Tomorrow, the best defensive back in Eagles franchise history will take his rightful place into the pro football hall of fame.
Today, we are looking at some current defensive backs that could collectively form one of the best units in the NFL.
Last year at this time the cornerback position was considered the Eagles biggest weakness.
What a difference a year can make.
As we get ready for the start of the 2018 preseason, cornerback is now considered a major strength.
The one question I have is.... are they too loaded at cornerback?
Jones is the one player in this group that has the potential to join Brian Dawkins in the hall of fame some day.
Jones, who made it all the way back from a ruptured achilles to actually play a game in 2017, is now fully recovered and turning heads at camp...
Jones has a good chance to be starting on the outside for week 1. He's just too talented.
Who is De'Vante Bausby?
The Skinny: 25 years old | 6'1/177 lbs | Pittsburgh State
He was an undrafted free agent signing by the Chiefs in 2015. After a second stint with the Chiefs, he was waived last September and then signed with the Eagles. He spent all last season the practice squad, and clearly left an impression on the coaching staff.
From all indications, Bausby is another player that has been turning heads...
Now, Bausby has a legitimate chance to not only making the team, but also be a key contributor.
The coaches seem to love this guy. As we sit here on August 3rd, it would be an upset if he didn't make the team.
If he impresses during the preseason, it could cause a ripple effect.
Like all rookies, there is an adjustment period to playing in the NFL.
From all reports, Maddox has been just fine so far...
The rookie corner is going to make that team, that's for sure. He will need a big preseason to solidify a roll. At worst he will be the teams 5th corner.
I'm a Rasul Douglas fan.
When he was given the opportunity to play last season, he showed off his playmaking ability...
Now entering year two, Douglas has raised his game to the point where he has earned first team reps...
We'll see how he translates his improved play from the practice field to the preseason games, but Douglas should have a role this season.
Ronald Darby/Jalen Mills
As you're probably well aware, Ronald Darby will be a free agent at the end of this season
You can look at that one of two ways:
1. He is going to have a breakout season, and the Eagles will have one of the best corners in the league.
2. The Eagles have enough depth at corner, giving Howie Roseman the opportunity to trade a player, who most likely won’t be here next season, to upgrade in another area (LB? DT?) and/or acquire picks.
Why Darby will stay..
With Darby, Mills, and Jones the Eagles will have one of the best cornerback trios in all of football. For me, that's enough of a reason to keep the impending free agent.
Since Patrick Robinson signed with the Saints, I have advocated that Jalen Mills should be the guy to take over in the slot, with Darby and Jones manning the outside.
That happens to be exactly the way they lined up yesterday..
Given his physical play and lack of elite speed, Mills could really excel in the slot.
However, slot guys don't make as much money as outside guys. Would Mills be happy with making a move?
Why Darby will go...
Out of nowhere the Eagles have a lot of depth at cornerback.
They are most likely only going to keep five corners.
Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, and Avonte Maddox are all locks.
That leaves De'Vante Bausby as the odd man out... or they can trade Ronald Darby.
With Bausby getting reps in the slot, and Douglas getting reps with the first team, it really makes you wonder if they are planing for Darby's exit.
Let's connect the dots...
If Douglas and Bausby play well in the preseason, and Sidney Jones proves that he is ready to start on the outside , it's very possible that Howie will make a move.
Jalen Mills is under contract until 2020. It may be counterproductive to move him from the outside to the slot for just for this season, only to have him go back to the outside next season.
While I love the idea of Mills in the slot, he has clearly proven that he is more than capable on the outside.
If Darby is dealt, that would leave Mills and Jones on the outside, Douglas as depth, and Bausby/Maddox in the slot.
That's still pretty damn good.
I'm sure many people (myself included) would like to keep Darby, but it's important to understand both sides of the argument.
Keep any eye on the young corners throughout the preseason. If they shine, Darby could be moved.
Remember, Howie Roseman never sleeps...
I wouldn't anticipate any trades would be made until after at least the second preseason game, but with Howie, you never know.