Move KC To DB?

Posted: February 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 30 Comments »

Paul Domowitch recently had a suggestion in a column that the Eagles should move Keenan Clayton to Safety.  That’s where he began his career at Oklahoma before shifting to LB (Clayton, not Domo).  Interesting idea.

I would be open to a move like this.  We’ve got 3 guys in place in Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, and Jaiquawn Jarrett.  We need a fourth to add to the mix, whether that is a free agent, draft pick, or someone else (Keenan).  I’m not prepared to discuss FA because I need to do research.  I don’t want to just throw out a bunch of “maybes”.

As for the draft…the Safety class sucks.  S-U-C-K-S.  Safety is a position that I absolutely love.  Every year I obsess over some 6th or 7th rounder or UDFA that I’m sure is going to make it.  I worshipped WVA’s Shawn Hackett and Rick Sherrod a decade ago.  I loved Chris Young from Georgia Tech.  James Boyd from Penn State was awesome.  I was ready to put Illinois star Justin Harrison in the Hall of Fame back in 2008.   Just last year there was Byron Landor from Baylor.  Oops.

Right now here is my top group of Safeties.  This is subject to a lot of change since I’m still doing lots of tape study/research.

Mark Barron
Antonio Allen
Harrison Smith
Markelle Martin
Janzen Jackson
Brandon Taylor
George Iloka

Barron is legit.  High quality player that will probably go early 2nd round.  After that, things go downhill in a hurry.  I like Antonio Allen, but he’s hardly a guy to fall in love with.  Mike Mayock loves Harrison Smith, but I’ve watched tape of him recently and just don’t see it.  The other guys have good traits, but also serious flaws.  The bottom trio are all shaky tacklers.

I might still find some late round guy of interest, but for now this Safety class is not something to be excited about.  The Eagles would be looking at a STer or project most likely.  Does that sound like what you want?  Yes, the team could take Barron, but he’s nowhere close to being worth pick 15 and he won’t last to our 2nd round spot.  Moving back for him is complicated.  Also, I’m not sure that he’s a guy that is so good that I’d build my draft plans around him.

Back to Clayton.  Our trio of Safeties is made up of solid guys.  If I could add something to the mix it would be either a big guy or top flight athlete.  Clayton is a big guy.  He’s a great athlete for a LB, but not necessarily for a Safety.  Still, he’s a guy that we don’t currently have in the secondary.  I think he’s got the raw ability to play back there.  He runs well.  Tackles well in space.  Has good cover skills.

The downside (and what makes this unlikely) is that he’d have to learn how to play a new position.  Practice time at Oklahoma as a Safety is far different from game time in the NFL back there.  Clayton could be one of those freaks who would make the transition smoothly (Julian Edelman for instance), but he could also get back there and look completely lost.  Is it worth it to ruin the progress he’s made at LB with a move like this?

Like I said, not likely to happen.  Interesting idea.  Clayton showed a lot of promise late in the year as a STer and role player.  I still don’t know if he could ever start.  I do hope that the defensive coaches figure out a way to get him on the field more.  We need his athleticism when facing the Vernon Davis/Jermichael Finley/Gronkowski’s of the world.

* * * * *

Good notes up at ScoutsNotebook on some defensive players.  I can see Jim Washburn sending love letters to DT Jared Crick.  There’s a short video clip in the notes that will show you why.

30 Comments on “Move KC To DB?”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 12:12 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    It does sound interesting.
    I am always in favor of utilizing the talent we have in the best possible ways.
    I think we didnt do that last year. Find out what the players you have can do and plan and scheme accordingly.

  2. 2 Alex Karklins said at 12:26 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    I think it could be a good idea to use Clayton as a safety in goal line situations, but the rest of the time? Maybe in an emergency situation, or as the S/LB hybrid role that Dawkins used to play.

    Although, now that I think of it, didn’t McDermott give him some time at safety against the Colts in 2010?

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 12:38 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Yes he did play a hybrid role in that game.

