It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles are in an awful situation at safety heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. They lost former starting safety Nate Allen in free agency to the Raiders, where he signed a highly questionable contract. But that leaves them with starter Malcolm Jenkins on one side and a whole lot of questions marks as to who will start on the other side.
That brings us the the answer…and no, I’m not talking about former Sixers guard Allen Iverson. I’m talking about Penn State safety Adrian Amos. Sadly for the Eagles, this year’s draft class is weak at safety but there are some specific players that fit exactly what the team looks for and Amos is one of them. At 6’0″, 218 lbs. with 32 1/4″ arms, Amos checks all the boxes in terms of size that the birds look for in their secondary.
At the combine, Amos ran a 4.56 40-yard dash, which is a solid number. Then he took it to another level at Penn State’s pro day, where the Eagles were actually in attendance as well. Amos ran a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash and posted 21 reps of 225 lbs. at his pro day, according to a report by Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Those numbers are insane when you consider his size and the average numbers at the safety position in those drills.
But it isn’t all about measurables with Amos, what makes him a perfect fit in Philadelphia is his coverage ability. He has experience at both cornerback and safety, which is something the Eagles obviously love. They signed Jenkins because of that and chased Patriots safety Devin McCourty in free agency because of his ability to do so as well. Although he’s mediocre, at best, against the run, Amos is one of the draft’s best safeties in coverage.
For comparison’s sake, let’s compare Amos to a prospect that every national media outlet loves “mocking” to the Eagles, Alabama safety Landon Collins. Now although Collins doesn’t fit the Eagles well because of his weaknesses in coverage, people get lazy and say to themselves “well the Eagles need a safety, and Collins is the best in the class, bang!”
Now here is how Amos stacks up next to Collins in coverage, according to numbers I found in Pro Football Focus‘ great series of CFB posts called College Football Focus:
As you can see by the numbers, Amos excels in coverage and Collins…well, not so much. But it’s not like Amos is just better than Collins in coverage, he was the best safety prospect in all of college football this past season in passer rating against. Amos allowed just a 13.0 NFL passer rating, the next closest player, Akron’s Martel Durant, allowed a 28.1 NFL passer rating. In terms of yards per coverage snap, Amos finished tied for fourth among all safeties.
The Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly have been all over Amos during the draft process. First they had team representatives in attendance at Penn State’s pro day and spent time with Amos watching film at the event. Then they brought him in to the NovaCare Complex for an official pre-draft visit. In order to complete the “we really like you” trifecta, the Eagles worked out Amos at Calvert Hall College High School.
But it wasn’t just an ordinary workout, the Eagles sent a contingent of high ranking members of their staff to watch Amos go through drills individually on the field. Kelly was joined by defensive coordinator Bill Davis and vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz. That’s a pretty big deal, it’s not like they just sent a positional coach to work him out, they sent the “big boys.” Amos talked about the visit and workout with the Eagles in his pre-draft diary for The Baltimore Sun.
"I visited the Philadelphia Eagles this week. It went pretty good. They have a pretty nice facility.I got good feedback from them. They like my versatility at safety and being able to play cornerback.We went to the film room and went over a lot of things. They wanted to see how we pick up defenses and just get an overall understanding of my knowledge of the game.I met with Chip Kelly. I had a brief conversation with him. He mentioned the “Supa Six,” which was cool. We were the “Supa Six” that stayed at Penn State [Amos, Deion Barnes, Bill Belton, Kyle Carter, Allen Robinson and Donovan Smith].I got a pretty good vibe. They said they liked me. I just do what I can control. I don’t really get up and down based on what people say. We’ll see how much all the teams really like me on draft day."
"I worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles at Calvert Hall for their head coach, Chip Kelly. It was a great opportunity to show what I can do. I got to show them how I can move and react to the football. I just did a visit there last week.This was a follow-up workout. It was just another opportunity. I don’t look too much further into it than that.I’m a football fan, so I’ve been watching coach Kelly since he was at Oregon and with the Eagles. He’s a great coach. I don’t know him personally because I’ve never been coached by him. From what I’ve seen and hear, he’s one of the great football minds. Watching him, I try to learn from anybody and any tip I get from any coach. I learn something new every day. I try to take advantage of these opportunities as far as my stock in the draft as a player and just learn more.The Eagles said I did well. I never had trouble with workouts and stuff like that. I’ve just always been able to do those things and move very well."
There isn’t another prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft that the Eagles have shown more interests in than Amos. He clearly checks all the boxes in terms of what they look for in a safety. Now it’s just up to Kelly and the staff to write his name on that draft card and send it in to be announced, ultimately bringing Amos to the City of Brotherly Love.
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