Draft: Eagles Day 1

Draft: Eagles Day 1

The Eagles held tight at 31 and selected DE Mike Patterson out of USC.  This is ESPN's take:

With franchise player Corey Simon unhappy with his contract situation
and Hollis Thomas and Paul Grasmanis getting older, Philadelphia did
well to select Patterson. He doesn't have great size, and he doesn't
shed blocks all that well, but his ability to anticipate the snap and
his initial quickness make him a great fit for the Eagles' one-gap
scheme. He is also a high-motor player who is relentless in pursuit,
and he always seems to be around the ball at the end of the play.

In Round 2 at 35 the Birds went with WR Reggie Brown out of Georgia.  Not too shabby for A.J. Feeley.  This is ESPN's take:

At some point, Philadelphia had to use one of its five first-day picks
on a receiver in the event the Terrell Owens contract issue continues
to worsen. We feel they picked a good time to fill this need, because
they are getting excellent value for an early second-round pick. Brown
always played second fiddle and received far less recognition while at
Georgia, but he led the Bulldogs in receptions the past two years, when
his production began to reflect his outstanding overall athletic
ability.

With their second 2nd rounder at 63 they chose LB Matt McCoy out of San Diego State. 

Outside linebacker isn't a significant need, but Philadelphia wouldn't
mind upgrading either position. Although McCoy is undersized and will
struggle when teams run right at him, he possesses excellent instincts,
doesn't waste any motion and shows good burst to the ball.

With their first 3rd rounder they chose RB Ryan Moats out of Louisiana Tech.  Here are his strengths from ESPN:

Is a tough and shifty back. Shows good instincts, reads blocks fairly
well and has the lateral mobility to cut back when the opportunity
presents itself. Runs bigger than size indicates. Runs with good pad
level, shows good balance and can bounce of arm tackles. Fights to pick
up yards after contact, is built well and plays with good intensity.
Has the burst to turn the corner and is elusive in the open field. Has
very good quickness and above average top-end speed. Shows good focus
when the ball is in the air and rarely drops passes that he should
catch. While lacks the bulk to anchor in pass protection, shows good
awareness, isn't afraid to throw cut blocks and does an adequate job of
picking up the blitz. Has excellent work ethic, is a leader on the
field and should only get better with added experience.

The Eagles traded away their final pick of the third round (94 overall) for the first pick of the 4th round (102 overall) and a 6th rounder (175 overall)  The Eagles all currently on the board because they make the first selection of day 2 now.

Overall I am pretty happy with the picks.  I don't know a ton about all of them, but I found this great video of Ryan Moats which gets you excited about him.  The Eagles have a ton of picks tomorrow and I think they should package some of them to move up and get more quality instead of quantity.  Also, we still have Freddie Mitchell, meh.  Some of the picks I found surprising were Mike Williams going to Detroit.  What a stacked WR core they will have.  Wow.  Matt Jones going at 21 seemed a bit early to me, and Clarret going on Day 1 was a tad surprising.  Also, the Eagles website has some great stuff including a nice piece from Dave Spadaro which includes some Andy Reid quotes and some Travis Henry stuff.

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

After being in the middle of trade rumors over the last few months, Nerlens Noel appears to frustrated with his situation with the Sixers, according to the Inquirer's Keith Pompey.

The Sixers have three starting-caliber centers — Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, who's now healthy — heading into this season.

"I think it's just silly," Noel told Pompey. "With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to set something done this summer.

"Don't get me wrong. We all get along great on the court and off the court. But at the end of the day, it's like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn't make any sense.

"And it's just not going to work to anybody's advantage having that on the same team. That's how I'm looking at it. I'm not opposed to anything, but things need to be situated."

The Sixers flirted with having two big men on the court at the same time last season, with Noel and Okafor but with no real success. 

He has a point, and the team knows it.

During the summer, reports swirled saying the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor for backcourt help.

Noel, who's in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't appear to believe the current situation will work.

"I think something needs to happen," he said.

Darren Sproles 'amazing' 73-yard TD set tone for fun 2nd half vs. Steelers

Darren Sproles 'amazing' 73-yard TD set tone for fun 2nd half vs. Steelers

When Darren Sproles caught the nifty touch pass from Carson Wentz around midfield, there was little doubt about what would happen next.

"Touchdown," running back Kenjon Barner said after the Eagles' stunning 34-3 shellacking of the Steelers (see Instant Replay)
 
Really? With that many yards to go?

"Touchdown," he said. "As soon as he caught the ball. There was nobody there. That guy in the open field — you're not going to bring him down by yourself. With that much space — touchdown."

Barner wasn't the only one.

"Man, it's Sproles! Did you think he was going to get tackled?" receiver Nelson Agholor said incredulously. 

Uhh …

"Man, listen, it's Darren Sproles, and if you second-guessed him, then I don't know what you're thinking," he said. "I'm surprised if he gets tackled."

So is center Jason Kelce. 

"I was actually celebrating before he scored the touchdown, because I watched the whole thing unfold," Kelce said. "It was just a great play. [Wentz] scrambles out and then has the common sense to when the defender comes to him to dump it over top to Sproles, and that dude, once he gets the ball in space, it's incredibly special."

It sure was. 

First, Wentz stepped away from charging defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who had gotten away from Allen Barbre. 

“I came out and saw Sproles and he just turned up the field,” Wentz said. “Anytime that you can put it in [his hands], something special can happen on any play, and he did the rest of it.” 

Wentz did a little more than that (see story). After escaping the sack, he rushed to his right and made a right turn. Then he parallelled the line of scrimmage, drawing linebacker Ryan Shazier toward him — and allowing Sproles to get wide open.

Whoops.

"I thought he crossed the line of scrimmage, so I ran up," Shazier said. "It was my fault."

Sproles caught the pass, snaked his way the remaining 50 yards, spinning Steelers rookie safety Sean Davis around a couple times and watching rookie corner Artie Burns flail at him helplessly right before crossing the goal line.

"When they do that, it kind of gets everyone off their job when he extends the play like that," Davis said. "Me being a deep player, I just tried to buy us some time once I saw that we got broken down and let the defense rally up, and it's just a good play [by] him."

An amazing play. It was a 73-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the third quarter, a 3rd-and-8, and put the Eagles up 20-3 (see 10 observations). It was the second-longest catch of Sproles' career and longest since 2009 while with the Chargers (an 81-yarder vs. Baltimore). It was easily the longest TD of Wentz’s career and a main reason he was able to become only the second rookie in team history to reach 300 passing yards in a game (Nick Foles is the other).

“It was so much fun,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “Those are the kinds of plays you can’t design. It’s players making plays. … Sproles did his thing and wiggled down there, and it was fun to watch.”

That’s what Agholor should have done. Just watch.

"I was trying to chase him down and almost pulled my hamstring," Agholor said. 

"You see those moves he put on them? Pffft. And DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham) ran downfield — that downfield block. Think about that. We were having a lot of fun tonight man, and I'm very happy about that."

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