The Philadelphia Eagles have revamped their roster -- out with the old and in with the new. This could be a transition year for Philadelphia, but this is an exceptional organization and looks to have fortified its roster in many spots. While the Eagles might not be an elite contender, I don’t expect this team to turn into a losing organization in 2010.
The Eagles had a wealth of draft picks, but didn’t address their cornerback need until the fourth round, despite sending starter Sheldon Brown to the Browns prior to the draft. They did improve their stable of pass-rushers, and obviously that should help the cornerbacks in coverage.
Marlin Jackson, a cornerback in Indianapolis, was signed in free agency. If second-round pick Nate Allen can grab a hold of the starting free safety spot, Jackson could once again get reps at corner, but he is coming off a serious injury and wasn’t the quickest or fastest cover man to begin with. Safety is probably his best fit at this point. Asante Samuel is set as one starter and is a very good player. He makes plenty of big plays, but he is also a liability against the run and can be too risky at times.
The other candidates to play opposite Samuel and as the top option as the nickel corner are Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, Macho Harris and fourth-round pick Trevard Lindley. Hobbs is undersized, but feisty and fast. Hanson and Harris haven’t shown themselves to be starting material, and Lindley is not very physical. In addition to being a rookie, he is coming off a serious injury.
Things could be worse at corner, no question about it, but it does seem safe to say that the Eagles' opponents are going to dictate matchups by utilizing three- and four-wide receiver sets and making Philadelphia put average backend players on the field while shuffling front-seven talent to the sideline. With their talent at the wideout position, the Cowboys and Giants should particularly look to this strategy against their divisional rival.