Over the next couple of weeks we will get into each and every position and player for the 2016 Eagles. We’ll breakdown each group and give a preview and prediction of what to expect moving forward. Last year we did a team position based ranking. We won’t be doing that this year, however we are still going to breakdown everything. I think the best word to describe this current roster and where this team is headed is “transition.” This team has some talent to be respectable this year and they also have enough young guys and a future QB in waiting with an eye on the future. I think there’s a good mix on this roster from an age standpoint which is key because the Eagles can continue to build and progress as they continue to turn this roster over from year to year.
This week we look at the Safety position. It’s no secret the Eagles have struggled to find a good mix of talent since the departure of Eagles legend and future HOF Brian Dawkings. Malcolm Jenkins has been solid for the Eagles essentially playing two positions, safety and slot corner when need be. Jenkins now has a solid partner and teammate he can count on in free agent acquisition Rodney McLeod. 2016 will be McLeod’s 5th year in the NFL and 1st with the Eagles. A 2012 undrafted player from Virginia McLeod is well known for having a nose for the football and hard hitter. He’s not afraid to bring the wood and put the smack down on someone.
It will be very interesting to see how new Defensive Cooridnator Jim Schwartz is going to use these guys. They arguably are one of the best duo’s in the league and the best tandem Schwartz has coached since entering the league. Both Jenkins and McLeod give the Eagles a dependable last line of defense. Jenkins will most likely play in the box when the time comes as he’s excellent in run support. With Jenkins in the box that leaves McLeod as the deep center fielder. He flourished in that role delivering big hits with the Rams. Schwartz loves to generate pressure with out blitzing. This will leave smaller throwing lanes and plenty of opportunities for all DB’s to make plays on the ball.
Although Jenkins and McLeod are the clear starters and headliners of the group it’s important not to forget some of the other young guys, mainly Jalen Mills. Although Mills will start his Eagles career at corner I believe he projects well at the Safety position. It will be fun to see how he progresses through his first season.
Here is a nice article from philadelphiaeagles.com on the tandem of Jenkins and McLeod.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @Eagles_Focus