Tight ends that could fit Eagles in NFL draft

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Tight ends that could fit Eagles in NFL draft

We continue our positional breakdowns leading up to the 2018 NFL draft with a look at tight ends. Instead of a top five, we'll highlight players at these positions who fit the Eagles and have a chance to be available when the team picks.

So far, we've looked at quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.

At No. 32
Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State, 6-5, 255 pounds

If the Eagles are planning to take a tight end at 32, Goedert would be the ideal choice. He's drawn comparisons to Zach Ertz with his reliable hands and ability to find soft spots over the middle. He put up consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and 18 TDs in his last two seasons combined. Coming from a small school, it's slightly disappointing he didn't run the 40 at the combine or his pro day. He's not the greatest blocker, but he's not bad and he's willing. Ertz and Goedert would make the Eagles' offense even more lethal.

Mike Gesicki, Penn State, 6-5, 247 pounds
Gesicki is an athletic freak who crushed the combine after a productive career in Happy Valley. His catch radius is ridiculous. His 4.54 40 doesn't always show up on tape, which makes me wonder if there's a little more there. Gesicki's biggest flaw is his blocking. He's just not good at it. Has Ertz improved enough in that regard for the Eagles to feel comfortable taking a poor blocking tight end? The duo would be incredibly dynamic in the passing game.

Hayden Hurst, South Carolina, 6-4, 250 pounds
Hurst is the most complete tight end in this draft and it's really not even close. He was a productive receiver (100 catches the last two seasons combined) and was a willing and capable blocker during his time with the Gamecocks. The issue with Hurst is his age. He's 25 years old after spending time as a baseball prospect in the Pirates' system. Hurst then decided to go to South Carolina and play football. He's a fine prospect, but at 25, probably not worth a first-round pick.

In the middle
Chris Herndon, Miami, 6-4, 245 pounds

Herndon waited his turn behind 2017 first-round pick David Njoku and played well during his senior season for the Hurricanes (40 catches, 447 yards, four TDs). Unfortunately, a knee injury cost him the end of his season and has forced him to rehabilitate instead of train for the NFL draft process. Herndon is a good athlete with pretty reliable hands. He was a decent blocker as well and the 20 reps he put up at the combine shows that he's got decent strength. Herndon would be really intriguing in the middle rounds. 

Late-round sleeper(s)
Will Dissly, Washington, 6-4, 267 pounds

A converted defensive end, Dissly's receiving numbers won't blow you away (21 catches, 289 yards, two TDs), but he brings that defensive player edge to his blocking. The Eagles have an intriguing receiving tight end prospect in Billy Brown. Perhaps it would make some sense to select a player like Dissly late to complement the dynamism of Ertz and Brown. Plus, Dissly didn't look totally unnatural catching the football and was a load to bring down after the catch. There could be potential there.

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

A few days ago, the Eagles and Nick Foles agreed to rework his contract.

The restructured deal included a $2 million signing bonus and incentives based on whether Foles starts and reaches certain goals, plus a mutual option for 2019 (see story). Monday, it became clearer how the Eagles were able to get Foles more money up front when Pro Bowl offensive guard Brandon Brooks tweeted this:

Brooks restructured his current deal last Friday to help out his quarterback (see story)

NBC Sports Philadelphia had Brooks and RT Lane Johnson on Quick Slants Monday. Brooks had this to say about the restructure and his tweet:

Whenever it comes to a restructure, I just wanted to throw it out there — one, to clarify as far as exactly what happened and then two, probably the most important thing is look at what Nick did. I literally did whatever it took to get him extra money. I mean, everything he’s done for us as a team, for us as a city. The Super Bowl MVP. You know, going out there, launching that thing every week. The leader he is. The high character guy he is. And when they approached me about it, it was kind of like, 'Nah,' but then after understanding it was for Nick Foles, then I said, 'Without question, let’s go ahead and get it done.' He deserves it, he brought the first championship to the city, so it was a no-brainer, without question for me.

Brooks' close friend and linemate Johnson added:

The man was thrown into the fire and came out on top. I mean, he was really thrown into a tough situation and only had two weeks the last part of the season to kind of get in a rhythm, and you know how those games went. The guy went out there and delivered. I’m just so proud of him. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. We’re all happy for him.

As it gets closer to the 2018 NFL draft, the rumors continue to swirl that Foles could be traded. If it happens, a number of his teammates have told me Foles deserves his own team.

Will Foles be in Eagles green come September? Only time will tell, but whether he’s here or elsewhere, Foles will always have the respect and admiration from a group of guys who completed a magical season.

Eagles in contact with the White House about possible visit

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Eagles in contact with the White House about possible visit

After winning Super Bowl LI, the Patriots visited the White House on April 19, 2017. 

You might have noticed that April 19 has come and gone this year and there hasn’t been much talk of the Super Bowl champion Eagles visiting the relatively new home of President Donald Trump. 

But on Monday, the New York Times reported that discussions about a possible Eagles trip to the White House have begun.

The Eagles confirmed that report with the following in a statement: “We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington. We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field achievements, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country."

This is the first time the Eagles have publicly spoken about a trip to the White House and the first time they’ve revealed they have been invited. When asked about the possible trip last month at the annual league meetings, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie didn’t seem very eager to speak about the topic. 

“We just won the Super Bowl,” Lurie said in Orlando last month. “I haven’t had any of those discussions. I have no idea. It’s just … I haven’t had those discussions.” 

The idea that the visit to the White House could be an opportunity for dialogue is an interesting one. Normally, these things are pretty much photo opportunities, but perhaps that’s part of the discussion. 

As you might guess, an Eagles trip to the White House is a pretty tricky trip to figure out. 

The Eagles have several players — Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, Torrey Smith — who have already said publicly that they wouldn’t attend. And last year when the Patriots won, Long and LeGarrette Blount were not among the group that went. Aside from that, Lurie, who donated money to Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is considered one of the more liberal owners in the league. 

“We have been in conversations with the Eagles about timing and are working with them to make it happen,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, via the New York Times. “We hope to have something finalized in the next couple of weeks.”

According to the New York Times story, Lurie had strong criticism for Trump at a private league meeting last October as owners, players and executives met weeks after Trump scolded the NFL and players, which brought more league-wide protesting during the national anthem. During those meetings, Lurie described Trump’s presidency as “disastrous” and reportedly used a vulgarity to emphasize that opinion. 

This is not the first time an Eagle has had harsh words for Trump. Last September, Jenkins said Trump was “no different than a troll on social media.” 

The Eagles are the first Super Bowl-winning team after Trump’s attacks on the league and its players who had chosen to demonstrate during the national anthem. Last September, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The week after Trump made those comments, protests became more wide-spread throughout the league, with entire teams demonstrating and showing unity. The Eagles — players, coaches and executives, including Lurie — locked arms as the Star-Spangled Banner was performed.