Eagles camp notes: Another way to add depth at cornerback
With so many young players and journeymen on the roster, the Eagles could use more depth at the cornerback position.
Fans all knew that it was bound to happen, but they were still caught up in the post-draft and minicamp hype. Now, that things have settled in, the team’s reached the dog days of training camp. One thing’s become abundantly clear. The Eagles need help at cornerback.
The Eagles have a lot of young talent on the roster at the position, but those young players are still developing. Jalen Mills got a lot of experience last year, but he’s still learning the nuances of the NFL. Rookie Rasul Douglas has shown flashes during camp, but he’s also adjusting to the speed of the pro game. Other players like C.J. Smith are beginning to make a name for themselves, but even he could still use some help.
Some of the veterans on the roster have performed well. Others have been suspect. Ron Brooks is showing that he’ finallys fully recovered from the quad injury that ended his 2016 season. He’s played well during camp and looks to be the frontrunner for slot corner. Patrick Robinson on the other hand hasn’t played like a former first-round pick. To say it’s been rough is understating things.
Where can they find help?
The Eagles definitely could use some depth at corner, but where can they find it? Most of the unsigned free-agents are still unsigned for a reason. The next logical move the Eagles could make would be to trade for someone, but in order to get a quality piece, they’re probably going to have to give up a draft pick or one of their more talented players. If there’s a third option, it’s difficult to think of one. They could look at switching the positions of players already on the roster. Jaylen Watkins comes to mind. So does newly-added pieces Corey Graham and Tay Glover-Wright.
The Eagles headlines on Thursday by signing Graham. Head coach Doug Pederson already said that he would probably start out at safety, even though he has experience at both safety and corner.
The depth chart at safety now consists of Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Terrence Brooks, Chris Maragos and Jaylen Watkins. The first two players are locks to make the roster and Brooks has been consistently making plays during camp. Maragos is a special teams ace, which leaves Graham and Watkins as the odd men out if they remained at that position.
Watkins was actually drafted as a corner out of Florida before making the switch to safety. He’s had is ups and his downs, but he’d provide some quality depth at the position.
This is in no way saying that he would be the savior of the position group, but he could create some serious competition. He’s still a young and athletic player with lots of upside. It would benefit both the Eagles and Watkins if he can provide depth to a group that’s lacking in the area. Watkins has great size and speed for the position. Click here to see what was said about him in his draft profile.
A switch wouldn’t hurt
With so much depth at the safety position, Watkins, unless he moves, could also be one of the odd men out, so it would benefit him to move to another position that would allow him to get on the field sooner. It would also allow the Eagles to provide more depth to a position group that is in desperate need of it. Making the move could be a mutually beneficial and help both player and the team. Honestly, at this point, what do they have to lose?