Carson Wentz is a very powerful star player

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The NFL Draft is about a month away. The Eagles have made their major moves in free agency, so we have a feel for what holes are left on the roster and where the team could use an upgrade in talent. The Eagles drafted Carson Wentz second overall last year. Now, they need to provide him with some more weapons and they need to find some young talent to add to the defense. With that in mind, here is my first Eagles mock draft of the year.

There were a lot of really great things to take away from the film of the Eagles’ offensive film from Thursday night’s win over the New York Giants. The run game looked strong once again. Carson Wentz was proficient. There were a lot of great concepts from the coaches, and the offensive line looked good against a tough New York front four with the return of Lane Johnson. That was evident from the first play of the game.Nike Eagles #72 Cedric Thornton Midnight Green Team Color Men's Stitched NFL New Elite Jersey

Ron Jaworski is watching. He is always watching and taking notes and understanding what Carson Wentz is going through every step of the way. Jaworski was a quarterback in Philadelphia, of course, and he knows about the scrutiny and the spotlight and the pressure and the opinions. He has seen the Eagles’ franchise rookie quarterback play 10 NFL games and he has a very definite opinion of the progress Wentz is making.

“I think Carson has been tremendous,” Jaworski said on Saturday at the NovaCare Complex as he watched the team practice ahead of Monday night’s game against Green Bay. “Unfortunately, people just look at stats and they look at wins and losses. When I look at Carson Wentz, I look at the tape. I watch the game as a fan on gamedays, like everyone does, but the first thing I do when I get to my office each week is watch Carson Wentz on tape to see how he is developing. This is a long-term solution. This is not a one-game, one-quarter, one-play operation, so what I see is a quarterback developing and making every throw.

“Remember, this is a quarterback who missed time in Training Camp and who missed most of the preseason so he is still growing and developing within the system. I still think he is going to be one of the premier quarterbacks in this league for a long, long time.”

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The Eagles are 5-5 and in need of a victory on Monday night to vault into December in a solid playoff-chase position. Wentz played in one preseason game and missed meaningful camp time recovering from a broken rib. He was named the starter eight days before the regular season opener after the Eagles dealt Sam Bradford to Minnesota, and then played three virtually flawless games as the Eagles began 3-0 and owned September. The sledding has been much more difficult for Wentz and the Eagles since then, as they’ve gone 2-5 in the seven games since. Wentz has completed 63.2 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdown passes and seven interceptions for the season.

Wide receiver was a critical need before the signings of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. The Eagles now have a good group for 2016. As Howie Roseman pointed out at the Senior Bowl, receiver is a position where it can take a year or two for players to develop. With that in mind, the Eagles could draft a receiver now to help them in 2018 or even 2019. We have to see if there are any players they are really high on.eagles gear cheap

It’s been an all-too-common theme for the Eagles this season. Small mistakes add up and suddenly the team finds itself on the losing side of the game, just as it did again this Sunday against the Redskins.

On the Washington 14-yard line with 21 seconds to play, quarterback Carson Wentz and the offense had an opportunity to complete a comeback. They let that chance slip away.

Groh doesn’t just have success with receivers at the NFL level

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The Eagles have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin gained 1,318 yards in 2014. Groh coached three 1,000-yard seasons in Chicago – two by Alshon Jeffery (1,421 in 2013 and 1,133 in ’14) and one by Brandon Marshall (1,295 in 2013). Both Marshall and Jeffery earned Pro Bowl honors in 2013.

Groh doesn’t just have success with receivers at the NFL level. He was Alabama’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 2011-12. The Crimson Tide won the National Championship both seasons. As a true freshman in 2012, future No. 4 overall pick Amari Cooper had 59 catches for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship.NFL Philadelphia Eagles Stitched Snapback Hats 013

The Chicago Bears may have only put up 14 points last Sunday against the Houston Texans, but this is an offense that can present a lot of issues from a matchup standpoint. It all starts on the outside with former second-round pick Alshon Jeffery. At 6-3, Jeffery’s ability to go up and win in contested situations makes him as tough a cover as anyone in the NFL. He isn’t the fleetest of foot, but his ability to separate at the catch point allows him to come down with grabs that most in the league can’t make.

