Eagles

2017 NFL draft: Sherman's Round-by-round targets for Eagles, 1.0

2017 NFL draft: Sherman's Round-by-round targets for Eagles, 1.0

Despite their 7-9 record this season, the Eagles took a big step forward with rookie Carson Wentz, who started all 16 games and confirmed that indeed they have a potential franchise QB.

The Birds can now focus on putting the necessary tools around him to ensure he can take the next step to leading this franchise to where the Patriots and Falcons are today.

While we still have a long way to go before the NFL draft, here's an early look at some players the Eagles should be looking at in each round. Keep in mind, the number of their first-round pick is pending a coin flip with Indianapolis, and the later-round numbers could change pending the awarding of compensatory picks.

First Round (No. 14 or 15) - For Paul Hudrick's full first-round mock draft 1.0, click here.

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
It's no secret the Eagles need more talent at wideout, and this draft offers several solid options in the middle of the first round. Davis is the best among the them. With size (6-foot-3/215 pounds), ball skills and excellent route-running ability, Davis has the look of a No. 1 WR. The one potential knock on him is his speed, and with an ankle injury suffered during pre-draft training (and subsequent surgery), there's a good chance he won't be able to put that question to rest during the combine. That might work to the Eagles' benefit, however, because a fast 40-time might put Davis out of range.

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
No surprise there's a corner on this list. Jones is a potential lockdown guy who plays hard every snap and has the swagger and confidence you want in a man-to-man cover guy. His size (6-foot-1/170 pounds) is a bit concerning, but you have to think time in an NFL weight room and lunch table will help that.

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The Birds have a budding star in MLB Jordan Hicks and a solid pro in Nigel Bradham at the SAM position, but with Mychal Kendricks' future up in the air, Foster could make an already good unit a great one. He would be an ideal WILL LB, using his speed to make plays sideline to sideline and delivering the kind of hits the Eagles' defense has lacked since Brian Dawkins retired. Foster stood out to me like Luke Kuechly did when I watched the Panthers' star at Boston College — he's just everywhere.  

Second Round (No. 43)

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
I don't see McCaffrey as an every-down back in the NFL, but I could see Doug Pederson trying to use him in a similar way the Chargers and Pats used Danny Woodhead — especially in the passing game. McCaffrey's size (6-foot/197 pounds) may be limiting in terms of the number of carries he has per game, but his ability to create mismatches in the short passing game could provide Carson Wentz another reliable option and help prepare for the inevitable departure of Darren Sproles.

Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Not sexy, but if Jason Kelce is released and Isaac Seumalo is deemed a better fit at OG, Elflein could be an immediate starter for the Birds. The three-time All-Big Ten selection is smart, physically stout and versatile (he earned his first selection as an OG). He could be a 10-year starter.

Budda Baker, S, Washington
I have a feeling Baker will be snatched up by this point, but there's a chance his size (5-foot-10/180 pounds) could cause him to slip a bit. Baker is a tenacious player with fantastic instincts and ball skills. Safety isn't the Eagles' biggest need, but the defense needs more winners and playmakers, and Baker is both, even if it's in a part-time role early in his career.

Third Round (No. 74)

Adoreé Jackson, CB, USC
Jackons is an unbelievable athlete who doubles as a lethal return man. Size (5-foot-11/185 pounds) may keep him in the slot, but the Eagles could use the ball skills and explosive speed Jackson offers.

Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
A bowling ball of a back (5-foot-10/235 pounds), Perine has the size to carry a heavy load. More power than finesse, Perine could be a valuable goal-line asset.

Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
Taylor is fast, lightning quick and dangerous on quick outs and bubble screens. His hands are a bit suspect, his route tree was limited, and his size will probably restrict him to the slot, but Taylor's exciting run-after-catch skills are tantalizing.

Fourth Round (No. 108)

Corn Elder, CB, Miami(FL)
On talent alone, Elder could be a first-round pick, but size (5-foot-10/179 pounds) is going to stunt his draft position. Elder is as nasty as they come, and the 2016 All-ACC First Teamer would be an ideal slot corner.

Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
Stout, tough and energetic, Glasgow would add needed interior depth if the Eagles lose Bennie Logan to free agency.

Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
A project, Davenport lacks experience against top competition, but his size (6-7/310) is outstanding, and he has the physical tools to develop into a possible backup.

Fifth Round (No. 138)

Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic
With Marcus Smith's and Connor Barwin's days numbered, the Eagles may be looking for help at DE. Hendrickson is an effort guy who may have some pass-rush ability with continued coaching.

Jarrod "Chunky" Clements, DT, Illinois
Solid but unspectacular interior lineman who flashes penetration skills. Definitely a rotation guy who can spell the starters when needed.

