According to Pro Football Talk, the Philadelphia Eagles are shopping cornerback Rasul Douglas.
This isn’t really all that surprising. Sul’ has sort of become the ‘odd one out’ of the Eagles cornerback corps.
Every other corner on the roster is 6’0 or below and outside of Darius Slay, all have slot experience or are better suited to a role inside. Douglas has a lengthy wingspan at 6’2 and is much more of a ballhawk than the firmer tacklers and quicker running mates around him.
The West Virginia product filled in for an injured Ronald Darby as a rookie and performed admirably in his five starts. With 11 passes defensed to his name, it was easy to see why he would be frustrated when instantly benched upon Darby’s return to health.
This is a trend that continued year after year. A healthy starter would go down, Douglas would fill in and turn heads. In 2018, Douglas totaled four games with 9+ tackles in his return to the Eagles defense, not to mention leading the team in interceptions with 3.
He’s not perfect. But he’s a clear embodiment of what almost feels like a disconnect between a front office pick and a coaching staff prototype.
The former third-round pick did get his chance to start in 2019, starting six games in total. The main complaint with Douglas is that he lacks the speed to keep up with some of the quicker receivers in the league. Playing Press has never really been his forte and when there isn’t safety help over the top or there’s a miscommunication, it reflects poorly on his play.
Douglas earned a coverage grade of 49.7 last year per PFF, which is certainly less than ideal, but only 0.1 worse than Jalen Mills, who is now being trialed at Safety. For Douglas, this is something that has been floated around by analysts for ages, but never came to avail.
With 16 appearances last season, development as a tackler, and ball-skills that seem to defy what every other 2019 Eagles cornerback brought to the table, he’s an intriguing trade candidate. Douglas is entering the final year of his rookie contract and if he mirrors the skill-set of a slower, less-instinctive Darius Slay, then there does become a problem of overcrowding.
What happens next is anybody’s guess. But Douglas has proven himself again and again while highlighting the fact that he’s not the ideal fit for this scheme with some clear deficiencies that get exploited. He deserves a fresh start and a chance to play for his payday.
But what will the Eagles get for him?