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[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 13:12:59 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL General Manager Rankings: Eagles executive Howie Roseman is

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Hard to argue.

Rotoworld released their annual rankings of all 32 NFL general mangers. It’s always a good read so check out the whole thing. Here’s what Patrick Daugherty had to say about Eagles executive vice president of football operations (and de facto general manager) Howie Roseman.

21) Consumed with power struggles for the entirety of the Chip Kelly era, Howie Roseman finally emerged triumphant. His first order of business was draining Kelly’s swamp, ridding the Eagles of most of the old coach’s vanity purchases (DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso). Next up was one of his own, sending the farm to Cleveland for the right to select Carson Wentz at No. 2 overall. The gamble will define Roseman’s second stint as general manager. Wentz flashed plenty of promise as a rookie, buying Roseman some time to accrue more talent on offense. “More” in this instance being “any” since Kelly’s disastrous attempts at roster building left the cupboard completely bare. Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith were a good start. Roseman is an ordinary executive talent who will live and die with the fortunes of his hand-picked quarterback.

Roseman ranks 21st out of 29 returning executives. The league’s three new general managers are unranked.

21st obviously isn’t so great. It’s below average by definition alone. But is this a fair ranking?

There’s a lot of debate about just how good of an executive Roseman really is, but here’s the bottom line: the Eagles have not won a playoff game since he was promoted to general manager in 2010. The Birds are 56-56 with two first round postseason exits in that span. The Eagles have been mediocre overall, which is why Rotoworld’s description of Roseman as “ordinary” is certainly fitting.

That’s not to say there is no hope for Roseman. One of the previous biggest criticisms of him was his inability to acquire a franchise quarterback. It remains to be seen just how good Carson Wentz will be, but at the very least he has shown some promising potential. If Wentz turns out to be as good as the Eagles seem to think he can be, Philadelphia should be in good shape. And therefore Roseman will as well.

But Wentz’s success will depend on his environment to some extent. It was apparent that Wentz was not set up to succeed in 2016. The Eagles clearly lacked an ideal supporting cast of weapons for Wentz to work with. It’s up to Philadelphia’s front office to fix that issue moving forward.

The Eagles’ acknowledged some of Roseman’s short-comings as a personnel evaluator by hiring Joe Douglas as vice president of player personnel last offseason. Eagles CEO and Chairman Jeffrey Lurie stated Douglas will be in charge of setting the team’s draft/free agent boards. But ultimately it will still be Roseman who has the final say on decisions.

Roseman’s influence leaves some cause for concern. His track record as an evaluator is mixed at best. And for someone who has been heralded for being with managing cap space, the Eagles are tight in that regard after handing out some big extensions in 2016. That money wasn’t all very well spent last season. Lane Johnson got suspended for 10 games, which isn’t the team’s fault, but they did ultimately give big money to a player who was one test away from that. Fletcher Cox had a good season but he didn’t necessarily play up to his elite level money. Brent Celek is making a significant amount of money to be a veteran presence and blocking tight end. Vinny Curry was handed a $43 million contract only to be stuck playing 40% of the snaps behind an ineffective Connor Barwin.

With that said, the pairing of Douglas and Roseman has the potential to be promising. For all his faults, Roseman is pretty good when it comes to recognizing and acquiring value. He traded Sam Bradford for a first round pick. He acquired Timmy Jernigan for a swap of third round picks. Looking back further, he sent a mere fifth round pick to the Saints for Darren Sproles. Hopefully the Eagles will be able to build a lasting marriage of Roseman’s value skills with Douglas’ talent recognition. Douglas is relatively unproven as a man in charge but he comes from a strong background with the Ravens (and one year with the Bears).

Some may think 21st might be too low of a ranking for Roseman, but I think it’s fair for now. He still has a lot to prove. And the key people he picked in the Eagles’ organization still have a lot of prove as well. Douglas needs to prove himself as a good talent evaluator. Doug Pederson needs to prove he’s a good head coach. And Wentz needs to prove himself as a franchise quarterback who can lead the Eagles on playoff runs. Roseman had a significant role in those additions, so their success/failure ultimately reflects on him.

The Eagles went 7-9 in 2016 so the pressure will only mount if progress doesn’t manifest in the near future.





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 12:18:17 EDT from rss

Subject: Map of the 2017 NFL Draft experience in Philadelphia

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Featuring BGN!

The 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia is nearly a week away! In the meantime, the NFL released a map of what this year’s draft experience will look like (hat tip @ZBerm). Check it out below! (Click HERE to expand the image.)

See anything on there that looks familiar? Hmm ...

That’s right, BGN Radio is going to be on the scene at this year’s big event! If you missed the announcement about it last week, click here for more details. We’re still waiting to hear how many guests we can bring with us. And if we can’t get you into the Draft itself, you’ll still have an opportunity to hang out with us at our pre/post draft party events!

OPPORTUNITY ONE: AT THE 2017 NFL DRAFT

A limited amount of supporters will be able to join us on the scene of the draft. We don’t know the specifics yet because we’re waiting to hear back. We’ll let you know as soon as we know. Thanks for your patience with this.

OPPORTUNITY TWO: AT ADOBE CAFE AFTER END OF THE 2017 NFL DRAFT

We’ll be at South Philly’s own Adobe Cafe after the draft is over. Join us to celebrate what’s hopefully a successful draft for the Eagles!

BONUS: PRE-DRAFT GET TOGETHER ON THE NIGHT BEFORE THE DRAFT

Just a reminder that you can also catch us at Delilah’s on Wednesday, April 26th for a BGN Radio PRE-DRAFT Party and broadcast.

Hopefully you’ll be able to join us! The main stage rendering looks awesome.

Looking for more information on the 2017 NFL Draft in Philly? Check out these links:

Details you need to know about attending the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia

Here’s how to get free tickets to the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia

Information on how to attend the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 11:24:43 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Draft 2017: ESPN projects what an Eagles trade down could look like

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How do you feel about this?

As if NFL mock draft season wasn’t ridiculous enough, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell put together a first round mock consisting entirely of trades at each pick. Here’s what he suggested for the Philadelphia Eagles at pick No. 14.

Texans get: 1-14

Eagles get: 1-25, 2-57

The Colts and Ravens, who pick next after the Eagles, are likely to consider trading down and acquiring additional picks. As a result, teams that want to try to grab one of the quarterbacks in the middle of the first round might have to move up to Philadelphia's pick to beat the competition.

Enter the Texans, who are left with Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden under center after dumping Brock Osweiler's contract on the Browns earlier this offseason. Houston sent its 2018 second-round pick to the Browns for the salary relief, but it still has its 2017 second-rounder to move as part of a deal. The Eagles are desperately in need of cornerback help and could try to pry away 2015 first-rounder Kevin Johnson, who missed most of last year with an injury, but the Texans will be loath to trade away the future starter after losing A.J. Bouye to the Jags in March.

So Barnwell has the Eagles trading down. First, let’s take a look at how the trade stacks up on the draft pick value chart.

