Cornerback remains a strong position of need for the Philadelphia Eagles. The top-3 players in this year’s draft are indisputable: Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati), Derek Stingley (LSU), and Trent McDuffie (Washington). The order in which they go off the board is the only lingering question.
The Eagles should be in a prime position to grab one of them at pick No. 15, No. 16, or No. 19. Stingley is ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper’s favorite of the bunch, a guy he believes a team like Philadelphia should absolutely move up for and draft if he starts slipping. Meanwhile, McDuffie has been slowly gaining momentum as a trendy pick for the Eagles. Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum has him heading to Philly at No. 19 in his latest ESPN mock draft.
“The Eagles tied for the worst completion percentage against in 2021, allowing opponents to connect on nearly 70% of their attempts,” Tannenbaum wrote. “But McDuffie is shutdown material. He allowed just 3.8 yards per pass attempt thrown his way last season, which tied for the third-best number in college football, and he can play in man or zone schemes.”
NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported the Eagles are one of five teams “all in” on the 5-foot-11, 193-pound cornerback out of Washington. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay pegged McDuffie going to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 23 in his latest mock. The Eagles pass him over for Ohio State receiver Chris Olave in that scenario.
“He’s a really good all-around player, real instinctive and I think the best tackling corner in this class,” McShay said about McDuffie, “and can make a combination of zone and man and do different things.”
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
Eagles Host Undersized Houston CB/Returner
The Eagles will host former University of Houston cornerback Marcus Jones for a pre-draft workout, according to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. The 2019 redshirt is recovering from surgery on both shoulders, but he’s expected to be cleared for the start of NFL training camps.
The 5-foot-8, 174 pounder has been described as an “undersized, twitchy cornerback with playmaking traits and game-changing return talent” (via NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein). He had five interceptions, 13 pass deflections and a forced fumble in 2021. Jones – a dual-threat as a kick returner – missed the NFL Scouting Combine due to injury. Some scouts feel he could see time at wide receiver at the next level.
Andrew Booth Undergoes Sports Hernia Surgery
Former Clemson standout Andrew Booth might be the fourth-best cornerback in this year’s draft. However, the 6-foot, 194-pounder is recovering from sports hernia surgery and couldn’t go through drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s expected to be cleared in time for training camps, but there would be some risk in selecting Booth in the first round.
Booth was credited with 39 tackles, five pass breakups, and three interceptions over 581 snaps in 11 games at Clemson. He would be a good option for Philly if they decided to trade down and wait on a cornerback. Unless the New England Patriots reach for him at pick No. 21.
“If he played like I thought he could and would – he had some struggling moments – he’s not a guy I would take that high,” Kiper said.