for value in the over-30 bin and elsewhere rather than paying a premium for players smack in their prime. That approach was influenced by both the team’s lack of draft resources and a shorter-term roster-building view as Philadelphia tried to strike while the iron was hot following its 2017 Super Bowl run, general manager Howie Roseman explained this week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Latest news and rumors around the NFL - Pro Football Network
2:30 PM ET (via Tony Pauline): Byron Jones in high demand. The market for Byron Jones is enormous, as the soon to be former Cowboys cornerback is in high demand. Without getting into team particulars I can tell you: 1) Jones is universally graded as the top free agent cornerback; 2) the contract he eventually signs will be larger than anything people presently project; and 3) the ultimate situation will come down to where Jones wants to play moving forward, as he will have several suitors offering huge contracts.

The return of DT Malik Jackson and what it means for Eagles -
Everyone is rooting for Jackson to make it all the way back and to become the inside force the Eagles projected him to be when he was cut by Jacksonville and landed in Philadelphia’s laps one year ago. He’s a class guy, an upbeat presence and he loves the game of football. Having him in a productive role would mean a lot for this football team in many ways. Just how much of the positional needs are solved with Jackson’s return? That’s the biggest question of all as the Eagles put the finishing touches on their plans for free agency and the draft. Philadelphia has to be better along the defensive line, inside and on the edge. A healthy, springy Jackson beating up guards and centers with Cox at his side changes the entire defense. Dominating up front helps the Eagles on the back end.

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival - NBCSP
Jadeveon Clowney is Public Enemy No. 1 for Eagles fans right now, after his dirty hit in the Wild Card round injured Carson Wentz and ended the Birds’ playoff hopes. Can you imagine facing Clowney twice in 2020? That might end up a reality, according to a report from none other than ESPN’s Josina Anderson, another villain from the Wentz hit fallout. Anderson reports that Clowney is opening to returning to the Seahawks in 2020, but is also open to other opportunities, and could be courted by an Eagles rival [the New York Giants].

Alshon Jeffery was the perfect mercenary for the Eagles. He got what he wanted. You did, too. - Inquirer
Alshon Jeffery was the perfect NFL mercenary for the Eagles. If they are able to release him or trade him, even as he convalesces from the Lisfranc injury that might prevent him from playing until the start of the regular season, that would be fine — in their minds and, I suspect, in his. If they bring him back because his unwieldy contract makes it too difficult to cut ties with him, well, that will be fun, too, given the iciness between him and Carson Wentz. Either way, there should be no complaints from Jeffery, from the Eagles, or from the team’s fans. This has been a fulfilling and worthwhile relationship for all sides, regardless of when and how it ends.

NFL Combine 2020: Former Philadelphia prep star D’Andre Swift among locals to work out Friday - PennLive
Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift is set to take the next step in his illustrious football career Friday when he works out for NFL scouts, coaches and executives at the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Swift starred at St. Joseph’s Prep. He starred at Georgia. He developed the reputation as one of the top running backs in the country, one that is borne out by his place atop the running back rankings by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

Rick Gosselin’s all-time non-combine team - Talk Of Fame Network
G—Brandon Brooks. Another product of the MAC (Miami), Brooks was not one of the 14 guards invited to the 2012 combine. But that didn’t prevent the Houston Texans from drafting him in the third round with the 76th overall pick. He played special teams as a rookie but moved into the starting lineup at guard in his second year and stayed there for three seasons. He jumped to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency in 2016 and has started the last four seasons there. He has been voted to the Pro Bowl each of the last three years and has won a Super Bowl ring with the Eagles.

Former Eagles high performance director Shaun Huls joining Browns - PFT
New Cleveland Browns General Manager Andrew Berry is bringing along another familiar face from his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Browns are highing Shaun Huls to be the team’s director of high performance. Huls had been with the Eagles before the Huls and the team mutually decided to part ways earlier this month.

The 2020 NFL Franchise Tag Primer - The Ringer
Dallas already has the second-most expensive offensive line in football. Ezekiel Elliott is the most expensive running back in football. Prescott might become the most expensive football player. Are they going to make Cooper one of the highest-paid receivers too? The only thing scarier than paying top-of-the-market rates at almost every offensive position is not giving Cooper his money. Will Prescott end up the highest-paid player in football but be stuck throwing to Michael Gallup and Jason Witten’s mummy?

Trent Williams wants a new contract or trade from the Redskins - Hogs Haven
Mike Garafolo is reporting that Williams wants a new deal, and if he can’t get that he wants to be traded. The Redskins were going to have to give him a new deal for Williams to return, but they haven’t agreed on one yet. This situation could go either way, but it is definitely in a better place than it was two months ago.

Report: Giants TE Rhett Ellison considering retirement - Big Blue View
Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post is reporting that New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison could be mulling retirement. Ellison had his season ended in week 10 when he was sidelined with a concussion and he finished the season in the concussion protocol. Ellison is due to be paid $7.18 million in 2020 and it has been expected that the Giants would be releasing Ellison this off-season to free up money against the salary cap. Whether the Giants release Ellison or he retires it would free up roughly $5 million in cap space, with 2.18 remaining in dead money.

How to watch the XFL in Week 4 - DraftKings Nation
Week 3 is in the rearview mirror along with 30 percent of the XFL season. We now head into Week 4 with four interesting games on tap. Through two weeks it appeared we were starting to see a true delineation between the haves and the have-nots, but the Defenders giving up the most points ever and losing by the most points ever to the Wildcats put a kink in our power rankings. This week we get to see if Cardale Jones and the Defenders can get back on course in Tampa, while we also get to see if the Wildcats can keep up their strong play, this time on the east coast against a bad Guardians team.

Ultimate XFL Week 4 Preview: DFS, Picks, More - Rotoworld
Can [former Eagles quarterback] Luis Perez (or anybody) make this offense respectable? Marquise Williams (5.9 YPA) has been more efficient than Matt McGloin (5.3) while providing plus mobility, but neither has been what some might call “good.” Up next is a Los Angeles defense that has allowed the second-most yards per play this season, although they do boast three of the league’s nine corners to record an interception in CB Mike Stevens (2), Arrion Springs (1) and Bradley Sylve (1). Toss in the presence of play-making safeties Ladarius Wiley (PFF’s No. 1 overall safety) and Jack Tocho (No. 9), and it’s clear that this isn’t a secondary to make off-target passes against. Both Williams and McGloin have been under pressure on over 40% of their dropbacks this season. Perez was one of just two AAF QBs to be under duress that often, and he responded with an absurd five interceptions in 101 pressured pass attempts. Responsible and mistake-free football will be needed this Saturday against the Wildcats’ ball-hawking secondary, and none of these QBs have demonstrated much ability to do just that.


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