Texans get: No. 14 = 1,100 points
Eagles get: No. 25 (720) + No. 57 (330) = 1,050 points

The chart isn’t a perfect guide but it appears the Eagles are getting short-changed here. The difference of 50 points is worth the No. 122 pick, which is a late fourth-round selection.

I’m really not a fan of this proposed trade by ESPN. I’m honestly against trading down in general. If the Eagles back a pick or two or three, it’s not the end of the world to me, but moving down 11 spots seems like way too much.

Just because the Eagles haven’t had success trading down in the past doesn’t mean they can’t be successful at it in the future, but their track record certainly isn’t encouraging. Their trade down picks since 1999 include: Kevin Kolb, Trevor Laws, and Marcus Smith.

Another reason why I hate the idea of trading down is because it lacks conviction. Admittedly, this might be a very rudimentary way of thinking about it, but I want the Eagles to draft a guy they love at No. 14. Or even trade up a few picks if they have to. I want them to feel strongly about “their” guy. Not just trade back because they ran out of options they really loved, as was the case in 2014.

The only way I’d consider this trade is if Kevin Johnson was included in the Texans’ offer, as Barnwell suggested. Going from No. 14 to No. 25 would be easier to stomach knowing the Eagles would be getting a starting cornerback in the process. But that’s not the deal Barnwell ultimately put on the table for the Eagles.

I really hope the Eagles don’t make a major move down in the first round next week. Again, I’m flexible when it comes to moving up or down 1-3 picks, but I think there’s going to be a good player for them if they just sit tight at No. 14. Take the best player available and don’t get too cute with it. That’s not too much to ask, right?

How do you feel about ESPN’s proposed trade? Vote in the poll below.





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 09:00:04 EDT from rss

Subject: 8 Things I Think About The Eagles

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From The Eagles.

This feature is a weekly piece on BleedingGreenNation.com titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

The boys are back in town, specifically the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia, and with their arrival comes great optimism because, hey, anything is possible in the NFL, right? With the voluntary offseason conditioning program underway and with the NFL draft a week from Thursday, it’s time to catch up … and to look ahead …

  • Quarterback Carson Wentz met the media on Monday and was his usual solid, not spectacular, self with the reporters. I love how he handles the questions. I love his wisdom. I love his confidence. I’m reminded of all of the Eagles quarterbacks who I’ve covered – all the way back to Ron Jaworski in the latter days of his career – and Wentz is the most polished, the most poised and when you combine that with the talent he has and the desire he has to be the best, Wentz has a chance to be the very best Eagles quarterback in this modern era. The kid has all the tools. Weaknesses? Oh, there are nuances to smooth out in his delivery, but it’s nothing major. His accuracy will improve as he has receivers who will give him a larger window through which to throw. He’s athletic, he’s smart, he’s a beast at 6-feet-5 and 240 pounds and he is smart as all get out. Wentz is on his way to a dynamic career. Enjoy what you see as he develops and expect him to make a big jump this season. It’s OK to be excited.
  • Nobody has really talked about a group the Eagles need to improve in this offseason and that is the linebackers. Jordan Hicks is a terrific young talent. Nigel Bradham fits into the scheme and is the best SAM linebacker this team has had since, well, Carlos Emmons? But on the weak side, Mychal Kendricks just didn’t get reps last season and it’s fair to wonder what his role is here moving forward. The Eagles need depth here, and they also need an answer for the WILL position. A linebacker in Round 1 next Thursday? Maybe, but I don’t know if I see that. No question, though, the Eagles need to answer some questions about depth and that WILL spot.
  • Wendell Smallwood is very much in this team’s plans at running back, but is he a 15-carry-a-game back? Maybe not. I say the Eagles will think long and hard about running back early in this draft, but because of the depth at the position they don’t have to reach. They can get a back, and it would make sense to do so. Ryan Mathews is expected to be healthy in the summer, but how much can the Eagles count on him staying that way?
  • Maybe I’m in the minority here but I very much like a foursome at wide receiver of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor. I think Agholor can be a help on special teams and he can become a Jason Avant-type of player. Not necessarily a slot receiver, but someone who can line up and be a go-to target on third downs. I look for Agholor to have a bounce-back season now that he’s got a lot of the attention going in Jeffery’s direction.
  • How deep are the Eagles at safety? This is a draft supposedly loaded at the position. Again, would not surprise me to see the team think long and hard about adding some depth there.
  • Biggest needs on this team? From this perspective, here they are: Cornerback, defensive end, running back, linebacker, safety, wide receiver. A lot of needs, yes. The Eagles really need to hit it in this draft.
  • My view of the NFC East: Dallas is the team to beat, of course, but the Cowboys have lost a lot on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason. Washington has some offensive firepower to replace, as well as two coordinators on the coaching staff. The Giants have big-time questions about the offensive line and the running game. Mix it all up and let’s have some fun in the division this year. By the way, there has been no repeat winner in the division since the Eagles of 2003-2004.
  • Who will the Eagles take in the first round of the draft next Thursday? Honestly, no idea. I could give you 10 names. And there are going to be two or three projected top 10 picks that fall because of the way teams value the quarterback position. This is a total crapshoot. I don’t know. I admit it.

...

Subscribe to the Eagles Live Podcast with Dave Spadaro by clicking here.





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 07:09:54 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Chris Long explains why he doesn

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/18/17.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Devin McCourty, Chris Long elaborate on decision to skip White House visit - Sporting News
Following the Patriots' historic Super Bowl win, Devin McCourty and Chris Long announced they would skip the traditional White House visit due to the election of President Donald Trump [...] For Long, it was about setting the right example for his child. “(When) my son grows up — and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is — I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey Dad, why’d you go when you knew the right thing was to not go?'” Long said.

Who the Eagles should and shouldn't take in the 2017 NFL Draft - BGN
A special bonus episode of BGN Radio! Plus an interview with BLG.

Carson Wentz acknowledges he watched film of draft prospects, but who? - PhillyVoice
A few weeks ago, Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation picked up a Periscope video of draft analyst Josh Norris of NBC saying as much. Gowton came to the conclusion that Wentz's list included West Virginia's Shelton Gibson, California' Chad Hansen, USC's JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp, Western Michigan's Corey Davis, Clemson's Mike Williams, and Washington's John Ross. Monday afternoon, Wentz acknowledged that he did indeed look at prospects on film. When asked how many he watched, Wentz replied, "A handful."

Up Chuck? - Iggles Blitz
Is he worth pick 14? Harris reminds me somewhat of Dwight Freeney, who was taken 11th overall. Freeney was on a different level, though. He had 17.5 sacks as a Senior. He was 266 pounds. He ran 4.48 at the Combine and had a 40-inch VJ. He wowed you on the field and with his workout. That doesn’t mean Harris isn’t a Top 15 pick, but he’s not sure to go that high. Some teams like 250-pound edge rushers. Other teams prefer bigger guys. The Eagles could see Harris as similar to Brandon Graham, who was taken 13th overall back in 2010. Graham was 268 pounds. He tested well for speed, quickness, agility and strength. He did have a poor VJ (31 inches). Graham was a great college player and then dominated at the Senior Bowl.

