The Eagles have had trouble at the cornerback position since trading Sheldon Brown to Cleveland in 2010. Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams have all added up to less-than-desirable results. Perhaps, it's time for the Eagles to look for youth at the position.
While free agency and trades for veterans haven't worked out in recent years, the draft has been kind to the Eagles in the past when it comes to the position. Brandon Boykin has turned out to be a quality nickelback that has been developed on the team, and of course, the Eagles drafted Brown and Lito Sheppard, who had excellent careers in Philadelphia. This class is not seen as a good one at cornerback, but Miami (OH) defensive back Quinten Rollins seems to be a guy that is skyrocketing into first round discussions since his involvement in the Senior Bowl.
Rollins was recruited by Miami (OH) as a basketball player. He spent four years with the RedHawks as a point guard and finished his basketball career having played 116 games and is second all-time in steals in the team's history (214). Rollins decided to play football after his basketball career and used his defensive prowess at the cornerback position.
Rollins' sole season in football led to a MAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Rollins secured 72 tackles and seven interceptions in 12 games. He was invited to the Senior Bowl and participated in practices and the game in Mobile, Alabama. He had an interception in the all-star contest.
At 5-foot-11 and 193 pounds, Rollins has some size and uses it well. He has smooth and fluid hips and is able to change direction with ease. In fact, one of his most appealing attributes is his ability to flip his hips with speed and control. He has a nose for the ball and is a turnover magnet. He has great hands and grabs the ball out of air after jumping a route. He understands how to bait quarterbacks and breaks on balls with quickness.
Another impressive attribute is his ability to tackle. For a one-year player, he has shown a proficiency to tackle well and with good technique. His speed allows for him to work well in space and he stays even in coverage.
Rollins' biggest issue is his lack of experience. While he excelled at the college level, there is little tape on him. He could also stand to be a bit more physical with his jam in press. He has very few weaknesses but the lack of experience may be his only major issue.
While the Eagles prefer their cornerbacks to be over 6-foot, a lack of options may lead to Philadelphia making an exception on Rollins. The one-year wonder clearly has tons of talent and isn't as raw as you'd think. Whether the team wants to use him at cornerback or safety, Rollins seems to be a more-than-capable football player that can compete for a spot on a roster as a rookie. While he is getting a lot of first round buzz, I tend to think he is more of a second round pick based on his experience. That said, the Eagles would likely need to take him at 20 if they wanted him.
Trust Your Own Eyes
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