Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Round 2, Pick 53
The Eagles could and should grab a safety in this year’s draft. With Rodney McLeod on the final year of his contract and Malcolm Jenkins in his 30s, it’s time to start looking towards the future. Also, the Eagles tend to allow their third safety to get a significant amount of snaps throughout the year. Before Corey Graham filled that role but his days in Philly are over.
They don’t need to make safety such a priority to the point where the Eagles need to draft a guy with the 25th pick, but the second round should have some valuable talent on board. In this case, the Eagles grab Virginia’s, Juan Thornhill. He’s a cornerback-converted-safety, which matches the Eagles interests to a T, considering Jenkins’ history as a defensive back.
It will take Thornhill some more time to develop as a full-time safety, but he could potentially be Malcolm Jenkins successor in terms of not only being a high-IQ leader in the defensive backfield but also covering guys in the slot as well. Thornhill could create an instant impact on the Eagles defense by getting into the rotation as early as week one.