Ray Didinger's 5 2017 NFL draft sleepers - CSN Philly
Joe Williams, RB, Utah, 5-11/210 - A fascinating case because he quit football two weeks into the 2016 season, disappeared for a month then came back to play in the final seven games where he rushed for 1,332 yards and 10 touchdowns. Runs with speed (4.41) and power. At the combine, he told the NFL execs he walked away from football because he was dealing with the death of his younger sister. How the teams factor that into their evaluation of Williams is hard to say but what he put on tape in those last seven games is very impressive.

Wentz Has Leap To Make In Year 2 - PE.com
The Big Next Step for quarterback Carson Wentz is here, and with the first-day-of-school-feel around the NovaCare Complex on Monday as the players reported for the open of the Eagles’ voluntary offseason conditioning program, well, it’s hard not to be excited ...

Derek Barnett, Reggie White record-breaker, could provide big jolt to Eagles' pass rush - ESPN
The Eagles have made a commitment to building along the offensive and defensive lines and need a top-end pass rusher in order for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme to meet its full potential. Depending in part on how many quarterbacks and running backs get taken early, there's at least a chance that Barnett falls to 14. The argument can certainly be made that he would be good value there. This could be a situation where need matches up with the draft board.

Reuben Foster rotator cuff not healed at combine re-check, may need another surgery - Revenge of the Birds
Despite having to have surgery on his shoulder in February, not being able to test, getting removed from the Scouting Combine because of an incident with a doctor and being sub 230lbs, many felt that he was still one of those talents. Now, it is being reported that his combine medical re-check did not reveal that the surgery did the trick for Foster.

Inconsistent draft history the biggest factor in Eagles’ predicament - Allentown Morning Call
They want to do it the right way, building through the draft, relying on free agency and trades only to fill an occasional hole here and there. But the Philadelphia Eagles, as presently constituted, are built the other way around, with draft picks filling just 23 of their 76 roster spaces heading into their offseason program, which begins today. Three of them, Nick Foles, Jaylen Watkins and Taylor Hart, are back for second stints. Two more, Alex McCalister and linebacker Joe Walker, have yet to actually be on the regular-season roster.

Alek Torgersen: Penn studies are first, NFL hopes second - Philly.com
Alek Torgersen allocated time last week to writing a paper on the Affordable Care Act for a public policy class. He also needed to put thought into whether there should be an open market for babies so he's up to speed for a Fairness and Altruism course. And don't forget the hour he spent in a Samba ensemble for his Brazilian drumming class. This is not how the lead-up to the NFL draft is spent for some other quarterback prospects, who make football their full-time jobs even before they have an employer. But Torgersen, one of the top quarterbacks in Penn history and a two-time first-team all-Ivy League passer, decided to spend his final semester at Penn . . . being a student at Penn.

Corey Davis might be the best receiver in the NFL draft, drops and all - SB Nation
There’s something familiar about the Western Michigan product, says retired NFL defensive end Stephen White.

Roughly 20 NFL teams facing loss of chartered flights - PFT
Per a league source, roughly 20 teams may end up without charter arrangements for the 2017 season. According to Forbes.com, American recently suspended its charter arrangements with six NFL franchises: the Cardinals, Ravens, Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Steelers. According to the Forbes report, American will continue to service the Panthers, Cowboys, and Eagles.

Pierre Garcon says ‘all the players’ loved former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan - Washington Post
“I haven’t paid much attention to it, but I know all the players, they loved Scot,” Garcon said. “Scot was a great guy, he was a football guy. All the players loved Scot and are definitely gonna miss him. And hopefully he’s still around football, to tell you the truth, because he was a great guy. All the players love him. He was all about football; it didn’t matter who you were, where you were from, he was just happy that you were playing football for him and he was happy that he scouted you and you trusted him to bring you to D.C.”

...

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[#] Mon Apr 17 2017 22:52:10 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Mock Draft 2017: Miami Dolphins take Forrest Lamp

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With the No. 22 overall pick in the 2017 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Miami Dolphins GM J. Wil selects ...

Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

[I'll preface this by saying if you wish to skip the team analysis and only care about the pick itself, you can scroll down until "THE PICK" section.]

The Miami Dolphins are coming off what can only be considered a truly successful ten-win season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the last year when someone other than the New England Patriots won the AFC East. Miami improved by four wins over their previous campaign in 2015 when they finished 6-10 overall. Although they struggled in the Wild Card against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they made the playoffs by winning nine of their final twelve games, and it gave the team something positive to build upon coming into the 2017 offseason.

The offseason thus far has been a somewhat busy one for the Dolphins. They have continued to make free agency acquisitions that fill out the back-end of their roster. Perhaps the biggest move was trading OT Branden Albert in a swap with the Jacksonville Jaguars for TE Julius Thomas, along with off-year 7th-round picks. Although the Dolphins offensive line remains a concern, Thomas has proven himself a worthwhile contributor, catching twelve touchdowns in each of his last two seasons with the Denver Broncos. His familiarity with the Dolphins' HC Adam Gase, who was the Broncos' OC during those years, should help him fit into the offense without delay. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen if Thomas can remain healthy, having dealt with numerous injury issues since being signed by the Jaguars in 2015. As a contingency plan, the Dolphins also brought back TE Anthony Fasano, who was previously with the team from 2008 through 2012.

The team also signed journeyman Ted Larsen, a versatile lineman that can play multiple positions and started eight games at RG for the Chicago Bears in 2016. More recently, the Dolphins added safety T.J. McDonald, who must serve an eight-game suspension due to a violation of the league's substance abuse policy. They also waived the coveted Dion Jordan.

So what's next for the Dolphins? They had their eye toward free agent LB Zach Brown, but lost out to the Washington Footballers. There is a chance that will shift their focus toward other available free agents such as Johnathan Hankins, among others. Miami will also look to the draft to attempt to patch their remaining holes, where presently they have a total of 8 picks, but only three in the first four rounds, losing 3rd and 4th round picks last draft in order to move up and grab WR Leonte Carroo. Barring any trades, Miami will pick in the 22nd position in 2017.

At that spot, the team is likely considering a number of players that fill their most urgent needs, perhaps most notably at the positions of OL, DL, and LB. Each of these positions will have a different look for the Dolphins in 2017.

There's little doubt that the Dolphins need help in their defensive front-seven come 2017. Their run defense last season was near the bottom of the league, ranking 30th in total yards allowed per game, largely due to their porous run defense, which was also ranked 30th in yards allowed. The team was a more respectable 13th in pass yards allowed, but 22nd in sacks, which again signals a need to upgrade. Still, the DL was ranked 12th according to PFF (Pro Football Focus) and its metrics at the end of the year, which perhaps signals things aren't quite as dire as one would presume. Cameron Wake will return. Though his age (35) will be a detraction, he still managed 11.5 sacks in 2016. Andre Branch and Williams Hayes figure to battle for the opposite end spot. Suh continues to be a plus on the inside, and with Jordan Phillips returning next to him, the starters may be solidified, but depth and production remain question marks.

The linebacker corps should also get some help with recently acquired LB Lawrence Timmins possibly filling the middle role while former Eagles' great Kiko Alonso gets moved to the outside due to his athleticism. It does remain to be seen how Timmins will fit in the 4-3, having spent his entire career in Pittsburgh's 3-4 steel curtain. Koa Misi also returns from injury, though his injury was a particularly delicate one (neck) and he hasn't played a full year since his rookie campaign in 2010. The rotation at LB will likely need further improved if the Dolphins want to do better in run defense.

Along the offensive line, the team at present has decided to rely on a committee of guards to compete for the seemingly two open guard positions. They will certainly be happy to welcome back C Mike Pouncey from injury, and 2nd-year tackle Laremy Tunsil is expected to move from the right to the left side to fill the vacancy left by Albert. Previous first-round pick Ja'Wuan James will remain at the starting RT position. The committee left to fill the two guard positions consists of the aforementioned Larsen, Kraig Urbik, Anthony Steen, and the re-signed Jermon Bushrod.

None of these options are particularly inspiring. Larsen, having started for the Bears, may be the immediate favorite to slot in at one of the two spots. Although Bushrod started at RG all 16 games for the Dolphins last season, he was graded by PFF as the worst run-blocking guard in the league. He also allowed five sacks and 34 total QB pressures in pass protection. Chances are high that Bushrod will be playing his last season, having signed only a 1-year deal and eyeing retirement. Overall, the offensive line was graded by PFF as the 30th-ranked unit in the NFL. In a draft with limited immediate-impact players at the Guard position, it may be necessary for the Dolphins to fill that hole early before getting to other needs.

And with that, we move on to the pick itself ...

THE PICK

I have ranked the Dolphins' most immediate needs as follows: OG, LB, DL, TE, S

As I've stated above, the Dolphins can fill immediate needs with the 22nd pick. Whether that pick is spent on offense or defense will depend largely on how the first picks of the draft shake out. While in this particular mock the obvious favorites have already been chosen, one name remains from the top of my Dolphins' big board—Forrest Lamp, OG from Western Kentucky.

Spider Graph:

Why the pick?

Let me precede this with my basic draft tenements: picking BPA (with team fit being a major consideration) and building from the lines out. You also must take into consideration the limitations of the draft itself. The 2017 draft is thin on offensive line talent, specifically talent that teams can expect to plug-and-play. In contrast, this draft is fairly deep on defensive line and edge talent. Between those two variables and the fact that the best edge and linebacking talents have already been chosen, it would make the most sense for the Dolphins to solidify their line further into the future; perhaps even making theirs one of the best lines in the league.

Granted, drafting an offensive lineman is never the sexy pick. It likely won't send fans running to the ticket counters. Nonetheless, developing a strong line is one of the most important aspects of team building. A strong line can help mask inefficiencies at the QB position, and it can help you control TOP—time of possession—with a consistent rushing attack (Miami was 27th in TOP in 2016).

With Jermon Bushrod's generally atrocious performance in 2016, and his pending retirement, the Dolphins will need guard help in the very near future, if not right away. The committee they have assembled at the present time is not at all inspiring, and with a line ranked 30th in the league in 2016 according to PFF's metrics, it reinforces the idea that this is perhaps the most crucial need to push the Dolphins up the ladder.

Who is Forrest?

The best introduction I can probably give to Forrest is his game tape against Alabama, which you can view in most its entirety here:

There are many occasions in which Lamp completely manhandles 3rd overall pick (in this mock) Jonathan Allen.

He has been a rock of consistency and durability, starting all but two games in his four-year career at Western Kentucky, almost entirely at left tackle. He does project inside at the next level, largely because of his size, but it is possible he could shuffle in at tackle every now and again. One of the most favorable NFL comparisons is Zack Martin, All Pro guard for the Dallas Cowboys. They share very similar physical and athletic characteristics, and Martin also moved from LT at Notre Dame to the inside.

Game Tape Analysis

I will attempt to encapsulate what makes Lamp such an intriguing prospect through the game tape. First off, this comes from the 2015 season against LSU. This is a fairly basic showcase of his ability, but we can see Lamp bounce outside initially with LSU's Arden Key, then stays with him to the inside on a spin move, and notice the good use of his hands:

On this next play from the same game, we can see Lamp immediately get to the second level and block off the linebacker, taking him out of the play entirely:

Next, we jump to the Alabama game from this past season. On this first play, we can clearly see Lamp's ability to shuffle and move outside, shadowing his faster target the entire way. That's Alabama linebacker/edge prospect Tim Williams, a projected Day 2 selection, by the way.

This next play, also against Williams, shows Lamp's quick feet and ability to recover. Williams actually has Lamp beat to the inside initially on a decent swim move, but Lamp is able to recover and pushes Williams away from his QB and out of the play:

Now we get to see Lamp's ability to read and react. Here he has to play the outside man at first, LB Anfernee Jenkins, and whether intentionally or not, ‘Bama ends up running a bit of a stunt. Lamp pushes the first man inside and then sees Allen pulling to the outside. Lamp is aware enough to get over and take Allen out of the play:

Unfortunately, it isn't all good with Lamp. During this same Alabama game, there were times he got flustered and his lack of length may have bit him. In this first lowlight, we see Lamp get stuck hedging between whether to block outside or inside. Both he and the guard to his right are too slow to recover on the inside rusher and he gets a free shot at the QB:

This next play is a bit of the opposite. Both Lamp and the guard end up dropping inside, and Lamp misses his assignment on the outside, Da'Shawn Hand, who gets up in the QB's face without resistance, forcing the QB to throw early and dangerously:

Moving inside will mean Lamp should have less of these types of responsibilities. Aside from this possible tendency toward confusion at times, Lamp may also be more susceptible to rushes on his inside shoulder. A more straightforward guard alignment could solve that issue.

On the positive, one of Lamp's best attributes is his power and he doesn't let himself get bullied by guys smaller (and quicker) than him. Likewise, he has the strength to move power players such as Alabama's Jonathan Allen.

Overall, there's not much to dislike in this prospect. While his below average length will always concern the numbers gurus, Lamp has athleticism and ability in spades that should more than make up for it. I would understand Miami fans' concern over spending another first-round pick on offensive line in such quick succession (this would make three in four years), but to me Lamp is the best available (including team fit) and can start immediately at a position of sincere need.

With this pick, the Dolphins would have one of the best young left sides of the line in the NFL, protecting Tannehill's blindside well into the next decade.

Projecting the Alternatives

In the ever-so disappointing case that Lamp is not available at 22, the Dolphins could also consider these alternatives (excluding the most obvious Top-5 players):

  1. Haason Reddick -€” Edge/LB, Temple

If he falls, this could be great value, and would give the Dolphins some much needed dynamics on the defensive side of the ball, improving that porous run defense, to boot.

  1. Derek Barnett -€” Edge, Tennessee

Chances again good that Barnett would need to fall, but he's likely a Top-3 DE in this draft class that could help replace the aging Cameron Wake in the not-too-distant future.

  1. Jarrad Davis -€” LB, Florida

Davis is either the 2nd or 3rd best pure LB available in the draft, depending on how you compare him to Zach Cunningham, but he'd fill a glaring hole for the ‘Phins at OLB.