Sixth Round (No. 168)

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
Conner battled Hodgkin's lymphoma during his college career and was able to make it back to the field and excel. He's the kind of guy you want on your team, and his power and size (6-foot-2/235 pounds) could make him a short-yardage specialist.

Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
Not a huge need for the Eagles, but Brent Celek can't play forever. Roberts is a bigger TE who has experience inline blocking and makes all the catches he should.

Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
Again, not a need, but Chase Daniel is expensive and there's nothing there after that. Evans has interesting measurables and physical skills to work with.

Seventh Round (No. 201)

Sean Harlow, OL, Oregon State
Harlow was a tackle in college but will kick inside to either guard or center in the NFL. Not outstanding in any one area, Harlow could provide versatility and depth.

Derek Griffin, WR, Texas Southern
A total project, Griffin is huge (6-foot-7/225 pounds) and was dismissed by Texas Southern three games into the 2016 season for breaking team rules. The former Miami(FL) recruit also played basketball in college (averaged a double-double during 2015/16 season).

Weekly meetings helping Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz get on same page

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USA Today Images

Weekly meetings helping Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz get on same page

It doesn't seem like such a big deal at first. The head coach and quarterback get together and talk? 

So what?
 
Doug Pederson said Saturday it is a big deal and said his wide-ranging weekly 1-on-1 shoot-the-bull sessions with Carson Wentz have become an important part of Wentz's success as a quarterback, Pederson's success as a coach and the Eagles' success as a team.
 
Pederson said before practice Saturday morning that every Thursday night -- or Friday night the week of a Monday night game -- once most people have left the NovaCare Complex, he and Wentz sit down and just talk.
 
"We kind of talk about a lot of things," he said. "A little bit about football and a little bit about life."
 
The Eagles are 5-1 going into their huge Monday night showdown with the Redskins at the Linc, and Wentz and Pederson, both in their second year, are both enjoying considerable acclaim. 

Wentz, with 13 touchdown passes and three interceptions, is having an MVP type of season so far, and Pederson is an early favorite for Coach of the Year.
 
They're clearly on the proverbial same page, and Pederson said something as simple as a weekly brainstorming session with nobody else around is a key part of that success.
 
“I think it’s important for myself as a play caller and (Carson as) a quarterback that we kind of get on the same page," Pederson said.
 
"I want to hear his thoughts from the week of practice and he wants to hear my thoughts. We spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes talking football and the rest of it is we’re talking deer hunting stories. He loves to deer hunt and all that and I do too. I talk about my days in Green Bay with Brett.
 
"It’s just that time where he and I can just sort of take a deep breath and exhale and really kind of get on the same page going into the game basically. I think it’s important we continue to do that."
 
Pederson said he and Wentz met individually occasionally last year and earlier this year, but in recent weeks the Thursday night sessions have become a regular and important part of his and Wentz's regular routine.
 
Obviously, the head coach and quarterback meet all the time, but Pederson said these sessions are a unique opportunity because it's late in the week, it's just the two of them and the conversations aren't just limited to football.
 
“Andy (Reid) would do it during the week, not necessarily 1-on-1 at night or anything like that, but he would pull Alex (Smith) aside during the day," Pederson said.
 
"I know back when Donovan (McNabb) was here, even then he would have conversations with him. Marty Mornhinweg would do it with Michael Vick.
 
"I’ve been around coordinators or play callers who have done that with the quarterback. I just think it’s important that that line of communication is open, the dialogue is there and I want to make sure he and I are seeing the same things going into those games."

Eagles Injury Update: Hicks, Kendricks should be OK; Darby questionable

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Eagles Injury Update: Hicks, Kendricks should be OK; Darby questionable

It's still unclear whether or not the Eagles will have Ronald Darby for Monday night's game, but at least they'll have their linebackers. 

Both Jordan Hicks (calf) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) will be OK to play against Washington on Monday night, head coach Doug Pederson said. 

"Both of them will practice today," Pederson said on Saturday morning. "They're both doing well. Just to get a couple extra days of rest. And Mychal has actually practiced all week. Jordan's been the one we've kept out. Both of them will go today and we'll get a better understanding of where they're at but they'll be fine for the game."

Hicks, Kendricks and Darby were the only three Eagles who were limited in Friday's practice. 

Darby (ankle) will be listed as questionable for the game, but earlier in the week Pederson said "stars have to align" for the cornerback to play this week. The 49ers game on Oct. 29 is probably more likely. 

Darby, who dislocated his right ankle in Week 1, returned to practice for the first time this week. 

"[Darby has] looked well. It's just day by day with him," Pederson said. "We'll get through today's practice with him. Obviously, have limited his reps during practice. He is doing well and we'll get through today and tomorrow to make a decision for [the game]."

The Eagles will practice on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and the injury report will come out later in the afternoon.