Wide Receiver, Again: Chip gets back to his roots with Oregon WR Josh Huff

Wide Receiver, Again: Chip gets back to his roots with Oregon WR Josh Huff

We knew the Philadelphia Eagles were thin at wide receiver. We even thought they might take two. But two with back-to-back selections? Two of the franchise’s top three picks in the 2014 NFL Draft?

Apparently, yes. The Birds went with yet another pass-catcher at No. 86 overall, and it’s probably no coincidence that it was one of Chip Kelly’s boys, Oregon wideout Josh Huff.

Let’s go straight to the scouting report, via NFL.com:

Strengths

Nice size with a lean, tight-skinned body. Very athletic with natural balance and body control. Good speed and a fluid stride. Soft, quick hands to extend and snatch throws off his frame. Makes contested grabs. Can take a hit and hang on. Settles in zone pockets. Creates after the catch -- competitive, elusive and strong. Playmaking ability -- averaged 18.4 yards per catch as a senior. Gets after it as a blocker -- works to position, fit and sustain. Desirable temperament -- determined, tough and confident. Has special-teams experience returning and covering kicks. Works hard and wants to be coached.

Weaknesses

Could stand to get stronger. Was not pressed at Oregon. Lacks elite explosion and top speed to pull away vertically. Limited route tree. Could stand to refine his route running. Lets some throws into his body and tends to trap some. Not a go-up-and-get-it guy (average leaping ability). Is relatively naïve through no fault of his own and off-field maturation is a work in progress. Could require emotional support and professional mentorship in order to avoid the pitfalls of NFL trappings.

Huff doesn’t possess blazing speed. He could stand to get stronger. He won’t win many jump balls. All that good stuff, and in a 5’11”, 206-pound package that is merely adequate for the NFL.

His college production doesn’t jump off the page, either. Huff had a nice senior season, hauling in 62 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns. That accounts for roughly half of his career numbers though.

But he was recruited by Kelly in college, so if anybody knows how to utilize Huff at the next level, it would be the Eagles. The question is, even you like Huff as a player, how does Chip get all these receivers on the field?

Jeremy Maclin is only signed to a one-year deal and coming off of ACL surgery, but if he’s recovered and eventually agrees to a long-term extension, he’s still the most proven, talented wideout on the team. Riley Cooper, I could do without, but just signed a five-year contract this offseason. And, of course, the Eagles took Jordan Matthews No. 42 overall.

Running back Darren Sproles and tight end Zach Ertz line up as receivers with some frequency as well.

The Eagles aren’t necessarily wrong here. Receiver depth was an issue, and Maclin’s future with the team is up in the air. Still, with so many other pressing needs that could’ve been addressed, this seems like it could be a tad excessive.

Prior to this pick, the Eagles traded the No. 83 selection—acquired in the Day 1 trade with the Cleveland Browns—to the Houston Texans for fourth- and fifth-rounders (No. 101 and 151). The former will open up Day 3 of the draft on Saturday.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Breaking down Joel Embiid's rough shooting night

Breaking down Joel Embiid's rough shooting night

Joel Embiid has joked in the past about his desire to be a guard in the NBA. All kidding and three-point shooting aside, the big man wants to play at the basket.

“We’ve got to do a better job of finding me in the post,” he said following the Sixers' loss to the Celtics on Friday. 

Embiid was candid about where he needs the ball following his 11-point performance. He didn’t score until the third quarter and shot 4 for 16 from the field and 0 for 6 from three in 28 minutes. 

“I felt like I needed to go to the perimeter to make something happen because I wasn’t getting the ball in the post,” Embiid said. “I think we’ve got to look at the tapes and find ways to get me the ball in the post. But I felt like because I wasn’t doing that, I had to go outside and make something happen to help us win.”

Embiid started off the game taking shots away from the basket. He went 0 for 2 from three in the first quarter and also missed a 20-foot jumper. His two points came at the line.

Embiid went scoreless in the second quarter and didn’t attempt any shots in the paint, either. He failed to connect on another three as well as an 11-foot jump shot and a 13-foot floater. 

He began the second half going 0 for 2 from long-range in the first four minutes. Finally, with 4:35 remaining in the quarter, he recorded his first field goal off a layup from Dario Saric. He scored off a dunk from Markelle Fultz late in the third and notched another point off a free throw. 

Embiid became more aggressive at the basket in the fourth quarter. He checked in with 5:37 remaining and the Sixers trailing by four. He knocked down a 13-foot pull-up and then missed his next four attempts: an eight-foot jumper, a layup, a trey, and a tip layup. Embiid made a layup with 16 seconds to play. 

The Sixers system has changed from last season when Embiid was the offensive go-to (20.2 points per game). As a rookie he made 63.6 percent of his field goals within three feet of the basket, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

The Sixers have added more scoring options, including Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, who drive the basket and are not perimeter-focused. Of the two, only Fultz made a shot outside the paint on Friday. The team as a whole scored 40 of their 92 points in the paint, compared to 28 by the Celtics. Below is a combined shot chart for Simmons and Fultz. 

Embiid's teammates will look to feed Embiid the ball at the basket. Just two games into the season, this newly-constructed squad still is learning how to play with one another. Embiid was limited in full-court practices for the majority of training camp and only played in two preseason contests.

The Sixers also are adapting to the offense when Embiid is both on and off the court as his minutes and availability fluctuate. He is not playing Saturday against the Raptors in the second night of a back-to-back. 

“If he’s in the game and he’s in the post, get him the ball,” Fultz said.

Embiid echoed, “He’s right. That’s the right answer.”