Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Torrey Smith

Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Torrey Smith

The Eagles didn’t need a wide receiver. What the offense was missing specifically was speed on the outside – a deep threat, if you will.

Torrey Smith checks that box and comes at a bargain.

Critics can point to two disappointing seasons in San Francisco for Smith, whose production bottomed out with 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. Yet, despite the down year (as part of a directionless franchise with terrible quarterbacks), his career 17.0 yards per reception ranks third among active NFL players.

Smith is only a year removed from averaging a league-leading 20.1 yards per reception. In 2014, he caught 11 touchdown passes as a member of the Ravens. In 2013, he totaled 1,128 yards receiving. And in 2012, he helped the franchise win a Super Bowl.

In four seasons with Baltimore and a competent quarterback in Joe Flacco, Smith averaged 53 receptions, 898 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per year. And what those numbers don’t account for is the fear he put in defensive backs. Once referred to as “king of drawing pass interference,” defenders were flagged 12 times for a whopping 261 yards in ’14 alone.

While that seems like a long time ago, Smith is only 28 and has avoided serious injury throughout his six-year career. There’s no reason to believe his abilities have eroded that much.

Then there’s his extremely team-friendly contract. The Eagles will pay Smith $5 million in 2017, which will be well worth it if he returns to form. Then there are team options worth $5 million in ’18 and ’19 as well, giving the club the opportunity to keep Smith should he perform while simultaneously eliminating all of the risks.

What’s not to like?

Even had the Eagles had done nothing else to address the receiver position in free agency, Smith would’ve been a significant addition. The offense’s 6.2 yards per pass attempt were tied for 30th in the NFL last season, while only four teams had fewer than six completions of 40 yards or more.

Smith brings an element to the offense that the Eagles were sorely lacking last year. Not only will Carson Wentz be able to take more shots downfield, but opposing safeties will have to back off to account for the deep threat, opening up the middle of the field for the passing attack and giving ball carriers more room to run.

Grade: A+

Related: Grading the Eagles' moves: WR Alshon Jeffery

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

Jeff Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles are a very hospitable bunch so they're going to go out of their way to make sure all of the football fans descending upon Philadelphia for the NFL Draft this week have a wonderful experience.

And Philly fans are known as being some of the most welcoming and gracious in all of sports.

So in keeping with that spirit, we thought we'd put together a handy list of destinations that any Dallas Cowboys fan who is in town for the draft could use to get a truly authentic Philly experience.

1. The Center City Applebees (215 S 15th St.)

This is a football event after all, so you'll want to start things off with a frosty beverage. Nothing better in the City of Brotherly Love than a nice Appletini to start the day off right.

2. Piercing Pagoda (at the Cherry Hill Mall)

Sure, you could get a Dallas Cowboys tattoo of a mascot peeing on an Eagle somewhere along South Street while you're in town but you're from Texas or more likely North Philly so why not just get something pierced.

3. Bob’s Big Boy in Marlton, NJ

I've never actually been here but my buddy Evan suggested it. 

4. The Pet Shop from Rocky (J & M Tropical Fish, 2146 N. Front Street)

The Liberty Bell is broken and the Rocky Steps are obstructed by a big stage this week. So if you want a truly authentic Philly history experience, head over to Kensington to check out the pet shop from the original Rocky flick. Cuff and Link are allegedly still alive.

5. Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant (Off 95 Near the Sports Complex)

If you're flying into Philadelphia International Airport and taking I95 towards the sports complex, a tour of the Wastewater treatment plant right before the Girard Point Bridge will bring back plenty of memories of Dallas.

6. Finnegan’s Wake (537 N. 3rd St.)

If Philly is known for anything other than pretzels and cheesesteaks, it's that legendary bro drinking culture. Nowhere better to experience this than with the fun people at Finnegan's Wake on Spring Garden. Fitting to its name, the place has died down a bit in recent years.

7. Auntie Anne's (Amtrak's 30th Street Station)

Speaking of soft pretzels, right when you arrive at 30th Street Station you can get one of the most authentic Philly pretzels around at the Auntie Anne's kiosk. Try one of the pretzel dogs as well, a hipster favorite in Philly that not many people know about.

8. Cleveland, Ohio

9. Talon Energy Stadium in Chester

You'll want to pay your respects to Philly's amazing sports culture. So head down to beautiful home of the Philadelphia Union soccer club and take a stroll in the lovely neighborhood surrounding the beautiful waterfront property.

10. Primanti Brothers (46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA)

You can't come to Pennsylvania without trying an authentic cheesesteak. Nowhere better than one of the Primanti Brothers locations. Pro Tip: Just type "46 18th Street, Pittsburgh" into your Uber app and let the driver handle the rest.

11. Geno’s Steaks

If your first cheesesteak experience doesn't work out, head to where it all started at 9th and Passyunk. Be sure to show off your Tex-Mex bona fides and order a "Me gustaría filete con queso y cebollas." And don't be shy with the toppings. Try some mushrooms, mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, peppers, etc. Go wild!

And enjoy all of the Philly hospitality you receive.

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

The Phillies completing a sweep of a division rival at Citizens Bank Park is a pretty rare occurence these days.

But it happened over the weekend.

An even rarer feat took place in the 8th inning when the Phillies went back-to-back-to-back jacks to give the Phils a comanding lead that really allowed the fans to bring the brooms out.

In case you missed it, it's worth giving Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, and Odubel Herrera another look.

Jim Salisbury has the full story on the exciting win.