Brian Dawkins learning ropes of talent evaluation for Eagles at Senior Bowl

EAGL31
Brian Dawkins is helping the Eagles brass evaluate players at the Senior Bowl.

MOBILE, Ala. - Brian Dawkins' title with the Eagles these days is "executive/football operations," which seems a bit open-ended, and apparently is.

During the 2016 season, Dawkins functioned at least partly as a sort of legend-in-residence, a NovaCare resource for players. But Tuesday, there B-Dawk was, sitting at the elbow of player personnel vice president Joe Douglas, scribbling down heights and weights at the Senior Bowl weigh-in.

Dawkins has said he wants to learn every aspect of the operation. He said Tuesday he watched a lot of film of draft prospects during the season "especially on the defensive side."

Dawkins said being in Mobile brought him back to 1996, when he was here as a Clemson draft hopeful, not hearing exactly what he'd hoped to hear from NFL teams.

Poll

What position should the Eagles target in the first round of the draft?

"They'd say, 'Are you a special-teams guy? We don't know if you're an NFL safety,' " Dawkins recalled. "I had a huge chip on my shoulder. I knew what I had to do to earn some respect."

Dawkins, now a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist in his first year of eligibility, ended up being drafted by the Eagles in the second round, 61st overall. He eventually made nine Pro Bowls. His No. 20 jersey is retired.

Douglas, meanwhile, is scheduled to speak to reporters Wednesday, as is de facto Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. The Eagles' Mobile contingent includes scouting intern and former Eagles linebacker Shawn Barber, a teammate of Douglas' at Richmond, where Douglas played offensive tackle.

"Hard-nosed" and "homegrown," were two descriptions of Douglas then that came to mind when Barber was asked about him Tuesday. Douglas grew up in Richmond before playing for the Spiders.

"Like a lot of offensive linemen, he liked to run-block better than pass-block," Barber said.

Tall order

The biggest gasps from the crowd of personnel people recording Tuesday's weigh-in might have been elicited by Villanova defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon, who clocked in at 6-67/8, 280, with 347/8-inch arms, 107/8-inch hands, and an 841/2-inch wingspan. The arms and the wingspan were tops among the 104 participants. (We know whom Chip Kelly would draft, if he still had the chance.)

Kpassagnon (pronounced pass-in-yo) could go as high as the third round. In Tuesday's first practice, he showed a slender-hipped frame that could use more lower-body bulk, but he seemed to have good upper-body strength.

Kpassagnon, from Wissahickon High in Ambler, said that, so far, NFL teams want to know mostly about his background, and "how I ended up at Villanova."

Kpassagnon weighed 220 as a high school senior, wasn't a top national recruit. He said when he visited Villanova, "I saw that they really invested in their guys, and I liked that."

"Some other programs, they kind of pass by guys if you're not ready yet. Definitely, coming in as a freshman, I wasn't ready. Villanova took the time to develop me," said Kpassagnon, a fifth-year senior.

Kpassagnon called this "one of the most important weeks of my life," in which he needs to show that "I can hang with the big boys."

He said his approach to pass-rushing is "run as fast as you can and don't let 'em touch you."

Birdseed

Former Eagles special-teams coordinator and defensive line coach Rory Segrest was in attendance at the Senior Bowl practices Tuesday; he now coaches the defensive line and specialists for Arkansas . . . A source close to the situation said David Culley, the only wide receivers coach Andy Reid has ever employed, with the Eagles and the Chiefs, left this week to become quarterbacks coach for Sean McDermott in Buffalo, because it should move him a step closer to becoming an offensive coordinator. Culley, 61, was a quarterback at Vanderbilt. While coaching the Chiefs' wideouts, he carried the title of assistant head coach.

bowenl@phillynews.com

@LesBowen

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