Coming into the offseason, the safety position was a huge cause for concern. Malcolm Jenkins being allowed to walk into free agency and ending up back in New Orleans (to no one’s surprise) was gut-wrenching for most. It triggered flashbacks of the time when the Eagles chose not to re-sign Brian Dawkins.
Just a side note, Brian Dawkins was on the latest episode of Flippin’ the Birds. If you missed it then feel free to watch it on our Youtube channel or other steaming outlets.
A bigger plan?
The Eagles had a tough decision to make when choosing between a committee of prove-it contracts or Malcolm Jenkins. The team chose to go with a younger vet in Rodney McLeod who could lead the locker room and two more players. The Green Goblin, Jalen Mills was one of those players, making the transition from corner to Safety.
Will Parks would be the third Muskateer joining the two familiar faces. A Philly native, Parks is as versatile as they come. He can play both Safety spots and inside the nickel, standing at 6’1, 218 lbs. In four seasons with the Broncos, Parks has racked up 148 tackles, 4 picks, 13 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles.
The Eagles signed all three veteran players to one-year deals, begging questions over the long-term future at Safety. But all would be revealed soon.
Investing in the future?
As the Eagles got all their ducks in a row with the veteran pieces at safety, the Malcolm Jenkins void was still a lingering shadow. One that Eagles fans felt could come back to haunt them, especially in the playoffs. As the draft began, the Eagles shock the world when they didn’t grab a safety in the second round but instead snatched a QB. It wasn’t until the 4th round where the Eagles found the steal of the draft in K’Von Wallace. Wallace is the exact player that you want to lead this secondary in years to come.
His energy is unmatched, his style of play is exactly what the Eagles have been shooting for all offseason. He can line up at nickel, he can rush the passer, and he can play coverage well. Another side note is how well the rookie can tackle, we all know how tackling has looked for the Eagles secondary for quite some time. K’Von has become an Eagles fan favorite and there’s no secret now that he’s even one of Howie’s favorite picks. He even bragged about Wallace a bit on a call with WIP, Roseman stated:
“K’Von Wallace and his skillset, obviously his DNA is about winning a championship, he’s got it all on his body. He can play low, he can play in space, he can cover over the slot. You know, we needed to add young safeties to the mix. You know we haven’t really had an opportunity to do that, we’re really really excited about him.“
Outside of the Wallace excitement, the Eagles also added another young talent that’s caught the eye of not only Eagles fan but the front office as well. The Eagles signed UDFA defensive back, Grayland Arnold, to the most guaranteed money out of the group. Arnold mentioned on Flippin’ the Birds, that the Eagles had a third-round grade on him. As we all know, the draft was one of the weirdest ones we’ve all experienced. Arnold is definitely a player that can take over for Rodney McLeod at some point. He also stated that the Eagles will use him at FS as Wallace will be used at SS. That young players can grow into a phenomenal tandem if everything goes right for them in the next couple of years.
Who else could be in the mix?
There could be a chance that the Eagles go with six safeties this season. Marcus Epps had a decent opportunity last year but the catch by D.K. Metcalf in the playoffs may have pushed the front office into focusing on the new blood. As for Rudy Ford, the Eagles did invest a draft pick in him but he hasn’t shown much of anything outside of his special teams’ abilities. The world knows that Eagles value special teams more than the next team but they could replace Ford, who will be coming back from an injury, with one of their promising rookies. It’ll definitely be something to watch within the coming weeks or even days as the team has to trim the roster by three more players.
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