The Eagles made an interesting move earlier today, announcing that they’ve traded Terrence Brooks to the Jets in exchange for cornerback Dexter McDougle. Here are five takeaways from the trade:
Where does he fit?
The former third round pick out of Maryland has had a bumpy start to his NFL career so far. Injuries have plagued McDougle since he first stepped into the league and when he’s been healthy, his presence has been felt most heavily on special teams.
Having dropped 14 pounds since last season, the 26-year old has enjoyed a strong preseason for the Jets working out of the slot, totalling three tackles and showing some impressive coverage looks along the way.
If it’s in the slot where McDougle is wanting to find his feet, having to battle against two prove-it enticed veterans in Ron Brooks and Patrick Robinson isn’t going to be an easy task. When you add Aaron Grymes into the mix and how little time McDougle has to make an impact, the chances of success there seem slim.
Perhaps the eagles are moving Robinson to the slot permanently and could benefit from some extra help outside. This would see McDougle compete with the likes of C.J Smith and Jomal Wiltz for a spot at the bottom of the depth chart.
A strong sign for Watkins:
As Training camp progressed, the battle between Terrence Brooks and Jaylen Watkins became very one-sided. What Brooks lacked in coverage ability, he made up for in ball skills and hitting. Watkins found himself scrapping to make plays, but the arrival of Corey Graham made life even harder for the former cornerback.
Watkins then exploded on Thursday night against the Dolphins, making a huge interception and a big tackle in the open field. A missed tackle from Terrence Brooks acted as a catalyst that surged Watkins back into contention for a roster spot.
with Brooks now traded and his replacement competing ahead of the last line of Defense, the future looks slightly brighter for the Safety who played in over 40% of defensive snaps just one year ago.
There’s a reason McDougle was a third round pick back in 2014. The 5’10 corner was a three year starter during his time at Maryland, totalling 151 tackles, 6 interceptions and 22 passes defensed. A former high school teammate of Torrey Smith, McDougle has plenty of potential…but the one drawback has always been staying healthy.
In his senior year at college, McDougle only managed to play inn three games due to a shoulder injury. When he reached the NFL, an Achilles injury ended his rookie year. Last season saw McDougle watching from the sidelines when camp stared due to a hamstring injury, leading to the New York outfit eventually parting ways, placing him on the practice squad after cutting him at the end of preseason.
McDougle was traded to the Eagles as he enters his contract year. Like Ron Brooks and Patrick Robinson, It’s simply now or never for the Maryland product to make an impact in a cornerback corps that craves continuity.