Shaquem Griffin

Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

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Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

The 2018 NFL Combine has now come and gone. After spending last week in Indianapolis, here are some of my takeaways, Eagles-related and beyond.

Foles' future
MMQB's Peter King reports the Eagles have a “respectable” offer for Nick Foles on the table. How does King define respectable? Only he knows. The Eagles got a first- and fourth-rounder for Sam Bradford two years ago. But that was one week before the season and the Vikings were desperate after Teddy Bridgewater’s injury. A first-round pick and more is where the Birds will likely start with a Foles asking price. But the question is whether the Birds' brass would be willing to move Foles for, say, second and third-rounders since it doesn't have either in this year’s draft?

No more Nigel?
When asked about free agent Nigel Bradham, who played so well last season, Howie Roseman did not go out of his way to praise the linebacker. He can’t tip his hand publicly, but Roseman was willing to show others some verbal love. You can pay only so many people. But with Jordan Hicks' injury history, one would think Bradham would be a priority for Roseman and the Eagles. Maybe not.

It will be interesting to see if Mychal Kendricks can play at the same high level as last season if he is not moved this offseason.   

Beast of Burton
Trey Burton is going to get paid. And the odds are it won’t be here in Philly. Burton is highly regarded around the league and there are enough teams in need of tight end help that he will get an offer too rich for the Eagles' blood.

What to do at No. 32?
The Birds have an obvious need at linebacker and could use depth at offensive line. But when you don’t pick until last in the first round, the best course of action is to leave your options open to the best available player. So don’t be shocked if a very good player falls and the Eagles take him at a position that may not scream immediate need.         

Hear him roar
Not Eagles-related, but in no upset whatsoever, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley stole the show at the combine. He dominated the drills and at the podium. The kid is a flat-out beast. If this was 20 years ago, he would likely be a lock to go first overall to the Browns. And that scenario could be a boost to the Eagles. Running backs are viewed as disposable these days compared to quarterbacks but he will still go in the top five. Easily.

Shaq’s statement
Lastly, UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin lost his hand when he was 4 due to a congenital disease. All he did was run the fastest 40-yard dash of any of the linebackers at the combine, posting a 4.38. He then put up 20 reps on the 225-pound bench press while using a prosthetic hand. He personifies over-achievement and his attitude and perseverance are what make sports great. He will make any team that gets him better.

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Championship weekend is upon us

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Championship weekend is upon us

This is one of the best weeks of college football as several conferences hold their championship games.

The Eagles are sitting pretty at 10-1, but will certainly have an eye on a bunch of NFL draft prospects in action today.

Here are six players to watch in the early games.

No. 20 Memphis at No. 14 UCF - 12 p.m., ABC
No. 3 - Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis, senior (5-11/190)

Size obviously isn't Miller's strong point, but he is mighty explosive. After recording 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, Miller has 1,212 yards and another 14 TDs so far this season. He's also been dangerous as a runner and as a punt returner. He's a pure playmaker. Just get the ball in his hands and clear a path. 

No. 18 - Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF, senior (6-1/223)
Griffin is by far the coolest story in all of college football. A birth defect forced Griffin to have his left hand amputated at 4 years old. He hasn't let that stand in his way, winning AAC Defensive Player of the Year last season. He's stood out yet again this season, recording 56 total tackles, 3 1/2 sacks and an interception. If you haven't watched Griffin yet, make sure you tune in.

No. 11 TCU at No. 3 Oklahoma - 12:30 p.m., FOX
No. 78 - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma, junior (6-8/345)

Brown is an enormous human, but don't be fooled by his appearance. He's actually an outstanding athlete. Brown weighed 415 pounds in high school, but has dropped the weight and was named the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year last season. He's likely a late first-round pick. He's an obvious mauler in the run game but has really improved as a pass protector.

No. 32 - Travin Howard, LB, TCU, senior (6-1/213)
Howard has been a tackling machine for TCU. While playing mostly safety as a sophomore, Howard recorded 107 tackles, then amassed 130 last year while transitioning to linebacker. He's missed the last two games with an injury (he's expected to play today), but still has 83 tackles on the season, including a 13-tackle game in the Hornfrog's lost to the Sooners a few weeks ago. He has a nose for the football and outstanding instincts.

No. 6 Georgia at No. 2 Auburn - 4 p.m., CBS
No. 3 - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia, junior (6-1/225)
While the Bulldogs' running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are certainly worth keeping an eye on, Smith is the prospect that should most intrigue the Eagles. Smith has wreaked havoc this season, recording 100 tackles (8 1/2 for loss), and 4 1/2 sacks. He's a sideline-to-sideline ‘backer that always seems to be around the ball. He could certainly be an option late in the first round.

No. 71 - Braden Smith, OL, Auburn, senior (6-6/303)
Smith has a ton of experience playing in the loaded SEC. He's built like a tackle but has spent the majority of his collegiate career at guard. He made the All-SEC freshman team and was named to the All-SEC first team as a junior. Smith was part of an impressive effort by the Tigers' in their upset of Alabama last week. He'll face another stiff test against the Bulldogs this week.