5 undrafted Eagles with best odds of making the team

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5 undrafted Eagles with best odds of making the team

There’s no excuse to overlook the Eagles’ undrafted rookies. Not after Corey Clement’s contributions in the Super Bowl.

The Eagles officially announced the signing of 15 rookie free agents on Friday. Some will find their way on the practice squad. Most will never truly make it in the NFL. But every year, a select few wind up on the 53-man roster, and you never really know if one of them will wind up a hero.

Clement did it. His 22-yard touchdown catch was one of the biggest moments in the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship. Trey Burton, LeGarrette Blount, and Rodney McLeod all went undrafted earlier in their careers as well, and all played big roles in the win.

Maybe one of these young athletes will one day follow in their footsteps.

RB Josh Adams
There’s already plenty of buzz over the 6-foot-2, 213-pound running back out of Notre Dame, and with good reason. After rushing for 3,198 yards with a 6.6 average and 20 touchdowns in three seasons for the Fighting Irish, most experts thought Adams’ name would be called at some point during the draft.

There were rumblings Adams has a foot injury that could eventually require surgery, which also may have contributed to a dismal close to his college career. He was a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy through eight games last year with 1,169 yards and nine touchdowns, but managed just 261 yards and failed to find the end zone in his final five contests.

Injury or not, Adams ran well at Notre Dame’s pro day, timing 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That would be a strong time for any back, let alone somebody his size. The 21-year-old has a good head on his shoulders, too.

Between Matt Jones, Donnel Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood, there’s no shortage of competition for a potential fourth running back spot on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. With his combination of size, speed and intangibles, Adams may have more upside than all of them.

DT Bruce Hector
How serious was the Eagles’ interest in Hector after the draft? Based on reports, his $60,000 in guarantees were the highest of any of the 15 free agents who signed with the club.

Hector was very productive at South Florida, racking up 28.0 tackles for loss and 18.0 sacks over three seasons – impressive numbers for an interior lineman. The 6-2, 296-pound defensive tackle reached peak levels of disruptiveness under head coach Charlie Strong, finishing with 13.0 TFLs and 7.0 sacks as a senior.

His ability aside, Hector’s chances of making the squad improved immensely once word got out about Tim Jernigan’s injury. Suddenly the Eagles look a little thinner up the middle. Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls are still in the mix for backup tackle spots, but the duo only carved out about 15 percent of the defensive snaps between them last season, so they’re vulnerable.

DE Joe Ostman
The Eagles are rather deep at defensive end, so it might be difficult to envision an undrafted rookie earning the roster at this spot. Yet, if Ostman can make himself indispensable on special teams, he may have a shot.

That’s exactly what Ostman did at Central Michigan, where he was the only player in the program to see the field as a true freshman in 2013. By the end of his Chippewas career, he had become one of the most disruptive pass rushers in college football, his 20.5 tackles for loss and 14.0 sacks both good for top-five in the nation in 2017.

One thing is for certain, Ostman will not get outworked. Measuring 6-3, 255 pounds, the kid is a beast, timing 4.75 seconds in the 40 and lifting 31 times in the bench press at his pro day. He isn’t likely to crack the rotation at end, but it’s not unfathomable he could carve out some kind of niche.

CB Chandon Sullivan
Again, an undrafted rookie is staring at an uphill battle to make the roster at a position loaded with talent. But while the deck may appear stacked against Sullivan, it turns out he knows people. Trent Miles, previously Sullivan’s head coach at Georgia State, is currently an offensive assistant for the Eagles.

That won’t help Sullivan climb the depth chart, but the Eagles surely had plenty of insight on a young man who was a finalist for the academic Heisman, formally the William V. Campbell Trophy. The club liked what it heard enough to offer a whopping $51,000 in guarantees, already with a glut of talent at cornerback.

Sullivan was a four-year starter in college, finishing his career with seven interceptions and 25 pass breakups. He possesses decent size at 5-11, 194 pounds, though only average speed, timing 4.6 seconds in the 40, but clearly the 21-year-old is sharp.

Obviously, Sullivan’s chances would improve greatly in the event of a trade or injury. Regardless, he’s clearly a prospect the Eagles valued.

