Eagles

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Now real matchups begin in college football

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Now real matchups begin in college football

Now that we're past a bunch of the cupcake games, a few interesting matchups will take place today in college football.

And inside those games, we'll get to see some interesting matchups featuring several 2018 NFL draft prospects.

Before watching any of the big games tonight, familiarize yourself with the names below. One of them could help the Eagles in 2018 and beyond.

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Oklahoma (7:30 p.m., ABC)

Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State, junior (6-1/225)
Simply put, Baker is a stud. As a sophomore, Baker recorded 86 tackles (9 1/2 for a loss), 3 1/2 sacks and two interceptions. Baker's biggest strength is his athleticism. He's all over the field and excels in coverage. He's the ideal 'backer for today's pass-friendly game. Today should be a fun test against Baker Mayfield and the Sooners' explosive offense. 

Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma, junior (6-5/254)
Andrews' numbers from 2016 won't blow you away, but he showed in Oklahoma's blowout win over UTEP why he's getting serious draft buzz. Andrews hauled in seven catches for 134 yards for a ridiculous 19.1 yards per catch. Andrews has flashed seriously ability to create after the catch and should be one of the first tight ends off the board come April.

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 13 Auburn (7 p.m., ESPN)

Deon Cain, WR, Clemson, junior (6-1/190)
Cain is arguably the best receiving prospect in the 2018 draft class. Playing second fiddle to first-round pick Mike Williams last season, Cain posted 38 catches for 724 yards and nine touchdowns. Cain lacks the size of his former teammate Williams, but he is much more explosive. He only made two catches in the Tigers' lopsided win over Kent State, but one of them was a 61-yard touchdown. Clemson lost some serious weapons to the NFL in 2017 and Cain appears to be well on his way.

Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn, junior (6-1/203)
After being selected to the All-SEC freshman team, Davis struggled in his sophomore season. It's also been revealed that he was dealing with a series of nagging injuries all season. Davis seems to fit the NFL prototype with his tall frame and long arms. He's shown an ability to be physical and jam receivers at the line. Now that he's healthy, it'll be interesting to see what happens when Cain forces him to turn and run.

No. 14 Stanford vs. No. 6 USC (8:30 p.m., FOX)

Bryce Love Jr., RB, Stanford, junior (5-10/196)
(OK, so I'm cheating a little bit with this "matchup," but it should be a lot of fun to watch these two try to match each other with big plays.)

With Love in the fold, the Cardinal won't feel the loss of first-round pick Christian McCaffrey quite as much. Love is similar in stature and explosiveness to the now Carolina Panther. Splitting time last season, Love ran for 779 yards on just 112 carries (seven yards a carry). He looked unstoppable in Stanford's 62-7 win over Rice. Love carried the ball 13 times for 180 yards and a touchdown (I'll save you the math: that's an absurd 13.8 yards a carry). 

Ronald Jones Jr., RB, USC, junior (6-0/200)
Speaking of explosive, Jones might be the most explosive back in the class. Jones has rushed for 900 yards in each of his two seasons for the Trojans. He seems well on his way to topping that mark once again after rushing for 159 yards and three touchdowns in USC's opening win against Western Michigan. Like Love, Jones is a bit undersized but he's a dangerous player in space. I'd like to see both players do a little more damage in the passing game. They're both capable, the numbers just aren't there as of yet.

Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

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Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

Eagles linebacker Joe Walker, who missed all of last year with a serious knee injury, has been voted by his teammates this year's Eagles recipient of the prestigious 2017 Ed Block Courage Award. 

Walker joins such hallowed names in Eagles history as Andre Waters, Kevin Turner, Correll Buckhalter, Chad Lewis and Jason Avant in receiving the award, given annually to a player on each team who shows a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage on and off the field.   

Walker, a seventh-round pick out of Oregon in 2016, suffered a knee injury the second week of training camp last summer but bounced back to make the 53-man roster this year and has played in all six games for the 5-1 Eagles.

With Jordan Hicks hurt in the second half Thursday night in Charlotte, Walker played a career-high 13 snaps on defense against the Panthers. He's played 53 special teams snaps this year.

Ed Block was the Colts’ trainer from 1954 through 1977 after earning a Purple Heart in the Army under General Patton in the tank corps in World War II.

The 32 Ed Block Courage Award winners will be honored at the annual Ed Block Courage banquet in Baltimore this spring.

For more information on the program, go to www.EdBlock.org.

Here is a list of all the Eagles’ Ed Block Courage Award winners since the inception of the program in 1984: 
 
2017     Joe Walker
2016     Nolan Carroll
2015     Fletcher Cox
2014     Jeremy Maclin
2013     Jason Kelce
2012     Colt Anderson
2011     Mike Patterson
2010     Jason Avant
2009     Michael Vick
2008     Jon Dorenbos
2007     Montae Reagor
2006     Jerome McDougle
2005     Chad Lewis
2004     Derrick Burgess
2003     Correll Buckhalter
2002     Shawn Barber
2001     Duce Staley & Tommy Brasher
2000     Cecil Martin
1999     Mike Mamula
1998     Bobby Taylor
1997     Rhett Hall
1996     Kevin Turner
1995     Charlie Garner
1994     Fred Barnett
1993     Andre Waters
1992     Jerome Brown
1991     David Alexander
1990     Ron Solt
1989     Mike Quick
1988     Wes Hopkins
1987     Gerry Feehery
1986     Jody Schultz
1985     Ron Jaworski
1984     John Spagnola

Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

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Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

The City of Philadelphia did an incredible job hosting the 2017 draft.

And it still wasn't enough to keep it. 

The NFL has announced the 2018 draft will be held in the Dallas Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium. Dallas — or technically Arlington, Texas — will be the third city to host the draft in three years, following Chicago and Philly. 

It has been rumored for months that Jerry Jones had his city as the favorite to host the next draft. Turns out those rumors were right. 

Good luck topping what Philly did in 2017 though. 

“Philadelphia raised the bar by taking the Draft to another level, and this new opportunity in Dallas will enable us to continue the event’s evolution and grow it even further,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, the cities of Arlington, Dallas, and Frisco, and the Dallas Sports Commission for their leadership in turning this vision into reality.” 

The 2018 draft will begin on April 26. The NFL's release said the draft site will include the field, stands and outdoor plazas. 

According to the NFL, at the 2017 draft, a record 250,000 fans attended the three-day event along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The estimated economic impact for the city was $94.9 million. 

“The Draft was a family-friendly event for Philadelphians and visitors across the country,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I thank all of our public and private partners, especially the City employees and first responders, who made this event a success and allowed Philly to shine in the national spotlight once again.”

Aside from the numbers, the draft in Philly was aesthetically pleasing. The television shots from the Parkway were gorgeous and the vibe around the entire event was special. 

Things went so well, NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O'Reilly said the draft in Philly was a "resounding success." 

It won't be coming back in 2018, but the next time it does, the city will be ready.