Eagles Adding Anthony Harris One of Best Upgrades in NFL
The Eagles are hoping that adding Anthony Harris to their secondary will be one of their most important position upgrades this season.
ESPN’s Mike Clay thinks the Harris' replacing Jalen Mills at safety is one of the 25 most significant position upgrades in the NFL, coming in at No. 18 on the list.
Mills was a solid find by the Eagles as a seventh-round pick back in 2016, but the versatile defensive back was not the answer as Malcolm Jenkins' de facto replacement at safety last season. Mills is now in New England and will be replaced in Philadelphia by a more traditional safety in Harris.
The 29-year-old broke out with a league-high six INTs in 2019 before he was slapped with the franchise tag by Minnesota. He wasn't quite as dominant last season, as he failed to record a single interception, but he did increase his tackle total from 60 in 2019 to a career-high 104. Nonetheless, Harris provides an upgrade and solid starter with upside opposite Rodney McLeod in an Eagles secondary that badly needed an injection of talent. The Eagles have ranked 22nd or worse in interceptions each of the past three seasons, with a total of 29 during the span.
It will be interesting to see how Harris fits into new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. The secondary was a strength in Indianapolis and his defense will likely allow Harris and partner Rodney McLeod play a big role.
While Harris' production dropped in Minnesota in 2020 from the six interceptions he had in 2019, he did provide better support against the run for the Vikings.
Harris, who posted 104 tackles and seven passes defensed in 2020. In 2019 he posted six interceptions and 11 passes broken up to go along with 60 tackles.
Keep in mind, Harris was coached by Gannon when he was coaching in Minnesota in 2015-2017.
It’s fair to say Harris could be a nice upgrade over Mills at the position, considering Mills played his first four seasons in the league at cornerback before moving to safety last season.
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