With all respect due to the great Brian Dawkins, perhaps the most beloved Philadelphia Eagles star of all time, the safety position isn’t one of those glamorous jobs at any level of football. Once upon a time, the cornerback position was like that too. They were the lunch pale guys, and then ‘Neon’ Deion Sanders made playing the position seem cool.
He also had everyone wanting to wear the number 21 jersey and every owner looking for the next ‘shutdown’ talent.
Over time, we’ve been told that cornerbacks are wide receivers that can’t catch and safeties are corners that can’t run. A good safety is often expected to be a wrecking ball that has no regard for his own body and safety. It’s also a plus if he’s a bit of a ball hawk. Again, see Brian Dawkins.
Here’s a first look at the perfect elixir for all the Eagles’ ills at safety.
You’re probably asking yourself what the point is, right? We’re glad that you asked. The point is this.
We always discuss the fact that the Eagles always seem to be in need of EDGE and wide receiver help, but despite the fact that they always seem to be a safety or two short, we don’t spend hours upon hours trying to determine how they’ll address their last line of defense.
Philly hasn’t taken a linebacker in Round 1 of any NFL Draft since they took Jerry Robinson out of UCLA in 1979, but they haven’t taken a safety in Round 1 since they took Ben Smith out of Georgia in 1990. Oh, and get this. They haven’t taken a safety in Round 1 before then or ever since.
Well, let’s spoil the surprise here. This won’t be the year in which they break the safety jinx on during the selection meeting’s opening night, but if they’re looking to fill the need in the mid-rounds, which is a very real possibility, there’s a franchise within arm’s reach that will be sitting under their noses. All they have to do is sniff.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce those of you that don’t know him to Nick Cross, formerly of the Maryland Terrapins. He’s six-foot-one. He tips the scales at 210 pounds, and in 27 career games at the collegiate level, he racked up 134 total tackles, four sacks, five picks, ten pass breakups, and three forced fumbles.
He’s also a fan of Dawk. In a recent interview on Good Morning Football, he expressed that he used to watch highlight reels of Weapon X to fire himself up on game days. He also ran an official 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the most recent NFL Scouting Combine. The guy’s a beast. Take a look at what he did in Indy and his interview on NFL Network.
Seriously, how can you not like this guy? Philly has work to do to upgrade their safety position seeing as how they figure to lose both of their starters from 2021 (Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris). Cross isn’t the perfect choice. He can stand to correct a few areas before he starts his NFL game, but that’s why NFL teams employ position coaches.
This is definitely someone to consider. Keep an eye o him as we move through the draft process. From where we sit, he looks like someone that’s capable of delivering everything we thought we’d get from K’Von Wallace.