2019 NFL draft: Eagles take Penn State DE Shareef Miller at No. 138 overall

2019 NFL draft: Eagles take Penn State DE Shareef Miller at No. 138 overall

Eagles first-round pick Andre Dillard was saying Friday he had never been to Philadelphia and didn’t know what the word Wawa meant.

Eagles fourth-round pick Shareef Miller won’t have that problem.

Miller, a defensive end out of Penn State, grew up in Philly and played high school football at George Washington in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia.

Nearest Wawa: Half a mile up Bustleton Avenue.

What would it be like to be drafted by the Eagles?

“I grew up on the Eagles,” Miller said at the combine in Indianapolis in February. “Me and my grandpop watched the Eagles games every day. We cried when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. So ... if I get drafted to the Eagles, that would be a dream come true. It would be crazy. I think my family would go crazy.”

The Eagles picked Miller with the 138th pick, the final pick of the fourth round, and he’s the first defensive player they took in this year’s draft. Miller is the first Philly native the Eagles have drafted since another George Washington graduate — running back Bruce Perry out of Maryland in the seventh round in 2004.

Miller has been on the Eagles’ radar a long time, and at the combine he spoke about his meeting with the Eagles.

“They had my good plays and my bad plays and I had the defensive line coach (Phillip Daniels) coaching me up, telling me what I could do, what I could have done better here, stuff like that,” he said. “And I was taking the coaching in and explaining the things we do. (Defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz was in there too, he was coaching me up too. But (head coach) Doug Pederson was just like staring at me, my body language, stuff like that. It was pretty cool just being in a meeting with the Eagles, you know. I'm from Philadelphia and growing up loving the Eagles, so that was real good.”

Miller, who stands 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, had 7½ sacks this past year and 14½ in his three years in State College, along with 31½ tackles for loss. He was selected co-Defensive Player of the Year this past season for Penn State, which had the 23rd-ranked defense in the BCS in points allowed.

Miller is the second Penn State athlete the Eagles drafted this year coming two rounds after running back Miles Sanders.

This is the first time in 40 years the Eagles have taken two Penn State players in the same draft. In 1979, they took receiver Scott Fitzkee in the fifth round and center Chuck Correal in the eighth.

The last nine Penn State players the Eagles drafted were on offense. Miller is the first defensive player they’ve taken since defensive lineman Jim Schwab in the 14th round in 1962.

Miller adds youth, potential and depth to an older group of pass rushers on the Eagles’ roster.

Brandon Graham is 31, Vinny Curry is 30 and Chris Long — who is mulling retirement — is 34.

With Derek Barnett, the first-round pick two years ago, and Miller, the Eagles now have two younger pass rushers to build around.

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Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Marquand Manuel is the Eagles’ new secondary coach, according to a tweet by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The 40-year-old Manuel replaces Cory Undlin, who had served in that role since 2015, first under Chip Kelly and the last four years under Doug Pederson. Undlin was named Lions defensive coordinator two weeks ago.

Manuel and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz go back a ways. Manuel played for the Lions in 2009 when Schwartz was their head coach.

Manuel was not in the NFL this past year. He spent the previous four years under Dan Quinn with the Falcons, two years as secondary coach and two years as defensive coordinator before getting fired following the 2018 season.

The Falcons reached the Super Bowl in his second year in Atlanta, losing to the Patriots in Houston.

Before Atlanta, Manuel spent three years working under Quinn with the Seahawks, holding a variety of titles on the defensive staff.

Manuel, who played for Steve Spurrier at Florida, was the Bengals’ 6th-round pick in 2002 and spent eight years as a safety in the NFL with six different teams — the Bengals, Seahawks, Packers, Panthers, Broncos and Lions.

He played in 116 games, starting 58, with two interceptions and a pick-6 while he was with the Packers in 2006 off Jon Kitna of the Lions.

The Eagles also reportedly interviewed Browns defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker for the position.

The Eagles already have a safeties coach on the staff, former Eagle Tim Hauck. He was Pederson's teammate with the Eagles in 1999 and has been on Pederson's staff since 2016.

Quinn had this to say about Manuel on the Falcons’ web site back in 2018:

From the time I've met him from now, one thing that's cool to see that has stayed consistent is the energy and enthusiasm he has for players. He made the transition from player to coach really seamlessly because he knew the boundaries of coach, but he also stepped across to say, I can push you. That's not easy to do. He's always had mental quickness of a quarterback or someone who gets concepts really quickly. That transferred into this coaching fast. He can communicate concepts and ideas quickly to people on the run, in the moment, that's a really valuable asset as a coach.

The Eagles still have openings to replace the three assistant coaches Doug Pederson fired: offensive coordinator Mike Groh, wide receivers coach Carson Walch and defensive line coach Phillip Daniels.

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Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Just a few days ago, it seemed like the Eagles weren’t going to lose Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry because it looked like the Browns were going to hire someone else.

Well, that someone else has dropped out of the race.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton has taken himself out of the running to be the Browns’ next general manager, which means Berry is now the new favorite, according to Cleveland.com

This is certainly an interesting turn of events.

According to Cleveland.com, “Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry.”

Now it might.

It would have made plenty of sense for the Browns to hire Paton, who has a long-standing relationship with new head coach Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. But according to reports over the past few weeks, it seems like Berry has been a favorite of ownership and the front office.

While Berry and Stefanski have never worked together, they did get to know each other during the coaching search in Cleveland a year ago. After that search, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens and Berry left for Philly. But now, Berry and Stefanski might actually get a chance to work with one another.

The Harvard-educated Berry, 32, was with the Browns from 2016-18 as their Vice President of Player Personnel before he joined the Eagles last season in a role they created for him. Berry initially came up in the Colts franchise, first as a scouting assistant and finally as a pro scouting coordinator. He’s been a quick-riser in the NFL world.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a Vice President job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

Final say is something Berry will likely never have here in Philadelphia. Despite a few missteps in recent years, Howie Roseman has pretty solid job security and he isn’t going anywhere. If Berry is going to become a GM, it’s going to be in another city. And it seems like that day might be coming soon.

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