Eagles have or will meet with top 3 WRs at NFL combine

Eagles have or will meet with top 3 WRs at NFL combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- It should come as no surprise that the Eagles have or will formally meet with the top three wide receivers at the combine. 

They desperately need to get Carson Wentz some weapons. 

Despite Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson's giving answers this week saying the Eagles are just looking to improve at all positions, they know they need a No. 1 receiver in a bad way.

With the No. 14 pick (thanks to the coin flip), there are really just three wide receiver options: Clemson's Mike Williams, Western Michigan's Corey Davis and Washington's John Ross.

"I think the Eagles have to figure out what their order of preference is, what kind of style they want," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said earlier this week on a conference call. "But they've got to be looking hard at all three of those guys and know up front if one or two or all three of them are available, who they're going to take."

Ross said the Eagles were on his schedule of teams to meet with. Davis' formal interview with the Eagles was scheduled for Friday night. And Williams on Friday afternoon said he already had a "great" formal interview with the Eagles, in which he got a chance to talk with new receivers coach Mike Groh. 

While it's true that most teams talk to just about every prospect in some capacity, they don't get the opportunity to sit down with them all. There are 330 prospects at this year's draft. NFL teams are allowed 60 formal meetings at 15 minutes in length.

Williams is probably the most well-known prospect of the three after playing at Clemson and helping the Tigers win a national championship this season. Williams is a big, strong receiver, at 6-3, 225 pounds. He's not a burner like Ross, but has decent speed and the ability to dominate 50-50 balls. Williams won't run the 40 at the combine, instead opting to do it at his pro day on March 16.

It's very possible that Williams' 40 time might turn off some teams, but on Friday he stressed the importance of route running over training for a straight-line run.

"Jerry Rice didn't run a fast time," Williams said. "Antonio Brown didn't run a fast time. He's the highest-paid receiver in the league right now. It's all just about playing football when you look at it at the end of the day.

"I'm a big, physical receiver. I can go get the deep ball. I can block on the edge. I just do it all in one."

Davis won't be running the 40 at the combine either. In fact, Mayock's No. 1-ranked receiver is still healing from a high ankle sprain and subsequent surgery, so he won't participate in any on-field activities. Davis will do the bench press at the Western Michigan pro day on March 15, but is planning to hold a private pro day in April when he expects his ankle to be fully healed.  

While Davis is probably the most complete receiver of the three, the biggest question about him is the level of competition he faced in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

"But I feel like I can play with the best of them," Davis said. "My confidence is up there and I'm not afraid to go against anyone."

What separates Davis from the other receivers in this class?

"I would say a big thing that separates me from them is my work ethic," he answered. "You can ask any one of my coaches or trainers, that's something that sets me apart from anyone in the country. I always put in extra work and that's probably because I have that chip on my shoulder. I work like I'm the worst receiver in the draft, but my confidence is up there and I know that I'm that top guy."

It's not hard to figure out what separates Ross from the rest of the receivers in the 2017 class. He's fast. Really fast.

While Ross (5-11, 190) looked about half the size of Williams as he walked to the podium in the Indiana Convention Center, he can flat out fly. He said he expects to run a sub-4.3 in the 40 on Saturday.

Ross is from Long Beach, California, which has allowed him to forge a relationship with DeSean Jackson, who is a similar stretch-the-field type player. If Ross ends up having that type of career, he's going to make one team very happy.

"Definitely the speed," Ross said. "I know Mike (Williams) can also be a deep threat, but he's also a big guy. Corey Davis is a complete guy also. I just think I'm faster than those guys and I think that's what shows up more in our three films."

NFL Notes: Gareon Conley claims rape allegations are 'completely false'

NFL Notes: Gareon Conley claims rape allegations are 'completely false'

CLEVELAND -- Former Ohio State football star Gareon Conley says he plans to skip attending the NFL draft in person on Thursday and decried allegations that he raped a woman as "completely false."

No charges have been filed as police investigate claims made by a 23-year-old woman that he assaulted her in a Cleveland hotel on April 9. Conley was named in a police report that details the allegations but no information has been forwarded to prosecutors.

Conley said in a statement Wednesday that he believes the allegations are an attempt to ruin the draft experience for him and his family.

The woman told police Conley raped her in the bathroom of a hotel room after they met in the elevator and she agreed to go back to his room.

Conley's attorney says the cornerback, projected to be a first-round pick, plans to speak with police about the incident after the draft.

Raiders: Marshawn Lynch comes out of retirement
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland.

Lynch passed a physical Wednesday and agreed to a restructured two-year contract. Those were the final steps needed before Seattle could trade his rights along with a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Raiders for a 2018 fifth-rounder.

NFL Network said Lynch would get a $3 million base deal this season, with a chance to make an additional $2 million if he rushes for at least 1,000 yards.

