The Eagles have the need for safety depth and that will likely come in the draft. However, depending how the board shakes up, the Eagles could pass on taking a safety early due to the signing of Malcolm Jenkins and the re-signing of Nate Allen. If Philadelphia decides to wait until Day 3, Minnesota's Brock Vereen may be the type of player that appeals to them.
The younger brother of Patriots running back Shane Vereen was a stud in both the classroom and on the field coming out of high school. A high character guy, Vereen made the odd choice of picking Minnesota over Stanford as a three-star recruit. As a true freshman, Vereen played in nine games (four starts) and collected 10 tackles. As a sophomore, Vereen started all 12 games at cornerback while compiling 67 tackles (3.5 for loss), five pass break ups, an interception and a forced fumble.
In his junior season, Vereen split starts at safety and cornerback. He appeared in all 13 games and collected 64 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions while being named to the Academic All-Big Ten. In his final season with Minnesota, Vereen was named first team All-Big Ten and compiled 57 tackles, five pass breakups and an interception.
Weight: 199 lbs
Arm Length: 30"
Hands: 8 1/4"
40: 4.47 seconds (2nd among safeties in 2014)
Bench: 25 reps (1st among safeties in 2014)
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 117.0 inches
3 Cone: 6.90 seconds (2nd among safeties in 2014)
Shuttle: 4.07 seconds (2nd among safeties in 2014)
Vereen is both a brilliant mind and an athlete. He has a good understanding of the game and has a solid size-speed combination. He has plenty of experience in coverage and can cover a wide receiver one-on-one. He was a team captain and was a gunner on special teams. He plays with energy and clearly lives up to his pedigree of having a brother and father that have played in the NFL. He is a proven leader.
While Vereen clearly understands the game, he is a bit slow on reacting to routes. He has small hands and not a ton of length, which could cause problems against bigger receivers and tight ends. For all his merits as an athlete, he has had little success as a playmaker. He is likely destined to be a special teams player with starter upside.
The Eagles like high character players and they don't get much higher than Vereen. The team could look to add a safety early, which would obviously limit the chances for Vereen to join the squad. He is likely a fifth or sixth round pick and may face an uphill battle for playing time in his rookie season. Chip Kelly may like Vereen for several reasons, including his leadership experience, versatility, solid size and speed. His addition to the team would almost certainly depend on the Eagles results in earlier rounds.