CB for Eagles? Not So Fast Says Daniel Jeremiah

Many are now defaulting to a CB for the Eagles in the first round but Daniel Jeremiah is second-guessing that sentiment, saying don't be surprised if they go edge rusher
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PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles need bodies at cornerback so it's understandable as the draft hype reaches a fevered pitch, many have landed on the position as Howie Roseman's most likely path in the first round.

Perhaps the Eagles GM jumps ahead of Dallas to try to secure Patrick Surtain, Jr. or stands pat at No. 12 and selects another legacy in South Carolina's Jaycee Horn.

The tea leaves leading many to that thesis include a failure to address the position in free agency and the actual draft board itself, particularly the dearth of well-regarded defensive linemen, a typical Eagles target, as well as Jonathan Gannon's history as a secondary coach.

Beware of that last assessment, however, according to former Eagles scout and current NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

"Obviously your scheme is going to inform how you stack the players and what they'll do for you," Jeremiah explained via video conference call on Wednesday.

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Jeremiah noted that the new Philadelphia defensive coordinator's most recent history in Indianapolis was in a defense that values production up front, much like Philadelphia under former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

The same is also true of Gannon's work history in Minnesota before Indy where Mike Zimmer builds his entire scheme around the pash rush.

"When you look at that defense with the Colts and you kind of go back through that scheme and trace it back through [Rod] Marinelli, that scheme was more front dependent than coverage dependent," explained Jeremiah. "That's why to me I could see them going with an edge rusher [at No. 12]."

Jeremiah noted Roseman's history of moving up and down the draft board to find the best bang for his buck and Michigan's Kwity Paye could be that bang.

If Roseman doesn't think Paye should go as high as 12, another move back could be in the offing.

"If the Eagles were going to move around, which with Howie you always know that's an opportunity, even when he's at 12, I don't know if he's going to stay there; he's going to go up or down again," Jeremiah said. "If he goes up you could make a case for somebody like a [Kyle] Pitts on the offensive side. But to me, if they slide down in the draft, it's going to point more towards the edge rush and trying to get some more young guys in there."

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Another noted personnel evaluator, the legendary Gil Brandt, also recently mentioned the ability to get CBs later in the draft especially when compared to offensive and defensive linemen, the usual default setting of the Eagles when they are drafting in the top half of the first round.

While the edge doesn't seem like an immediate need for the Eagles Brandon Graham is 33 and both Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat are entering contract years.

"I like Sweat, he's going to be a good player," said Jeremiah, "but Brandon is getting a little bit older and so finding another guy there - I think that defense is more front-to-back driven than back-to-front driven."

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.

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