Philadelphia Eagles: Is The Secondary Ready?


Heading into the offseason the secondary was a key component of the Philadelphia Eagles defense needing to be addressed. Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, and Eric Rowe joined the secondary this offseason. Now the only remaining question appears to be: Which players stay and which ones go? With players such as Chris Prosinski and Ed Reynolds fighting for a roster spot, the development of Walter Thurmond serving as a safety immensely affects their chances of making the team.

The most infamous memories of last season for the Eagles defense arose from their porous secondary. Dez Bryant, Allen Hurns, Jordy Nelson, and John Brown all tormented the Philadelphia Eagles secondary last season. Given the current dynamic of the NFL, it would make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles to keep a loaded secondary in 2015.

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  • During Head Coach Chip Kelly’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team has been more than willing to keep extra bodies in the secondary. In 2013, the Eagles retained 12 players in the secondary at the final cutdown.

    As is the case with the wide receivers, fringe players like the aforementioned Reynolds and Prosinski will be counted upon to provide special teams help. While Prosinski has experience as a quality special teamer, he’s also in direct competition with Chris Maragos in the secondary and on special teams. The versatile Jaylen Watkins is attempting to find a roster spot as well in the secondary.

    Perhaps the most interesting player to keep an eye on during OTAs, mini-camp, and training camp will be 6th round pick JaCorey Shepherd. According to Pro Football Focus, Shepherd allowed a QB Rating of 53.0 on passes thrown into his coverage, the 10th-highest mark in the 2015 draft class. Shepherd has reportedly been shadowing Brandon Boykin during OTAs (nickel?) and even took part in kick return drills. His experience as a wide receiver not only bolsters his coverage ability, but could allow him to serve as a multi-purpose roster spot.

    Ultimately, I feel that the secondary is going to be where the Philadelphia Eagles retain a high number of players. With Earl Wolff‘s nagging injury history, it makes sense for the team to carry five safeties. With Walter Thurmond acting as a safety however, I believe this means the end of the road for Ed Reynolds and newcomer E.J. Biggers.

    As for the corners, I strongly believe in the upside Shepherd brings to the table, and think he can find a spot on the roster. He will join Rowe, Maxwell, Boykin, Watkins and Nolan Carroll in rounding out the corners. A total of 11 players, with key contributors on special teams, seems fitting for this Philadelphia Eagles secondary.

    Next: Who Starts At Linebacker For The Eagles?

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