    A hybrid role might be ideal for him since he’s not a great LB or S.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 2:56 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Ya McDermott ran some weird games w/ the Safeties I’ll always remember the 3 high safeties as a nickel defense.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 12:40 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Linky no workie Tommy.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 1:41 PM on February 4th, 2012:


  7. 7 Anonymous said at 1:16 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Marsh would make more sense at S than Clayton. Marsh has good size, and as a former RB probably isn’t adverse to contact. And he has FS speed and experience at CB. Giving him some reps at safety as well as CB would make sense if you think he’ll be behind Hughes this year, but if you think you want him to play RCB with Aso moving inside against top TEs, then you’re better off having him focus on playing CB first.

    Clayton is too stiff to play S, if he was credible there he’d never have been moved to LB in college, because he has the straight line speed to play safety (so do Rolle and Chaney for that matter). As a nickel LB he can be used in some packages where you’d substitute a safety because he covers very well for a LB, but even as an in the box SS, he’d be below average in coverage – and he’s really not physical enough for that role, though he did make progress in 2011.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 1:43 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    He could play in the box. The SS is out on the edge there. Clayton struggles in traffic vs OL. Being near the LOS, but on the edge is different. Still not ideal for him, but he’d be okay there.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 1:54 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Any thoughts on Markelle Martin? Round 3?

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 1:59 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    I see him in the 4th or 5th. Generally a good tackler. Has some coverage ability. Not sure how athletic he is. Not a guy who I’d expect to step in and help much in 2012.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 2:50 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Off topic here, Tommy, but what are your opinions on 2nd and 3rd rd QB’s. It seems that they generally don’t become good starters.

    Kolb, Schaub, Dalton and Brees appear to be the only ones to be current starters.

    Most starters appear to be 1st rd picks or late/undrafted players (Romo, Cassel, Brady, Fitzpatrick).

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 3:03 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    True. You generally get a stud early or develop some guy from the late rounds. Digging for mid-round gold doesn’t often pan out. QB is a very odd position. If we don’t make a move for RG3, I hope we wait til late. If Wilson slides to the 5th, I’d be happy to add him. Not sure about who I like real late, if anyone.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 3:07 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Tysyn Hartman looked pretty good during the bowl game vs Arkansas. Any thoughts on him or Duke Ihenacho?

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 3:41 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Gotta watch Hartman. I think he’s 6’3, so that interests me. All Big 12 this year. Always a good sign.

    Duke is of interest. Didn’t watch SJSU much this year, but think he might have been hurt or just not as good as 2010. He’s certainly on my list to study.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 3:38 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Side note to Bounty Bowl– Great work on the Readings links. Lots of good stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. Thanks.

  16. 16 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:37 PM on February 4th, 2012:


    Can you help me decide wether to like Michael Floyd and Devon Still or not? There is no doubt that they are both talented players that to some extend fits what the Eagles need/are looking for…

    I know you are not sold on Still at 15 – neither am I. But my issue with these two players is that they didn’t participated at the Senior Bowl. Does that reflect a lack of willingness to compete? If so, I want no part of them regardless of talent. I only want high effort guys, who are willing to work as hard as it takes to succeed…

    Am I too hard on them, or is it fair to put a red flag on players that shy away from competition?

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 5:52 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Floyd supposedly has a rib injury that kept him out. Didn’t hear that before the game, only after. Could be legit or could be excuse.

    I’m really bothered by Still skipping. Not a good sign. I’m thinking he might end up being 2nd round guy for me.

  18. 18 Mac said at 7:43 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    No offense to KC… but he isn’t Seth Joyner.

    I think I’m in the “special LB” crowd more than the “big safety” crowd.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 7:58 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Re: QB Russell Wilson


    Based on what you’ve seen to date, how would you compare Wilson’s *pocket presence* to (i) Vick’s, versus (ii) Brees?

    Also, is Wilson a run-first guy? Or a pocket guy?

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 9:20 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    Russell is a QB. Just set NCAA record for passing efficiency.

    Pocket presence is something I need to study. Had a very good OL at Wisconsin so it may be hard to judge.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 10:19 PM on February 4th, 2012:

    i always like keenan clayton. he plays with a lot of moxie and pride, and he makes plays. but apparently he’s a terrible practice player. so i imagine he may not look so good in practice at safety but they play him back there from time to time.

    instead of making him a safety per se, why not play with 4 linebackers from time to time? what’s the difference between playing a safety in the box, and a 4th linebacker who goes in zone a lot? maybe he can cover the slot or TE…

  22. 22 Matt Hoover said at 3:33 AM on February 6th, 2012:

    Would KC be a 3-4 LB?

