Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster: The cornerbacks (6)
Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Craig James, Shakial Taylor
When you look at some position groups for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team doesn’t look all that bad. The Birds are solid in the trenches, have an intriguing running back and wide receiver room, and have a quarterback who can take large strides with the new coaching staff.
Then you take a peek at the cornerbacks and all hope is lost.
Make no mistake, Darius Slay is a solid CB1. His days of being an All-Pro are gone, but he’s still a great cornerback to have. After him, however, the options are unattractive.
Avonte Maddox will move to the nickel where he had his best season as a rookie. His frame simply can’t last on the outside against physical receivers. But who is going to replace him as CB2? It likely won’t be just one name, hence the four other players listed to round out the position.
Despite his struggles against the Cowboys last year, Michael Jacquet deserves an opportunity for the job and should make the roster. At six-foot-two and with long arms, he’s physically capable of being a solid outside cornerback, but one has to wonder if his confidence is depleted.
Zech McPhearson is a rookie with impressive physical traits, but it appears cruel to throw the Day 3 rookie to the wolves. Craig James will make the roster due to special teams upside, but he’s a candidate to field some valuable cornerback snaps for the Eagles as well.
Last year, Jim Schwartz listed him as one of the most improved players coming into the 2020 season, but he was only able to play four games due to multiple injuries. According to Schwartz, his coverage skills improved tremendously. James is certainly worth a look at for the Eagles.
Lastly, former Indianapolis Colt Shakial Taylor was claimed off the waivers in February and he lands as the sixth cornerback. He was coached by Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon last year and in this projection, those ties help him land on the 53-man roster. Josiah Scott is another candidate to make the roster to provide some nickel depth.
Update: Eagles agree to terms on a one-year deal with Steven Nelson on July 25th. Place him on the 53-man roster and remove Michael Jacquet who made the team at the time of this story’s release.