Lynch had been slated to make $9 million this season if he came out of retirement. With Seattle unwilling to pay that amount and Lynch only wanting to play for the Raiders, finalizing a trade was simple once Oakland was able to re-do Lynch's contract.

Lynch also must apply to the NFL for reinstatement from the retired list before he can play with the Raiders (see full story).

Packers: Veteran OL Jahri Evans signs
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have signed veteran offensive lineman Jahri Evans as they look to fill a hole up front left by the departure of free agent-right guard T.J. Lang.

Terms of the agreement were not announced Wednesday by general manager Ted Thompson.

The 33-year-old Evans joins the Packers following 11 seasons in New Orleans, where he played 169 regular-season games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2006. The 169 games are the most played by an active NFL offensive lineman in that span.

After blocking for Drew Brees in New Orleans, the durable Evans figures to be the favorite to replace Lang after the Pro Bowl guard signed with the Detroit Lions last month.

Evans has been voted to six Pro Bowls.

Jets: 5 players waived to trim roster on eve of draft
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have waived running back Brandon Burks, wide receiver Darius Jennings, long snapper Josh Latham, linebacker Jeff Luc and defensive lineman Julien Obioha.

The team announced the moves Wednesday as it trims its roster on the eve of the NFL draft.

The Jets, who have 76 players under contract, have seven picks in the draft -- including No. 6 overall. Teams can carry up to 90 players on their rosters until training camp, when there are cuts to 75 and then 53 to start the regular season.

Burks was active for the Jets' season finale and had two carries for minus-4 yards.

Obioha spent last season on injured reserve, while Jennings was on New York's practice squad late in the season.

Luc signed a reserve-future deal in January. Latham was signed in February.

Giants: Manning attorneys say he didn't provide fake memorabilia
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- Attorneys for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning are trying to convince a judge that the dealers suing the two-time Super Bowl MVP tried to pressure him to settle a memorabilia lawsuit by releasing select notes that weren't related to the disputed goods.

Emails released by the court on Wednesday were part of a motion seeking sanctions and legal fees against one of the plaintiffs' attorneys after he released an email from Manning in 2010 that seemed to indicate he provided fake memorabilia rather than authentic game-used goods.

Manning angrily denied those allegations last week.

The lawsuit revolves around two pieces of equipment: a backup Super Bowl helmet from 2012 and another from the 2007-2008 season.

The memorabilia dealers suing Manning released a note sent by Manning to team equipment manager Joe Skiba, asking for two helmets that "can pass as game used," (see full story).

Haason Reddick's draft ascension to culminate in his backyard

Haason Reddick's draft ascension to culminate in his backyard

Live draft coverage begins Thursday at 5 p.m. with Philly Sports Talk and continues until midnight on CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App.

DeShone Kizer, who played against Haason Reddick in 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field, needed just one word to describe the Temple product.  

"Stud," Kizer said at the Shriners Hospital for Children on Wednesday at an NFL PLAY 60 event.

"Absolute stud. You've got to game-plan for him. He was playing at a higher level than you would expect a Temple football player to play at. We knew we were going to have to do whatever we could to stop him. He balled out against us. That took a whole team for us to go up against a guy like him, (Tyler) Matakevich in that fourth quarter to try and win it all."

Temple would have upset the Fighting Irish that night if it wasn't for some late game heroics from Kizer. 

Kizer connected with Philadelphia product-turned Houston Texan Will Fuller on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 2:09 left in the game as Notre Dame won, 24-20.

"They came out and they fought," Kizer said. "They were an undefeated team going into that game, it was Halloween night, Will Fuller's back home, and the way that game finished was obviously a good showing of what the season looked like all year." 

Reddick racked up four tackles in that game, including 1½ for a loss. As Reddick reflected on his career at Temple, he said that game against Notre Dame, the Penn State game in 2015 and the 2016 game against Memphis were some of the games that put him in the national spotlight. 

Reddick has taken that spotlight and continued to rise up NFL draft boards since the start of the draft process.

"I feel like I was under the radar," Reddick said. "They still truly don't understand the hard work that I put in to get here and really what type of player I am. But that will all change soon."

The former Temple walk-on has been projected as a mid-first-round pick. 

The Eagles hold the No. 14 overall pick in the draft Thursday night but haven't been linked to Reddick as much as other prospects like Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

But with Conley and Foster each reportedly slipping because of off-the-field issues, Reddick might be an option for the Eagles at 14.

Reddick said Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole has met with him a couple of times leading up to the draft.

If selected by the Eagles, Reddick would already be familiar with Lincoln Financial Field since Temple plays its home games there. It's where he led the Owls to the American Athletic Conference championship in 2016.

"The process has been a crazy ride," Reddick said. "To be able to hear my name called on Thursday, God willing if that happens, it would be beautiful, man. It would be a great way to end this first chapter and start getting ready for the next one."