Philadelphia Eagles corner back Brandon Boykin could easily be considered the Eagles best Defensive player last season. Shocking when you consider that he was only on the field for roughly 51% of Defensive snaps. Six interceptions, tied for 2nd in the league, 47 total tackles and an irreplaceable part of the Eagles Special Teams, yet Boykin only plays inside on the nickle corner back position. So what gives? I am not totally sold on our current outside corners and while Nolan Carroll looked impressive during his OTA’s appearance, why doesn’t Boykin get his shot at playing outside, should he get a shot at playing the outside corner position?
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly loves size, its a well known fact, but when does production start to mean more than size? In the picture above you can see Boykin, 5’10”, disrupting a pass to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, 6’2″, during a game last season. Bryant is touted as one of the more physically gifted wide receivers in the NFL and often uses his size to his advantage, yet Boykin proves again that size doesn’t always matter. Who can forget his 6th interception of the season which locked in the Eagles as the NFC East Division Champs against the Dallas Cowboys in week 17 last season. One thing that has been missing from the Eagles Defense is an outside play maker and Boykin fits that build. Boykin has proven time and time again that while he might lack ideal size, he can flat out play in the NFL with a knack for getting to the ball.
Coach Kelly has insisted that Boykin’s role as the nickle corner is not due to his inability to play on the outside, but that the nickle corner is such a key position in today’s NFL with teams running 3 wide receivers more often. While I can appreciate where Coach Kelly is coming from, I would really hate to lose Boykin once he is a free agent to a team willing to let him play in an outside corner position. Boykin may very well be happy earning his paycheck from the slot corner position but I believe he is a Defensive gamechanger and would hate to see him in any color other than midnight green. While the idea of losing #22 is speculation at this point, a loss like that would immediately impact the Eagles Defense which would undoubtedly take another step back. The Eagles Defense is improving and we need to make sure to lock up our Defensive play makers like Brandon Boykin.