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Eagles Secondary Ranked No. 32 in the NFL

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles
Leodis McKelvin was hampered by injuries all season. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The additions of cornerback Leodis McKelvin and safety Rodney McLeod during the offseason wasn’t enough to help the Eagles secondary escape the worst ranking in the NFL in 2016.

Maybe Ron Brooks’ torn quad, ending his season, caused the unit to struggle as well.

Still, the Eagles defensive back unit simply wasn’t good enough during the team’s 7-9 season. Pro Football Focus ranked the secondary No. 32 in the NFL.

Indeed, McKelvin’s lingering hamstring struggles didn’t help matters, add in rookie Jalen Mills, and and you had two of the top three corners in yards allowed per play.

Production from safeties Malcolm Jenkins and McLeod, who played better than the No. 32 ranking indicates, but still wasn’t enough to help the Eagles out of the basement.

All three of the team’s top corners ranked in the top eight for total receiving yards allowed among all defenders in the league. It really wasn’t skewed by a seeing a higher volume of as passes, either, as Leodis McKelvin and Jalen Mills ranked first and third, respectively, in yards allowed per snap in coverage. Ron Brooks wasn’t much better before he suffered a season-ending injury. Had he played enough snaps to qualify, his overall grade would have also been among the bottom dozen cornerbacks (out of 120 players).

Jenkins, fresh off a new five-year deal, piled up 72 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and nine passes defensed. Per PFF, he had the Eagles secondary’s best overall grade and was the No. 20 run defender among defensive backs in the NFL.

Meanwhile, McLeod, who signed a a five-year, $37 million deal, had a solid season and was the best coverage player in the secondary per the publication. After a breakout 2015, the 26-year old started and played in every game for the Eagles to record 83 tackles with three interceptions, one sack and seven passes defensed.


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