The Eagles addressed cornerback in free agency, but still could use added talent in the secondary. With a competition brewing at the defensive back positions opposite Byron Maxwell and Malcolm Jenkins, the more talent in the secondary, the better the battle will be. A versatile defensive back like Utah's Eric Rowe could compete at both positions.
A talented high school player from Houston, Rowe committed to Utah in 2011. He started all 13 games at safety and collected 69 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. As a sophomore, he started 10 games at free safety but missed two contests with a hamstring injury. He collected 64 tackles and interception as a sophomore.
In his third year, Rowe started 12 games at safety and produced 69 tackles and seven pass breakups. He was moved to cornerback as a senior and started 12 games. At cornerback, Rowe produced 59 tackles, 13 pass breakups and an interception.
Weight: 205 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 1/2"
Hands: 9 1/2"
40: 4.45 secs. (2nd among safeties)
Bench: 19 reps (4th among safeties)
Vertical Jump: 39 inches (2nd among safeties)
Broad Jump: 125 inches (3rd among safeties)
3 Cone: 6.70 secs. (1st among safeties)
Shuttle: 3.97 secs. (1st among safeties)
An athlete with the versatility to play in multiple places, Rowe is game for any position in the secondary. He uses his size well and doesn't mind playing in space. He is a solid tackler who wraps up well. He has long arms and uses them well and likes to be violent at times. He is a good second effort player and will play until the whistle. If you get in front of him on a passing play, you aren't getting many yards after the catch. He was used as a gunner in punt coverage and had success in that department.
He has trouble flipping his hips despite his 3 cone numbers. He isn't the most fluid guy for his numbers and he will lose his man in coverage. He is slow to react at times and needs to adjust to the ball better. He can be taken out of a play with even "okay" blocking.
The Eagles love versatility and Rowe easily fits that bill. While he could compete at cornerback and safety, he is probably a better fit at the latter position across from Jenkins. The Eagles need safeties who can cover and Rowe was good enough at cornerback that he could be very, very good at safety in the NFL. He is more of a natural safety than cornerback. He likely will go at some point in the 25-50 range of the draft.
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