The Eagles made a move this weekend in hopes of adding talent to the team's questionable cornerback position. While Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin will see the majority of the playing time during the season, it is important that the Eagles have depth behind their top three cornerbacks. Although Brandon Hughes will likely be the top backup on the outside, the team needs to have more than just one reserve in case of injury. That's why the Eagles placed a waiver claim on Shaun Prater, who was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals during final roster cuts.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound cornerback played safety and linebacker in high school, where he was a Nebraska first team All-State player as a senior. The coaches at Iowa converted Prater into a cornerback as a freshmen, and he played mostly in garbage time situations and on special teams in his first season with the Hawkeyes. He became a starter during his sophomore year and collected 25 tackles, two inceptions and eight pass breakups in ten games.
Prater was named a first team All-Big Ten selection following a junior year that saw him produce 50 tackles, four interceptions and six pass breakups in 12 games. He followed up his successful third-year with an impressive senior season in 2011. Prater was again named first team All-Big Ten in his final season after racking up 33 tackles solo tackles (51 tackles overall), one interception, one sack and four forced fumbles.
During his career with Iowa, Prater gained a reputation of being a solid tackler and playmaker. He ranked third in the Big Ten as a senior with the aforementioned four sacks. As a cornerback, that is extremely impressive. He was also able to get into the endzone twice with two interceptions for touchdowns during his Hawkeye career.
Following his time at Iowa, Prater participated at the East-West Shrine Game. At the Combine, he was forced to sit out of running drills due to a knee injury, but managed 14 reps on the bench press. Prater participated in Iowa's Pro Day and ran a 4.50 forty-yard dash.
Prater was drafted in the fifth-round by the Bengals last year. He was forced to miss his rookie season as Cincinnati placed him on injured reserve due to patella tendinitis. He appeared in three games during this year's preseason and collected five tackles. On a unit that features Leon Hall, Terence Newman, Adam Jones, Brandon Ghee and former first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, Prater was clearly the odd man out.
The Eagles claimed him off of waivers to likely play special teams and compete for snaps in the dime formation with Hughes and rookie Jordan Poyer. He will likely need a few weeks to learn the defense, but it wouldn't be a shock if he was on the field sooner rather than later.
You can follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @mike_e_kaye.