NFL free agency will be starting next week. The Eagles will be looking for a young cornerback or two, who have size and the ability to cover man-to-man as well as the willingness and skill needed to come up and tackle in the open field.
They already have a talented young undersized cornerback on the roster, Brandon Boykin, who they expect to be playing for them for the extended future. He’s very small, so they want to sign cornerbacks with size because you can only afford to have one or at the most two runts in your secondary.
Here’s a list of young free agent cornerbacks with size, whom they may want to target.
Sean Smith, Miami Dolphins – 26 years old – 6’3″ 218 pounds – Smith will likely be a target of the Eagles because he’s young and he has ideal size as well as the mental makeup for the cornerback position. The young corner is aggressive, physical and confident, which make him attractive to numerous clubs. Smith can matchup with just about any wide receiver in the league and has no problem lining up and playing man-to-man. On top of that he’ll come up and tackle with passion. Billy Davis will be able to blitz if they let Smith come up and jam the receivers at the line of scrimmage. The Birds have the money to get him if they want him bad enough.
His buddy in the Dolphins defensive backfield, Vontae Davis tweeted recently, “I seen my dude Sean Smith last night he said he talking to KC him & B Flowers will makes a good Duo.” If the Chiefs were talking to Smith it would be a tampering violation. Of course Smith denied it because they kind of stuff doesn’t go on in the NFL. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Keenan Lewis, Pittsburgh Steelers – 26 years old – 6’0″ 208 pounds – This young man flourished under the radar this past season. He’s an outstanding young corner, who got the job done in the Steelers secondary without perennial Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, who was injured and without a pass rush. The Steelers pass rushers were banged up. Lewis is an all around corner, who will come up and tackle in the Steeler tradition. The youngster is tough physically and mentally. He was targeted quite often, but he was able to breakup the majority of the passes coming his way. This was his first season starting, so I could see bigger and better things ahead for him.
Derek Cox, Jacksonville Jaguars – 26 years old – 6’1″ 191 – Cox is a young, up and coming cornerback, who like Lewis has been playing very well under the radar. After only 47 games in the league, he’s picked off 12 passes and broken up 32 intended passes. He’s done this while playing for a Jaguars team, which has no top level pass rushers.
Cox’ main problem isn’t the wide receivers or the quarterbacks, his problem has been injuries and he won’t get the big time contract until he proves he can stay healthy.
Antoine Cason, San Diego Chargers – 26 years old – 6’1″ 195 – Cason was a first round pick,who was expected to develop into one of the better cornerbacks in the league. It seemed to be happening until last season. Going into the 2012 season, Cason was a good, young cornerback, who has been getting more consistent as he became a seasoned starter. Unfortunately he and the Chargers had a dreadful 2012 season and he is being said good-bye to by the Chargers because of his poor play. I don’t see the Birds going after Cason unless their pursuit of other players fails.
Bradley Fletcher, St. Louis Rams – 26 years old – 6’0″ 200 pounds – Fletcher is a young, raw up and coming cornerback, who hasn’t played a great deal, but when he has played, he has played very well. He stood out in the St. Louis Rams backfield this past season and is considered an all around cornerback, who can play up or back as well as tackle in the open field. I don’t know if you could count on him as a solid starter just yet. To his credit, quarterbacks had only a 55.8 quarterback rating when they threw his way.