Eagles' LBs soaking in Kevin Greene at camp


Eagles' LBs soaking in Kevin Greene at camp

It’s not too often you get to learn from one of the best ever.

For the Eagles’ outside linebackers, having Kevin Greene at practice this week has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Greene, No. 3 in NFL history with 160 sacks, is spending three days this week at Eagles practice. Greene played under Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis in 1993 and 1994 with the Steelers and in 1996 and 1998 under Davis with the Panthers.

Davis’ backers are loving every minute of it.

“We have the same body type, similar speed, similar arm length,” Connor Barwin said. “So the way he teaches pass rush is invaluable to me because I can try to carry that over to my game.

“There’s things I’m seeing already, just lessons he’s given me from playing the position for 15 years, the ins and outs and detail of it that he’s taught me the last couple of days that I already brought to the field today, and I can see them helping, so … I’m excited to use what he’s telling me throughout the season.”

Greene trails only Bruce Smith (200) and Reggie White (198) on the NFL’s all-time sack list. After recording 13½ sacks in his first three seasons, he averaged 12.2 sacks over the next 12 years with the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers.

Greene led the NFL in sacks twice, one of only four players in history to do so. He went to five Pro Bowls and made first-team all-pro twice. He should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I’ve been picking his brain as much as I can,” Brandon Graham said. “He’s giving us a whole lot, and it doesn’t stop when he leaves. We have to keep harping on it and remember what he said. So far, so good. It’s just all about staying consistent, master a couple rushes and a couple counter moves and perfect it. That’s what he did. I feel like I’m getting a whole lot out of it.”

Greene retired after the 1999 season, and after a pro wrestling career, he returned to the NFL in 2009, spending five seasons coaching with the Packers under head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Don Capers, who had coached Greene in Pittsburgh and Carolina. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 2010, then left coaching after the 2013 season to spend more time with his family.

He’s only in Philly for a brief few days, but he said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Barwin, Trent Cole, Graham, Marcus Smith and the Eagles’ other outside backers.

“I like them,” Greene said. “Every one of them has a good motor and they all seem to be into it mentally and really working hard. And not just them but everybody. Everybody seems to really be into practice as a team, amped up, really wanting to contribute. Everybody’s working hard, so I really like the atmosphere.

“It feels good to be a part of Philadelphia for a couple days and impart some wisdom on these young kids.”

Greene isn’t coaching these days, although he said he would consider returning to it one day.

His son Gavin is a sophomore at Niceville High School in the Florida Panhandle, where he plays football.

“I don’t miss coaching at all,” Greene said. “I’m doing the same thing with my son that I did with Clay [Matthews] and all my kids there in Green Bay. I’m having the time of my life.

“It’s fun just being a dad. I’m a dad. I’m just a dad. Get my son to practice, I bring him home, put him out in the field and work on some stuff. Father-son time. Really cool.”

For guys like Graham and Cole, having Greene around is a huge help as they try to continue transitioning from 4-3 defensive ends to 3-4 linebackers. For Smith and Barwin, it’s an opportunity to hone their skill even more.

“It’s a very basic, fundamental way of rushing the passer that he's bringing to our guys,” Davis said. “We are excited about picking his brain for three or four days before he leaves.”

Somehow, despite having the most sacks in NFL history by a linebacker, Greene is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a glaring omission.

“The guy has got 160 career sacks and I know I'm prejudice to him but I really do believe it's time for him to be in the Hall [of Fame],” Davis said.

Greene said he doesn’t lose any sleep over the Hall of Fame snub. He’s been a finalist in each of the last three years and should eventually get in.

But it’s impossible to imagine how a guy with more career sacks than Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Richard Dent, Jason Taylor and Derrick Thomas can routinely be ignored by the Hall of Fame voters.

“I look back on my 15 years and I know how I played and I know what I was able to accomplish,” Greene said after practice Monday at the NovaCare Complex (see practice observations).

