Philadelphia Eagles

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."

Source: Paul Turner out for another three weeks with fractured scapula

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Source: Paul Turner out for another three weeks with fractured scapula

Eagles receiver Paul Turner, who has been missing from Eagles practice since Aug. 2 with a shoulder injury, will be out for another three weeks. 

Turner's injury is more serious than previously thought. He actually has a fractured scapula, a league source told 

Turner, 24, initially made the Eagles' roster out of training camp last year but was cut when the team claimed Bryce Treggs off waivers. He then spent the first 10 games on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster. He ended up catching nine passes for 126 yards in four games as a rookie. 

During last year's training camp, Turner instantly became a fan favorite as a rookie out of Louisiana Tech. He shined in practices and then was the NFL's leading receiver last preseason with 17 catches that went for 165 yards. And he also had a tremendous one-handed grab. 

With another three weeks added to his recovery time, making this year's roster will be incredibly hard for Turner, who is buried on the depth chart. Three weeks will bring us right to the start of the regular season. 

Other players have been making a push for the final roster spot at receiver. Marcus Johnson, in particular, has shined this summer. 

The rise of Steven Means and his sack celebration of many names

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The rise of Steven Means and his sack celebration of many names

Some of Steven Means' teammates call his sack celebration The Hammer. Some say it's The Nail In the Coffin. Assistant defensive line coach Phillip Daniels calls it The Undertaker.

Means says he likes them all. 

"The Atomic Bomb," interjected fellow defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao, who was listening in from the next locker. "Because when it hits …" 

That might be the new leader in the clubhouse. 

Whatever it's called though, Means has been doing the emphatic celebration much more often in recent weeks. That's a good sign for the 27-year-old and his chances to make the Eagles' 53-man roster. 

In the Eagles' preseason opener, Means had a half sack. Last Thursday against his hometown Buffalo Bills, Means picked up two more.

And after each sack in games and in practice (yes, he does it in non-contact practices too), Means celebrates with what has become his hallmark. He first points both fingers toward the sky, "giving God the glory," before it looks like a surge of pure energy flows through his body, starting with his toes until he releases it with a leg kick and one swift downward chopping motion with his hands. 

Means started doing the celebration during OTAs last season. It wasn't something he planned — "It just happened," he said. But he liked it and has continued it since, including last season in the fourth quarter against the Vikings, when he picked up his first-career regular season sack. 

"I don't know," Means said smiling. "I'm just out there having fun, just trying to make plays. And keep doing [the celebration]. If I'm doing it, I know I'm doing the right thing." 

This training camp, Means is a part of an extremely deep group of defensive ends. Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry are the starters. Chris Long and Derek Barnett and next up. And then there's Means and last year's seventh-round pick Alex McCalister. There seems to be a chance that just one between Means and McCalister will make this year's team. 

Even though they're competing for a roster spot, Means doesn't really think about his fellow defensive ends as competition. His brain just doesn't work like that anymore. His only competition is the offensive linemen he faces during games. 

So when McCalister picked up a sack of his own Thursday night, Means looked even more pumped about it than he did. 

"Seeing us come from where we come from and being successful at this level, I'm ecstatic for anybody when they're out there making plays," Means said. "And if I'm out there with them, I'm probably going to be more excited than them every single time."

When the time comes for the coaching staff to decide on the 53-man roster, Means will have at least one advantage. During this training camp, he's worked at defensive end and has also taken some reps at defensive tackle. DT is a new position for Means but he's excited about adding some versatility to his résumé.  

"One of the big things we've done with Steven, obviously, he's gotten a few more opportunities," defensive line coach Chris Wilson said. "And he's taking full advantage of it. That's one thing he does consistently. He's physical, he's smart, he plays with a great motor. He's always in position to make plays and when he's had opportunities in the game."

Since entering the league as a fifth round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 2013, Means has become somewhat of a journeyman in the NFL. He was with the Bucs, Ravens and Texans before joining the Eagles in December 2015. 

When he signed with the Eagles, he joined a coaching staff with Chip Kelly and Billy Davis that was on its last legs. Kelly was fired three weeks after Means got to Philadelphia and Davis was let go after the season. 

Then something great happened for Means. New head coach Doug Pederson brought on Jim Schwartz as his defensive coordinator and Means got a chance to play in an incredibly aggressive defense that allows defensive linemen to attack quarterbacks. 

"I'm just going to be 100 percent honest with you," Means said, "I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. Wherever Schwartz is, that's where I want to be."

Now entering his fifth NFL season, Means laughs thinking about how far he's come and about "how bad [he] probably was" as a rookie. Means finally looks like he's found a good spot in Philly. 

He's taken over the fourth quarters of both preseason games. In these two games, he has 2 1/2 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, 2 passes defensed, 2 tackles for loss and 4 combined tackles. 

Means has been filling up the stat sheet and turning heads along the way. 

"Letting God just play through me instead of trying to make something happen myself," said Means, who is vocal about his faith. "I'm a lot more comfortable and confident."

It shows every time he gets a sack and The Atomic Bomb hits.