Eagles mailbag: Corey Clement’s role, picking an UDFA to make the team

Dave Zangaro
NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles mailbag: Corey Clements role, picking an UDFA to make the team originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com

You know the deal. 

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I asked for mailbag questions and you guys delivered enough to fill a few different posts. Thank you for helping me do my job; your checks are in the mail. 

Part 1 is here.

Here's Part 2: 

Did you just sneak in a fantasy football question? I'll allow it. 

I think people probably already know I'm really high on Sanders, but I'm going to go with Howard here. In his three NFL seasons, Howard has 24 touchdowns; just five NFL players have more in that span. I'm also going to guess that when the Eagles get around the goal line, they're going to feel more comfortable handing the rock to the vet over the rookie. One of the few knocks against Sanders coming out of college was that he fumbled. He can shed that reputation in the NFL, but giving the ball to the more sure-handed veteran makes sense. 

A few names come to mind: LB T.J. Edwards or perhaps one of the undrafted guards (Ryan Bates, Nate Herbig or Sua Opeta) or maybe even return man DeAndre Thompkins from Penn State. It's kind of early to guess this right now before seeing them on the field at OTAs, but I'll go with Edwards and reserve the right to change that pick after actually seeing a few practices. 

If Chris Long doesn't come back, I'm with you on this being a little concerning. Going into last season, the Eagles' top two reserve DEs were Michael Bennett and Long. This year, their top backups are Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat.  

The one guy still available who makes sense to me is Derrick Morgan. He's 30 now and wouldn't be expensive after having just a half a sack last season. But he'd be a decent addition and has played end in a 4-3 before. For the record, the Eagles should try to get Long to return. He's their best option if they can convince him. 

Sure. Doug Pederson was asked about this before Wiz came back and mentioned that Halapoulivaati Vaitai was going to get some cross-training inside at guard. He's the one that makes sense. You don't want to put too much on Mailata's plate and let's let Dillard acclimate to the NFL first. Vaitai would actually make a pretty decent guard. It might be a good way to prolong his career. I was talking to my coworker Barrett Brooks about Big V the other day and he agrees that a move to guard makes plenty of sense. 

Clement has a shot to be the Eagles' third-down running back this season, which is crazy because he really wasn't a pass-catcher in college. But since coming to the NFL, he's definitely shown that ability. 

Jordan Howard is likely going to be a first- and second-down guy and while Miles Sanders will eventually become a three-down feature back, it's tough to trust a rookie in pass protection situations. That's where Clement comes in. 

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