“My goal was to pass Lawrence Taylor in sacks, because everybody looked at Lawrence Taylor as being the best outside backer and I was blessed to play longer and be more productive than the great Lawrence Tayor.

“So that’s where my peace lies. Whether anybody else recognizes that, that’s really out of my control. But I know what I was able to accomplish playing essentially the same position.”

NFL draft day manifesto: 20 final points

NFL draft day manifesto: 20 final points

On the day of the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, Jared Sherman has 20 thoughts on this year's class and classes from year's past.

1. As you've read countless times over the past several months, the 2017 cornerback class is as deep as I've ever seen. I see four slam dunks (Marshon Lattimore, Marlon Humphrey, Tre'Davious White, and Kevin King) going in the first round, with several (Quincy Wilson, Adoree Jackson, and Chidobe Awuzie) knocking on the door. This depth bodes well for the Eagles, who can grab some help for Carson Wentz at No. 14 knowing the CB depth should allow them to land a potential starter in the second round. 

2. Thank goodness the Eagles were able to land Wentz last season, because this QB class has no surefire studs. Of the top quarterbacks available, I have the most confidence in DeShaun Watson becoming a legit starting QB. He's started for three years, has consistently won games, and stood out in the biggest ones. He's short, and his arm strength won't wow you, but the guy is a leader, played in a pro-style offense, and won't need a lot of grooming before you can put him behind center.  Don't be surprised if he's off the board at No. 4 to the Jaguars. 

3. Corey Davis is the best receiver in this class. He doesn't have the speed of John Ross, or the sheer size of Mike Williams, but he's the total package. Yes, the competition he played against wasn't top tier, but he's coming from the same conference that produced Antonio Brown (Central Michigan), Julian Edelman  (Kent State), and Randy Moss (Marshall), and I'd take any of them. If I'm the Eagles and had to choose between Davis, Ross, and Williams, I'd take Davis all day. 

4. This is a terrible interior defensive line group. Outside of Alabama's Jonathan Allen and maybe Stanford's Solomon Thomas (who could project outside to DE), this class is really lacking true impact players. If the Eagles are looking for depth at the position after losing Bennie Logan, they should look at Michigan's Ryan Glasgow in the late rounds. 

5. If the Eagles were open to trading Malcolm Jenkins, there is real depth at safety in this draft. In the second round, the Birds may be able to grab Texas A&M's Justin Evans, Florida's Marcus Maye, Connecticut's Obi Melifonwu, or NC State's Josh Jones. All should be impact players early in their careers. I could even see some team grabbing Evans or Jones late in the first round. 

6. Best names in the draft:

• Fish Simpson - S - Kansas: His real name is Anthony. His brother, a WR at Kansas, was called Shaky.
• Weston Steelhammer - S - Air Force: Sounds like the main protagonist in a series of bad detective novels.
• Gunner Kiel - QB - Cincinnati: If you had to come up with a name for QB in a TV Show, this would be it.
• Speedy Noil - WR - Texas A&M: Seems like a fitting name for a WR.
• Bobo Wilson - WR - Florida State: If this football thing doesn't work out, he has a name suited for playing blues guitar.
• Taco Charlton - DE - Michigan: No explanation needed.
• Noble Nwachukwu - DE - West Virginia: Most fun name to say in the draft.
• Charmeachealle Moore - LB - Kansas State: Man, first day of school every year must have been tough for both him and his teachers.

7. Three years from now, these will be the top 10 players out of this draft:

• Corey Davis - WR - Western Michigan
• Jamal Adams - S - LSU
• Reuben Foster - LB - Alabama
• Leonard Fournette - RB - LSU
• Budda Baker - S - Washington
• Myles Garrett - DE - Texas A&M
• Forrest Lamp - OL - Western Kentucky
• Malik Hooker - S - Ohio State
• Taco Charlton - DE - Michigan
• Christian McCaffrey - RB - Stanford

8. I know there's been a lot of talk of the Eagles' drafting Tennessee DE Derek Barnett, but I think that'd be a mistake. Barnett was super-productive in college but relies too heavily on jumping the snap count to get pressure. Physically he reminds me of Brandon Graham minus the closing burst. He'll be solid in the NFL, but not worthy of a top-15 pick. 

