NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

580148.jpg

NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

If you're an Eagles fan looking toward the 2012 draft, here's who you should be watching this Saturday.

Michael Egnew, TE Missouri, No. 82

Baylor vs. Missouri (TCN7 p.m.)

Like his TE predecessors at Missouri, Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker, Egnew is a pass-catcher first and a blocker a very, very distant second. With future first-round pick Blaine Gabbert at QB in 2010, Egnew caught 90 passes in his junior season. While this season hasn't been quite as productive only 30 catches through last weekend Egnew has still shown himself to be a premier target in the passing game. In the pros, it'll take some time before he's anything more than just a pass catcher, as he has little experience being used as an in-line blocker.

Kendall Wright, WR Baylor, No. 1

While I do believe the Eagles will re-sign DeSean Jackson at some point before the draft, in the off-chance they don't, keep an eye on Wright. In Baylor's high-powered offense, Wright is their most dynamic playmaker. Like Jackson, he's not big (5-10, 194), but he's lightning fast and is deadly in the open field. As many college stars do, Wright probably relies too much on his athletic gifts at this point and will need to hone the little things once he gets to the pros. I don't see Wright as a true No. 1 guy in the NFL, but definitely a guy who is going to stretch the field like Jackson or Pittsbugh's Mike Wallace. He'll be gone by the middle of the second round.
Robert Lester, S Alabama, No. 37

Alabama vs. LSU (CBS8 p.m.)

Lester gets overshadowed by his fellow safety Mark Barron, but he is by no means a lesser prospect. Lester has the size (6-2, 210) to match Barron but with better coverage skills. He always seems to be around the ball. Lester looks very aggressive against the run, but doesn't seem to take the best angles all the time. He'll be going somewhere before the end of the second round.

Can't pass him up
Watched Boston College LB Luke Kuechly again Thursday night against Florida State. While the 'Noles completely outclassed BC, you could just see Kuechly moving at a different speed. He had 20 tackles (12 unassisted) and got from sideline to sideline effortlessly. I know there are better athletes at linebacker in this draft, but if the Birds have a chance to grab him and pass, it will be a disappointment.

Achtung, baby!
Florida State DE Brandon Jenkins gets all the press (and rightly so), but his bookend Bjoern Werner once again showed that he is a legitimate NFL prospect. Werner, a native of Germany, has an explosive burst off the ball and is strong as an ox. A sophomore, Werner played only two seasons of high school football as an exchange student in Connecticut. Watch for him next year when he becomes draft eligible.

NFL Notes: NFL looking to speed up games via officiating and breaks

NFL Notes: NFL looking to speed up games via officiating and breaks

NEW YORK -- The NFL is making plans to speed up the pace of games, including changing how video replays are handled and using a time clock for extra points.

The league also is discussing with the TV networks how to make commercial breaks less intrusive.

For officiating replays, the referee no longer would go under a hood to watch a play. Instead, a tablet will be brought to him on the field and he will consult with league headquarters in New York. The final call will be made in New York.

Support by 75 percent of the 32 team owners would be needed at next week's annual meetings for passage of the proposal.

In addition to a time clock for PATs when there is no TV break, the league is considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown.

Also, to improve the flow of games on the field and for television audiences, commercial breaks would be reduced from 21 per game to 16, although each would last 30 seconds longer.

Giants: RB Shaun Draughn signs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have signed veteran running back Shaun Draughn.

The Giants announced the signing Wednesday, a little more than a month after releasing veteran Rashad Jennings in a salary cap move.

Draughn has played for six teams in six years, most recently the San Francisco 49ers. He has played in 57 games with seven starts. His career totals include 225 carries for 723 yards and seven touchdowns, plus 80 receptions for 597 yards and two scores. He also has 17 special teams tackles.

Draughn says the Giants were interested in his versatility. He says: "I don't know exactly how they'll use me. I'm sure they'll use me to the strengths that I have."

Draughn played in all 16 games last season with one start for the 49ers. He scored a career-high four touchdowns while rushing for 194 yards on 74 carries. Draughn also had career-best totals of 29 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

He joins a backfield that includes second-year pro Paul Perkins, the team's top returning rusher, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen.

Bengals: 'Pacman' Jones faces misdemeanor charges
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones faces three misdemeanor charges, including assault, but no longer is charged with a felony.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters (DEE'-turs) announced Wednesday that a felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance was dismissed at the prosecuting attorney's request.

Deters said the misdemeanors also include disorderly conduct and obstructing official business.

The 33-year-old veteran whose career has been marked by off-the-field legal issues was jailed Jan. 3 after a confrontation with a hotel security employee was followed by a struggle with Cincinnati police and a sheriff's office report Jones spit on a nurse's hand.

Deters says the criminal charge won't be pursued, given that the nurse has been pursuing a possible civil remedy.

A Bengals spokesman said the team has no comment.

Two Eagles question why Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned

Two Eagles question why Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned

Two weeks into NFL free agency and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains available. He decided to test the market in free agency after not picking up the player option on his contract.

While there's still a chance Kaepernick gets signed, a couple of Eagles players are pointing out that some of the quarterbacks to get contracts recently aren't as good.   

On Monday, Geno Smith signed with the Giants, Josh McCown signed with the Jets and E.J. Manuel signed with the Raiders.

Kaepernick has a better record and completion percentage than those three quarterbacks. He's also second in touchdown passes, trailing only McCown by seven, 79-72, despite playing nine fewer seasons.

So, why aren't teams giving the quarterback who nearly won the Super Bowl against the Ravens in 2013 a chance?

It could be because of his protest of the national anthem last season.

According to Bleacher Report, about 20 percent of teams around the league believe he can play, but the others are simply using showing no interest as punishment for his protest:

"He can still play at a high level," one AFC general manager said. "The problem is three things are happening with him.

"First, some teams genuinely believe that he can't play. They think he's shot. I'd put that number around 20 percent.

"Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.

"Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can't stand what he did [kneeling for the national anthem]. They want nothing to do with him. They won't move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did."

And of course, President Donald Trump chimed in on Kaepernick's status in free agency.

Last year, Trump commented on Kaepernick's decision not to stand for the national anthem saying, ​"maybe he should find a country that works better for him."