Before the ball hawk: Eric Rowe’s journey to the NFL

Does Eric Rowe have what it takes to be a #1 corner? He sure showed some glimpses that he has the potential to hold that honor after what we saw on Sunday when he picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick.  The rookie also had another great play defending along the sideline that was slightly underthrown, but Eric made a great adjustment to defend the pass intended for speed receiver and Ohio State product Devin Smith.

Rowe played safety in college at Utah in his freshman year. He then had 3 solid seasons at the position but switched to corner in his senior season. He had a great season at corner prompting the Eagles to move down in the second round to draft the versatile player who can play both positions. Rowe posted something sensational on his twitter account in the summer; a video of his intense off season workout and showed his phenomenal athletic ability exciting fans and teammates alike.

Rowe’s combine numbers were impressive and had him ranked as the number 6 corner coming out of the draft behind Trae Waynes (Michigan State), Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest), Byron Jones (Connecticut/ Cowboys), Marcus Peters (Washington), Ronald Darby (Florida State). Rowe was the 5th CB taken in the draft.  He proved to have great ball skills, quick on the break, long length, above average speed and quick decision making skills. However like we saw in pre-season, he lacks elite speed, and could improve his tackling.

The Eagles have been hungry for good cornerback play since the likes of Asante Samuel/ Lito Shepherd / Sheldon Brown were manning the positions.   The team have been pretty good traditionally in grooming their own players. Young athletic playmakers have become a need at the position in the NFL with Corners rapidly becoming some of the biggest stars in the league.

With offenses running a lot more spread offenses, the League has been transformed into a throwing league and young athletic talent is a must.  The average corner lasts approximately 3 seasons in the NFL. Your above average one’s last about 6. Your elite could take you upwards around 10 yrs of good production. Let’s hope Rowe gets us the latter.