  23. 23 Matt Hoover said at 12:40 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    Everytime you and others write, Keenan isn’t quite the starter, or I don’t think he can ever be a starter, just puzzles me, I think he should one of our starters this year. Runs Well, Tackles in Space, Can Cover, what more do we need? Get off Blocks? Stick him at will

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 1:26 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    Can’t do that in the current system. WLB lines up over the LG/LT area. Keenan isn’t big/strong/tough enough to handle blockers.

    If this was the Tampa 2 and he was way out wide, that might work. I’d love to see them find a way to get him on the field more, but he’s got to be a functional run defender. Hasn’t been that in first 2 years.

  25. 25 Matt Hoover said at 3:30 AM on February 6th, 2012:

    When has he had a start to prove he isn’t capable asa functional run defender? He is the only LB(before matthews I guess) Who came from a big school, started and played well in a pro defense in college, in big time pressure games who we drafted, he was a top recruit coming out of high school, I don’t honestly understand why he never had a chance to start for us at WLB or now Sam, we start undrafted LBs from small schools over a 4th round pick. Makes 0 sense, If he was such a bust he wouldn’t be taking up a space on the roster. We seem to have trouble covering the TE, so much we moved a CB in to cover the TE this year, why isn’t KC the Coverage LB? Isn’t the job of the Sam in this system? It even took forever for KC to become a Nickel LB. I remember at times this year he played the run well. If you have some examples of sloppy run defending please show me. I respect your opinion and pretty much live on this site I check it 3 times a day since you moved to this site.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 12:42 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    From what I read the new DB coach has produced several Pro Bowl safeties over his career and I would think that he should at the very least improve all 3 S so that they’re solid starters. I know Dawkins is looking to possibly retire, but if we can offer him the $2mil he made last yr as a starter to be our 3rd or 4th S, maybe 5-15 snaps per game give or take depending on his health, he’d be a perfect fit. People underestimate what players like Ray Lewis, Tebow & Dawkins can improve a team as a whole. If they can bring him in primarily as a leader and coach more so than a player he can he can help dramatically improve our young S careers as well as the D and the whole team. And if he understands just how good of a chance we have of winning the SB in either ’12 and/or ’13, there is no other player in the Reid era that I feel deserves and would enjoy watching winning his first SB with the Eagles. His value to the team is priceless compared to Ronnie Brown, V. Young or Steve Smith and for only $1-2 million I hope Andy and Lurie do everything they can to bring him back for an Eagles SB victory. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe he’ll become a S coach after playing 1-2 more yrs.

  27. 27 Brian Winings said at 1:05 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    Here’s what Brian Dawkins said about the possibility of playing for the Eagles again when interviewed by Jeremiah Trotter two weeks ago:

    “No, the place that I would be would be with the Broncos. I mean, my family’s here, I’m here now and, uh, you know, my kids are in school here. I’m not moving them nowhere. So the place that I would be would be here with the Broncos. If they gave me a chance to play and that’s if the Lord put it in my heart to play another year.”

  28. 28 Kristopher Cebula said at 1:54 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    i believe he is still under contract with denver. the decision is not his to make and he probably cannot really comment on it. denver would have to cut him. i don’t see dawk wanting to come be a fourth safety. he can still start for some teams out there. also, being a fourth safety would usually require special teams duties, which dawk probably doesn’t want to do on a regular basis at this point. i would love to see dawk as an eagle again, but i think we’ll have to wait till his number retirement for that

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 11:26 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    Dawk is a free agent but I doubt he will play another year. And coming here to ride the bench is different than ray Lewis and tebow. I don’t see it happening unless he is healthy enough to play as a third safety. I would think dawk wants to play in the SB. Not just watch from the sidelines, unless like u said it was in a coaching position.

    I agree tHat we need a leader on that D really bad.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 11:31 AM on February 5th, 2012:

    I heard didinger on the radio talking about how bad he wanted n bowman from Penn state and we took Teo. He is always talking about how he wanted this player instead of that but he never mentions the ones where he was wrong, it’s only the ones where he was right.

    He also mentioned eagles never drafted a Penn state D player, ever. That seems crazy to me.