Revamped Secondary will Allow Eagles to Focus on WR in Draft

Ed Kracz

If it feels like Howie Roseman has cornered the market, well, it’s because he has.

The Eagles general manager has revamped the team’s defensive backfield, adding another piece on Wednesday when he signed former Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to a one-year contract that will pay him $1.3 million.

Robey-Coleman is the third new player Roseman has brought on board since free agency began more than a week ago.

The Eagles signed safety Will Parks from Denver and traded for Lions corner Darius Slay.

In addition, Roseman also brought back safety Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills, who is expected to convert from corner to safety.

This is what the depth chart could look like:

CB1: Slay

CB2: Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox or Trevor Williams

Nickle: Robey-Coleman or Cre’Von LeBlanc

Free safety: McLeod

Strong safety: Mills or Parks

Third safety: Mills or Parks

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz also has the option of using Maddox at safety, a position the third-year corner has played previously due to injury.

Schwartz also has holdover safeties Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps at his disposal.

Suddenly, the need for a cornerback or safety in the draft doesn’t feel as urgent. That doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t take one, it’s just that they can probably wait until the third day and nab one in the fourth round, with one of their three picks, or later.

Perhaps they even go the undrafted free agent route for one or both.

What does become urgent, however, is finding a receiver. Make that receivers, plural.

It would come as no surprise now that the Eagles take a pass catcher with their first two picks.

And why not?

The secondary has been reconstructed.

The defensive tackle spot has been shored up with the addition of Javon Hargrave and the return of Hassan Ridgeway.

The linebacking group has been somewhat fortified with the signing of Jatavis Brown.

What’s left?

Receiver, of course.

The Eagles could also use some offensive line depth and maybe another tight end, but now the Eagles can put spend plenty of their draft capital on a receiver.

Roseman is smart enough to know that, even as the anxiety levels of Eagles fans rises daily.