Do the Eagles Really Have the Worst Secondary in the NFL?
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - ProFootballFocus.com giveth and taketh away.
The highly-regarded player-grading website, which is subscribed to by multiple NFL teams, raised some eyebrows a few weeks ago when it claimed the Eagles have the best offensive line in the sport entering the 2017 season. They raised quite a few more earlier this week by proclaiming Philadelphia's secondary as the worst in the sport.
The biggest contribution to the belief is obviously the cornerback position which is undoubtedly the team's biggest weakness on paper.
Jalen Mills, perceived the top CB on the Eagles' roster heading into training camp, was graded as the worst in the entire NFL in 2016 among those who played enough to be evaluated. Veteran Patrick Robinson and rookie third-round pick Rasul Douglas, meanwhile, are also commodities you can hardly count on.
The surprise is that PFF also took aim at the Eagles' highly-regarded safeties, noting the number of missed tackles that have plagued Rodney McLeod over the years as well as the touchdown receptions the versatile Malcolm Jenkins has allowed over the prior two seasons.
Jim Schwartz obviously has a different take and bristles when PFF grades are used like gospel. The Eagles' defensive coordinator believes he has one of the top safety tandems in the league and also has tremendous confidence in Mills, who excelled in offseason workouts especially when the defense was on a condensed field like red-zone situations.
Help is on the horizon as well. Injuries rookie Sidney Jones has top-15 level talent and Douglas is also a pretty solid prospect.
As usual with PFF, the truth lies in between the numbers. The Eagles have one of the better O-Lines in the NFL but certainly not the best and calling any secondary that has Jenkins and McLeod the worst is probably specious.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen