Cornerbacks – Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, & Brandon Boykin
The short tenure club defense continues!
Mills might possibly be the most talked about player on this whole team, but not for the same reasons as the others.
Philly fans, based on those oh-so-rational Twitter and Facebook opinions, aren’t the fondest of Mills. He was an elite corner in the red zone last season, yes elite:
Jalen Mills dominated in the red zone – forcing incompletions more often on targets inside the 20-yardline than any other cornerback in the regular season pic.twitter.com/BCYaoFSQsZ
— PFF (@PFF) January 18, 2019
But fans will argue that Mills gets those red zone opportunities due to his penchant to getting burnt on a double move (something MANY corners get beat on).
Since entering the league, Mills has the 25th most tackles among corners despite playing in the 53rd most games. Extrapolate those numbers over the same amount of games as the leader, Byron Jones, and Mills would be fifth. I know, I know, coulda, shoulda, woulda. But Mills is the kind of cornerback defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz loves and he isn’t afraid of contact. Fans want the spectacular interceptions, but Mills isn’t that type of corner. Mills will be on the team for years to come, so time to start supporting him.
You know you’re popular with the fans when you get selected to an All-Decades team after only two seasons with the teams.
Rasul Douglas was selected in the third round of the 2017 draft and has shown off his play making abilities in his two seasons. Since 2017, Douglas ranks 19th, tied with players like Malcolm Butler and Chris Harris, with five interceptions. He’s also not afraid to get into the backfield, with six tackles for loss, 19th in the entire NFL among corners.
He combines that ability to get into the backfield with the ability to also go stride for stride down the field with receivers:
On deep targets (20+ yards) – Rasul Douglas put forth the league's 10th-highest grade among cornerbacks. pic.twitter.com/swHKqEOS6k
— PFF (@PFF) March 23, 2019
From week 12 to the divisional round loss against the Saints, ProFootballFocus had Douglas ranked as the seventh best corner in the entire NFL and the best at run defense and tackling.
Even with these stats to back up his talent, it’s quite possible Douglas doesn’t get a starting gig next season. But when he does get on the field, expect plays to be made.
A short, yet productive, tenure with the Eagles lands Boykin on this list as our last corner on the All-2010s team.
Boykin was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft and spent three seasons with the Eagles before being yet another Chip Kelly casualty.
Boykin played in all 16 games in every season with the team, but only started six games in all three seasons combined.
He had a career year in 2013 with six interceptions, tied for second in the league. His performance landed him as the third best corner in the league in ProFootballFocus’ grading system.
At the time of his trade to the Steelers, Boykin was coming off a season where ProFootballFocus ranked him 21st out of all corners. Chip Kelly dealt away an extremely talented player.
Boykin hasn’t been in an NFL game since 2015, having bounced around since then but failing to make an NFL roster.
Brandon, if you’re reading this, just know that we appreciated you here in Philly!
Safeties – Malcolm Jenkins & Rodney McLeod
What more can be said of the Eagles’ Ironman than what has been said already?
Jenkins played in 100% of the snaps in 2018. One hundred percent. Here’s how it broke down:
Malcolm Jenkins 2019 defensive snap breakdown by @PFF:
Defensive line: 122
Slot cornerback: 362
Wide cornerback: 30
Free safety: 148#Eagles
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 17, 2019
He also has never missed a game or start for the Eagles in his tenure with the team.
Since coming to the Eagles in 2014, Jenkins has the 11th most interceptions among safeties and the most pass deflections. He is one of three safeties to play in all 80 games since 2014, and only one of two to start all 80.
He has the fifth most solo tackles, sixth most combined tackles, and the seventh most tackles for loss. Jenkins is all over the field during games. He’s virtually unstoppable.
He is doing things like this in almost every game:
One of my favorite plays from last season. I was actually supposed to blitz! 😳 I realized no one is covering the 3rd receiver, then the ball is snapped.
When mistakes are made you just gotta survive the down. These are the things I take pride in.
Then make it look easy 😤 pic.twitter.com/Kded6gWI4q
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 6, 2019
Jenkins is entering his 11th year in the league, sixth with the Eagles, and is most deserving of a new contract. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles make that contract offer before the season starts and lock up Jenkins for another few years.
Two straight promising years with the Eagles since coming over from the Rams in 2016, but one big injury filled one last year.
McLeod opened his Eagles career with three interceptions in 2016, along with 80 tackles and seven pass deflections.
2017 came with 50 tackles and six pass deflections, but he still had three interceptions.
Last season ended for McLeod after three games when he suffered a knee injury in the game against the Colts.
But despite his short tenure with the Eagles, and only two full seasons with the team, Eagles fans believe he’s the choice for the All-2010s team to pair with Malcolm Jenkins.