The Eagles head into the offseason with several question marks in the secondary. Nate Allen and Bradley Fletcher are free agents, Cary Williams is due a big salary and Brandon Boykin may never get his time to shine on the outside. With that said, the Eagles will likely look to bring in some talent this offseason.
While veteran players are typically nice stop-gaps or solutions, they haven't worked out as of late for the Eagles. Nnamdi Asomugha, Williams and Fletcher were all free agent busts. That's why the Eagles could look at the draft to get some upgrades. If they decide to jump early, Michigan State's Trae Waynes could be the answer.
A talented defensive back from Kenosha, Wis., Waynes committed to Michigan State in 2011. He redshirted as a true freshman but appeared in nine games in his first year of action. He played mostly special teams and produced five tackles. As a redshirt sophomore, Waynes started all 14 games at cornerback and collected 50 tackles (1.5 for loss), five pass breakups and three interceptions.
In his final year with the Spartans, Waynes received several honors as he collected 46 tackles, a sack, eight pass breakups and three interceptions. He was awarded second-team All-American and All-Big Ten honors as a junior.
At 6-foot-1 and 182 pounds, Waynes is tall and long. He uses his hands well in press coverage and has the ability to defend taller pass-catchers. He has good concentration and plays the ball in the air very well. He can handle man and zone coverage and is okay playing off. He was used quite a bit on corner blitzes and breaks on the ball with quickness. He is very aggressive and physical and doesn't allow YAC. He was used on kick coverage. He is willing to be active against the run.
He can be a bit sloppy at times. He will get beat despite not allowing receivers behind him. He has trouble with some quicker receivers and his hips could be better. His aggressiveness sometimes leads to bigger gains and penalties. He is not the best tackler and needs to work on his technique.
The team may need to decide between defense and quarterback early on in the draft. Waynes is most likely to be taken in the Top 20 and if the Eagles want him, they'll have to take him with their first pick. Waynes offers the size and play-making ability that the Eagles covet, so he is likely well-thought of in their draft room. If the Eagles decide to stay where they are, Waynes may be their target.
Trust Your Own Eyes
Programming Note: Draft profiles will take a break through next Wednesday because of NFL Combine coverage.