The Philadelphia Eagles went into the NFL trade deadline as prospective sellers and walked away with an intriguing prospect. The team acquired cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick.
NFL Network’s Tom Peliserro was the first to report the move which happened right at the buzzer for the 4 p.m. deadline on November 2. Vincent, a seventh-rounder out of LSU, barely made the 53-man at Broncos training camp. A two-sport athlete at LSU (football, track and field), Vincent used his elite speed to snake a roster spot. He ran a blazing 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his official pro day.
“This kid is really talented, and he was falling,” Denver coach Vic Fangio said of Vincent, via Beaumont Enterprise. “He’s fast. He’s a track guy. Had some injuries, so he was falling a little bit, but he can play nickel, he’s played safety. If we can get him right and healthy to be a pro, I think he can be a really good player.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder – average size for a pro corner – played in 39 games (19 starts) for the Bayou Tigers. He was the starting nickel corner for LSU’s national championship team in 2019. Vincent finished his collegiate career with 87 tackles, six interceptions, 18 pass breakups while doubling as a sprinter on LSU’s nationally-ranked track team. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Scouting Report: Denzel Ward or Tyrann Mathieu
There was considerable hype on Vincent coming out of college. Bleacher Report compared him favorably to Denzel Ward (Cleveland Browns) and Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City Chiefs). The latter to a lesser degree. They graded him out as a second-rounder with starter’s potential due to his “Swiss Army Knife” hybrid skills as a safety and corner.
“Vincent is an extremely athletic player with elite ball skills,” Bleacher Report wrote. “Versatile with an opportunistic play style. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with great patience and timing with the ball in the air.”
NFL Media’s Lance Zeirlein put him in the fourth round and wrote the following scouting report:
Slot corner with average size but exceptional speed and athleticism. He could see his draft stock rise given his workout potential. Vincent has the hips, feet and burst to stay tight with routes as a pro, but only if he shows marked improvement with pattern recognition and his coverage technique.
Vincent Fell Hard in NFL Draft
Slight size concerns aside, the main reason Vincent probably fell in the 2021 NFL draft was due to his 2020 opt-out year. He was a raw athlete – 4×100 meter relay sprinter – who was still learning how to play cornerback when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He lost a full year of developing his coverage skills, something that sent his draft stock plummeting.
Vincent went from a possible second-rounder all the way down to the 237th overall pick. The mature 22-year-old explained his decision to Denver reporters on draft day.
“At that time, I honestly didn’t think we were going to have a season,” Vincent said, via the Broncos website. “I got it myself and I contracted symptoms twice. I got tested twice, and they didn’t know what was going on. That was the reason for me not playing this year.”
Fair points all around. It still seems slightly odd that the Eagles would invest a 2022 sixth-rounder in a guy who was a 2021 seventh-rounder. Either way, the secondary in Philly is extremely young and developmental as he joins Mac McCain, Tay Gowan, Zech McPhearson.