Friday, September 19, 2014
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Random Eagles notes: NFL Combine edition

The first two days of the NFL Combine featured offensive players. Days three and four (Monday and Tuesday) will feature the defensive players, which should be of more interest to Eagles fans. But for now... Random Eagles notes, NFL Combine edition! What players mentioned the Eagles in their Combine interviews?

Random Eagles notes: NFL Combine edition

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. (Michael Conroy/AP)
Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. (Michael Conroy/AP)

The first two days of the NFL Combine featured offensive players. Days three and four (Monday and Tuesday) will feature the defensive players, which should be of more interest to Eagles fans. But for now... Random Eagles notes, NFL Combine edition!

What players mentioned the Eagles in their Combine interviews?

In their Combine interviews, a number of players mentioned the Eagles. Some of them were former Oregon Ducks who were asked specifically about Chip Kelly or the Eagles, so we'll omit them, but here are the guys who brought up the Eagles on their own:

• Missouri OT Justin Britt was apparently watching Eagles games last year.

"The Eagles offense looks fun."

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• Washington TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins said he has spoken with a number of teams, but singled out the Eagles.

"(I have had) a bunch of informal interviews with a lot of different teams - Eagles - a lot of different teams."

• Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey, an Eagles fan, was asked what coach he wanted to meet. Unlike many other Eagle fans, Ka'Deem still has love for Big Red.

"Definitely coach Andy Reid. He is the best coach ever. Once I get to see him, shake his hand and sit in a meeting with him, everything is going to be all gravy. I was a big Eagles fan growing up. I loved the way he did everything with Brian Westbrook. I just love the way he coaches."

• Utah OLB Trevor Reilly had a quote that doesn't translate well to print, but he basically said he has spoken with the Eagles.

• Alabama OLB Adrian Hubbard said the Eagles were among the teams he has met.

"Giants, Jets, Ravens, Texans, Eagles. That's about it so far."

• NC State CB Dontae Johnson noted that he has spoken with the Eagles as well, and listed them first.

"Eagles, Carolina, Chicago, Jets, Giants, the Browns, Kansas City Detroit. Numerous teams."

The Eagles also spoke with Johnson at the Senior Bowl.

***

Kelvin Benjamin tested poorly at the Combine

Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin is tall, and so, he's going to have his share of Eagles fans who will want to draft him solely for that reason. However, he did not test very well at the Combine. He was particularly bad in the 3-cone drill, where he finished last among WRs who competed. The 3-cone drill (as well as all the other drills) were explained by Danny Kelly of FieldGulls.com.

3-cone drill:

This exercise measures lateral agility and change of direction, but better tells scouts how quickly a player can sink their hips, change direction, and get back up to speed. The 3-cone is probably the most physically important drill at the combine, because it somewhat emulates movements that a player might actually make while playing the sport.

The drill is made up of three cones that are placed in an L-shape. The player runs to the first cone, reverses back to the start, heads back to the first cone again, takes a right, goes around the 2nd cone, then runs back to where he starts. It looks like THIS.

The baseline for 'skill position players' is 6.5 seconds (elite) to 6.75 seconds (still very, very good).

Benjamin ran a 7.33. Here's how that compares to the Eagles' offensive linemen who went to the Combine: 

In other words, two Eagles offensive linemen ran a better 3-cone time than a projected 1st round receiver, and two others were within .07 seconds of him. Are the Eagles' offensive linemen that freakishly athletic, or is Benjamin a little stiff in the hips?

***

How is De'Anthony Thomas different from Tavon Austin?

Last year, West Virginia's Tavon Austin was the 8th overall pick to the Rams. If you look at Austin's highlight reel, and compare it to the highlight reel of Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas, you'll see two players who make explosive plays running the ball (both on handoffs and after the catch), and in the return game. Thomas is not thought of as highly as Austin, and a number of people have asked why. Austin was a legitimate receiver in college, who also ran the ball quite a bit at the end of his senior season. Thomas wasn't a natural receiver, who required a little more creativity to get the ball in his hands.

Beyond that, the Combine showed the difference in the two players' explosiveness. Austin ran a 4.34 40 last year. Thomas ran a 4.50.

***

5 worst Eagles Combine performances

On Sunday, we noted the best NFL Combine performances by current Eagles players. Well, here are the worst performances at the NFL Combine by current Eagles players.

Spider graphs courtesy of the amazing site mockdraftable.com.

Damion Square

Damion Square has big hands, but little else.

B.J. Cunningham

Unlike Damion Square, B.J. Cunningham has "Burger King commercial" hands.

Roc Carmichael

I would say that Carmichael should have just jumped over the punt against the Saints that would have been downed inside the 5, but he may not have cleared it.

Cedric Thornton

Thornton turned out to be a quality starter, but his Combine measurables help explain why he wasn't drafted.

Casey Matthews

Matthews doesn't have the most impressive physical measurables, but the man can hold a conversation over dinner.

Jimmy Kempski Philly.com
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