1. The Philadelphia Eagles might be comfortable with three safeties.
Yesterday, it was announced that Will Parks will be out for four to six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in practice. Many fans were excited to see what Schwartz would draw up on defense with a guy as versatile as Parks, a proven veteran who can line up at safety, slot corner, and even in the box as a linebacker.
Despite that loss, the Eagles might be of the mindset that Parks will recover quickly and that the other three other safeties expected to make the roster can step up. Philly finished the 2019 season with three safeties on the roster so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they’d emter the 2020 season with three guys at the position.
Rodney McLeod is expected to play deep in the single-high safety/centerfield role as he usually does. He’ll be the leader of this group with Malcolm Jenkins gone. Jalen Mills is transitioning to safety this year, which some fans felt was long overdue after he experienced struggles on the outside at cornerback.
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The ‘Green Goblin’ is one of the best tacklers on the team and missed just three tackles last year which rounds out to a 6.8 missed tackle percentage. That was slightly better than Malcolm Jenkins who ended up at 6.9 percent. The Birds might plan to put Jalen Mills in the box at times and fill some of the void that Parks will leave during his absence.
Fourth-round selection K’Von Wallace also played multiple spots in Clemson’s defense a season ago. Doing that at NFL game speed is obviously a much more difficult task, especially since there were no preseason games this year to help him get into a groove. Still, the Birds might be able to use him in a few different packages and ease him into the action rather than expecting him to step up right away.
Wallace has also trained with Brian Dawkins and Troy Vincent so maybe he’s a bit more ready than fans know. For a defense that doesn’t usually send much extra pressure at the quarterback, Wallace gives them the opportunity to do that with his ability to get to the quarterback on blitzes. Maybe the Eagles think this guy is ready to have a role already.
Avonte Maddox is likely staying at corner this year, but the ‘Birds’ were willing to move him around in his rookie year and might rely upon their secondary’s versatility rather than keep one extra player.