Eagles Offseason shopping list: Cornerback

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 LSU at UCLA
PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 04: LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (7) looks on during a college football game between the LSU Tigers and the UCLA Bruins played on September 4, 2021 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Next up on our offseason shopping list, the cornerback position.

Prior to the season, and even during the first few weeks, I was of the strong opinion that this would be Darius Slay’s final year with the team. I thought he’d benefit from a trade to a contender at the trade deadline so he didn’t have to suffer in Jonathan Gannon’s system. Well, Slay is still on the team and he’s a huge reason why the Eagles are still in playoff contention. With Slay still playing at an elite near-All Pro level, it’s safe to say he’ll be back in 2022.

But what about CB2? Steven Nelson is on a one year deal and is probably facing an exit. The team did trade for Tay Gowan and Kary Vincent Jr while also adding Mac McCain on waivers about 20 different times. They also have Josiah Scott and rookie Zech McPhearson waiting in the wings.

Is the need for a CB2 high? Maybe not, but the Eagles would be wise to look at the options both in the draft and in free agency.

Free Agency

Top Options
  • Carlton Davis
  • Stephon Gilmore
  • J.C. Jackson
Mid-Tier
  • Darius Williams (I place him here because I question if he can thrive without Ramsey… even though he’d be playing across from Slay. Idk.)
  • Donte Jackson
  • Charvarius Ward
Older Veterans
  • Casey Heyward Jr.
  • Bryce Callahan

While the prize would be one of the top tier, or maybe even mid tier corners, I don’t expect the Eagles to be major players in this market.

Draft Options

Early Rounds
  • Derek Stingley Jr.
  • Andrew Booth Jr.
  • Ahmad Gardner
  • Roger McCreary
  • Kaiir Elam
  • Trent McDuffie
  • Martin Emerson
Mid Rounds
  • Derion Kendrick
  • Nehemiah Pritchett
  • Kyler Gordon
  • Marcus Jones
  • MyKael Wright
  • Alontae Taylor
  • Noah Daniels
Late Round Gems
  • Joey Porter Jr.
  • Sevyn Banks
  • D’Jordan Strong
  • Isaac Taylor-Stuart
  • Jermaine Waller

The cornerback position is deep in the 2022 draft and Howie will have to try really hard to mess this up. It is the perfect opportunity to snag one (or two) blue chip prospects to develop and learn from Darius Slay.

Prediction

I know I said I don’t expect the Eagles to be players in the big name market for free agents, but I’m sure we’ll see them connected to J.C. Jackson. Ultimately, I do not see them signing any free agents at that position. I do see them drafting Andrew Booth Jr. and either Kyler Gordon or Noah Daniels.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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