  1. Malik McDowell -€” DL, Michigan State

With the Dolphins unsure of what they have in Jordan Phillips, maybe they look to add depth and security to a defensive line that sorely needs both.

  1. Jabrill Peppers -€” S, Michigan

Another candidate that would perhaps need to fall a few spots, Peppers is a dynamic athlete that could fill multiple roles in Miami's attacking defense under new DC Matt Burke. Safety isn't the biggest need necessarily, but Peppers can do many things.

And some other names that may not be great value or fit in the first, but could be targets:

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan (might fit better in 3-4, likely unavailable at #22)

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri (might be better as 3-4 OLB, not great value)

Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA (better as 3-4 OLB?)

Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida (possibly available at 54)

David Njoku, TE, Miami (next best TE behind Howard, much lower need)

2017 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22) Dolphins (J. Wil): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12): 
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):

Poll
Do you approve of this pick?

  122 votes | Results





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 16:58:17 EDT from rss

Subject: Please caption this very hilarious picture of Paul Holmgren and an empty parking lot

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The Flyers did a cool thing this morning, announcing a new “Flyers Charity Classic” that includes a 5k race and a few long-distance bike rides. The details are here.

Perhaps more importantly, they gave us the above picture of a lonely Paul Holmgren in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot.

Share your best captions in the comments. Please and thank you.





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 00:51:49 EDT from rss

Subject: 2017 NFL Mock Draft: Dalvin Cook to the Oakland Raiders

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With the No. 24 overall pick in the 2017 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Oakland Raiders GM big DUB selects ...

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

(Note: This pick was made before the Marshawn Lynch news broke, not sure if it would’ve swayed my opinion either way because I think Lynch would play one season at most.)

I had every intention of coming out of this pick with a defensive player. I know the Raiders biggest needs are at linebacker, defensive line, and a few secondary spots. But then Dalvin Cook fell while none of the guys I was thinking about drafting did. So instead of filling a need, I took (in my opinion) the best player available who also happens to fill the need left by Latavius Murray.

The Player

https://media.profootballfocus.com/2016/06/ezgif.com-resize-31.gif

To say Cook was an impactful player for Florida State would be an understatement. He broke the all-time rushing record of 3,959 yards held by Warrick Dunn by over 500 yards. Oh and he did that in only 3 seasons.

http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2462386/cook.0.gif


He averaged over 6 yards a carry for his career. He’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He doesn’t get caught from behind. He has a good build and he can be a three down guy. So why is falling in drafts? There’s actually a few reasons. Firstly is the (mostly) false narrative of him being injury prone. Cook only missed one game in college due to an ankle injury, and he had a hamstring issued that lingered for a while during the season but he played through it. Secondly there seems to be some character concerns. He was arrested as a juvenile and charged with robbery in 2009 but the case was dropped. He was arrested for firing and possessing a weapon on school property, charges were dropped. He was charged with criminal mischief following an incident involving a BB-gun with several other players. Then of course, there’s the battery charge in which a woman claimed to have been punched by Cook while he was trying to pacify the situation. The state had no evidence or indication that he actually assaulted anyone. He was acquitted in less than 30 minutes. Lastly, and the reason I think he’s falling as of late, is his combine performance. Cook ran a 4.49 forty which was slower than a lot of scouts thought he would run. He also had a very poor 3 cone, and 20 yard shuttle, which is surprising if you’ve watched his game film. Seriously, I could post loads of gif’s showcasing this guy, his tape is certainly not lacking.

https://n2ksportsdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/giphy.gif?w=1000

He did redeem himself somewhat at his pro day. His forty didn’t improve much as scouts had him in the mid 4.4 range. But what he did in the receiving drills is what had scouts excited. Raider running backs accounted for 108 targets last year.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY


The Situation

Latavius Murray was Oakland’s leading rusher last season at only 788 yards. He’s in Minnesota now. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will both be back and they both averaged over 5 yard per carry last season but I don’t think either of them are true every down ‘backs. Oakland is loaded with receiver talent, offensive line talent and Derek Carr is a top 10 Quarterback. Oakland was ranked 6th offensively, give them a guy who can come in and carry the ball 15-20 times a game with success and they instantly become a top 5 offense. This draft is loaded with defensive talent as well so if the draft played out this way, expect Oakland to draft defense in rounds 2 and on.

Conclusion.

All of this makes it seem like Dalvin Cook is a bit of a gamble (who better to gamble than the Sin City Raiders) but none of the prospects left felt as "safe" to me. I’m trusting game film instead of combine numbers. I don’t think you can just throw them out, but the tape makes me feel like the combine is a bit of an anomaly.  Cook is the BPA and a perfect fit for the Raiders.

Seriously, watch this:


The Houston Texans are on the clock…

2017 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22) Dolphins (J. Wil): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
23) Giants (BigWardy59): Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple
24) Raiders (big DUB): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12): 
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):

Poll
Do you approve of this pick?

  39 votes | Results





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 00:33:51 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Mock Draft 2017: New York Giants pick Dion Dawkins

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With the No. 23 overall pick in the 2017 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, New York Giants GM BigWardy59 selects ...

Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple

Dion Dawkins has been the toughest player for Temple in his time there.   Starting 40 consecutive games.   I am quite aware that he has been projected as a early to mid second roundd selection.   However I compare him to Tampa Bay selecting OT Donovan Smith at pick 33 overall.   He was a projected as a late second, early third round guy.   But since then he has justified his selection.   Dawkins is a great fit for the G-men who want a power run game and need versatile linemen who can start day one with a good summer camp.

Football is a big mans' game and they don't get much bigger and or stronger than Dawkins.   Inside he may be best suited as a power guard.   The Giants had him in to do a private workout and word was they really came away impressed with his versatility to play inside or out.   One scout said he looked like a day one starter.

Baltimore is also very high on Dion.   Their thoughts were very very strong at the point of attack, but showed quick feet.   He looks like he could become a pro bowl OG in the right system.   And a solid OT.

Temple ran a Pro-Style O.
Team leader, Smart and works very hard at his craft.
The kind of person you want in the locker room.

I see him having a long and very good career.

I compare this also to the Boys selecting Travis Fredrick in round one.   We all laughed and laughed....   remember ...?

2017 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22) Dolphins (J. Wil): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
23) Giants (BigWardy59): Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12): 
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):

Poll
Do you like this pick?

  18 votes | Results





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 17:35:49 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Schedule 2017 will officially be announced this week

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Here we go!

Last week’s rumblings have been confirmed: the official 2017 NFL schedule will be revealed this week at 8:00 PM Eastern on Thursday, April 20. That date marks exactly one week before the 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia.

We already know the 16 teams the Philadelphia Eagles will play this season. Here's a reminder.

HOME

Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears

AWAY

Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers

We also already know which four teams the Eagles will play in the 2017 NFL preseason.

Week 1 - Away at Green Bay Packers

Week 2 - Home versus Buffalo Bills

Week 3 - Home versus Miami Dolphins

Week 4 - Away at New York Jets


Some of the schedule information will likely leak before the 8:00 PM announcement, so stay tuned here to Bleeding Green Nation for the latest news and rumors. We'll have full coverage of the schedule release as soon as it's revealed. Get your meaningless record predictions ready!





