With a Deep Secondary Class, Eagles Can Fix Issues in NFL Draft
The Eagles picked the perfect year to be in need of defensive back help in the draft.
"There is a ridiculously deep crop of corners," said the President of DraftCountdown.com Scott Wright on The Sports Bash on Friday.
It’s the perfect situation for a Eagles team that needs to reload in the secondary. The Eagles pretty much need to start from scratch, and this seems to be the perfect year.
As you know, the Eagles have already moved on from Leodis McKelvin, and Nolan Carroll is now a free agent. That doesn’t mean they won’t give him a contract, but even if he returns, the Eagles have very thin on talent at the cornerback position.
With Mckelvin and potentially Carroll out of the picture, the Eagles will need to replace their two starting corners. They still have Jalen Mills, Jaylen Watkins, C.J. Smith and Ron Brooks, who is coming off a season ending injury, as their only signed corners. So lucky for Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas, there is plenty of talent to choose from at the corner position in the draft.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this draft class is how the Eagles could get defensive back help from multiple rounds in the draft.
"This is a position you can wait all day, you're going to get a starting-caliber corner in the third, fourth, or fifth round," Wright explained. " There is plenty of depth at cornerback."
One guy who Wright mentioned that could be available to the Eagles at pick No. 14 is University of Washington corner, Sidney Jones. Jones is 6-foot, 186 pounds, and ran a 4.48 in the 40 and is the third ranked corner on Wright's list at Draftcountdown.com
Jones has been compared to former Husky and current Kansas City Chief corner Marcus Peters, who was a first round and ended up the 2015 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
If Jones or any other corner ends up with the Eagles with the 14th pick, they would instantly become a starter on the Philadelphia defense.
A couple of other cornerbacks that the Eagles would have to consider if they were on the board at No. 14 are Alabama product Marlon Humphrey and Florida's Teez Tabor. Both have very good size and clearly the Eagles would have to take a long hard look if either of those guys were available.
"Philly is set up pretty good for where there needs are, and where the talent it going to be available," Wright stated.
Since Roseman has been a part of the Eagles front-office, the team hasn't taken a corner high in the draft. The last time the Eagles took a cornerback in the first round was in 2002, when they took Lito Sheppard. In fact, the only other corner the Eagles have taken in the first round of the draft was Roynell Young back in 1980.
Instead, they’ve have tried, and mostly failed, going the free agent route. You have to figure with so much depth at the position, and talent at wide receiver inside the NFC East, this crop of defensive backs will appeal to them this year.