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Eagles News: Philadelphia named most improved team in the NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/7/17.

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

Most improved teams in every division - PFF
Alshon Jeffery was the big get for the Eagles in free agency, bringing a receiver with legit No. 1 potential to a unit that has been unable to make plays for some time, but they also added a number of other low-key players to provide depth. The draft though is what separates them. In Derek Barnett, they added a pass-rusher in the first round who has accumulated 187 total pressures over the past three seasons, 23 more than No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett. CB Sidney Jones was unfortunate to injure his Achilles pre-draft, but he has the talent to be the best CB in this class. He didn’t allow a touchdown in 2016 and just one the year before that. Lower down in the draft they also added several players that will have the chance to contribute early.

Eagles Rookie Scouting Report: Getting to know Shelton Gibson - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Shelton Gibson in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the new Eagles wide receiver, I reached out to SB Nation's West Virginia blog: The Smoking Musket. Mountaineers writer Jake Lantz was kind enough to answer my questions about Gibson.

So now what for Mychal Kendricks? - PhillyVoice
Teams around the league are not going to trade for Kendricks (or at least give up anything of substance) if they believe that the Eagles will eventually release him, so Roseman's comments are necessary, whether it's posturing or not. But to be clear, the Eagles will continue to seek offers for Kendricks. While Kendricks has been bad at times, he has flashed his athletic ability at other times. Unfortunately for Kendricks, Jim Schwartz was unable to find creative ways to use him to the best of his abilities. For example, in the view of many talent evaluators, Kendricks' best trait as a linebacker is his blitzing ability. In 2016, Kendricks rushed the passer a grand total of just nine times, according to ProFootballFocus. He also played on less than 27 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 2016.

Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery should see spike in production in 2017 - ESPN
Wentz finished tied for 25th in passing touchdowns (16) and 29th in yards per attempt (6.23) last season, which speaks to a low-octane passing attack that did little to help fantasy owners. The lack of quality receiver play needs to be factored in. Per ESPN Stats & Information, the Eagles' wideouts finished last in drop percentage (5.8) and second-to-last in receiving yards (1,849), yards per reception (10.7) and receiving touchdowns (8). The addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith via free agency represents a significant upgrade at the position. Smith will allow Wentz to air it out, and Jeffery should serve as a nice security blanket -- especially in the red zone. That, along with a better understanding of the system in Year 2, should translate into better numbers in 2017. He has a chance to finish in the top half of the league in terms of production.

Eagles haven't fully addressed cornerback needs - Inquirer
On paper, the Eagles might have a worse set of cornerbacks than they did last season. While the departed Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll were at best a pair of No. 2's, it would be a stretch to describe Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson as even starting-caliber cornerbacks. Both Mills and Robinson have potential upside. Football isn't played on a slab of wood, after all. But the similarly held belief that the Eagles weren't strong enough at corner before most recent years - including last offseason following the McKelvin and Carroll free-agent signings - played out as written.

Eagles Mailbag: A redshirt year, Pumphrey as a rookie, Gibson - CSN Philly
Because Sidney Jones has the chance to be a true No. 1 cornerback. Sure, there's plenty of risk involved. And if there are people who think that risk outweighs the reward, there's not really much to argue about. That's a fair thought. And maybe you'll end up being right. For me, the potential reward is great enough. Before he went down, Jones was the top cornerback in the draft and had the potential to become a star in the NFL. There is not much fans can do other than trust the Eagles' medical staff, which believes Jones will make a full recovery.

Are Eagles ready to challenge Cowboys for NFC East supremacy? - Burlington County Times
Clouds hung heavily from the sky, threatening rain, with a wind chill sitting at 17 degrees. They came anyway, nearly 80,000 people wedging their way inside just to sit nervously on the edges of their seats for more than three hours as the drama unfolded in front of their eyes. Oh, and what drama it was, until Donovan McNabb led a 10-play drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Eagles some breathing room on their way to a 23-11 win over the New York Giants in the Meadowlands on Jan. 11, 2009. That is what playoff football is all about.

Inside The Studio: Howie Roseman - PE.com
Howie Roseman sits down with Dave Spadaro to give his final thoughts on the 2017 Draft class and what fans can expect from the group in year one here in Philadelphia.

Former Texans and Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans officially begins coaching career with 49ers - NFL Player Engagement
Officially, DeMeco Ryans’ coaching career began when the San Francisco 49ers hired him this past winter to be their defensive quality control coach. Unofficially, Ryans has been coaching from the time he started playing high school football at Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, Alabama. Ryans, who saw injuries end his 10-year playing career in 2015 after six seasons with the Houston Texans and the final four with the Philadelphia Eagles, is ready to get started on phase two of his NFL life. And it’s something that is not a surprise to anyone who knows the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker. “I did see this happening,’’ Ryans said of becoming a coach. “That was always my role. And I always enjoyed helping other players, younger players, get better. That’s the aspect of coaching I really like, helping and developing young men to get better.

Which teams are better or worse at quarterback after the 2017 NFL draft? - SB Nation
Despite all the smoke about the Browns taking Trubisky at No. 1, they wisely stayed the course and took Myles Garrett, the draft’s consensus best player. Cleveland decided to skip out on a first-round quarterback altogether before settling on Kizer in the second round. It’s already been confirmed that Kizer will sit to start the season, making Kessler the odds-on favorite to be the Week 1 starter — even if history says there’s a good chance Kizer will end up playing at some point his rookie year. Kizer has a lot of intriguing tools, but he’s far from a sure thing, so taking him in the second round shouldn’t prevent the Browns from drafting another QB next year. We’re still a year away, but as of right now, USC quarterback Sam Darnold is the early pick for Cleveland in Dan Kadar’s 2018 mock draft.

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