How Will Kevin Thomas Impact The Competition At Cornerback?BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Sunday, August 5th, 2012
The Philadelphia Eagles traded linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd for CB Kevin Thomas and a conditional seventh-round pick last week. How will this impact the depth and competition at cornerback?
Right now, the Eagles are doing a good job of selling the acquisition of Kevin Thomas. Here’s what Howie Roseman had to say in regards to their new corner, courtesy of the Eagles’ press releases:
On what he is looking for from newly acquired CB Kevin Thomas:
“This is a big corner that can run and he was with the [Indianapolis] Colts last year and he played some. He started some games for them and has played some cover two. We think he can go press and is instinctive. We scouted him at USC and he’ll come compete with our other corners and add competition to that spot.”
On the thinking behind acquiring another cornerback in a deep defensive backfield:
“Well for us it was just about the value. They were looking for some linebackers and we also want to see more of our young linebackers so those guys get a great opportunity here. We just felt like it was a win win situation for us and for the Colts. We’ll get another guy. We are always looking for corners and linemen; that is something we will always be on the lookout for. Then the opportunity to also get a draft pick involved as well.”
On whether Thomas can play the nickel cornerback spot:
“I haven’t seen him play nickel so I couldn’t tell you that it is something that we project him yet to do. We’ll see once he gets here if he can do it and go from there.”
The 6′, 192 lbs Thomas was a third-round pick by the Colts in 2010. He missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL. He recovered enough to play in nine games last year, including five starts.
Unfortunately, the Colts’ defense was absolutely brutal last year and Thomas was a part of that. He didn’t grade out too well per Pro Football Focus either (88th overall with a -6.5 grade).
Ultimately, I think this trade was more about acquiring a seventh-round draft pick rather than Thomas.
The Eagles most likely would have ended up just cutting Fokou and Lloyd anyway, so they figure why not get an extra draft pick instead of nothing. Even though I’ve yet to see Thomas play a single snap, I have a hard time seeing him make the 53-man roster.
The Eagles usually keep nine defensive backs on the roster and they typically break it down with five CBs and four safeties. Last season, they went with six corners and three safeties, but I see them going more towards the five and four break down this year.
This means that Thomas is going to have to beat out the likes of Joselio Hanson, Cliff Harris, Trevard Lindley and Brandon Hughes. Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC, Brandon Boykin and Curtis Marsh are all locks for the roster so there is only one spot open for competition.
And honestly, I like Cliff Harris to win that battle as he’s been having a good camp so far and also has excellent punt return skills.
Therefore, the addition of Thomas is nothing more than a “kick the tires of a player we liked in college” who will ultimately just be another camp body. Be more happy that we might get a draft pick out of the deal rather than a CB who can make an impact.
With that said, the Eagles will still give Thomas a good look. However, he faces a serious up-hill battle to make the initial 53-man roster.
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