The Eagles defensive backfield could use some fine tuning with upgrades and depth. The cornerback position already has Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin, but really no one of note after the initial three. Also, there is no guarantee that Fletcher and Williams will be on the team in 2015 (or possibly 2014, with the money Williams is owed). The NFL is a league where the smart teams that plan ahead win the most games. While the team stayed healthy in 2013, there is a chance injuries could occur next season and the team needs to be covered. Same could be said for 2015.
The Eagles could look at cornerback relatively early in the draft, as it is a premium position. There are several players worthy of picks in Day 1 or 2 and TCU's Jason Verrett is definitely one of them.
A talented high school player at both running back and defensive back, Verrett had to start his college career at a JUCO (probably due to academics). After one year at junior college, Verrett transferred to TCU. In his first season with the Horned Frogs, Verrett started 10-of-13 games and received an honorable-mention All-Mountain West selection. He collected 58 tackles (1.5 for loss), an interception and four pass breakups.
In 2012, Verrett was a full-time starter and appeared in 13 games. A third-team All-American by AP and a first-team All-American by SI.com, he was also named to the All-Big 12 first team. The San Antonio Express-News named him the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, after leading the conference with 1.69 defended passes per game (second in the nation). He also collected 63 total tackles (five for loss), six interceptions and 16 pass breakups.
In his final season with the Horned Frogs, Verrett continued to dominate in coverage. He received first and second team All-American selections from several outlets, Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the conference's coaches, was a first-team All-Big 12 selection and was listed as the top player in the entire conference by ESPN. In 11 games (and 11 starts), Verrett had 39 tackles (3.5 for loss), a sack, two interceptions, 14 pass breakups and a forced fumble.
A physical corner, who is solid in man coverage (both in press and off), Verrett is a terrific tackler for his position. While he will allow the occasion reception, he rarely allows for YAC and is a true stopper. He loves hitting and will get involved against the run with success. He does not shy away from contact and seems to give effort on every play on tape.
Verrett can make plays on the ball and defends the pass as good as anyone in college football. His coverage helped lead to a few sacks on tape. He was used on cornerback blitzes often and it comfortable going after the quarterback. Verrett is very fast and stays very tight in coverage. He ran an average of 4.49 on the forty-yard dash and had a low of 4.38, according to NFL Draft Scout. He is currently SB Nation's top cornerback in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Verrett really is limited with weaknesses. He has only one clear blemish and that is his height. At only 5-foot-10 (176 pounds), his size will obviously freak out fans who want taller cornerbacks and could deter him from being selected by a team like Seattle or Philadelphia. Still, he can easily add some weight to his frame and likely will have before the Combine.
You may not be able to teach size, but you can't teach speed either. Verrett is the total package outside of his height and while Chip Kelly and Billy Davis want height, the TCU alum is able to cover taller wide receivers. He is definitely a first round pick and could be the top cornerback taken so the choice may be taken out of Philadelphia's hands, but if he is available, he should be considered at No. 22. The Eagles would have an upgrade in depth and a possible rookie starter with the selection of Verrett.
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