The Philadelphia Eagles signed veteran free agent cornerback Orlando Scandrick over the weekend in order to add depth to their roster with Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, and Cre’Von LeBlanc currently not participating in team drills.
So, how much does the 32-year-old defensive back have left in the tank? Is Scandrick actually worth keeping on the 53-man roster? How does he potentially fit in?
In order to get to know more bout Scandrick, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Kansas City Chiefs perspective on him since he played there in 2018. In order to do that, I reached out to Craig Stout (@barleyhop) of Arrowhead Pride. Here’s what he had to say.
1 - Can you summarize Orlando Scandrick’s one-year stint with KC?
1 - After cutting David Amerson, the Chiefs needed another cornerback capable of playing the boundary when they were in nickel, and Kendall Fuller moved to the slot. They picked up Scandrick -- and even though he got plenty of safety help -- he looked pretty good through the first couple months of the season. Through October, Football Outsiders actually had him ranked No. 3 in success rate among qualifying cornerbacks. Midway through the season, the wheels started to fall off a little bit, and he began to show his age. He started to get beat vertically more often and the Chiefs unceremoniously benched him after a failed switch cost them a victory in the final seconds of the Week 15 matchup against the divisional rival Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs rode rookie Charvarius Ward through the end of the regular season and all the way through the AFC championship game loss to the New England Patriots.
2 - Did Chiefs fans have any interest in bringing him back for 2019?
In short, no. Scandrick became a scapegoat in the latter half of the season, and it became obvious that a little more speed, length and youth were needed on the boundary. The scheme was having to account for the lack of vertical speed on the boundary, and it was leaving the middle of the field wide open for the offense to take advantage of the Chiefs linebackers and safeties. Even though the Chiefs haven’t made much investment in the cornerback position this offseason, Scandrick’s return never seemed to be in the backs of Chiefs fans’ minds.
3 - What were his strengths?
Scandrick has seen just about every route combination you could throw at him. He’s seasoned and typically plays the route correctly. He may not offer much in the way of interceptions and turnovers, but he does well to deny space to the receiver with his back to the ball. He did well to stay in the hip pocket of the receiver early in the year and was able to take away the quarterback’s read, resulting the Chiefs having more time to rack up sacks.
4 - What were his weaknesses?
Scandrick’s most significant deficiencies seem to be his speed. At this point in his career, he struggles with carrying vertically, and he’ll definitely need help on the boundary if last year is any indication. As his legs tired throughout the season, he became very “grabby” late in the route, resulting in some pretty significant penalties racked up and costing the Chiefs valuable field position.
5 - What’s your confidence level in him being a reliable contributor on defense?
From an on-field perspective, Scandrick’s best days are likely behind him. However, if a team needed a spot starter or a rotational cornerback, they could do much worse than the player that the Chiefs saw at the beginning of last year. Should the team need Scandrick to hold down a spot for 3-4 games, they could feel secure that he’ll be able to execute the assignment and bridge the gap to the next player in line. That said, if Scandrick needs to be relied upon to shoulder the load for long periods of time in 2019, concerns about his burst and speed will likely crop up quickly.
6 - Anything to know about him off the field?
Off the field, Scandrick appears to be a great teammate. After Ward became the starter late in the 2018-19 season, Scandrick reportedly did everything he could to help get Ward up to speed and ready for gameday. With his knowledge of the game and years in the league, he adds another set of eyes to the cornerback group that can make a big difference in film sessions. Having a wily vet to help bring along some younger cornerbacks is never a bad thing.