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 17:02:55 EDT from rss

Subject: Stephen Tulloch retires after 11 years in the NFL

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Happy trails, Tully.

To the surprise of none, Stephen Tulloch, 32, is retiring after spending 11 years in the National Football League. The Detroit Lions officially announced the news on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Tulloch last summer following a preseason injury to rookie linebacker Joe Walker. The veteran linebacker only played 69 defensive snaps while nicely serving as a backup to Jordan Hicks. Tulloch had seven tackles in 12 games played.

A key factor in the Eagles signing Tulloch, of course, was his connection to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The two spent time together in Tennessee before Schwartz became head coach in Detroit. Tulloch left the Titans to sign with the Lions in 2011.

Tulloch didn’t make much of an impact with the Eagles but he had a productive NFL career. The 2006 fourth-round pick played in 157 games (112 starts) and had 677 tackles, 27 interceptions, and 14.5 sacks. Tulloch has also always been known for his great charity work off the field.

We didn’t know him for too long, but here’s wishing Tully all the best in retirement.

...

Side note: With Tulloch retired, Bryan Braman is the only remaining unsigned Eagles free agent.





[#] Tue Apr 18 2017 16:46:48 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Draft Rankings 2017: Top 10 offensive tackles

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Will the Eagles take one of these players?

The Eagles have done a good job bolstering their offensive line depth the last two years, especially in the interior. However, it is fair to wonder if they address the offensive tackle position in the upcoming 2017 draft. Jason Peters, while still very good, is not getting any younger and the team has to wonder if they can depend on Lane Johnson to stay out of trouble. While the tackles in this class aren’t fantastic overall, it is still a solid group of players who could contribute given some time.

10. Roderick Johnson, FSU: Roderick Johnson looks the part at 6’7”, 300 pounds with long, vine arms but the question is more if he can lay the part. Johnson has natural power, but he is sloppy in his technique, inconsistent in his effort and a plodder on the move. While Johnson could be a nice player if he can clean up his game, he is among the bigger projects in this class.

9. Will Holden, Vanderbilt: Will Holden was a long time starter at Vandy with experience on both sides. He has shorter arms despite being 6’7” and 311 pounds, but he does an excellent job compensating with very consistent technique and a high motor. His strength and savvy make up, slightly, for his lack of movement ability, but teams may prefer him as a strong side blocker due to being more of a phone booth player.

8. Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell: A massive 6’7”, 318 pounds with nearly 37” arms, Davenport has prototypical size for a tackle. His strength and movement are incredibly impressive but he is a project from a technique perspective. He will need to adjust from a lower level of competition and clean up his technique, but his ceiling is enticing. (Check out BGN Radio’s exclusive interview with Davenport here.)

7. Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt: The 6’6”, 305-pound tackle is a four year starter who has good power and a great attitude. He is more of a phone booth player, but does a great job playing through the whistle all game. Injuries marred his game in 2016, but if he can return to form, he could be a really solid and versatile lineman in the league.

6. Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M: This year may break the streak of years with a Texas A&M offensive lineman in the first round, but Gennesy is still a solid prospect. He is well built (6’3”, 318) player who moves very well for his size. He has some issues dealing with power, but they are more technical than physical. Gennesy’s rawness may frighten some teams, but his ability to move in the run game will be very valuable in the NFL.

5. Garett Bolles, Utah: Garett Bolles is an enigma. On one hand, he tested incredibly well and dominated his competition. On the other, he is going to be 25 years old before camp and his physical advancement could explain why he dominated 18-20 year old defenders and tested better at the combine than guys 2-3 years his junior. Also, Bolles is relatively skinny for a tackle and that affects his ability to drive through bigger players. Bolles could be a hit and I will eat my words if he is, but the history of players his age coming into the league is not good.

4. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan: WMU’s offense would not be able to be as explosive as it was last year if it were not for Taylor Moton. Moton is a strong, powerful player who moves well. While some people suggest he should be a guard, he dominated at tackle in college and did well in the All Star games against better competition.

3. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin: Ramczyk is not a flashy player, but he is just damn good. He is well built (6’6”, 310 pounds) and moves well. He is a nasty player who has consistent technique and awareness. He is recovering from a knee surgery, which is definitely a bit worrisome, but at full health he is an incredibly solid player.

2. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky: It will be a waste if Forrest Lamp never gets an opportunity to play tackle in the NFL. While he has shorter arms for the position, he is an awesome athlete with a nasty demeanor on the field and consistent technique. His game against Alabama shows he can swing it with top end college players, so it seems like nonsense to not even try him at tackle, a position bereft of talent in the NFL. Lamp is going to be a very good player wherever he ends up, but I would advocate he gets a shot to play on the edge of a line first.

1. Cam Robinson, Alabama: When you think about all the elite college defenders Cam Robinson has had to face during his three years as a starter at Alabama, it should make sense why he is highly regarded. The 6’6”, 322 pound blocker has awesome size, good movement skills and tremendous lower and upper body strength. He is a truly dominant player when he is on and though he has lapses in technique from time to time, he is still a young player who can tighten up his consistency. Though this tackle class may not have blue chip players, Robinson is the closest thing and he has that type of ceiling.





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 07:00:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Wednesday Morning Fly By: No brooms, not yet.

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*The Flyers made a big offseason announcement yesterday, and it's a big bike race for charity! [Flyers]

*Shayne Gostisbehere had a bit of a down season, technically, but he learned a lot about the mental side of the game. [CSN Philly]

*So we are very clearly going to have a ridiculously long summer of bullshit articles like this one, blaming all of society's ills on Claude Giroux. Insert eyeroll emoji. [Inquirer]

*Our pal Tony caught up with newest Phantom Carter Hart, who has joined the team for their playoff run. [Highland Park Hockey]

*Speaking of the Phantoms, they're going to get a little bit of NCAA hockey action next year, which is pretty cool. [BSH]

*And here's a look back at the most memorable moments from the Phantoms' regular season. [The Morning Call]

*Since we are all* Leafs fans now, here's DGB's rundown of the worst Leafs playoffs games in their storied history. [Sportsnet] *note: you may not be a Leafs fan

*And finally, did you miss this week's BSH Radio? You'll want to listen. We have a lot of thoughts about Ron Hextall's plans for this team. [BSH]





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 08:19:45 EDT from rss

Subject: Aaron Hernandez suicide: Former Patriots tight end hangs himself in prison

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A dark end.

Aaron Hernandez is dead at age 27 after committing suicide in prison on Wednesday morning, according to the Boston Globe. The former New England Patriots tight end was found dead in his cell after hanging himself.

Here’s the statement from the Massachusetts Department of Correction (via Adam Schefter).

On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he has pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.

Christopher M. Fallon
Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications
Massachusetts Department of Correction

Hernandez was serving life in prison without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013. Hernandez was recently acquitted of a separate 2012 double murder incident that occurred in Boston.

