Philadelphia Eagles

Hard to screw this up: 5 good options for Eagles at 14

Hard to screw this up: 5 good options for Eagles at 14

It would be hard to screw this up too bad. 

Sure, the pessimist in you thinks "well, the Eagles will find a way." And maybe they will. Nothing is a guarantee in the NFL draft. 

But here's what we know: the No. 14 spot is a good place to be. 

Looking back at the last 10 picks at No. 14, four have made a Pro Bowl and three have been All-Pros. Furthermore, all of them have been starters. The only guy who could be considered a bust is Chris Williams, whom the Bears took at 14 in 2008. He's the only No. 14 pick of the last 10 years who was out of the league in 2016. 

It's still a little too early to judge the players taken in the last couple of drafts, but that's a pretty good track record. 

Because of that past success in the middle of the first round -- Howie Roseman has talked repeatedly about the success the Eagles have had inside the top 20 -- trading down, even in a deep draft, is a bigger gamble. And there's a chance there won't be many teams eager to jump up if the class is as deep as we've heard it is. 

This is a draft class with good depth and there will be plenty of viable choices at No. 14. 

We tried to be somewhat realistic with which players will be available. So here are five solid options, in alphabetical order, for the Eagles at 14: 

DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 259 pounds
There's a really good shot Barnett will be the second edge rusher off the board and the Eagles could certainly use him. The thing that stands out about Barnett is his hand work. His hands are violent and his moves with them are lethal. 

CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State, 6-0, 195 pounds
For a long time, he was overshadowed by his teammate and fellow corner Marshon Lattimore, who will likely be long gone at 14. But recently, Conley's name has been coming up more and more and for good reason. He's not as good as Lattimore, but he's a solid player without the hamstring injuries. 

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama, 6-0, 229 pounds
Linebacker is an underrated need for the Eagles. The team has Jordan Hicks, but Mychal Kendricks is on the trading block and Nigel Bradham has one year left on his deal and is still facing a felony assault trial. Meanwhile, Foster is the best linebacker in this draft, often compared to Panthers star Luke Kuechly. He and Hicks have the ability to play inside and outside. Foster is probably gone by 14, but if he isn't, he'd be hard to pass up. 

WR John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 188 pounds
By 14, Mike Williams from Clemson is probably off the board. Ross would fit really well with the Eagles, offering them the type of speed they haven't had at receiver since DeSean Jackson was in the building. Ross ran a 4.22 at the combine, but he's more than just straight-line speed. He can play. He's a good receiver and is a dynamic threat in the return game. 

CB Tre'Davious White, LSU, 5-11, 192 pounds 
Definitely not the sexiest name on the list. For some reason, he's a player who keeps getting overlooked. Forget all the mocks that say this would be too early. White was a great corner at a program known for churning out great corners. He played in a system that will translate to what the Eagles do and he's the type of confident and aggressive corner Jim Schwartz loves. He would be a fine fit. 

You'll probably notice the lack of a running back on this list. I think there's a good chance Christian McCaffrey is already off the board and even if he isn't, I'm not convinced he would be the right pick at 14. 

But if you do believe McCaffrey -- or any of these running backs -- is worthy of the 14th pick, that just furthers the point. There are plenty of good options in the middle of the first round. It's not impossible to completely screw this up, but it would be awfully hard.

NFL Notes: Supporters hold rally for Colin Kaepernick at NFL headquarters

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NFL Notes: Supporters hold rally for Colin Kaepernick at NFL headquarters

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up" (see full story).

Browns: Kizer to start at QB in 3rd preseason game
BEREA, Ohio -- Rookie DeShone Kizer is Cleveland's new starting quarterback.

Coach Hue Jackson has elected to go with Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Kizer has been the most consistent of the three during training camp and led the Browns to three touchdowns during his two exhibition appearances.

Jackson said Kizer will start Saturday's exhibition in Tamp Bay and "is certainly positioning himself well to earn the starting job heading into the regular season."

The Browns open the season on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh.

Unless he stumbles against the Buccaneers, Kizer will be the 27th different quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. The big-armed 21-year-old has shown no signs of being intimidated by the jump to the pros after making 23 starts in two seasons for the Fighting Irish (see full story).

Raiders: Pro Bowl LT Penn ends holdout
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn has ended his holdout with the Oakland Raiders.

Penn reported for practice on Wednesday, ending his 26-day holdout. Penn was looking for an improved contract but general manager Reggie McKenzie said earlier in training camp that he would not negotiate a new deal with Penn until he arrived at camp.

The Raiders could have fined Penn $40,000 for each day of camp he missed but the team is not expected to do that.

Penn is entering the final year of an $11.9 million, two-year contract. He is scheduled to earn $5.8 million in base salary this season with another $1.3 million in incentives and bonuses (see full recap).

Steelers: Star RB Bell hints at return date
PITTSBURGH -- Steelers star Le'Veon Bell has suggested on Twitter that he will return to the team on Sept. 1, the day after Pittsburgh's final preseason game.

Bell hasn't signed his franchise tender and has been holding out through training camp. Responding to a fan Tuesday night asking when he plans to end his holdout, Bell wrote: "9-1-17" and added a wink.

The franchise tender offered Bell will guarantee him $12.1 million for the upcoming season. The two-time Pro Bowl running back has been seeking a long-term deal.

Bell rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns last season and also caught 75 passes for 616 yards and two TDs.

Redskins: Reed makes on-field debut at practice
ASHBURN, Va. -- Jordan Reed is back at practice with the Washington Redskins.

The 27-year-old tight end made his on-field debut Wednesday after missing almost the first month of practices with a toe injury. Reed missed the team's first two preseason games and was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday.

Reed was examined by a foot specialist Aug. 1 and recently started using wider shoes and orthotics to help alleviate the soreness in the big toe on his left foot. Last week he said it felt better when running routes and walking around and doesn't expect the injury to affect him during the season.

One of quarterback Kirk Cousins' most consistent and effective targets, Reed had 66 catches for 686 yards and six touchdowns last season despite missing four games with injury (see full story).

Giants: OL Bowie waived after domestic charges disclosed 
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have waived Michael Bowie days after finding out that the offensive lineman had been charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma.

The Giants announced the decision Wednesday along with three moves.

The team learned of the charges on Saturday and did not allow the 25-year-old free agent to make the trip to Cleveland for a preseason game against the Browns on Monday night.

Bowie is accused of grabbing his girlfriend by the neck during a fight at her home in Bixby, Oklahoma, then broke two televisions and punched a hole in the wall.

Court records don't list an attorney for Bowie, a Tulsa resident. His agent says Bowie is working to prove his innocence, saying there was no physical contact with the girlfriend.

New York also waived offensive linemen Corin Brooks, and waived/injured wideouts Darius Powe and Andrew Turzilli (see full story).

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman heading to Saints

USA Today Images

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman heading to Saints

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman has agreed to terms to join the New Orleans Saints on a one-year deal, according to his agent Sean Stellato. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the deal. 

Braman, 30, spent the last three seasons with the Eagles and played a major role on Dave Fipp's unit, which has been considered one of the top in the NFL during that span. He had been a free agent throughout the spring and summer after his contract ran out with the Eagles. 

Braman came to Philadelphia as a free agent from the Texans before the 2014 season on a two-year deal and later restructured his contract to take a pay cut and give him an extra year in Philly. 

While Braman rarely made it on the field for the defense in those next three seasons, he played a total of 1,214 special teams snaps, the most of any player on the team. He played in all 48 games over the last three seasons. 

Even without Braman, the Eagles still have plenty of key special teams players like Chris Maragos, Najee Goode and Kamu Grugier-Hill.