Eagles

NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round edition

NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round edition

Now that the Eagles’ season is over, we’re in full draft mode. 

The full draft order isn’t out just yet, so we’ll have to wait to assign numbers to all of these picks, but we’re going to take a stab at an all-Eagles mock draft assuming the Birds will have nine picks including compensatory picks. 

Round 1: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson 
Wilkins (6-4, 300) is one of three possible first-round defensive linemen from Clemson. He’s not a super dynamic pass-rusher, but has the ability to beat 1-on-1s and create some havoc and can also stuff the run. 

The one thing that stands out about Wilkins is his motor. We know Joe Douglas loves high-motor guys and Wilkins fits that bill. I like his effort. He would make a great complement to Fletcher Cox inside. 

In four years at Clemson, he piled up 16 sacks and 40 1/2 tackles for loss. He had a tackle for loss and a half a sack in the championship game a couple weeks ago. Sure, he had a lot of talent around him, but I’m not going to hold that against him. 

The Eagles are in a state of flux at interior lineman. Cox is the centerpiece of the defense, but the spot next to him was a mess during the 2018 season. Tim Jernigan is under contract, but with a $13 million cap hit, he’ll need to restructure or he won’t be back. Then Haloti Ngata is a free agent and Treyvon Hester might be nothing more than a deep rotational piece. Getting a guy like Wilkins could really be a game-changer next to a game-wrecker like Cox. 

Round 2 (from Ravens): Joe Jackson, DE, Miami 
Jackson (6-5, 258) piled up 22 1/2 sacks in three seasons at Miami, including a team-high 8 1/2 in 2018 as a junior. 

He has good size and seems to have the type of bend the Eagles really liked when they drafted Derek Barnett in the first round a couple years ago. Unlike Barnett, Jackson is probably a little raw but is more athletic. 

Take a look for yourself:

I know this has the Eagles going to the defensive line twice with their top two picks, which might seem strange given that this is a deep draft for defensive linemen. So you might think they can afford to get them later. The problem with that is we’ll probably see a run. I think Jackson would be a first-rounder in a draft that wasn’t so deep. Because of that, I like the value. 

The Eagles definitely need pass-rushers. Brandon Graham is set to be a free agent, Chris Long might retire, Michael Bennett is 33 and Barnett is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury. Time to shore up that position. 

Round 2: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State  
Just a few years ago, Dillard (6-5, 306) wasn’t a very big high school prospect, but he has grown into a pretty good prospect at Washington State. He started the final 39 games of his college career at left tackle and was a two-time All-Pac 12 lineman. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just one sack as a redshirt senior. 

He’s long and seems to move well, staying with pass rushers in pass pro. Check out this game against Wyoming. He didn’t see a ton of prospect Carl Granderson, but when he did, he handled him well. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9OqnedMkk8

The Eagles are in need of offensive tackle help. Jason Peters is about to turn 37 and has struggled to stay healthy and Halapoulivaati Vaitai might not be the answer. And it’s too early to tell what they have in Jordan Mailata. I’d expect them to select a tackle at some point during this draft. 

Round 4: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia 
There’s not a lot of straight-line speed in this class of receivers outside of the top couple rounds, but I like Ridley (6-2, 200). Maybe he should have stayed for his senior season, but he declared for the draft and now we’ll see where he goes. He’s notably the brother of Falcons’ receiver Calvin Ridley, who just had a great rookie season.

Here’s a closer look at some Ridley highlights:

Ridley’s numbers aren’t eye-popping, but I think that’s more of a product of Georgia’s offense than it is an indictment of Ridley. He caught 43 passes for 559 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2018. 

Round 4 (comp): Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky 
I like both safeties from Kentucky (also Darius West), but Edwards’ versatility is what stands out. Edwards (6-0, 200) just finished his senior season. During his four years at Kentucky, he had 10 interceptions, 21 TFLs and 23 passes defensed. 

Edwards has some ball skills and some cover skills, something that’s important. I also think he could play some nickel in the NFL if the Eagles ever needed it. No, he’s not huge, but he's still a pretty good tackler. 

Even if the Eagles bring back Rodney McLeod at his high cap hit, Corey Graham is still likely to retire and Edwards could fill that third safety spot and could possibly be an eventual replacement as a starter. 

Round 5: Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple 
The Eagles have brought in a local running back in each of the last three years. Who am I to tell them to stop it? This time, I have them taking Temple’s Armstead, who comes from Millville High School in South Jersey, where he was a track star in addition to being a standout football player. 

Armstead (5-11, 215) is definitely an NFL talent as folks around this area have seen for a while. During his senior season, he carried the ball 210 times for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns. He didn’t catch the ball a ton at Temple but has some ability there. 

The Eagles need help at the running back position. Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are free agents and Corey Clement is coming off a significant knee injury. Waiting until the fifth round might not be wise, but the Eagles haven’t drafted a RB in the first two rounds since 2009 when they took LeSean McCoy. Maybe it’s time, but if not, a guy like Armstead in a later round would work. 

Round 6: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State 
No, the Eagles aren’t drafting Wentz’s replacement, but there’s something to the idea of drafting young quarterbacks to develop in the system, especially with Nick Foles on his way out of town and with just Nate Sudfeld left as a backup. 

Rypien (6-2, 202) is the nephew of former NFL QB Mark Rypien, just FYI. Rypien had a really solid four-year career at Boise State. In his senior season, he threw for over 3,700 yards and 30 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. It was his best collegiate season. 

Round 6 (comp): Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts  
At 5-10, 190, Isabella projects as a slot guy, but he’s certainly a fun guy to watch. In his senior season, he caught 102 passes (!) for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also got a few carries during his time in college as well. 

He’s quick, shifty and a ton of fun to watch. He also has some kick/punt return experience. 

At this point in the sixth round, getting a productive and intriguing college player like Isabella would be worth it. 

Round 6 (comp): Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland 
He was once the top-ranked prospect in the nation in 2015, but his college career definitely didn’t go according to plan. He went to Auburn to JUCO to Maryland and didn’t have a stellar season with the Terps. He had 3 sacks, 5 TFLs and 2 INTs. 

But the talent is there and the Eagles always look for value late in the draft. This could be a prime example. 



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2020 Super Bowl ad shows Carli Lloyd, a field goal and a strong message

carli-lloyd-crystal-dunn-super-bowl-usa.jpg
USA Today Images/NBC Sports Philadelphia

2020 Super Bowl ad shows Carli Lloyd, a field goal and a strong message

Remember way back at the start of the NFL season when Carli Lloyd hit a field goal attempt after an Eagles practice?

If you don't, you can watch here as a refresher.
 

Well, she makes her return to the field in this Super Bowl commercial for Secret Deodorant alongside Crystal Dunn ... and it is powerful.

Often times, Super Bowl commercials are light-hearted and comedic … but there are also times where they hit a home run in relaying a message that has to be said. This is one of those times.

In a brief moment in the opening frames you can catch a glimpse of the current scoreboard for the game  — where you can see the kicker’s team is down by just a single point with 3 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. It’s now or never.

It wasn’t until after their team won the game, where they took their helmets off to celebrate, revealing their true selves. Powerful women.

The crowd went silent at first, initially in shock, but cheers quickly fill the air.

As the commercial winds down, ‘Let’s kick inequality’ appears on the screen.

Also found in the description of the video on their YouTube page, is this:

More than two-thirds of girls believe that society doesn’t encourage women to play sports so we are setting out to change this notion by spotlighting fierce female athletes  — specifically two major women’s soccer players  — in ‘The Secret Kicker,’ which is aimed at defying conventional expectations and championing equal opportunities for women.

Well done, Secret Deodorant, well done.

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Super Bowl LIV: 10 things you never knew about Andy Reid

Super Bowl LIV: 10 things you never knew about Andy Reid

Everybody knows Andy Reid was in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition on Monday Night Football as a kid.

Everybody knows Big Red is the seventh coach to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl.

Everybody knows Reid has coached the most games in NFL history without a championship.

But there’s a lot about Big Red you probably never knew.

Such as … 

Going door to door: In 1986, Andy Reid, Brad Childress and Tom Melvin were all assistant coaches under Larry Kentera at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. NAU wasn’t a high-powered football program back then, and one of the responsibilities of the assistant coaches was to go door-to-door in the community trying to raise money. The coaches went out in pairs, and one year, Reid and Childress were assigned some of the tiny Native American villages located north of Flagstaff and just south of the Grand Canyon. Reid and Childress found themselves knocking on the doors of tiny Indian Pueblos asking for donations from people who had no idea what football was. Thirteen years later, Reid, Childress and Melvin were all coaching with the Eagles.  

95 percent chance: After he was fired by the Eagles following the 2012 season, Reid was quickly linked with the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching job. The Cards had just fired Romeo Crennel after one year, and Reid was such a strong candidate for the Cards job that Adam Schefter, who is NEVER wrong, tweeted that a source told him there was a 95 percent chance Reid would wind up coaching the Cards. Reid had interviews scheduled with the Chiefs and Cards, but he never made it to Phoenix. The Chiefs interviewed him at Philadelphia Airport and hired him on the spot, before he could catch his flight to Arizona. 

“Get your peanuts here:” As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, Reid worked as a peanut vendor at Dodger Stadium.

Secret visits: During the summer of 2009, when beloved defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was battling cancer, Reid quietly and with nobody knowing left training camp nearly every night after practice, film study and meetings and drove from Lehigh to Philadelphia to visit Jim in the hospital.  

Serving at love: Reid met his wife of 38 years, Tammy, in a Fundamentals of Tennis class when they were students at Brigham Young in 1980.

A chance meeting: Reid coached at San Francisco State from 1983 through 1985, and at the same time world-renowned activist Angela Davis taught ethnic studies at the same university. As it turned out, Reid’s office and Davis’s office were not only in the same building but along the same hallway, and the two often had long conversations at the water fountain. About what? We can only imagine. 

“Touchdown Nelly!”: Reid’s youth basketball coach was Pete Arbogast, who is now the offiical radio play-by-play voice of USC basketball and football. Yup, the guy who called all those Nelson Agholor TD catches was Andy Reid’s youth basketball coach.

Together since 1983: When Reid first arrived at San Francisco State as offensive line coach in 1983, one of his players was Tom Melvin. Reid was 25 and Melvin was 23. Today, 37 years later, the two are still together. They first worked together in 1984 and 1985 at San Francisco State then for one year at Northern Arizona. From 1991 through 1998, Melvin was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Occidental College in Los Angeles and Reid was on Mike Holmgren's Packers staff. When Reid was hired by the Eagles in 1999, he brought in Melvin as a quality control coach and then promoted him to tight ends in 2002. He’s served as Reid’s tight ends coach all seven years in K.C. as well. So the two have spent 29 of the last 37 years together.

Grease is the word: Reid attended Marshall High in Los Angeles, the same school that produced Leonardo DiCaprio, Lance Ito, Heidi Fless and Julia “Catwoman” Newmar and where the interior scenes for the movie Grease were filmed.

They signed who???: Reid was named head coach of the Eagles on Jan. 11, 1999. The first three players the Eagles signed after that were Charles Johnson, Torrance Small and Doug Pederson.

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