Eagles Address Defense in Round Three, Draft LSU DT Bennie Logan

Eagles Address Defense in Round Three, Draft LSU DT Bennie Logan

We knew the Eagles had to come
away from this draft with at least one defensive lineman. They found their man
in round three in Bennie Logan.

Two things stand out about
Logan. First, he has a big-school pedigree coming out of LSU where they
routinely are a defensive juggernaut in the SEC, college football’s best
conference.

Second, like Lane Johnson and
Zach Ertz in rounds one and two, “athletic” is one of the first adjectives used
to describe Logan. At 6-2, 309, he also happens to be a load on the interior.

More from NFL.com:

Strengths

Athletic
tackle with a wide frame and solid thickness and strength throughout. Nice
lateral quickness to step into a gap after the snap, can penetrate through to
get a hand on the ballcarrier or hold his ground with a shoulder against single
blocks to stuff the hole. Plays with leverage when man-up and against
double-teams, doesn’t get moved off the line often. Flashes the violent hands
and pop to shed and eat up backs coming into his area. Works hard as a pass
rusher, can use his hands and strength to bull through the shoulder of his man
to reach the quarterback if the ball stays in the pocket too long. Strong
tackler who swallows ballcarriers when in position and also slows them with an
arm even if engaged.

Weaknesses

Not elite in
his initial quickness, will be stoned more consistently by NFL linemen unless
it improves and might be taken out in obvious passing situations. Might be best
as an athletic nose, rather than a three-technique. Inconsistent getting off
blocks inside to two-gap, lunges towards ballcarriers after they’re already by
him. Gets overaggressive on his punch on occasion and doesn’t have elite
upper-body strength, so better linemen and double teams can get his shoulders
turned out of the hole. Stamina is an issue, losing his chase ability and
short-area quickness when facing strong competition, and forces him to be
heavily rotated. Has difficulty seeing and handling cut blocks. Doesn't offer
much as a pass rushing threat.

Obviously this doesn’t sound
like a player who will step in and become a dominant force from day one, but he
is a third-round pick after all. What you have to like about Logan though is he
brings a versatile skill set to the table.

Logan had 45 total tackles,
5.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks in 2012, and 57, 6.5, and 3 one season prior,
his only two years as a starter. He spoke to the Shreveport Times about what NFL
suitors were looking for out of him.

“A lot of
teams are looking at me to play nose guard, defensive tackle, and a few teams
are even talking about me playing defensive end,” Logan said last week at LSU’s
Pro Day of various speed and agility drills. “Teams are looking at me to play
up and down the line, not just a set position.”

Logan (6-foot-3,
287 pounds) played only defensive tackle at LSU as he started the last two
seasons before declaring for the draft as a junior.

“So, I’m
going to play where they ask me to play,” he said.

Defensive line was an absolute
must in this draft. Obviously the Eagles are getting away from a 4-3 as their
base, and whether it’s a conventional 3-4 or the hybrid 4-3 under, those alignments
tend to require unique personnel. Plus the front office dumped several interior
linemen in the offseason, most notably Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson.

That was the Birds’ final
scheduled pick of the evening, so that will do it for tonight unless they
decide to trade back into the round. Assuming that’s all for day two though, it feels
like it was a successful one for Howie Roseman and company.

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Flyers' power play rediscovers swagger in win over Canucks

Flyers' power play rediscovers swagger in win over Canucks

BOX SCORE

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Flyers got some swagger back Sunday night.

But especially so on the power play, which entered Sunday's clash just 2 for 19 over the last six games.

Two markers on the man advantage helped the Flyers edge the Canucks, 3-2, at Rogers Arena in Vanvoucer (see Instant Replay).

“It all comes back to finding a way to produce – and they did that tonight,” said Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, who had called for his power-play participants to rediscover that swagger.

Hakstol’s club won for the first time in its last nine games in Western Canada. More importantly, the Flyers (28-24-7) moved within a point of the eighth and final playoff spot, currently shared by Florida and Boston, in the Eastern Conference.

