Newly-signed Eagles CB Kevon Seymour could be a diamond in the rough

NFL: DEC 13 Saints at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 13: Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Kevon Seymour (41) tackles New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook (87) in the second half during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles on December 13, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

On Friday afternoon, the Eagles announced that CB Kevon Seymour had been signed to a futures contract. This may seem like a fairly standard move, with the Seymour previously set to enter free agency, but it could also be one that pays large dividends.

The Eagles have an emerging track record of finding cornerbacking talent in obscure places. Conversely, they seem to struggle developing the players they spend valuable assets on, but that’s a story for another day.

From seventh-round pick Jalen Mills, to UDFA’s Cre’Von LeBlanc, and Michael Jacquet, the Eagles are no strangers to finding real value in the secondary. Kevon Seymour could be next-in-line to keep the train going.

Seymour was a sixth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills back in 2016. He stands at 6’0, 185 lbs, fitting the Jim Schwartz prototype. The 27-year-old runs a 4.39 40-yard dash, a 6.31 second 3-cone drill, and has a 10’4 Broad Jump. Seymour plays much bigger than his frame, but coming out of College there was a lot of concern about his ball production.

The USC graduate struggled to generate turnovers. He’d often bat balls away but struggle to haul them in and make the big play. After a rookie year where he failed to register an INT in 3 starts, he sought medical advice and it was realized that he needed contact lenses due to being near-sighted.

One year later and with an adjustment made, he was traded to Carolina. His second season did see a bump in production alongside two more starts in 16 appearances, but Seymour still struggled to generate turnovers and started to battle the injury bug.

In 2018, Seymour required double shoulder surgery, meaning he was sidelined for the entire campaign. With a big training camp ahead in 2019, he picked up two more injuries which led to him being cut from the team during the Summer. After playing in 31 games through his first two years, Seymour was out of the league.

He spent the next year working at a tire store and working out at a local gym to stay ready for his next opportunity. That shot would come in the way of a call from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Starved of CB depth, the Eagles promoted him to the active roster with haste and before he knew it, he was lining up against the New Orleans Saints. Seymour played in 35 snaps, amassing 6 tackles but something far more impressive stood out.

To be successful in this cover-3 scheme, corners need a rare blend of speed and physicality. Many corners have one but lack the other. Ronald Darby was rapid but had the power of a paper bag, while Jalen Mills was a freight train that struggled to get off the rails. This years’ cornerback crop did see an improvement, with Darius Slay leading by example, but injuries forced players like Avonte Maddox to the side.

It didn’t take long for Seymour to get up to speed, literally. Not only was he able to cover guys like Emmanuel Sanders with relative ease, staying in hip pockets and gliding stride-for-stride, but he showed a sense of schematic knowledge that starters often lacked.

Seymour was constantly aware of where his safety help was and if it was absent due to having to come down into the box and defend a crosser, he would fly up to center field to provide help on what was likely a corner/post route designed to take advantage of the same miscommunication that had plagued this secondary for 3 years.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was solid enough to draw praise. One week later, he saw 69% of snaps against the Cardinals, who posed a very different challenge. Overall, he allowed 3 completions on 4 targets through 2 games, but two receptions weren’t really his fault as much as it was a scheme breakdown. There was a lot to like in what was a limited sample size before a previously injured Michael Jacquet returned to the fray.

Seymour might not be in-line to win a starting role anytime soon, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that the Eagles will forever be in need of cornerback depth by the time the winter months roll around. Kevon Seymour will be looking to compete for a role on the team during Training Camp and who knows, it might not be the last time we see him making an impact during the depths of the regular season.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire