Eagles

Guessing the next Eagles player to make the Pro Bowl

Guessing the next Eagles player to make the Pro Bowl

This weekend, the NFL will hold it’s annual Pro Bowl. The game itself doesn’t really matter, but getting named a Pro Bowler still does.

The Eagles’ Pro Bowlers this season: Brandon Brooks, Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, Jason Kelce, Rick Lovato and Lane Johnson.

In the hallway of the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles put up large images of every Eagles player who makes the Pro Bowl. I always like to take guesses about the next guy to go up on that wall.

I didn’t have Lovato on my list last year but he will be up on that wall soon because Lovato was named to his first Pro Bowl this season.

By my count, there are 11 current Eagles who have made a Pro Bowl and have a spot on the hallway wall: Brooks, Cox, Ertz, Malcolm Jenkins, Johnson, Kelce, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Carson Wentz, DeSean Jackson and Lovato.

So those guys don’t count as I try to guess the next player to get added:

Miles Sanders: He’s coming off a very impressive rookie season and there’s no reason to think he won’t keep getting better. He seemed to get better every week in 2019. He had 1,327 yards from scrimmage, setting an Eagles franchise record and leading all rookies. And now he’s going to be the feature guy to start the 2020 season. The hurdle here is that guys like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley all play in the NFC.

Derek Barnett: In his three NFL seasons, Barnett has become a pretty solid player. He just hasn’t lived up to his first-round status. But we’ve seen flashes of how good he can be as a pass rusher. If he ever shows more consistency and gets those sack numbers up (6.5 in 2019 won’t get it done) he has a shot. He has some talent and had 22 QB hits and 2 FF this year.

Brandon Graham: I thought 2019 was the year Graham reached double digits in sacks. He finished with 8.5 and will probably never get the credit he deserves for being a disrupter and run stopper. He’ll be 32 soon so he’s running out of chances.

Malik Jackson: Jackson was a Pro Bowler in 2017 but he hasn’t been a Pro Bowler with the Eagles, so he qualifies for this list. He suffered a Lisfranc injury early in the last season and is 30 now but he has a chance to have a big 2020 season playing next to Fletcher Cox.

Cam Johnston: The young punter is coming off a pretty good season, averaging 46.4 yards per punt and 42.3 net average. He’s first all-time for the Eagles in gross and net averages and he’s getting better with directional punting. The guy who stands in his way is … well … Tress Way, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2019 but has been good for a while now.

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Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that one of their home games in 2020 will take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which means the Eagles might play in Mexico City in 2020.

Fun! (Probably.)

Just two years after playing the Jaguars in London, the Eagles are one of six possible opponents for the Cardinals' game in Mexico. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss is reporting Friday that the Lions and Dolphins will not be the opponent:

This will mark the fifth straight season that the NFL has a game scheduled for Estadio Azteca, and the 13th time a game has been scheduled at Estadio Azteca all-time.

The Eagles actually have a super interesting, and kind of wacky, history with Mexico City games. 

They were scheduled to face the Detroit Lions in an exhibition on Aug. 11, 1968, which would've marked the first football game ever played in Mexico City, but the game was cancelled - without much explanation, according to the Associated Press. Half the stadium's tickets were going for about 40 cents at the time, according to the AP.

Ten years later, the Eagles actually ended up participating in the first NFL game held in Mexico City after all, a 14-7 exhibition loss to the Saints. According to Ron Jaworski, the locker rooms were tiny and the goal posts were crooked, which sounds fun.

All-time, the Eagles are 2-3 in international games, a record that probably doesn't mean much because they've played outside of the country once since 1993 - and that was a win.

Vamos Eagles.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON, LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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