The clock is ticking, Eagles fans.
On April 30th, the NFL Draft will kick off from Chicago, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the latest class of NFL talent. To make sure that you're all set for when the Eagles are on the clock for the first time, we're counting down each day with look at each number from 100-1 and the significance that the number holds in Eagles history.
Without further ado, let's continue the countdown …
When linebacker DeMeco Ryans went down with an injury in Week 9, the worst was feared for the Eagles' inside linebacker situation. But fourth-year backer Casey Matthews stepped up big time in Ryans' wake, recording a career-high 62 tackles in a season he wasn't expected to see an abundance of playing time.
Matthews' career year began when linebacker Mychal Kendricks pulled out of the Birds' Week 2 matchup with Indianapolis because of a calf injury and subsequently missed four games. Matthews slid in for the injured Kendricks just as he would later do for Ryans, and held down the middle of the defense's second level. Matthews finished the year with 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
First Eagle To Wear No. 62: G Woody Gerber (1941-42)
Most recent Eagle To Wear No. 62: C Jason Kelce (2011-present)
C Jason Kelce
A sixth-round pick? Jason Kelce was quite the diamond in the rough, but what a diamond he and his beard have turned out to be. In four quick years, the University of Cincinnati alumnus has emerged as one of the premier centers in the NFL, and one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the league.
Kelce won the starting job in his rookie year and started in all 16 games in 2011, becoming the first rookie in Eagles history to start all 16 games at center. After missing the majority of 2012 with a torn MCL, Kelce returned in 2013 with the best year of his career. He started all 16 games and finished the year as the top-ranked center in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
Kelce's ability to combine agility with power turned him into the ultimate mobile blocker in head coach Chip Kelly's constantly-in-motion tempo offense, and despite a Pro Bowl snub, Kelce quickly earned a reputation as a premier offensive lineman.
In 2014, despite missing four games with a sports hernia injury, Kelce finished the year as the eighth-ranked center in the league according to PFF, and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.