9. The most intriguing defensive player that may fall to the Eagles is Foster. Despite the combine incident and diluted urine test, I'd take him on my team in a heartbeat. Foster reminds me of Luke Kuechly on the field - he's just everywhere. The Eagles haven't had a true difference maker on defense since Brian Dawkins (Fletcher Cox isn't one). Foster could be that guy. Linebacker isn't a pressing need, but someone with Foster's ferocious playing style and obvious talent may be enough to force the Eagles' hand. 

10. Of course Wentz's career will define Howie Roseman's 2016 draft, but I have high hopes for Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vatai, and Jalen Mills going forward. All showed something last year, and all could (should) be starters by 2018. Joe Walker, their last seventh-round pick who got hurt in training camp, is also coming back this year, and he very well could grab a spot on the roster as a special teamer and Jordan Hicks' backup.

11. You can't judge a draft until three seasons have passed, so looking at the 2014 class here are the top five best picks based on value (where they were drafted compared to others at their position) and performance:

• Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR) - Giants Pick No. 12: OBJ was the third WR selected (Sammy Watkins at No. 4 and Mike Evans at No. 7)
• Zack Martin (OG) - Cowboys No. 16: This pick was a bit of a wildcard after many thought Jerry Jones was going to grab Johnny Manziel. 
• Derek Carr (QB) - Raiders No. 36: Oakland found its franchise QB in the second round. Bet Jacksonville, who took Blake Bortles at No. 3 overall, feels great. 
• Allen Robinson (WR) - Jaguars No. 61: This is the guy I was pounding the table for the Eagles to take. 
• Gabe Jackson (OG) - Raiders No. 81: Another guy I loved, who has blossomed into an All-Pro OG. 
• Devonta Freeman (RB) - Falcons No. 103: The 6th RB off the board after legends like Bishop Sankey, Tre Mason, Dri Archer, Jerick McKinnon, Terrance West, and Charles Sims.
• John Urschel (OG) - Ravens No. 175: The math genius has become a very solid starter in Baltimore. 
• Daniel McCullers (DT) - Steelers No. 215: The massive McCullers is a productive late-round find. 
• Beau Allen (DT) - Eagles No. 224: Not sexy, but the man with the massive arms has become a reliable rotational player for the Birds. 

12. I think Marlon Humphrey has a lot of plus tools (speed and tackling), but I'm not sure he's a guy I want on an island. I'd pass on him at No. 14. 

13. I think there's a good chance Carolina grabs Christian McCaffrey at No. 8. If he's there at No. 14, I wouldn't be opposed to taking him. He brings a lot to the table, and I think the Eagles' priority should be to build around Wentz first. 

14. While I don't buy into arguments that you can't draft Player A because he comes from XYZ University, and they have historically not produced solid pros at that position, I wonder if any NFL team has pause when looking at Alabama OT Cam Robinson. It's odd how many highly-rated offensive linemen Alabama's produced who haven't had a ton of success in the NFL:

• Ryan Kelly (2016 - Indianapolis)  - 1st Round
• Cyrus Kounandjio (2014 - Buffalo) - 2nd Round
• Chance Warmack (2013 - Tennessee) - 1st Round
• D.J. Fluker (2013 - San Diego) - 1st Round
• Barrett Jones (2013 - St. Louis) - 4th Round
• James Carpenter (2011 - Seattle) - 1st Round
• Mike Johnson (2010 - Atlanta) - 3rd Round
• Andre Smith (2009 - Cincinnati) - 1st Round

15. I've seen a couple of mock drafts that have Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers going in the first round. Rivers certainly had a brilliant career at YSU (41 career sacks) but I think the first round is a bit of a stretch. He's too small to play DE on running downs, and has limited pass rush moves, relying heavily on being a superior athlete to the competition he faced in the FCS. Look for Rivers to go late in the second or early third round.