Hernandez once had a promising NFL career. The former fourth-round pick had 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in 38 games with the Patriots. It all came crumbling down, however, and now Hernandez’s life has come to a dark end.





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 07:47:05 EDT from rss

Subject: Josh Huff reportedly avoids prison time after gun arrest

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The former Eagles player won’t be headed to jail.

Josh Huff won’t be going to prison despite being arrested last November on the charge of unlawful possession of a weapon. TMZ Sports reports the 25-year-old Huff has accepted a plea that will potentially allow him to avoid significant jail time.

But TMZ Sports has learned Huff accepted a conditional plea -- in which he essentially gets 6 months probation and, if he stays out of trouble, the charge will be wiped from his record.

If he screws up, Huff agrees to plead guilty and could face the maximum punishment.

Huff still has 2 charges pending -- DUI and tinted windows -- but his lawyer, Andrew Smith, tells us he's hopeful those will be dismissed.

The Philadelphia Eagles released Huff two days after his Nov. 1 arrest. Howie Roseman said himself, Jeffrey Lurie, Doug Pederson, and Don Smolenski made the decision to cut him. Roseman claimed “that it was the right thing to do for our football team.”

Several days after his release, Huff signed with the Buccaneers’ practice squad. Tampa Bay then promoted him to their active roster. Huff had three receptions for 41 yards with the Bucs last season. He also returned six kickoffs for 72 yards.

Even if Huff had never been arrested, one can only wonder how much longer he would have lasted in Philadelphia. Huff provided value a kick returner to the Eagles last season (252 yards and one touchdown on seven returns) but he was inconsistent as an offensive contributor.

The Eagles made some upgrades at wide receiver this offseason by signing free agents Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Along with those additions, Philadelphia has the following pass catchers under contract: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Paul Turner, Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, Rasheed Bailey, Marcus Johnson, David Watford, Dom Williams.





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 07:06:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Analyst says Christian McCaffrey is the best route runner in the NFL Draft

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/19/17.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

NFL Draft Analyst: Christian McCaffrey ‘Best Route Runner’ - CBS Philly
Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross, O.J. Howard. There are plenty of amazing pass catchers in this year’s NFL Draft. But who is the best route runner? According to NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis, the answer is a running back. “I think he’s the best route runner in the draft and I include all wide receivers, tight ends, H-backs, whatever you wanna pick,” Davis told Joe DeCamara and former Eagles fullback Jon Ritchie on Monday’s 94WIP Midday Show.

ESPN projects what an Eagles trade down could look like - BGN
How do you feel about this scenario? Vote in the poll.

Bonus: BLG think the Eagles are going with a pass rusher at 14 - BGNRadio.com
Brandon Lee Gowton joined Jon Marks on SportsRadio 94WIP to discuss who the Eagles might take in the first round. BLG explains why he thinks Derek Barnett or Charles Harris will be the pick at No. 14. Also: thoughts on Christian McCaffrey and more!

Christian McCaffrey Is the Top Running Back in This Year's NFL Draft - numberFire
For the most part, McCaffrey wins the measurables and production game. Other backs may have a more attractive overall profile, especially if you're looking for an early-down bruiser. In that case, maybe Leonard Fournette is who you'd rank first, or possibly even D'Onta Foreman. But a huge piece to all of this is that McCaffrey gives you what matters in today's NFL: receiving. It's safe to assume that McCaffrey is one of the best (without getting into it, he's the best) pass-catching backs in this class. Among the backs, he was first in reception market share, first in receiving yards market share, and second in yards per game (behind Alvin Kamara, who doesn't have close to the rushing profile) this past year. He's good at catching footballs. How important is that, though? In short: very.

Philadelphia Eagles 101-man 2017 NFL Draft board - PhillyVoice
Missouri has produced a lot of defensive linemen and/or edge rushers over the last six years, including three first round picks and two second round picks. They're likely to have another very high pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in Harris. Harris' stats over his three-year career at Missouri aren't great, but his skills are. Harris has an outstanding burst off the snap, a great spin move (both ways), he hustles, he isn't fooled by misdirection, and he has counter moves if his initial pass rush move doesn't work. I can see Harris doing a lot of damage in a wide-nine alignment. On the downside, Harris' Combine performance was dreadful, which is a red flag.

More on Harris - Iggles Blitz
The poor showing by Harris in Indy made people think he would go late 1st or early 2nd. Prior to that, he was considered a solid 1st round pick. When Harris originally declared for the draft, Todd McShay had him ranked as the 11th overall prospect. Several other key sites had him in the 16 to 32 range. Back in mid-January, Daniel Jeremiah had him going 19th overall to the Bucs in a mock draft. This isn’t some mid-round guy you’ve never heard of being talked about going early. Harris had an outstanding career and he’s been highly thought of by coaches and scouts all along. At his worst, Harris wasn’t going to fall out of the Top 45. He’s just too explosive for that.

Eagle Eye: A Mock Draft Pick Off The Edge - PE.com
NBC Sports NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris explains what he looks for in pass rushers transitioning from college to the NFL and explains why he gave the Eagles a shiny new toy on defense in his most recent mock draft on this week's Eagle Eye In The Sky Podcast.

New renderings of NFL draft setup in Philly revealed - ESPN
At the center of the "NFL Draft Experience" -- a festival that spans the length of 25 football fields -- is a 3,000 seat indoor-outdoor theater being assembled at the foot of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This is the first time the league has built its own structure to house the event.

Carson Wentz tinkered with his mechanics — and he should have - Inquirer
There's a cottage industry of "experts" on social media, talk radio and elsewhere who believe they know why Wentz regressed in midseason. They talk about his arm angle, elbow dropping or release point, but Wentz, in essence, confirmed what coach Doug Pederson had addressed last season as the occasional flaw in his delivery. It's all about that base. If Wentz's drop isn't fast enough and his feet are not set properly, there's going to be a chain reaction from the bottom up that will often result in an errant throw. The Eagles had identified this issue early after they drafted him. They immediately widened his base, but they also raised where he held the ball.

Hot 150: Gil Brandt's top-ranked prospects for 2017 NFL Draft - NFL.com
17 - Charles Harris: His junior season was stronger than his senior year, mostly due to a change in defense. Very good athlete. Has bend and burst off end of the line. Had nine sacks and 54 pressures in 2016. Very good initial quickness. High-effort player. Can develop into a very good pass rusher in the NFL.

Eagles draft targets at No. 14: Alabama TE O.J. Howard - CSN Philly
Do the Eagles really need another tight end? I don’t know, do you think Carson Wentz could use a weapon who produced nine receptions for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last two national championship games? If O.J. Howard is somehow still available when the Eagles are on the clock with the 14th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, "need" goes completely out the window. This kid possesses the athleticism of a wide receiver or running back, only contained in the body of a tight end -- and if he proved anything on college football's biggest stage the past two years, that kind of rare ability can take over games.

Dollars and nonsense: Almost no one believes Philly’s NFL Draft will bring $80M - Billy Penn
The NFL Draft could bring Philly $80 million — but one economist told Billy Penn the real impact could be much less. How much less? More like $8 million. “The rule of thumb I’ve had,” said University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson, “is taking any number the Chamber of Commerce says the economic impact will be, move the decimal point one to the left and it’s probably pretty close.”

