The Eagles traded for a cornerback on Tuesday morning but the deal isn’t as exciting as you’d probably like it to be. Full terms:
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES RECEIVE: CB Josiah Scott
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS RECEIVE: CB Jameson Houston, 2023 sixth-round pick
I’m willing to guess there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of either player in this swap.
Scott was a fourth-round pick (No. 137 overall) by the Jags in the 2020 NFL Draft. He played just 80 defensive snaps and 0 special teams snaps as a rookie. According to Pro Football Reference, Scott was targeted seven times and allowed six receptions for 77 yards and a 112.5 passer rating. Small sample size, of course, but ... not great!
Scott profiles as a slot cornerback given his lack of size (5’9”, 185 pounds) and length (1 percentile arm length). Interestingly, his top comparison from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein is ... Avonte Maddox:
Scott excelled as an honorable mention All-Big Ten junior corner for the Spartans, leading his squad with three interceptions and eight pass breakups in 13 starts. He overcame a knee injury that cost him the first eight games of the 2018 season to earn the RedBox Bowl Defensive MVP Award (three tackles, one for loss, four pass breakups) in the Spartans’ 7-6 loss to Oregon. Scott started only five games on the year but still intercepted two passes and broke up seven others (along with making 13 tackles). He was an honorable mention all-conference pick as a true freshman, starting all 12 games and breaking up 12 passes (30 stops, two interceptions). The Ohio native’s three brothers won national titles at perennial Division III football powerhouse Mount Union.
(Mount Union, coincidentally, is where Nick Sirianni attended college and started his coaching career.)
There’s reason to believe Scott might have some upside. Scott had good ball production at Michigan State with six interceptions, 22 passes defensed, and one forced fumble. He only turned 22 in April and he had some fans entering last year’s draft. Pro Football Focus had him ranked as their No. 91 overall prospect:
“Scott projects as one of the top slot cornerback options in this class. His quicks, instincts, and ball skills are all superb.”
As for what the Eagles gave up for him, I guess it’s fine. Houston, a 2020 undrafted rookie free agent, was likely just a camp body here. A 2023 sixth-round pick is hardly a hefty price if they really like Scott, though they might’ve been able to wait until he was cut.
There’s been an assumption that Avonte Maddox will be the Eagles’ nickel cornerback and perhaps he will. But Scott’s addition provides more competition for that spot.
This trade obviously does nothing to address the Eagles still having a gaping hole at CB2 on their roster. The projected starter across from Darius Slay is very much up in the air. The Eagles still might add a veteran to fill that spot but for now, they have the following corners on their roster: Slay, Maddox, Craig James, Zach McPhearson, Kevon Seymour, Michael Jacquet, Shakial Taylor, Nate Meadors, Lavert Hill, and Scott. The team just might be counting on Jonathan Gannon to get more out of less at that position, which he’s done in the past.
Grade this Eagles-Jaguars trade
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UPDATE: Fun bonus, Scott is an Eagles fan.
Philadelphia Eagles newest acquisition ( @JosiahScott7 ) grew up an Eagles fan. Great to see. #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly @JClarkNBCS pic.twitter.com/0OoKWll5v7— Jack Devlin (@jdevlinphilly) May 18, 2021