Thanks to the power-play success, the Flyers built a 3-0 lead in the game’s first 23 minutes and then hung on, atoning for a sub-par effort in a one-sided loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday night.

The Flyers converted two of three power plays while blanking the Canucks on all four of their man advantages. The loss prevented the Canucks (26-28-6) from getting closer to a Western Conference playoff berth.

“I thought we were playing some pretty good hockey of late, but the pucks weren't going in,” said Flyers center Brayden Schenn, who scored the winning goal on the power play at 2:38 of the second period. “Tonight, we tightened up defensively again from Edmonton's game and were able to score a few more goals. It's a huge two points going home."

Wayne Simmonds, also on the power play, and Jakub Voracek scored the Flyers’ other goals.

“We needed a win,” Simmonds said. “Especially after the game in Edmonton, this is good for the morale."

Shayne Gostisbehere assisted on all three goals, recording the first three-point night of his career.

Schenn’s winning goal came only a minute and 27 seconds after Voracek gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead at 1:11 of the second by sending Sean Couturier’s huge rebound into a gaping net behind Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller. Voracek’s goal was his first in 10 games. He had not scored since Jan. 25 against the New York Rangers.

How did long sought-after goal make him feel?

"Like I scored a goal,” deadpanned Voracek. “We won the game. That’s the way I looked at it. It doesn't matter who scored the goals. Special teams were huge tonight. I liked our power play. We were going all 60 minutes. This one kept us in the race."

The Flyers were a well-rested team thanks to a two-day break between games and a three-day break before the start of the road trip. The Canucks, on the other hand, were playing their second of back-to-back home games with only a day’s rest following a grueling six-game United States road trip. But there was still considerable suspense over the final 30 minutes.

Markus Granlund and Jannik Hansen tallied for the Canucks, who are known as comeback artists, at 3:43 and 12:42 of the second, respectively, before the Flyers shut Vancouver down the rest of the way. Voracek indicated the Flyers were not nervous in the final frame.

"I don't think we changed anything to be honest,” he said. We were pretty tight in the neutral zone. We didn't give them much. When we had a couple of breakdowns, [Michal Neuvirth] was on his act.”

Neuvirth stopped 18 of 20 shots as the Flyers outshot the Canucks, 28-20. He enjoyed a much better start Sunday, holding the Canucks scoreless in the opening period after allowing four goals on his first 12 shots on Thursday in Edmonton. One of his better saves came with just over a minute into the game as he got his toe on Markus Granlund’s dangerous chance from in close.

"I felt good,” said Neuvirth. “I have been practicing well and playing with confidence. The last game, it didn't work out. I put that one behind me and restarted my mind and got back to work tonight.”

“I thought he was excellent,” said Hakstol. “He was calm and settled in there. You can go back through that 60 minutes and you can pick out three or four pretty darned good saves.”

Neuvirth excelled while making his fourth consecutive start and sixth in the past seven games overall.

“It feels good,” he said of the heavy workload. “It feels better when we win.”

But he was not about to get too excited. The Flyers have a tough clash at home Wednesday against NHL-best Washington and a road game Saturday at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field against the rival Penguins as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series.

“We have a tough schedule coming and we have to be ready,” Neuvirth said.

Sixers Twitter rejoices in the Kings' pick swap after DeMarcus Cousins deal

Sixers Twitter rejoices in the Kings' pick swap after DeMarcus Cousins deal

All hail the pick swap.

When word got out that the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, Sixers fans on Twitter rejoiced.

On July 10, 2015, the Sixers traded away the rights to Artūras Gudaitis and Luka Mitrović, and, in return, received an unprotected 2019 first round pick, Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and the right to swap first-round selections in the 2016 and 2017 drafts.

The Cousins move appears to significantly weaken the Kings, who are 24-33 and just 2.5 games better than the Sixers, so the pick swap looks healthier than ever.

But, for now, enjoy some samplings of Sixers Twitter from after the trade.

Here are some of the best tweets.