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If He’s Available at 14 the Eagles Need to Draft Jamal Adams

The Eagles, over the past several weeks, have been mocked to take several players in relation to their needs, however there is one player at a position of strength that would be incredibly foolish for them to pass up.

LSU Safety Jamal Adams.

The Eagles boast arguably the best safety tandem in the NFC East with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Both received +80.0 grades from ProFootballFocus and Jenkins has been a Pro Bowler since signing with Philadelphia. So why take a safety at 14?

Last season, Jim Schwartz used Jenkins a lot as the team’s nickleback after Ron Brooks went down to injury. The ex-Buckeye played corner for the Saints for a few years, and is known for being a good coverage player. The Eagles played in a nickle defense approximately 67% percent of time, meaning Jenkins was more of a corner than a safety at times last season.

This meant that Jaylen Watkins had to slide into Jenkins’ role, and his 2016 season can be described as “meh.” The defense took a bit of a hit when he was on the field. Watch game film of Watkins against the Bengals and you will see why.

Hypothetically speaking, what if Schwartz has to line Jenkins as corner again? The team’s worst position is likely corner, and if they take one early, that doesn’t really fix the position. Jenkins might be the best corner on the team, and he doesn’t even regularly play it.

However, if the Eagles draft Adams, they could use Jenkins more at corner and not lose much by putting him out there. Adams starred at LSU (which is to defensive backs as Penn State is to linebackers) and is viewed by some scouts as possibly the best LSU defensive back to come out in a while.

This is what touts as his strengths:

Natural-born leader of men. Well-built. Will not hesitate for one second as a hitter. Steps downhill looking to punish running backs to set a tone for defense. Toggles between patient and urgent in treks to the ball. Plays off blockers. Approaches target with open arms and wide, balanced base to limit escape routes. Intelligent field general. Gets secondary aligned properly. Plays with plus balance in coverage. Pattern reader who can digest combinations. Alert for misdirection keys from offense. Party crasher on screen plays. Can handle coverage responsibilities against tight ends. Five interceptions and two recovered fumbles over last two seasons at LSU. Special-teams terror as freshman and sophomore, notching 21 tackles. No penalties in 2016. Father, George, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 1984.

Another thing to consider with Adams is how long the team plans to keep Malcolm Jenkins. Despite signing him to an extension less than a year ago, the team reportedly tried to offer him to New Orleans for Brandin Cooks. Couple that with the fact that Jenkins is about the enter the downswing of his career at 29, and it’s not crazy to see safety as a position of need in the next few years.

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