Similar to the Eagles and Dorial Green-Beckham, the Bears like Jeffery to use his size to his advantage down the field on vertical routes. He does a really nice job attacking the football down the field (two of his four catches last week came on deep throws), and some of his best plays every year he’s been in the league have come off of shot plays or fade balls on the perimeter.

One of the newest pieces of information to come from Pederson’s media availability regards the Eagles’ 2017 schedule. The time and dates for the 2017 NFL season will be released sometime next month (potentially the week of April 17, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter), but before the schedule is officially made, the team did put in one request with the league.

The Eagles are scheduled to play both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers on the road, and instead of having to travel twice from coast to coast to the same location, the Eagles have requested to have those two games played back to back so the team can stay out west for the week.

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Wentz had some great moments in 2016. He showed a strong, accurate arm. He made some terrific throws. His deep ball to Jordan Matthews in the first Redskins game was right on the money and led to a huge gain. Wentz showed the ability to create big plays. Remember the 73-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles in the win over Pittsburgh? That was a great play. Late in the season Wentz made several Houdini-like plays where he avoided rushers in the backfield and then either scrambled for a gain or threw a pass. There was also Wentz running for the touchdown late in the Ravens game. That was a clutch play that gave the Eagles the chance to win.

One thing that will help Wentz is having a better supporting cast. You can conservatively estimate that he would have had another five touchdown passes if receivers just held onto the ball on some plays. If the cheap Eagles jerseys can find guys who can make the easy catches and then also make a tough play or two, Wentz’s numbers will get a lot better and the Eagles will win more games. Both have to happen for him to make the Pro Bowl.

Darren Sproles has certainly made a name for himself in the NFL, but it wasn’t an easy road on the way to receiving Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. Prior to being drafted by San Diego in 2005, he heard constant criticism about his size. Standing at only 5-6, Sproles has proved his doubters wrong time and time again.

Over the past two seasons, Sproles is the NFL’s leading punt returner, picking up 952 yards and four touchdowns, and was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season. Recently, we spoke to Sproles about his NFL journey, including the ups, downs and lessons learned throughout his 11-season playing career. Find out what the journey was like through the eyes of the veteran.

The Eagles are on track to have a full complement of receivers in a game

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The Philadelphia Eagles announced that Brian Dawkins, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the club’s Hall of Fame, has been added to the team’s scouting department. Dawkins is the franchise’s inaugural recipient of the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, a new program launched by the NFL aimed at introducing former players to the world of player personnel and the duties of an NFL scout.

Brian Dawkins and Donovan McNabb are one step closer to Canton. The modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced on Wednesday night. The legendary safety and the prolific quarterback are both nominees in their first year of eligibility.

Between earning seven Pro Bowl selections with the Eagles as well as a Super Bowl appearance, one might say this has been a long time coming. For Dawkins, the thought of receiving the honor only started when he was approaching the end of his playing career.

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That should come as no surprise to Eagles fans since they witnessed “Weapon X” pour his heart and soul into the Eagles’ defense for 13 seasons. But even after he hung up his cleats and moved into the world of broadcasting, Dawkins was never too far removed from the game he loves.Eagles Kevin Kolb #4 White Team 50TH Anniversary Patch Stitched NFL Jersey

Former safety Brian Dawkins, already a member of the Eagles Hall of Fame, is one of the 18 players, coaches and contributors who will be on the ballot for enshrinement when the Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors chooses the Class of 2017 on February 4, the eve of Super Bowl LI, in Houston. Former wide receiver Terrell Owens is also a finalist.

“It’s a blessing to be mentioned among the names of so many other guys who have made it this far, let alone to be hopefully in the Hall of Fame someday,” Dawkins said at the NovaCare Complex late Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t take these things for granted. I understand the plight of safeties (in the Pro Football Hall of Fame). To make it this far in my first year, it’s a tremendous, tremendous honor.”

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The embodiment of what it means to play football in the City of Philadelphia, Dawkins was a physical and spiritual leader for 13 seasons with the Eagles. He was a Pro Bowl selection seven times, tied for the second most in franchise history. Dawkins finished as the team’s all-time leader in both games played (183) and interceptions (34) by the end of his tenure with the Eagles in 2008.

For the first time this season, the Eagles are on track to have a full complement of receivers in a game, with tight end Zach Ertz on track to play Sunday in Detroit. What does that mean for the offense?

