Let's take a look at today's question:
@Tim_McManus If no other secondary additions, how do you think the Eagles will fare against the WRs in the NFC East?— Kimba Fuzz (@kimbafuzz) May 26, 2017
The answer to this might well determine whether the Philadelphia Eagles make the postseason. Right now, it's difficult to envision the current cornerback group having much success against the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant, Terrelle Pryor Sr., et al.
Getting our first glimpse of the 2017 Eagles in a practice setting last week, we saw former seventh-round pick Jalen Mills working with the first team opposite veteran Patrick Robinson, who is on his third team in as many years. Rookie Rasul Douglas played the role of third corner with Ron Brooks sidelined as he continues to make his way back from a ruptured quad tendon.
The Eagles' defense yielded 57 pass plays of 20-plus yards (sixth-highest in NFL) and were the most giving team in the league on deep balls down both the left and right sides of the field in 2016. Both starters from last season, Nolan Carroll II (Cowboys) and Leodis McKelvin (released), are no longer on the roster. While there is no question that change was needed, there is little evidence that what remains is an upgrade.
Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman hinted earlier this offseason that the corner position could be in for some growing pains. After going the free-agent route year after year with minimal success, he talked about getting away from the "Band-Aid" approach and going the draft-and-develop route, even if that meant being "uncomfortable" in the short-term.
Sure enough, they did little in free agency and went corner heavy in the draft by selecting Washington's Sidney Jones in the second round and Douglas out of West Virginia in the third. The talent pool has been replenished, but it could be a while before they see return on the investment, especially considering that Jones is still recovering from an Achilles tear.
There are scenarios in which the cornerback picture turns brighter. Mills could take a significant step forward after showing some flashes his rookie year; Douglas could prove to be a quick study, or Robinson a late bloomer; Jones might cruise through rehab and quickly regain the form that made him one of the most sought-after prospects in this draft prior to his injury; an under-the-radar player such as C.J. Smith -- Carson Wentz's old teammate at North Dakota State -- might provide a boost. Or maybe the front four will be so dominant that the corners' jobs won't be overly difficult.
It's early, so room needs to be left for development and the unexpected. But as it stands, the Eagles appear to be quite short at corner, and could be on the wrong end of a mismatch outside during each NFC East matchup this season.