Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: What to expect from Darren Sproles, NFL draft priorities, more

Eagles Mailbag: What to expect from Darren Sproles, NFL draft priorities, more

There’s no Eagles football this Sunday as we wait for Monday Night Football vs. Washington, but we have a mailbag to hold you over. 

Half the questions today, half tomorrow. 

Let’s get to it: 

I think the Eagles need talent at enough different positions that they can’t really go into this draft wanting one position. But I think there’s a good chance they go with an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round. The Eagles always put a ton of stock in building on both lines and they could use help in both areas. 

On offense, Jason Peters is 36 and it’s time to find his replacement. Maybe Jordan Mailata will become a great player, but I don’t think they can count on that. 

On defense, I expect there to be some turnover this offseason. Brandon Graham is going to be a free agent and a team can never have too many pass rushers. If there’s someone who makes sense inside or outside, I could see them using their first-rounder there.  

I’m not ready to get into the next draft just yet, but Isaac Seumalo has actually been playing pretty well at left guard this season. I really questioned the decision to bench Stefen Wisniewski in favor of Seumalo earlier in the season, but Seumalo has been getting better and better. I think Seumalo’s putting on weight has really helped him play guard. I keep hearing that his natural position is center, but Jason Kelce is still playing at a really high level and the Eagles aren’t going to be ready to move on from him for a while. I think Seumalo can be a good guard and can play tackle in a pinch. I don’t think he’s a long-term solution at tackle. 

I think we’ll see Sproles come back and immediately return punts and play somewhere around 12-15 snaps on Monday. I think he’ll be the guy to sort of take over the third-down role from Corey Clement. I think we’re still going to see a running back by committee system even with Josh Adams taking over as the starter. 

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I have a hard time imagining Tate will be back for a couple reasons. The first is money. He’s going to be a free agent and will make a nice bit of money on the open market. The Eagles are already paying Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor on his fifth-year option. Not sure they can afford to pay another receiver big money. And why would Tate want to stay? This offense stinks and they can’t seem to get him involved. Maybe he’ll just end up loving it here and love playing with Carson Wentz, but if I had to bet right now, I think he’s gone. 

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Penn State’s KJ Hamler hopes Miles Sanders puts in good word with Eagles

Penn State’s KJ Hamler hopes Miles Sanders puts in good word with Eagles

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State receiver KJ Hamler said he wasn’t surprised to see how much success Miles Sanders had during his rookie season with the Eagles in 2019.

The two are close friends and Hamler claims he knew from his freshman year at Penn State that Sanders would be a successful NFL player.

Hamler, 20, would like to follow in his footsteps, especially if those footsteps lead to Philadelphia.

“It would be great to play with Miles,” Hamler said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. “I hope he put in a good word.”

Hamler, the 5-foot-9, 178-pound speedster, said he has a meeting on the books with the Eagles on Wednesday. He would relish the opportunity to play with his close friend Sanders if the Eagles decide to draft him.

It’s likely Hamler will be a Day 2 pick in the draft in April. And the Eagles certainly have a need for a speedy receiver.

As a junior in 2019, Hamler caught 56 passes for 904 yards (16.1) and eight touchdowns. He did struggle at times with drops, which he claims was a focus issue. It’s something he wants to improve and show NFL teams that it’s not a problem this week. There’s also a chance Hamler runs an impressive time in the 40-yard dash.

This class of receivers has been called historic, but Hamler is a competitor and he hasn’t shied away from the competition. He wants to be the best of the bunch.

So what separates him from others?

“I’m a dawg,” he said. “That’s just point blank, period. You don’t find a lot of people my size doing some things that I do. For me, my playmaking ability and my dawg mentality just stands out.”

If the Eagles draft Hamler, he would get a chance to play with DeSean Jackson, someone whom Hamler has looked up to for a long time.

The idea of Jackson grooming a young speed receiver is certainly intriguing.

“I just love his playmaking ability,” Hamler said of Jackson. “Whenever you need him to make a play, whether it’s on special teams or on offense, he’s going to do it.”

Throughout this pre-draft process, Hamler has been in contact with his friend Sanders and the Eagles’ running back has given him plenty of advice.

The best piece of advice: “Just stay hungry is probably the main thing. It’s a grown man sport. Basically, you gotta fight for another man’s job.”

Sanders in 2019 had an impressive rookie season. He rushed for over 800 yards, had over 500 yards receiving and six total touchdowns. His 1,327 yards from scrimmage were a record for Eagles rookies.

None of that surprised Hamler. But he was proud.

“I was very proud. I think a lot of us was,” he said. “A lot of people always had this cloud over his head about him playing behind Saquon, Saquon this, Saquon that, but he wanted to be himself. He wanted to make a name for Miles Sanders. I’m proud that he’s doing real well and I’m blessed to be in this opportunity that he was in.”

The Eagles drafted Sanders with the 53rd overall pick in last year’s draft. They now hold the 53rd pick in this year’s draft. It would be somewhat fitting if they used it this year on Hamler. He really would follow in Sanders’ footsteps.

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Hall of Fame reveals lame plan for Harold Carmichael induction

Hall of Fame reveals lame plan for Harold Carmichael induction

Harold Carmichael and the other Centennial inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be enshrined on Sept. 18, the Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.

That's six weeks after the traditional Hall of Fame summer festivities.

The modern-era players will be enshrined on the usual first preseason weekend, which this summer is Aug. 8, in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Game.

The Centennial enshrinees, unfortunately, will be relegated to a Friday evening two weeks into the regular season and won’t be part of the annual Hall of Fame festivities that honor the greatest players in football history.

The Hall of Fame hasn’t specifically announced the schedule for that evening but according to a press release issued on Tuesday morning, the festivities will include “world-class performances from a variety of music icons.”

Oh boy.

The press release said ticket information to attend the induction of Carmichael and the other all-time greats was not available yet.

Carmichael is only the 7th player who spent more than half his career with the Eagles to make it to Canton. The others are Steve Van Buren (1965), Chuck Bednarik (1967), Pete Pihos (1970), Tommy McDonald (1998), Reggie White (2006) and Brian Dawkins (2018).

Carmichael spent the 1971 through 1983 seasons with the Eagles after getting drafted in the 7th round out of Southern University. He was named a wide receiver on the NFL’s 1980s all-decade team and is also on the Eagles' 75th anniversary team named in 2007.

During his 12 seasons with the Eagles, he caught 589 passes for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns -- all still franchise records. He led the NFL in catches and yards in 1973 and made four Pro Bowls.

The other centennial inductees are Jimbo Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie and Ed Sprinkle.

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