The Eagles announced on Friday evening that they have claimed former Niners cornerback Alex Brown off the waiver wire. While this may seem like a minor move, it could hold some extra weight given today’s main talking points.
Brown went undrafted out of South Carolina State and caught on with San Francisco after trying out during their rookie minicamp. At 5’11, 170 lbs, it’s clear from the tape below that Brown plays a little taller than that and thrives at the point of the catch due to an aggressive mindset.
Why is his height important, you ask?
Well, Cre’Von LeBlanc, the Eagles current backup nickel corner was absent from practice today, despite the fact he appeared to be fully healthy on the opening day of camp just one day beforehand. There was some trade speculation, specifically concerning the New York Jets due to their hole at corner and LeBlanc’s connection to GM Joe Douglas, who helped bring him to Philadelphia.
Jim Schwartz downplayed that sentiment, stating his absence was injury-related and that tests are being done. Now, either this injury is expected to be slightly more significant, or LeBlanc’s future may be up in the air.
Brown ran a 4.44 40-yard time during his pro day, also posting a decent 7.2-second three-cone drill. There’s a good chance that the Eagles are bringing in an insurance policy in the event that for whatever reason, LeBlanc is absent longer than expected.
As far as trade speculation, while it’s clear to see the reasoning in a LeBlanc trade, it’s also hard to do so without countering. Malcolm Jenkins had to take on second-team nickel duties today, on top of his workload as a first-team safety. That shouldn’t happen and if a trade were to take place, the situation is less than ideal given that both Mills and Darby are both unable to practice as of right now.
The Eagles are flooded with cornerback depth, but the current landscape doesn’t portray that…and if LeBlanc is out in the cold, for whatever reason, after his 2018 breakout, then Alex Brown could be eyeing a potential spot as his replacement.