Eagles Analysis: Five dark-horse candidates to make final roster

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Aug 29, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back John Crockett (38) rushes with the football as Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jerome Couplin III (21) defends during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Couplin

Over the past year, Jerome Couplin has become one of my favorite developmental prospects on the roster. If you’d like to know why, look no further than this passage from Forbes.com:

"Physically, Couplin is a freak of nature. Standing at 6’2 and 215 lbs. he is in the mold of new big and quick defensive backs such as Seattle Seahawk Kam Chancellor. At his Pro Day on March 18, Couplin ran the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He also had a vertical of 41.5 inches and a standing broad jump of 11 feet 2 inches, all accomplished outside in rainy, 32 degree conditions. But it’s when the ball is in the air that Couplin earns his nickname. Much like the “Osprey,” Couplin has an 81 inch wingspan, which means that he can practically touch his knees when standing straight up. Coupled with his jumping ability, Couplin’s physical attributes are a defensive coordinator’s dream. To put it into perspective, Couplin can catch a football 13 feet in the air (the top of a basketball backboard), or dive for a football a car length away. His Pro day results in the 40 yard dash, three cone drill, and bench press numbers tied or beat the projected top two safeties in this year’s draft (Alabama’s Ha‘Sean “Ha-Ha” Clinton Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor ). Couplin’s results in the standing broad jump are the best for a safety in the last 10 years at the combine and his vertical would have been first among safeties at this year’s combine."

And then there’s this highlight reel:

Couplin’s freakish measurables and athleticism are apparent, yet he still has a way to go to become a proficient coverage safety. Regardless, the staff appears high on Couplin, and he’s really flashed at times this summer. Couplin has been a menace around the line of scrimmage during the games, and could be a real asset as a special teamer and potential starter down the road. If the staff is going to gamble on a young and talented player, Couplin is the way to go. Safety is a weak position, and lacks any compelling rotational players beyond the starters. Chris Maragos and Chris Prosinski are special teams assets, but are hardly players you want taking starter’s snaps.

Next: Ed Reynolds