You’ll all take credit for knowing this now. As you know, hindsight is always seen in 20/20 vision, but over the years, those of you that have kept up with what was being said about former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas will be able to attest to something.
The conversations or criticism (or both) that followed the man Philly selected with the 99th-overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft wasn’t ever as derogatory in other cities or in any other media markets as it was in the City of Brotherly Love and among Eagles fans.
Too often, we’re swift to dismiss young talent with phrases like ‘he sucks’ or ‘he’s a bust’. Perhaps we should spend our time investigating why these guys struggle in Philly, they leave, and find success somewhere else.
How’s Nelson Agholor doing by the way? How are those Indianapolis Colts wide receivers looking with Mike Groh as their position coach? Did anyone notice that Zach Ertz can still play? Why is it that we seemingly have these conversations constantly?
Former Eagles starter wins NFC Player of the Week honors.
Just in case you haven’t been keeping score, Derek Barnett is the only remaining member of the Eagles’ 2017 eight-man draft class that’s still on the roster, and he has one foot out of the door. Sidney Jones, their second-round selection that year, is a starter at cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks.
Mack Hollins, the first of two selections for Philadelphia in Round 4, is still a serviceable special-teams talent for the Miami Dolphins. He also has three receiving touchdowns on the season. Yes, that’s one more than Jalen Reagor has (and Hollins has done it on 23 fewer targets).
The man the Eagles selected in Round 3 that season was Rasul Douglas. He started 20 of 52 career games in an Eagles jersey (including the playoffs) but was allowed to walk in 2020. He also just won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors following a five-tackle performance where he deflected four passes and intercepted a pass that he returned 33 yards for a touchdown. Do you see where this is headed?
Rasul Douglas isn’t any faster than he was when he played in Philadelphia, and somehow Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has managed to make him serviceable. Meanwhile, the Eagles are constantly looking for help at the cornerback position and will, more than likely, draft another one in 2022. The nightmare never seems to end.
Sometimes the diagnosis isn’t as simple as ‘he sucks’. Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances. Douglas has the potential to be a player in this league, and for anyone that has been paying attention, the evidence of that was seen when he was playing for the Eagles if you were paying attention.
You know what? Something tells us that Barnett will leave, join another team next season, and, all of a sudden, morph into the player that we were told he’d be when the Eagles took him 14th-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.