INDIANAPOLIS – Once again, the Eagles appear headed for a rebuild in the secondary, particularly at cornerback, where both Ronald Dabry and Jalen Mills could depart in free agency.
Then there’s the safety position. Malcolm Jenkins is looking for a new deal – and the sense coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine is that he will get one sooner rather than later with the Eagles. But Rodney McLeod is a free agent and isn’t likely to return.
Do that math and it looks like the Eagles could use two cornerbacks and at least one safety.
Free agency will play a role he re, but so will the draft.
Here are some the Eagle could be interested in coming out of the Combine:
Size: 6-1, 204
Notes: Some mock drafts have him lasting into the second round, but he tested well on Sunday, clocking a 4.39 in the 40, which puts him in the top for the fastest time recorded at any position this season at the Combine … He will go in the first and is in play for the Eagles with their 21 pick. … He is a Pro Bowl in waiting.
Quote: “I have a passion for the game, and I'm a good tackler as well. That's not being said a lot.”
Size: 6-1, 195
Notes: If he is still there late in the third round it would be a mild surprise, though scouts’ views on him vary wildly … Ran a 4.42 … Hoping to be the ninth corner drafted from Clemson since 2010.
Quote: “I would say I’m a competitor. I don’t like to back down from competition. I’m going to give the receiver my best and I know I’m going to get theirs. We’re just going to compete for the whole four quarters.”
Size: 5-9, 191
Notes: May have clawed his way into being a second-round pick after ripping off the second fastest time at the Combine with a 4.29, just .02 behind receiver Henry Ruggs and popped 21 reps on the bench press …
Quote: “(I have) confidence in my ability to play at the next level. I know I’ll be able to rise my stock being here and running fast and talking to you guys. They told me mid to late (round draft pick), but I knew I could improve my stock here.”
Size: 6-1, 205
Notes: Was in the second-round of invites to the Combine, but said that he felt he belonged … Endured injury-plagued 2018 season with a broken right arm and pulled hamstring … Ran a 4.44 at Combine … could be a fourth or fifth round pick … Had four interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 38 tackles last year.
Quote: “I feel like some of the scouts kind of saw my film late. I had a real breakout season this year. The season before I was kind of hurt, so I was kind of under the radar. But I showed them that I could actually play this year; it really brought it up the radar for me.”
School: Mississippi State
Size: 6-2, 188
Notes: One of his strengths is his short memory, something he talked about at the Combine, saying that you’re going to win some and lose some but have to move onto next play. That is one thing the Eagles liked about Mills … Some scouts have questions about his size, but Dantzler likes to play physical … Ran a 4.6, which could make him a third-day pick.
Quote: “Most corners don’t like to tackle. I try to be different. I like to tackle. It’s very rare for you to find a corner who likes to tackle. I feel I have all of those utensils to play corner. There’s always room for improvement. I feel like I can improve on some, like at the line of scrimmage, using my hands more. You watch film, I run with most of the fastest receivers, so speed is not a thing for me. I just have to gain more strength and I feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger.
“My strong suit, I’d say I’m a technician. That’s something coach (Terrell) Buckley preached a lot to us, being patient at the line of scrimmage, using your hands. I feel like it all starts at the line of scrimmage.”
Size: 5-9, 203
Notes: Ran a 4.45 … Shares name with father, who was a first-round pick out of Ohio State in 1999 of the Buffalo Bills, played 14 seasons in the NFL, and had 27 career interceptions … Tested well at Combine so there a chance he goes late first round and a better chance he’s gone before the Eagles make their second-round selection. If not, he makes a lot of sense at pick No. 53.
Quote: “I rise to my level of competition. I know when the lights are on and you need me to make a play, that’s when you’ll see me out there. I’ve been playing football my entire life, since I was probably two years old. So there was never a moment I didn’t feel I was going to play football.”
Size: 6-1, 217
Notes: Never has Lenoire-Rhyne had a player drafted, but that will change this year. If the Eagles want him, they probably have to use their second-round choice on him … Would also be helpful on special teams, averaging 14.6 yards last year on 12 punt returns and 17.6 on 31 punt returns as a junior … Capable of filling up a stat sheet with tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles … Ran a 4.49.
Size: 6-1, 202
Notes: Should still be there in the third round and could be a possibility with the Eagles’ second pock of that round, which is believed to be at 103. May even last until the they pick again in the fourth round. … Ran a 4.55 but recorded just 15 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds … Injury his senior year of high school limited his college choices, so he went to Tulsa first before transferring to Georgia … Can play both safeties spots … Team captain last year.
Quote: “I definitely can do it all. I can play the nickel spot, the money spot on third down, the free and the strong. You want me to line up a 'mack' in the quarter, I can do it all. I'm a safety that can come down in the box, I'm a safety that has range, I'm a safety that can go down and lock up your best tight end. So, from a safety standpoint, a DB standpoint, I can do it all.”