Four Temple players invited to this year's NFL combine

Four Temple players invited to this year's NFL combine

There are 330 players who have been invited to the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis in late February-early March and four of them played their college ball in Philly. 

Temple OL Dion Dawkins, CB Nate Hairston, LB Haason Reddick and RB Jahad Thomas have all been invited — four is a school record. Last year three Temple players went to the combine and all three were drafted. The year before, no Temple players were invited. 

Reddick (6-1, 225) is the top prospect among the bunch. While he played defensive end at Temple, Reddick is switching to linebacker as a pro and has already impressed. He was in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl and really impressed. The Camden, N.J. native, who played at Haddon Heights, was originally a walk-on at Temple. Now, he could be a first-round pick. 

Dawkins (6-5, 315) is the second-best prospect of the bunch. Like Reddick, he too was at the Senior Bowl and had a really good week. At Temple he played offensive tackle, but many view him as a guard at the next level. He's likely to be a second- or third-round pick, according to various publications. 

In addition to working out, Reddick and Dawkins will have to answer the same questions over and over from NFL teams. Both were suspended in March of 2015 for their part in a January 2015 fight at a nightclub. They were allowed back on the team and were placed in a diversionary program to avoid a trial. 

Hairston (6-0, 185) played in the East-West Shrine game, where some lesser-known prospects get attention. He's a little undersized, but was a solid starter for Temple in 2016. He had two interceptions last season. He might be a late-round pick. 

Thomas (5-10, 170) is another likely late-round pick after piling up 2,599 yards over the last three seasons. In 2016, he carried the ball 207 times for 953 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2015, he carried the ball 276 times for 1,262 yards and 17 scores. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his Temple career.  

In addition to the four Temple players in Indy, Villanova, which hasn't had a player drafted since 2011, will be represented. Tanoh Kpassagnon (6-7, 280) was at the Senior Bowl and was very impressive both at weigh-ins and on the field. He's likely to be a high-round pick. 

Penn State will have just two players at the combine: WR Chris Godwin and DE Garrett Sickels. Godwin is considered a mid-round pick by CBSSports, while Sickels is considered a late-round guy. 

Using nflcombineresults.com, this appears to be the first year since at least 1999 (that's how far their records go back) that Temple will have more players at the combine than Penn State. 

Eagles pick up compensatory fourth-round pick from Browns

Eagles pick up compensatory fourth-round pick from Browns

The NFL announced the list of compensatory picks for the 2017 draft and the Eagles weren't awarded any.

They're still going to get one, though. 

Thanks to the trade with the Browns to move up to No. 2 in last year's draft, the Eagles got back a conditional fifth-round pick that has now turned into a fourth. 

Basically, if the Browns received a fourth-round compensatory pick, the Eagles would get it. The Browns were awarded two (Nos. 139 and 142), so the Eagles get one. According to a league source, the Eagles will get No. 139 overall, the higher of the two.  

This is the first year teams are allowed to trade compensatory picks. The Bengals, Browns, Broncos and Chiefs were each awarded four compensatory picks. The highest compensatory pick awarded this year belongs to Miami at No. 97 in the third round. 

The Eagles still don't know where they'll pick in the first round -- either No. 14 or 15. That will be determined by a coin flip next week at the combine in Indianapolis. They have eight draft picks in total.

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

This isn't a big surprise, but Jason Peters will be back with the Eagles -- big salary and all -- for the 2017 season.

While the Eagles approached the veteran left tackle about his contract in January, Peters has not restructured his deal, according to a league source. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Thursday morning reported that Peters will be back next season on his normal contract. 

Yes, Peters is expensive in 2017. His base salary after hitting another Pro Bowl escalator written into his contract is up to $10.45 million for next season (plus a $250K workout bonus), which comes with a big cap hit of $11.7 million. That cap hit is the highest on the team, but not outlandish for a high-caliber left tackle. 

The Eagles could have very well cut Peters and moved on. It would have saved them significant cap space to use elsewhere. They just wouldn't have found any player more valuable to pay with that money. 

Peters, 35, is still their best option to protect Carson Wentz's blind side. He made his ninth Pro Bowl in 2016 after playing all 16 games. The team hasn't been shy about wanting him back and Peters toward the end of the season said he wanted to return for another year. 

"We certainly want to have him back," Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said of Peters in early January.

“I love him. I want him on the team,” head coach Doug Pederson said with two games remaining this past season. “I don’t want him to go anywhere."

With Peters back, it means Lane Johnson's eventual trip to left tackle will be held off for another year. Eventually, he'll take over that spot … just not right now. 

During the season, Peters opened up about his future, saying he hopes Wentz can be the guy who finally gets him a Super Bowl ring (see story).