“There are a lot of advantages to having three really good tight ends,” Ertz said, “and in my opinion we do have that. I think there are going to be a lot of options out of that package, and  Philadelphia Eagles jerseys I think it’s going to grow throughout the year.”

Zach Ertz’s third season in the NFL got off to a rockier start than he and most fans expected. After a standout sophomore season in 2014 in which his receiving yardage jumped up over the 700-yard mark for the first time, his 2015 campaign started with a core muscle injury that kept him off the field for the Eagles’ entire preseason schedule.

One of the things when I look over all of the athletes that I idolize, per se – [Los Angeles Lakers Forward-Guard] Kobe Bryant and [Dallas Cowboys TE] Jason Witten are two of the athletes that I have looked up to since I was a young kid and those two guys stayed in their cities throughout their entire careers. That’s the kind of legacy that I want to leave here in Philadelphia. When people think of great tight ends in Philly, I want to be the guy that they think of. I look at Dawkins [former Eagles S Brian Dawkins], I look at Donovan [former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb], I look at Westbrook [former Eagles RB Brian Westbrook], and these guys have left lasting legacies in this city. Those are the guys that I want to be mentioned with.

Leading the Hawks to win in seven games

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with linebacker Nigel Bradham.

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Last season, Bradham started the first 11 games of the year and compiled 57 tackles, the fourth-highest total on the team, before an injury cut his season short.

Nick Foles’ performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31-20 Eagles win last Sunday earned him praise and accolades that extended beyond Philadelphia. On the heels of going 22-of-31 for 296 yards and three touchdowns, while adding another touchdown on a four-yard rush, and putting up a 133.3 quarterback rating, he was honored as the “Air” recipient of the FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Week award for Week 6, as voted on by fans. Foles will start his second straight game, against the Dallas Cowboys, this Sunday at 1 PM.Men's Nike NFL Philadelphia Eagles Sideline Legend Authentic Logo Tank Top Blue

It is the second time this season that an Eagles player has been honored as a FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week. Running back LeSean McCoy won the “Ground” award following his 31-carry, 184-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Washington Redskins in a Week 1 victory.

The award is also a major benefit to local communities, as FedEx made a $2,000 donation in Foles’ name to the Philadelphia local area office of Junior Achievement, which aims to help U.S. small business development by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.

By virtue of Saturday’s NFL Divisional Round results at least one Pro Bowl quarterback is going to be in the Super Bowl. That means Foles, as the first alternate, will get the opportunity to take his place. Not bad for someone who wasn’t even a starter in Week 1.

Foles led the league with a 119.2 passer rating, which was the third-highest in NFL history. Foles threw 27 touchdown passes against just two interceptions for the greatest touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history.

He started the last eight games of the season (10 total) and led the Eagles to wins in seven of those contests to help the team earn the NFC East title for the first time since 2010. Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in the win at Oakland on November 3. Foles’ 152.8 passer rating for the month of November was the highest in any calendar month in NFL history.

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Bradham, 26, joins the Philadelphia Eagles jerseys after spending the last four seasons with the Buffalo Bills where he played in 57 games with 38 starts and compiled 242 tackles (154 solo), 3.5 sacks, 13 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. Originally a fourth-round selection of the Bills in the 2012 NFL Draft, Bradham started 11 games as a rookie and totaled 47 tackles in his first campaign.
In 2014, while playing under current Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Bradham started 14 games and racked up a career-high 100 tackles — the second-highest total on the team — while also recording 2.5 sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and seven pass breakups.

With Wentz having gained a full season of experience as a rookie and now coming into Year 2 way ahead of the game from a maturity standpoint and a full comprehension of the scheme, and now that he has some established NFL weapons outside with Jeffery and Smith, it’s fair to expect a big leap up for the offense.

That’s the thinking. That’s the hope. And Pederson feels that way, even as he approaches the next steps with the usual coaching caution.

“I think we’re going to be much improved, but we have to see how it goes,” he said. “We have to stay healthy and the ball has to bounce our way, but, yeah, I’m excited to work with these guys and get them out there and see what we have.”

Free agency has slowed to a trickle, but the Eagles are still likely to add some pieces between now and the draft in late April. Pederson would not get specific on what’s happening next, or who the Eagles might be targeting in the draft, but it’s safe to say the level of optimism is high.