RSP Film Room No. 109: WR Carlos Henderson (LaTech) - Matt Waldman RSP
The RSP Film Room’s first-ever guest, Rotoworld’s Josh Norris returns to the RSP Film Room for a look at Carlos Henderson, one of the most exciting sleepers of the skill position class. Henderson. Norris did his homework and provided 18-20 clips of Henderson’s game that we examined during the hour. Although there are legitimate questions about Henderson’s development as a complete receiver, there are enough promising displays in this tape that support why Norris believes it’s a matter of “when” more than “if.”

Vahe Gregorian: Chiefs’ Jeremy Maclin relishing fresh starts with marriage … and football - Kansas City Star
His wisdom is even more evident as he approaches his 29th birthday and wedding next month. Case in point: When asked Monday, the first day of the Chiefs’ offseason training program, what he’d been up to lately, Maclin’s first words were … “wedding planning.” Smart man. And his role in the process? “Saying yes to everything,” he said, smiling. Very smart man.

The NFL concussion protocol cannot save football - SB Nation
NFL players are going to try to fake the concussion protocol, no matter how good it is.

...

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[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 13:36:59 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers fan disguises himself as Penguins fan, sucker punches Columbus fan, runs away

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Can you believe it? Philadelphia fans at it again!!!!

I can’t believe this. Philadelphia fans are at it again.

In the video above, you can see a person who is obviously a Philadelphia fan sucker punching an unsuspecting Columbus Blue Jackets fan in the mouth, and then walking away from the fight.

This is a new. low. for the City of Philadelphia.

I mean, look at this guy. He bought a Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby jersey, drove all the way to Ohio, bought expensive playoff tickets, went to the game, waited for the Penguins to lose, and then sucker punched a CBJ fan just to make Pittsburgh look bad.

First, it was snowballs. Then it was batteries on the field and bracelets on the ice. Now, we’re going so low as to disguise as rival fans to get our shots in? Did we really think this would really work?

Stay classy, Philly.

h/t Bardown





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 15:17:20 EDT from rss

Subject: Philippe Myers is joining the Phantoms for the 2017 AHL Playoffs

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The reinforcements are here.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms were the fourth-best team in the American Hockey League in 2016-17, and as they enter the playoffs, it’s possible that they’re getting even better.

As the team gathered today for their first practice in the run-up to Friday’s playoff opener, news broke that junior defenseman Philippe Myers will join the team for the postseason.

Myers, who ranked 8th in our midseason ranking of the Flyers’ Top 25 Under 25, has seen a rapid ascent in his stock over the last two seasons. From an undrafted free agent to what TSN’s Bob McKenzie calls “NHL ready” in just two years, Myers will hopefully get some AHL action this season before possibly competing for a job on the Flyers blueline in September.

But will Myers play? The Phantoms blueline is already stacked with guys who have been on the team all year. Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, T.J. Brennan and Mark Alt are all locks to play. Veteran defenseman Will O’Neill is unfortunately injured, leaving one available spot on the defense open for Reece Willcox, Maxim Lamarche, Mark Friedman or Myers.

We’ll see what happens, but at the very least, the Phantoms have plenty of depth as they enter this Atlantic Division Semifinal series with the Hershey Bears on Friday.


BSH Radio, Episode 107: Let’s go, the Phantoms!

We're live tonight with a new episode of BSH Radio! Talking Flyers offseason, Phantoms playoffs and ... the NHL playoffs, I guess.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Monday, April 17, 2017





[#] Wed Apr 19 2017 16:50:50 EDT from rss

Subject: Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny to play for Canada at 2017 World Championships

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Ron Hextall is the general manager of Team Canada and Dave Hakstol is an assistant coach.

Four Flyers players will be joining Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol in Europe later this month as Team Canada looks to win its third straight gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Travis Konecny were all officially named to the roster for Team Canada on Wednesday afternoon, joining 14 other players. The full roster will be named as the NHL playoffs progress and more players become available to Team Canada.

Hextall is serving as the general manager for Canada, while Hakstol is serving as an assistant coach. No word on whether or not he’ll lobby head coach Jon Cooper to make Konecny a healthy scratch during the tournament.

Brayden Schenn is the only Flyers player who has played for Canada in the Worlds in recent years not to be named to the roster this time around.

Giroux is representing Canada for the sixth time, having also played in last year’s World Cup, the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, and with the under-20 team twice in 2007-08. Couturier is representing Canada for the second time, having played in the 2011 World Juniors and the 2015 World Championships. He also played for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup. Simmonds played with Giroux in the 2009 World Juniors and the 2013 World Championships, while Konecny played in the under-18 Worlds in 2014 and the World Juniors in 2016.

Below is the full roster as selected by Hextall and the Canadian management group, which also includes former Flyer Sean Burke:

  • Goalies: Eric Comrie (Edmonton/Winnipeg, NHL) and Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg/Colorado, NHL)
  • Defensemen: Tyson Barrie (Victoria, B.C./Colorado, NHL), Calvin De Haan (Carp, Ont./New York Islanders, NHL), Jason Demers (Dorval, Que./Florida, NHL), Michael Matheson (Pointe-Claire, Que./Florida, NHL), and Josh Morrissey (Calgary/Winnipeg, NHL)
  • Forwards: Sean Couturier (Bathurst, N.B./Philadelphia, NHL), Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL), Claude Giroux (Hearst, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL), Alex Killorn (Beaconsfield, Que./Tampa Bay, NHL), Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL), Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL), Nathan MacKinnon (Cole Harbour, N.S./Colorado, NHL), Brayden Point (Calgary/Tampa Bay, NHL), Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL), Wayne Simmonds (Scarborough, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL), and Jeff Skinner (Toronto/Carolina, NHL).

The 2017 Worlds begin on May 5 in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. The gold medal game is scheduled for May 21.





[#] Thu Apr 20 2017 07:00:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Thursday Morning Fly By: The children are coming, the children are coming!

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*As the Phantoms start the playoffs we are going to see Alex Lyon between the pipes. Should be fun to get a look at what the kid brings to the table. [Highland Park Hockey]

*Guess who else we are going to get a look at (hopefully)?! Phil Myers! The team announced yesterday that he’ll be joining them for the ‘yoffs. [BSH]

*Scott Laughton is ready to make some noise in the AHL playoffs since the Flyers don’t seem to want him in the NHL. [Inquirer]

*Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Flyers will be joining Team Canada at Worlds, woo! [Flyers]

*Man, Flyers fans are at it again, acting like assholes at sporting events. [BSH]

*So torn between what is best about this story: the fact that Jack Eichel is acting a little like a bratty tool OR the fact that he’s absolutely right and Dan Bylsma SUCKS and finally someone is saying it. [Puck Daddy]

*....or maybe not. [TSN]

*Team USA has been absolute shit at most of the recent big international tournaments. Why do they struggle so much to build a winner? [ESPN]

*And finally, since some of your bandwagon teams may be on their ways out, DGB brings us the five kinds of playoff losses and how you should react to them. [The Hockey News]





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