16. I love Temple's Dion Dawkins. He will be an instant starter in the NFL. If I'm running the Jaguars' front office (Note: I'm not) I'd think long and hard about him early in the second round. 

17. Ohio State CB Gareon Conley, recently accused of sexual assault, was a surefire first-round pick just a week ago. Now, like Dallas OG La'el Collins last year, he probably won't be selected at all. UPDATE: Or maybe he will: 

18. Strange that Joe Mixon will absolutely be drafted (and possibly by the Eagles). I'm all for second chances, and I know he was only 18, but as the father of both a son and daughter, I couldn't in good conscience have him in my locker room. 

19. Such a shame Washington CB Sidney Jones tore his Achilles during his pro day. I really thought he'd be the guy the Eagles take at No. 14. Now, I'm still on board with taking him in the third round. He's too talented and hard working not to take a gamble on that in 2018 you'll have a starting CB ready to roll. 

20. Here's my Eagles-only mock draft:

• First Round (14) - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
• Second Round (43) - Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
• Third Round (99) - Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
• Fourth Round (118) - Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
• Fourth Round (139) - George Kittle, TE, Iowa
• Fifth Round (155) - James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
• Sixth Round (194) - Jeremy Clark, CB, Michigan
• Seventh Round (230) - Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 3.0: Still Barnett or a shift to offense at No. 14?

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 3.0: Still Barnett or a shift to offense at No. 14?

The 2017 NFL draft is upon us. The Eagles will hold No. 14 overall pick. Here is Paul Hudrick's mock draft 3.0 to get you ready for the 2017 NFL draft in Philadelphia. Hudrick's seven-round Eagles mock 2.0 is here

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M, 6-4/272
If there is actually a debate between Garrett and North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, everyone in the Browns' front office should be fired. Then again, the Browns have done worse.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford, 6-2/273
Sticking with Thomas here. GM John Lynch has his eyes set on defense and head coach Kyle Shanahan has his eyes on Kirk Cousins next offseason.

3. Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams , S, LSU, 6-0/214
Adams is a game-changing safety that you can build your defense around. The Bears have so many holes, they take him because he's the best player on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, 6-0/240
So far, my mock hasn't changed from the last one. Fournette adds a physical element to the Jags' offense that vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin will love.

5. Tennessee Titans - Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama, 6-3/286 
Allen only drops because of medical concerns. He's easily one of the top five best players in this draft. He'll make an immediate impact on the Titans' defense.

6. New York Jets - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State, 6-0/193
Like Allen, the only concern over Lattimore is health. He's had reoccurring issues with his hamstrings, but he has prototypical size and great speed.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State, 6-1/206
Hooker has dropped in some mocks because of his health. I'm not buying it. He's too talented and this is too good of a fit.

8. Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, 5-11/202 
For the record, this is too rich for my blood, but the McCaffrey hype train seems to be unstoppable. It's not to say McCaffrey won't be an explosive NFL player. He will be.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson, 6-4/218 
Mike Williams and A.J. Green will be a scary duo. Especially when you add Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert and second-year pro Tyler Boyd to the mix.

10. Buffalo Bills - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama, 6-0/229
I know about Foster's red flags. I don't care. He's way too talented to drop out of the top 10 over a couple dumb mistakes. New head coach Sean McDermott has been running his team with a no nonsense approach. I expect Foster to fall in line.

11. New Orleans Saints - TreDavious White, CB, LSU, 5-11/192
This would've been a great spot for Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, but I don't feel comfortable mocking him in the first round with the recent rape allegations. They take White, an outstanding cover corner from their own backyard.

12. Cleveland Browns - Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina, 6-2/222 
Trubisky winds up on the Browns either at this spot or via a trade. Snagging Garrett and Trubisky would be a nice haul for the Browns.

13. Arizona Cardinals - Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech, 6-2/225
Bruce Arians doesn't really seem to be hiding the fact that the Cardinals are looking for a young quarterback. Mahomes has all the physical traits you're looking for but needs time to develop. He'll be afforded that behind Carson Palmer.

