Safety Desired

Posted: April 23rd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Safety Desired

This isn’t the story of a dreamy safety that the ladies all go ga-ga over. We would just call that the Mike Zordich Story. No, this is about the Eagles and their desire to add a young safety to a talented group of veterans.

Malcolm Jenkins is good. And he’s also going to turn 32 this season. Rodney McLeod will turn 29 in June. Andrew Sendejo will be 32 in September. To be fair, the Eagles do have young guys in Avonte Maddox and Tre Sullivan. The problem is that Maddox might be a CB or play in the slot. He’s not locked in at safety. And Sullivan just hasn’t shown that he is someone you want starting. He’s still very much in development.

So, the Eagles could use a young talent to add to the mix.

Here are my quick thoughts on the top guys:

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – Florida – Outstanding prospect. Can play in the slot, in the box or back deep. Explosive. Will hit and tackle. Has good ball skills. Good in man coverage or as a deep centerfielder. The kind of versatile talent the Eagles love in a safety. Possibility at 25. As Jimmy Bama recently pointed out, the Eagles have never drafted a safety in the first round, so that may be unlikely. I’m not sure CGJ falls to the bottom of the second.

Nassir Adderley – Delaware – Another gifted, versatile safety. Small school guy had a good showing at the Senior Bowl. Legit player. Good hitter and tackler. Has good coverage ability and outstanding ball skills. At his best playing deep, but can come up and play in the box.

Taylor Rapp – Washington – Really good player. I’m just not sure he’s an good fit for the Eagles. At UW, he tended to play back and attack the ball in front of him. Good hitter and tackler. I didn’t see much in the way of man coverage. I also didn’t see someone who showed great range on the back end. Not sure Rapp is a guy they’ll have interest in.

Darnell Savage – Maryland – Lacks ideal size at 5-11, 198, but put on the tape and you’ll be impressed. Explosive player. Had a great workout at the Combine and you see that athleticism on the field. Very good in man coverage. Can play all over the field. Plays with a lot of attitude and is a lot of fun to watch. Definitely a player to keep an eye on in the second round. Does he make it to the bottom of the round, though?

Johnathan Abram – Mississippi State – Physical, aggressive player who is outstanding near the line of scrimmage. Would be ideal for the Seahawks system, in the Kam Chancellor role. I don’t think the Eagles will want him. Not as good in coverage.

Marquise Blair – Utah – No idea if the Eagles will like him. I do. A lot. My favorite player in the draft. Blair is like watching the 2019 version of Wes Hopkins. He lines up in centerfield and covers from sideline to sideline. He doesn’t have nearly as good a set of ball skills, but his range is outstanding. Blair comes up hard in run support. He doesn’t care if you’re the RB, OL, TE or someone’s grandmother. You are going down. Hard.

Blair isn’t a headhunter. Those days are gone. But he is a strong, physical tackler. He is an impact hitter. You can cross the middle, but there will be a cost.

I don’t have a good feel for his man cover skills, but I value his ability as a deep safety and hitter/tackler. Would love to see this dude in green.

Juan Thornhill – Virginia – And now we come to the polar opposite of Blair. Thornhill is a former CB and he covers like a CB. He also tackles like one. Thornhill would be ideal for the Eagles system, but he is not my cup of tea. Continually dives at the ankles of players instead of trying to make form tackles or forceful tackles. There were times when I yelled at the screen while watching him. And not in a good way. In the modern NFL, his cover skills may be valued so much you take him and hope he can be developed as a tackler. I’m hoping the Eagles go elsewhere in the second round. If they took him in the first, I’ll be heading to the store for a lot of PBR and pudding.

Deionte Thompson – Alabama – Outstanding deep safety. Good range and ball skills. Didn’t play much for three years, but was very good in 2018. Like Blair, Thompson isn’t a guy who did a lot in man coverage. Inconsistent tackler, but has some pop as a hitter. Had 3 FFs this season.

Jaquan Johnson – Miami – One of my favorite players in the draft. He’s only 5-10, 191. Only ran 4.69 at the Combine. Forget that stuff and watch the tape. Johnson was a playmaker at Miami. Finished his career with 7.5 TFLs, 8 INTs, 3 FRs and 6 FFs. He plays with a real sense of urgency. Every play is the Super Bowl to him. Maximum effort. I see a guy like Thornhill slowly working his way to the ball. I see Johnson going like his life depends on it.

I doubt the Eagles will have interest in Johnson. I’m not sure he’s their type of guy. But I love this kid and will be pulling for him wherever he goes.


Comments are closed.