Could Trade for Chiefs' Franchise LT Allow Eagles to Draft a Defensive Star in First Round?

Could Trade for Chiefs' Franchise LT Allow Eagles to Draft a Defensive Star in First Round?

The Andy Reid days in Philadelphia are over. And with them go the expectations we used to have come draft day. We knew what Andy liked and almost came to anticipate linemen with the Eagles first picks. That's if he didn't trade it. Enter Chip Kelly. We don't have any idea which direction Chipper will go in when the clock is ticking.

In today's Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King quotes draft guru Mike Mayock as saying as much:

"And,'' Mayock said, "you throw a Chip Kelly in there at No. 4. He could
be so different. I'm not sure they value things in Philadelphia the way
everyone else does in the league anymore. So we don't know that. Add to
that the talent in the first round and the second round is pretty equal
at a lot of spots. I could see [defensive end] Bjoern Werner going six,
I could see him going 28. Right now, I think it's simply an
unpredictable year. I feel very good about my player analysis as we sit
here right now. I don't feel good at all about where those players are

King's column also has a couple of other interesting Birds-related nuggets.

King mentions the Kansas City Chiefs still attempting to shop franchised LT Branden Albert, hoping for an early second-rounder in return. That price may be a bit steep, but it's a worth discussing for the Eagles. A more tempting package for Philly might be something like this year's third and something thrown in next year.

Albert could come in and play RT right away, giving them more freedom with their first round selection to go a defensive player or Geno Smith or whoever they really covet.

And speaking of a defensive player they may really like, King also says they may have their eyes on a star.

Eagles have been nutty about getting players who fit the 3-4. Hear they
like Star Lotulelei a lot to play all along the line, even at nose.
Where they go -- Geno Smith, pass rusher, best corner in the draft -- I
don't know, but my guess is pass rusher.

There were some concerns after Lotulelei was sent home from the combine with a heart condition, but Howie Roseman told reporters today that he had been cleared of all health issues.

The draft is less than two weeks away. Chip Kelly's first big play call should give us a glimpse of the future in Philadelphia.

>>2013 NFL draft's first round is hard to predict [SI]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.