The Philadelphia Eagles filled out their 53-man roster on Wednesday morning by signing safety Jerome Couplin off of the Detroit Lions' practice squad. The Eagles had a roster vacancy after releasing cornerback Roc Carmichael on Tuesday afternoon. Couplin will wear the No. 21 jersey.
Couplin is a 23-year old rookie that went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has good size at 6-2, 215 pounds. Couplin played college football at The College of William & Mary. He recorded 257 tackles, five interceptions, 21 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in college.
Couplin has appeared in eight games with the Lions. He's bounced on and off their practice squad this season. He was also claimed by the Buffalo Bills at one point before being released. According to Football Outsiders, Couplin has played 11 defensive snaps and 93 special teams snaps.
With the signing of Couplin, the Eagles now have five safeties on their active roster. Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen are the full-time starters while Chris Maragos and Chris Prosinski largely play on special teams. Rookie cornerback Jaylen Watkins had been taking some practice repetitions at safety ever since Earl Wolff was placed on injured reserve but now he will likely stick at cornerback. It seems unlikely Couplin will be on the active game-day roster until he spends some time learning the playbook.
The Eagles' decision to sign Couplin is interesting because it shows they passed over the chance to promote fifth round draft pick Ed Reynolds II from their practice squad to their active roster.
"Physically, Couplin is a freak of nature. Standing at 6’2 and 215 lbs. he is in the mold of new big and quick defensive backs such as Seattle Seahawk Kam Chancellor. At his Pro Day on March 18, Couplin ran the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He also had a vertical of 41.5 inches and a standing broad jump of 11 feet 2 inches, all accomplished outside in rainy, 32 degree conditions. But it’s when the ball is in the air that Couplin earns his nickname. Much like the "Osprey," Couplin has an 81 inch wingspan, which means that he can practically touch his knees when standing straight up. Coupled with his jumping ability, Couplin’s physical attributes are a defensive coordinator’s dream. To put it into perspective, Couplin can catch a football 13 feet in the air (the top of a basketball backboard), or dive for a football a car length away. His Pro day results in the 40 yard dash, three cone drill, and bench press numbers tied or beat the projected top two safeties in this year’s draft (Alabama’s Ha‘Sean "Ha-Ha" Clinton Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor ). Couplin’s results in the standing broad jump are the best for a safety in the last 10 years at the combine and his vertical would have been first among safeties at this year’s combine."
[Ed. Note: Here is a look at Couplin in college.]
Follow the newest Eagles safety on Twitter: @WhenInRome14.