The Eagles signed safety Tom Nelson as a replacement for special teams ace Colt Anderson this week. While Anderson played gunner on the special teams unit, I wonder whether Nelson might find himself in a different role? Return man. As you may have noticed in the Lincs this morning, Nelson was a pretty good return man in college.
As a senior in 2008, he averaged 15.8 yds on punt returns, which included an 82-yard return for a touchdown. He also scored on a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that season
Nelson finished his career as ISU’s career leader in kick returns (84) and kick return yards (1,912), and also ranks eighth in career punt return yards (366).
Now, none of this is to say that Tom Nelson would necessarily be a good NFL return man, but given the current state of the Eagles kick return game, why not give him a shot? The return men this year haven't been disastrous (no turnovers or anything) but they also haven't really been impressive either. Dion Lewis is averaging 22.5 yards per return and has gotten just 70% of his returns out to the 20.