If you’d have told me on Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles would be heading into day 3 of the NFL Draft having not selected a single cornerback, I’d have probably laughed and taken those odds to the bank, where I’d have withdrawn my life savings and bet against it. The good news is, I’m not living off of beans just yet. The bad news is that the secondary may as well be.
The Story so far
The Eagles made a controversial call in drafting Landon Dickerson last night, a polished IOL prospect who has had three season-ending injuries in four seasons. The pick itself was logical, but would be made far more valuable if the team used their lone third-round pick on a cornerback prospect. That didn’t happen.
Versatile DT Milton Williams was added to the team instead. Isolated, he’s my favorite pick of the three so far. In context, it’s hard to fall in love with the decision given the total lack of self-awareness by Howie Roseman.
Why the Eagles need a cornerback
As we all know, the Eagles came into the draft crying out for cornerback help. Avonte Maddox is probably being pushed back inside as the team’s lone nickel corner of note, while their current CB2 would probably end up being Craig James or Michael Jacquet. At the very minimum, the Eagles needed to find a long-term running mate to partner Darius Slay and eventually grow into his shoes. Those expectations have now been drastically lowered.
Howie Roseman responds
‘Yeah, I think we were going with the board. We got eight picks tomorrow.” He said last night. ‘ We don’t start the season until September. There are other ways to skin a cat. We just wanted to go into the draft, take the best players, and kind of go from there and see what happens tomorrow.”
There are indeed multiple ways to skin a cat. While the current situation is deeply worrying, it’s still a little premature to judge just yet.
It’s not over yet for the Eagles
The Eagles are no strangers to using late-round capital to trade for veterans on day 3 of the NFL Draft. Marquise Goodwin was acquired last year and Hassan Ridgeway one year before that. After bagging an extra sixth-round pick yesterday (and now having 4 at their disposal), there’s a chance the Eagles do trade for a disposable band-aid just to get them through 2021.
This wouldn’t be the first time that has happened either. It took until the Summer of 2017 for the Eagles to shockingly trade Jordan Matthews for Ronald Darby.
In the bigger picture, the Eagles have a trio of first-round picks next year and LSU’s Derek Stingley JR will be the belle of the ball. There’s every chance the Eagles might feel happy enough to stomach one more year of shoddy secondary play in a bid to land his services.
We also know that the team are changing up their defensive scheme and will ask their corners to play a lot more zonal coverage. With more Safety/LB help, perhaps they feel that those two spots, that were attacked in free agency, are more vital to their defense now.
However you slice it, this isn’t a good look for the Eagles. While there is a plethora of talent available deep in the depths of the Draft, this was easily the team’s biggest roster need and it remains unaccounted for. Either this is part of an ingenious master plan, or yet another brick in the wall of a House that may soon collapse.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire