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Eagles draft targets at No. 14: UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley

Eagles draft targets at No. 14: UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley

Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 250 pounds

2016: 61 TKL, 18.0 TFL, 10.0 SK, 3 FF
2015: 35 TKL, 7.5 TFL, 3.5 SK, 2 FF
2014: 3 TKL, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 SK, 1 FF

40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical jump: 33.0 inches
Broad jump: 122.0 inches
3-cone drill: 7.48 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds

When you look at the list of defensive ends who have made the Pro Bowl under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, the group generally has one thing in common: speed. So with that in mind, if any pass rusher in the 2017 NFL Draft makes sense for the Eagles at No. 14, it might Takkarist McKinley.

McKinley's name is rising up rankings sheets as the draft approaches, which is probably less a sign of his stock going up than it is analysts catching up to scout' evaluations. Truth be told, it's surprising it took as long as it did given the way the UCLA product ran at the combine.

Only one prospect who projects as a potential 4-3 end timed faster in the 40 than McKinley, and nothing against Kansas State's Jordan Willis, he isn't going in the first round, much less the top 15. With a sub-4.6 and a productive senior year to hang his hat on, McKinley certainly may sneak up that high.

A first-team All-Pac-12 selection, McKinley was one of the most disruptive players in the nation in 2016. The two-year starter finished the season ranked 10th in tackles for loss per game, 11th in sacks per game and 22nd in forced fumbles per game. When he was on the field, McKinley was getting to the quarterback and making plays in the backfield.

This is exactly what Schwartz’s scheme -- and defense in the NFL, for that matter -- is predicated upon. Except, in the wide-nine front the Eagles operate out of, speed off the edge can be a critical factor in getting to the quarterback.

Somebody like Tennessee's Derek Barnett impressively broke Reggie White's school record for sacks and may be considered a more polished player right out of school. He's also more than a quarter-second slower than McKinley in terms of running in a straight line, which can make a world of difference when lined up far wide of the tackle box.

What sets Barnett apart from somebody like McKinley now is technique. The Bruins pass rusher simply doesn't have many moves apart from racing past his man, which when that doesn't happen, he tends to get stymied at the line of scrimmage. McKinley will need to add muscle and learn how to use his hands and find new ways to beat the protection.

Of course, he's only 21, and while he can hone his craft in the NFL, somebody like Barnett isn't suddenly going to become a lot faster. If speed is the name of the game off the edge, and the Eagles are willing to work with a raw prospect for a year, McKinley may have more upside in Schwartz's scheme.

That's a lot to project at No. 14 overall, which is why many mocks and rankings still push McKinley out of the top 20. That being said, of all the defensive linemen we've looked at for the Eagles, this might be the best fit. If the team winds up trading down from their current spot, McKinley quickly becomes an intriguing option a little later.

 

Other Eagles draft targets at No. 14:
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
Michigan DE Taco Charlton
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
Alabama LB Reuben Foster
LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
Washington CB Kevin King
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
Michigan State DT Malik McDowell
UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
Washington WR John Ross
LSU CB Tre'Davious White
Clemson WR Mike Williams

Asked about LeBron James after Sixers game, Kyrie Irving says @*#^*!#%&*

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USA Today Images

Asked about LeBron James after Sixers game, Kyrie Irving says @*#^*!#%&*

Apparently, Kyrie Irving doesn't want to talk about LeBron James.

After the Celtics' win over the Sixers on Friday, a fan asked Irving, "Where's LeBron?"

Irving's response ... NSFW ...

WARNING: The video contains offensive language. But if that kind of thing doesn't bother you, you can watch it here.

Irving was asked about the incident by reporters Saturday.

So what he's basically saying is "sorry, not sorry."

With the video circulating on social media, expect Irving to hear from the league.

Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

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Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

One of the things that I love about Joel Embiid is the fact that it seems like every day we find another reason to love him even more.

Today's entry comes from a profile in GQ magazine in which he talks about plenty of things. But it was one of the first things he was asked about his Twitter account that had me rolling once again.

How do you find out if one of [your tweet] has gone viral, then?

Joel: I think 90 percent of them [will be viral]. That’s the expectation.

Amazing. The thing is, I don't know if he's giving himself enough credit. ONLY 90%????

Oh, and he subscribes to the Jah Rule school of thought: WHO CARES?

"Then I had so much time, too, because I missed that whole year and the second year after, so I didn’t have anything to do," Embiid said. "[I’d] just go on social media and converse with fans, make crazy jokes, and tweet crazy stuff because I don’t care. I say whatever I want to."

His critique of other players' boring Twitter accounts is also incredibly on point:

What do you mean some guys are always tweeting the same thing?

Joel: Bullshit like, “Game Day!” “It’s a great game.” I don’t know. They’re all the same. It’s boring.

Amen.

The whole Q&A is worth any Sixers fan's time just to get to know a little more about Jojo. Be happy he's ours. And pray he stays healthy so he can take his game on the court to the same level as his game off of it.