NFL Draft: 5 defensive backs the Philadelphia Eagles should keep an eye on.
It’s been a couple weeks, since the Philadelphia Eagles, were crowned Super Bowl Champions, for the first time in team history. The not-so-subtle underdogs took to the biggest stage in football, fought there hardest, and defeated the big bad New England Patriots. Despite the amazing performance, the one thing that has not really spoken about is how shaky the defensive backfield looked all game. Sure, the Eagles house one of the best all-around defenses in the NFL, and they have a bright future at corner. With the likes of former 7th rd, pick Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, S Malcolm Jenkins, and Rodney Mcleod, they seem to have a nice core, to begin with. Add in rookie Rasul Douglas, and the highly touted Sidney Jones, and we could be looking at one of the better DB rooms in the league. But even with all the talent, the need for depth and another playmaker or two, is more than evident, as the team struggled against the pass down the stretch.
With that said, we decided to look at this years NFL draft prospects, and find a few DB’s (Safety and Corner) that could fill in well, and help the birds’ find another ring.
- CB J.C. Jackson (Maryland)- I do not believe the Eagles front office, see the Corner or safety spots as a big hole, so looking for one in the first round is out of the question. But with that said, what about a guy they could probably get in the fourth round but could be the most talented in this year’s draft. Enter, Jackson, the 6’1 198 LB, prospect, is a pure playmaker. Smooth hips, quick feet, and an eye for diagnosing a play, before it happens. He is capable of playing all over the field (Sort of like Malcolm Jenkins) and is not shy about getting his nose on the ball, and mixing it up with runners. There are some serious off the field issues to be concerned about, but Doug Pederson has proven to be the type of coach that can handle troublemakers. He is a real high risk, high reward type of guy, if he can keep his nose clean, he could become a star at the next level.
- CB Jaire Alexander (Louisville)- You like ballhawks? Well, no need to look any further than Alexander. A bit undersized (5’11 190), some scouts are put off by, along with a few health concerns, will be the reason this young man falls out of day one. All that aside, if he can stay healthy, he is a legit stud on the outside. With great speed, to run with the fastest of wide-outs, and a knack for finding the ball. He could easily come in and take over at the nickel position, while also adding value to special teams, and if needed, he could be a better than average starter on the outside islands.
- S Justin Reid (Stanford)- The Eagles, have one heck of a safety tandem, in Jenkins and Mcleod, but after those two, it gets a bit murky. The need for depth is a real thing, as the birds’ look to the future, and Justin Reid could be the answer. He may not have the range of Earl Thomas, but he does everything very well. A solid tackler in the run game, and has excellent coverage ability, Reid is a true difference maker on the back end. Although he isn’t as highly touted as his big brother (Eric Reid), he is everything if not more than his brother was coming out of college. The addition of this young prospect would go a long way with finding solid depth, and the future when all-pro Malcolm Jenkins, decides to hang it up.
- S Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)- 6’3 218 lbs, Harrison is built like Seattle Seahawks, Kam Chancellor, but is far better in coverage. Built to be a tone setter on defense, Harrison, has stood out in all aspects of the game, from the run to special teams. He is a ball hawk, that knows how to find the end zone when he gets his hands on the ball. Capable of playing, both Safety spots, the nickel, Dime linebacker, and a little bit of outside corner, he adds a versatility that teams covet in the NFL. Adding him to an already dominant defense would keep opposing offenses awake at night.
- CB Kameron Kelly (San Diego State)- I may of put him down as a corner, but Kelly has all the tools to play at every DB spot. He is solid in coverage, and never seems to shy away from contact. He would need a little bit of time to develop, but his potential and upside, would be too good to pass up on in the later rounds. He has good size (6’1 195), and although he isn’t the fastest corner, he always seems to take the right angles, while finding the ball in mid-air. Kelly would be a solid pick up for the Eagles, adding to an already impressive DB room.