Eagles

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: ACC, Big Ten titles on the line

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: ACC, Big Ten titles on the line

The stakes are high for tonight's ACC and Big Ten title games.

There will be plenty of NFL talent on the field that can help the 10-1 Eagles next season.

Here are eight prospects to watch.

No. 7 Miami at No. 1 Clemson - 8 p.m., ABC
No. 52 - Kc McDermott, OL, Miami, senior (6-7/300)
McDermott has spent a lot of time on the interior of the Hurricanes' line but has excelled this season as the team's left tackle. He was named to the All-ACC third team and has started 32 consecutive games. There's nothing flashy to McDermott, but he's long and aggressive and always seem to be under control and in the proper position.

No. 7 - Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami, junior (6-3/312)
Norton has been an extremely disruptive run defender for Miami. He had 10 tackles for a loss last season and has 6 1/2 more this season. He has just five career sacks, but his athleticism for his size leads you to believe there could be more pass rushing potential there. 

No. 34 - Kendall Joseph, LB, Clemson, junior (6-0/225)
Jim Schwartz loves him a thumper and Joseph certainly fits that bill. As a sophomore last season, Joseph had a 106 tackles (11 1/2 for a loss), four sacks and an interception. While the numbers may not stand out as much this season, Joseph is still making a huge impact on the Tigers' D.

No. 6 - Dorian O'Daniel, LB, Clemson, senior (6-1/220)
O'Daniel doesn't have the size of Joseph, but he's been just as disruptive. Playing on the outside, O'Daniel has 80 tackles this season (10 1/2 for a loss), five sacks and two interceptions. O'Daniel will likely excel as a weakside linebacker at the next level that is allowed to roam and attack the football, but he could stay on the strong side because of his coverage skills. 

No. 8 Ohio State at No. 4 Wisconsin - 8 p.m., FOX
No. 17 - Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State, junior (6-1/225)
As of right now, Baker is the cream of this linebacker crop. Baker is built like and has the aggressiveness of a 'backer, but has the eyes and coverage ability of a free safety. He'll likely test well and be out of the Eagles' range come draft time, but he'd look mighty good playing next to (a hopefully healthy) Jordan Hicks next season.

No. 25 - Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State, redshirt sophomore (5-10/214)
As a redshirt freshman last season, Weber ran for 1,096 yards. Impressively, he joined Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett as the only Buckeye freshmen to run for 1,000 yards. He's taken on less of a load this season but is still averaging 6.5 yards a carry and has 10 TDs. He also has 32 catches in his collegiate career. There's nothing flashy about Weber, but he's a solid back who could be worth a flyer in the middle rounds. 

No. 63 - Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin, junior (6-6/328)
Deiter's most impressive quality is his versatility. After redshirting his freshman season, Deiter has started at center, left guard and left tackle. Deiter has tremendous size but is also a pretty good athlete. He's likely getting looked at as a center and the experience will likely serve him at whatever position he plays at the next level.

No. 81 - Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin, senior (6-6/248)
Fumagalli doesn't have great numbers, but a big part of that is Wisconsin's run-heavy offense. Fumagalli is a big target with reliable hands. The Badgers' offense has also allowed him to show off his prowess as a run blocker. He may not have the flashy numbers or crazy measurables, but Fumagalli has the potential to be a real solid NFL tight end.

When do players know their football days are over?

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When do players know their football days are over?

In the latest edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss Father's Day weekend. What kind of basketball parent is Barrett? The guys give their 53-man roster after spring practices. Tom Brady says he can feel his playing days are getting numbered. When do players first start realizing that the end is near and what makes that reality most difficult? Also, how should the Giants handle Odell Beckham Jr's contract situation?

"I think that Saquon [Barkley] is going to be better than [Zeke] Elliott." -- Barrett Brooks.

1:00 - What kind of basketball parent is Barrett?
3:00 - Father's Day weekend recap.
5:00 - Eagles' 53-man roster after spring practices.
15:30 - Tom Brady tells Oprah the end is near... When do players start seeing that reality?
20:00 - The hardest part about having to say goodbye to football.
23:00 - Odell Beckham's contract situation.

Press Taylor was right choice for Eagles' QBs coach

Press Taylor was right choice for Eagles' QBs coach

The Eagles were just a few days away from the Super Bowl and there was a clear indication of just how loose the team really was. 

On Feb. 1, Carson Wentz tweeted out a photo proving it. 

So, what’s the point of this? Why show a photo that Wentz sent out from an escape room well over four months ago?

Well, because it was a little glimpse into the future. Because the five guys in that photo are going to be the five guys in the Eagles’ quarterback room this season. 

Along with Wentz, Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld, the other two are Press Taylor (sitting) and Spencer Phillips. This offseason, after John DeFilippo left Philadelphia to take the offensive coordinator job in Minnesota, the Eagles promoted Taylor to take his position as quarterbacks coach and then promoted Phillips to take Taylor’s spot as the assistant quarterbacks coach. 

It was probably a no-brainer. 

And it’s crazy to think, but just a year after the Eagles blocked DeFilippo from leaving the organization, DeFilippo has left … and the Eagles are going to be just fine. 

At the time, before the 2017 season, it made sense to block DeFilippo. He was seemingly integral to the development of a young Wentz and he certainly deserves plenty of credit for the big jump in Wentz’s play last season. But now, without him, the Eagles are going to keep a finely-tuned machine running. And they’re going to do it with a very young and very promising coach. 

Taylor is just 30 years old, which seems incredibly young for a coach who is supposed to lead the most important position room for the Eagles and possibly the most important position room in the entire league. He’s just one year older than Foles. 

He might be young, but Taylor is uniquely positioned to handle this responsibility. And aside from his football acumen — which has been touted by his superiors — it’s his relationship with the players in the room that made him such a no-brainer replacement for DeFilippo. 

“I feel really close (to Wentz, Foles and Sudfeld),” Taylor said last week. “I know what makes them tick going into it. And then we all had our own relationships. Obviously, I wasn’t their quarterbacks coach at the time, but I was in the room, sat through those conversations, had my own conversations out on the practice field. I feel like I know the things they like, the things they didn’t like. And then was able to learn from the other guys, the other coaches in the room.”

After the Super Bowl, Taylor is probably best known in the city for bringing the Philly Special to the Eagles. In his position last year, it was his job to mine gadget plays from around the league and found that play being used by the Bears the season before (see story). And that’s great. But all the stuff we don’t know about last year is what’s going to make the most difference for the Eagles this season. 

Taylor has been with the Eagles since 2013, when Chip Kelly brought him to town. And then Doug Pederson was smart enough (and without ego) to keep Taylor in 2016. The brother of Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, Press has quickly worked his way up the ladder. 

Last week, Wentz was asked if the team wanted his opinion before promoting Taylor. 

“I think it was pretty much known how we felt about Press beforehand,” Wentz said. “We’ve seen Press behind the scenes the last couple years and how hard he works. A lot of guys have a ton of respect for him as a person and as a coach. I know that’s where I sit. So far, it’s been great. He understands the game extremely well. We’re very like-minded, both on and off the field. The relationship I have with him personally and the relationship he has with all the quarterbacks has been tremendous so far.”

The relationship between Taylor and the QBs is so important. Relationships for this entire coaching staff are so important. Really, that’s what has made Pederson so special. He has that “emotional intelligence” and understands how to deal with his players. 

Taylor seems to have that too. And really, that’s why the Eagles’ QB room won’t miss a beat. 

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