14. Philadelphia Eagles - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee, 6-3/259
I've had the Eagles taking Barnett in both of my Eagles mocks and in my last two first-round mocks. If Barnett falls here, it's a no-brainer. Barnett adds to Jim Schwartz's pass rush rotation. He's not a freak athlete but he's a complete football player with a high motor. It's always nice when a Hall of Famer agrees with you on your pick.

If Barnett is gone, I love Western Michigan's Corey Davis. He can play on the inside or outside and can be an impact player from Day 1 for Carson Wentz and the Eagles.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Haason Reddick, LB, Temple, 6-1/237 
The Colts need defensive playmakers and Reddick fits that bill. He'll player early downs in the middle, but if I'm the Colts, I allow him to use his pass rushing skills on passing downs from time to time.

16. Baltimore Ravens - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama, 6-6/251 
Howard could easily go in the top 10. If he falls to Ozzie Newsome, the Hall of Fame tight end will pounce.

17. Washington Redskins - John Ross, WR, Washington, 5-11/188 
They replace DeSean Jackson with a more complete and younger (and maybe even faster) version in Ross.

18. Tennessee Titans - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan, 6-3/209
This would be an excellent pick for the Titans. Davis has been my favorite receiver for a good chunk of the college season. If he was healthy for the combine and ran a 4.4, he'd probably be a top 10 pick.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, 5-10/210
There were rumblings that Cook could fall to the second round, but he's too talented of a back to slip that far. He's a perfect fit for Tampa and former teammate Jameis Winston.

20. Denver Broncos - Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah, 6-5/297
It took some serious self debate, but I've come to the conclusion that Bolles is the best offensive tackle in the draft. I love his mean streak more than anything.

21. Detroit Lions - Charles Harris, DE, Missouri, 6-3/253
Harris is a safe pick. I'm not sure the current hype is matching the prospect, but Harris is strong, athletic and has a variety of pass rush moves.

22. Miami Dolphins - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama, 6-0/197 
I love Humphrey's athletic profile, but his inability to locate the ball in the air scares me. A team may fall in love with his prototypical size and speed and take him earlier.

23. New York Giants - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin, 6-6/310
Ramczyk allows Ereck Flowers to move to right tackle where he should be more effective.

24. Oakland Raiders - Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama, 6-6/322
I like Robinson more than Ramczyk, but Robinson will be better off starting his career at right tackle or guard.

25. Houston Texans - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson, 6-2/221
Head coach Bill O'Brien deserves the opportunity to develop a good, young quarterback. The Texans have a strong defense and decent running game. They also have an elite weapon in Deandre Hopkins. Watson will have a chance to succeed.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky, 6-4/309
The Seahawks' line needs a lot of help. They snag the best interior lineman in the draft in Lamp.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida, 6-1/238
Davis is an ideal heir apparent for 34-year-old veteran Derrick Johnson.

28. Dallas Cowboys - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan, 6-6/277
Charlton makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys. Rod Marinelli seems to like bigger edge rushers and Charlton fits that bill.

29. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin, 6-4/252
Watt has been getting serious hype over the last week or so. I still think he's a second-round player, but he would be a solid fit for the Packers.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers - DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame, 6-4/233
I love this fit for the Steelers. Kizer has a lot of Ben Roethlisberger-like qualities. He can learn from the sideline and inherit an offense loaded with weapons when Big Ben retires. I'm still of the belief that Kizer has the most upside of any QB in this draft.

31. Atlanta Falcons - Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan, 5-11/213 
Peppers falls because of his diluted test, but Dan Quinn will find a way to get the best out of Peppers' versatility.

32. New Orleans Saints - Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA, 6-2/250
If the Saints don't snag White at 11, USC corner Adoree Jackson could be in play. I'll give them McKinley, a proven rusher to play on the other side of veteran Cameron Jordan.