Philadelphia Eagles

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Donnel Pumphrey's replacement running wild at San Diego State

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Donnel Pumphrey's replacement running wild at San Diego State

The Eagles are 1-0 so it seems like a waste of time doing a prospect watch in the midst of a perfect season.

But seriously, even if the Eagles are hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season, they'll need to draft players in the 2018 draft.

Here are a few players that could fit the Eagles in 2018 and beyond.

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State, senior (5-11/220)
Donnel Pumphrey's replacement is running wild in the leading role. After going for 197 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns in Week 1, Penny carried the ball 18 times for 216 yards with a touchdown in a win over Arizona State. He also added four catches for 38 yards and a receiving touchdown. In two games, Penny is averaging a healthy 10.6 yards a carry. He has prototypical running back size with an impressive burst.

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU, junior (6-4/216)
Sutton caught eight passes for 163 yards. Pretty impressive. Oh, and half of those catches were touchdowns. Yes, it was against North Texas, but four touchdowns is four touchdowns. Sutton to me is like 2017 top-10 pick Corey Davis. Coming from a small school could hurt him, but his route running and production will be too great to ignore.

Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson, junior (6-5/305)
Hyatt helped lead No. 3 Clemson in a slugfest win over No. 13 Auburn. Hyatt doesn't necessarily fit the physical profile of an NFL tackle, but man, can he play. He's been a starter for Clemson since his freshman year in 2015 — including starting two national championship games — so he's got plenty of experience. What he lacks physically he makes up for in savvy, quick hands and toughness. Just watch his game last season against Alabama. That defense threw a variety of talented players at him and he was excellent.

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech, junior (6-5/236)
Edmunds was all over the place against Delaware, recording 14 tackles, 1½ sacks and a forced fumble. The junior is extremely aggressive and is always playing the game 100 miles an hour. That will cause him to be overaggressive at times, but he has decent instincts so his play recognition and reaction time should get only better. In the current climate of the NFL, it's good to have a 'backer like Edmunds that can run with tight ends and running backs.

Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC, senior (6-2/240)
Like Edmunds, Nwosu was everywhere in last Saturday's win over Stanford. He had four tackles, a sack and, most impressively, five passes defensed. Nwosu took over Su'a Cravens' role for the Trojans as a general wreaker of havoc. At 240, he definitely sports more of a linebacker build than Cravens and ultimately his position in the NFL could be as a 3-4 OLB.

Kyzir White, S, West Virginia, senior (6-2/216)
As a junior college transfer in 2016, White proved he could play a physical brand of football. He played a hybrid OLB/safety role for the Mountaineers. This season, White is evidently out to prove that he can do more than just deliver big hits. He collected two interceptions in West Virginia's blowout win over ECU. I'd love for the Eagles to draft a hybrid-type player — like I thought maybe Nathan Gerry could be — and White would add some physicality to the Eagles' back end.

NFL Notes: Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

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NFL Notes: Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

BOSTON -- Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez had a severe case of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, his lawyer said on Thursday in announcing a lawsuit against the NFL and the team for hiding the true dangers of the sport.

Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said Hernandez had Stage 3 (out of 4) of the disease, which can cause violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive disorders.

"We're told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron's age," attorney Jose Baez said.

Hernandez killed himself in April in the prison cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for murder. Baez said Hernandez had shown signs of memory loss, impulsivity and aggression that could be attributed to CTE (see full story).

Jets: Williams limited with bone bruise in wrist
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams was limited at practice with a wrist injury that he says is a bone bruise.

Williams was originally injured during the preseason, and says Thursday that his wrist is bothering him at times. It doesn't appear that the injury will keep him out of the Jets' home opener Sunday against Miami, but Williams might have to play through it.

Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson sat out practice for the second straight day with a sore shoulder. He said Wednesday that it wasn't a big deal, and coach Todd Bowles says the Jets will see how it feels as the week goes along.

Starting right guard Brian Winters (abdomen) and tight ends Jordan Leggett (knee) and Eric Tomlinson (elbow) also didn't practice. Fourth-year backup Dakota Dozier would start if Winters is unable to play (see full story).

Packers: Perry latest key player to go down with injury
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The banged-up Green Bay Packers have lost another key player to injury with outside linebacker Nick Perry scheduled to have hand surgery.

Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn't know how much time Perry will miss. He was off to a good start as the bookend to fellow edge rusher Clay Matthews with 1 sacks.

The Packers' first-round draft pick in 2012, Perry had a breakout 2016 last season with 11 sacks in 14 games.

The loss of Perry places added importance on the return of Ahmad Brooks, who was a full participant in practice on Wednesday after missing the Week 2 loss at Atlanta because of a concussion (see full story).

Broncos: Miller baffled by low hit from Cowboys receiver
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Von Miller says he's baffled by Cowboys wide receiver Noah Brown's low hit on him Sunday.

The Broncos linebacker pushed through Brown's block on the game's second snap and Brown got up and dived at Miller's knees as Denver's star chased down Ezekiel Elliott on a hand-off from Dak Prescott.

Miller shook off the hit to have a monster game in Denver's 42-17 win , but he has dealt with soreness in his left knee this week.

"My stance is as a player I've always tried to take care of my players on my football team and opponents as well, whether it's the quarterbacks, receivers, the running backs. So, when it's the other way around, it's just baffling," Miller said Thursday after returning to practice full-time following a limited practice Wednesday.

"But you can't really spend too much time on it," Miller added. "Everybody's situation in the National Football League is different. Everybody doesn't have the same outlook that I have and some of my comrades in the National Football League (have). Everybody doesn't see it that way. Everybody doesn't play the game like I play the game. You've got to respect that."

Earlier in the week, Broncos coach Vance Joseph declined to criticize the Cowboys wide receiver for his low hit, saying, "I saw it. It wasn't called. I'm OK with it."

Miller shook off the low hit and finished the afternoon with two sacks, five quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

Chris Long: Putting 'my money where my mouth is' with donation of game checks

Chris Long: Putting 'my money where my mouth is' with donation of game checks

Whether it was his passionate defense of Colin Kaepernick, his show of support for Malcolm Jenkins' raised fist by draping his arm around his teammate during the national anthem or his strong words about racism and violence in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, Chris Long has been extraordinarily outspoken since he joined the Eagles.

Now he's more than outspoken.

"I had a few people that were like, 'Hey, these gestures are great but why don’t you guys get out there in your communities?'" Long said.

So he is.

Long announced via his Twitter account earlier this week that he plans to donate his first six game checks from this year's salary — more than $350,000 — to create two scholarships for students in Charlottesville.

At his locker on Wednesday, he explained what led to the remarkably generous gesture.

"My wife and I have been investing in scholarships in my hometown for a while," Long said. "I'm interested in education, always have been, and … the best way I can give back to something I love is take it out of my game check, because what I love doing is playing football.

"I could [fund the scholarship] another way, but just taking it out of my game check makes it real easy for me to realize why I’m coming to work every day. It’s been a blessing."

Long, 32, is in his 10th NFL season and first with the Eagles. He's the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, who graduated from Villanova in 1981.

Chris Long had his first sack as an Eagle Sunday against the Chiefs. He now has 59½ in his career.

"I’ve been lucky," Long said. "I’ve made a lot of money in my career, so it’s not like I’m scrapping check to check. This isn’t a hero thing. It’s nothing like that. It’s honestly just that I want to put my money where my mouth is.

"It’s something we’ve done before, but we’re upping the ante this time."

Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles this offseason after winning a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots last year, the first time he's ever played for a team with a winning record.

His 2017 base salary is $1 million, which means each of his 17 game checks equal $58,823. Six game checks equal $352,941.

Long said being able to donate that kind of money makes the game more meaningful for him.

“It for certain does," he said. "It means a lot to go out and play football every Sunday. To be honest, I would play games for free. The thing I wouldn’t do for free is sit in meetings and do practice every day.

"Honestly, it’s a joy no matter what. But just knowing that the game checks are going to that makes it more special for me. You know, 10th year, you don’t know how long you’ll be able to do this, so your platform is really important and meaningful now. You don’t know how meaningful it’ll be in a year or two.”

Long said he's not done yet, either.

His foundation — the Chris Long Foundation — has more charity work in store in the coming weeks.

"My foundation is going to launch another campaign this year that’s going to be similar that’s hopefully going to have some fan involvement," Long said.

"It’s going to be broader reaching than just a couple kids getting scholarships, so I’m excited about that."