Could the Eagles make a move up?
The role, usage, and need for the Eagles again reiterate using a first-round selection on Gardner-Johnson and arguably justifies moving up for the talented defensive back if need be. McLeod’s unclear future opens up a possible long-term starting position Gardner-Johnson in year two while adjusting to the transition from college to the pro’s seeing and a ton of playing time as the team’s third safety.
Jim Schwartz and his defensive staff may also eye keeping Maddox at cornerback instead of safety in 2019, which may end up being the best solution for the Eagles as they search for a starting cornerback duo the team can consistently depend upon.
The unfortunate circumstances of keeping Maddox at cornerback — the safety depth is a huge question mark for Philadelphia moving forward and gives Howie Roseman and company even more reasoning in making a defensive back higher up the priority list entering the draft. With every point listed above, this further backs the stance of selecting Gardner-Johnson with the team’s first pick.
Philadelphia also shares a high opinion on the talented defensive back after a source close to the team tells Inside The Iggles the organization is very high on the ex- Florida Gator.
"“Based off the team’s interviews during pre-draft visits, the Eagles love Gardner-Johnson,” the source stated. “The organization views him as a high-character guy. We’ve graded him very high on our draft board.”"
Gardner-Johnson is an intriguing prospect to add to a questionable secondary. His versatility and coverage ability offer the Eagles a potential immediate impact from their first round pick in 2019 while providing much-needed stability at a position that has more questions revolving around the future of the safety unit than answers.