S Jeremy Reaves
The Eagles signed a grand total of four rookie safeties after the draft, so there’s no question the club is taking a hard look at that situation. Of the four, Reaves was the name that stood out, especially upon learning he pulled $30,000 in guarantees to sign.

Reaves was the focal point of the defense at South Alabama, earning Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017 with 104 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, eight pass breakups and three interceptions. He did it all, even playing cornerback and nickel cornerback during his college career, demonstrating tremendous versatility.

At 5-11, 190 pounds, Reaves is slightly undersized for an NFL safety, with only average speed as well, timing 4.66 seconds in the 40 at his pro day. Then again, none of that seems to have mattered so far, given his reputation for being a big hitter.

There’s definitely room for another safety on the Eagles’ roster. The only players who return from last season are special teams ace Chris Maragos and Tre Sullivan, who was on the practice squad.

What's really going on with Michael Bennett and the Eagles?

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What's really going on with Michael Bennett and the Eagles?

A commentator’s seemingly innocuous remark about Michael Bennett’s role with the Eagles quietly became a subplot this week after the defensive end refused to speak to reporters.

Is the three-time Pro Bowl selection “none too happy” being a “backup” in Philadelphia, as NBC’s Cris Collinsworth indicated during the Eagles’ nationally televised opener? Only Bennett can say for sure, and he reportedly declined the opportunity when approached by team employees, while coaches denied knowledge of any issue when questioned.

But did Bennett’s actions betray the company line one week later when he appeared to take issue with being removed from a game? Good thing pictures are worth 1,000 words because the 10th-year veteran had nothing to add, essentially telling the media “no comment,” which naturally only adds to the mystery.

So what are we to believe exactly?

For starters — see what we did there, Michael? — let’s revisit March after Bennett was traded to the Eagles from the Seahawks.

“I think a great defensive line is about the rotation,” Bennett said.

“I’m comfortable with taking less plays, man.

“Just taking snaps off, being able to have a [longer] career, it’s something that every player wishes and dreams about. And this organization, when you think about play snaps and counts and keeping guys fresh for the moments that count.

“Because at the end of the day, it’s not about September or October or November; it’s about January and February.”

Bennett understood the situation he was walking into and not only seemed OK but also enthusiastic. As recently as training camp, there was no sign of distress.

“Obviously I care [about starting]," Bennett said to “But at the same time, I am not going to make it the most important thing to me. The most important thing for me is just getting in the game and playing as high as I can.”

Still fine. From July to September, with only two games in the books, how did we get to “none too happy?”

It’s entirely plausible Collinsworth’s anecdote was blown out of proportion. Bennett averaged eight sacks per season over the previous six. Yeah, the guy wants to play, and rightfully believes he should. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s requesting a trade, either. Perhaps this is considered the coloring aspect of the color commentator job.

Furthermore, Bennett’s refusal to speak to the media may be the result of people twisting his words, not to hide his discontent. Wouldn’t be the first time somebody played that card in Philadelphia.

The controversy's very premise has flaws. While Bennett happened to finish fourth in snaps among Eagles ends against the Buccaneers in Week 2, he was just one snap behind Brandon Graham for most in the opener — hardly reason to complain.

And Bennett’s interaction with a coach on the sideline last week — does anybody have a transcript? Otherwise, we might not want to put words in another person's mouth.

Then again, maybe Bennett was pissed. He played the fewest snaps of Eagles defensive ends against the Bucs, yet led the group in quarterback hits and matched Derek Barnett with a tackle for loss.

All of which suggests if there is anything to these rumors, maybe the best answer is simultaneously the easiest — the Eagles need to put Bennett on the field more.

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You have to see this terrible Phillie Phanatic costume


You have to see this terrible Phillie Phanatic costume

October is rapidly approaching, which of course, includes the wonderful holiday of Halloween.

If you’re looking for that perfect costume that absolutely does not even slightly resemble your character, look no further.

Behold, this company is advertising a Phillie Phanatic costume for the low price of $399.99 that literally looks nothing like the most beloved mascot in all of Major League Baseball.

We have many questions about what exactly went into the design of the costume, which is actually on sale, but you can see it for yourself right here and below:

So if you’ve got $399.99 to spare and are looking to dress up as the Phanatic, we do not recommend buying this one.

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