Eagles

Eagles

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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