The Eagles are in luck.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the 2017 draft class is littered with talent in the pool of cornerbacks. As Eagles fans are well aware of, that’s a position the organization is severely lacking in with Jalen Mills being the only returning starter of the group after the release of Leodis McKelvin and assuming Nolan Carroll heads elsewhere in free agency.
Speaking to members of the media, Mayock believes that upwards of 18 cornerbacks that could be selected within the first three rounds. He’s even heard rumblings from coaches that believe there are fifth-round corners who could easily go in the second if not for the loaded class.
There are projected to be anywhere from five to eight corners chosen in the first round, including potential first round selections of the Eagles in Washington’s Sidney Jones and Florida’s Teez Tabor.
If the Eagles opt to trust Mayock’s instincts regarding this crop, and believing there’s starting caliber talent in the mid-rounds, who could they target outside of the big names in the first round?
Howard Wilson, Houston
A potential third or fourth round pick — if not higher — Wilson is one of the bigger prospects in the group at 6’1”, 186 pounds. He’s also one of the younger ones having skipped his final two seasons to enter the draft. Perhaps a bit more raw because of that, Wilson does have some major upside which makes him an attractive option for a team looking for size to go against the wide receiver-loaded NFC East.
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
A season-ending ankle injury three games into his senior season most certainly affected his stock. Before that, he had six interceptions in three years and also took a pair of punt returns back. He likes to play physical, which is something the Eagles could use, and his 32 passes defended surpassed Eric Berry for fourth most in school history. He also forced nine turnovers with six via interception.
Brendan Langley, Lamar
A former receiver-turned-corner, Langley has some impressive ball skills but more importantly, proved he can play on the outside, having six interceptions along with seven passes defended. Like Wilson, he has ideal size at 6’0” and just a shade off 200 pounds. His receiver skills and raw talent will suit him best for zone coverage when he first gets into the NFL, but he has all the tools of being a diamond in the rough.
Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
Eagles fans know (or would like to forget) Nnamdi Asomugha. Awuzie is close with Asomugha as his godmather’s nephew is the former NFL corner. The two also have drawn some comparisons for their play. He potentially could be a very good man defender in the pros, and he possesses some quickness on breaks. His 6’0”, 205-pound frame will hold up well, too. If he’s anything like the Oakland version of Asomugha, he’ll be a steal between rounds three and five.