One week ago, the cornerback position was a major weakness for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, it is a major strength and many fans and pundits are waiting for the Eagles to deplete their depth by trading Asante Samuel. Unless they receive a significant return on Samuel, I think the Eagles should stand pat with three shut down corners; here’s two reasons why:
First, security against an injury. Defensive players are consistently missing games and plays due to minor injuries, tweaks, etc. How many times do you see a deep ball to the opponents top receiver and wonder why the third string corner is covering him? Other teams see the substitutions and attack the weakness. With three top corners, the Eagles will not have this issue.
Second, the NFL is a pass first league, period. Look at the projected top teams in the NFL: Green Bay, Atlanta, and New England. Each of these teams feature predominately receiver heavy sets and in the playoffs, the Eagles will consistently need their three corners in the same defensive set. Pundits are saying that the Eagles should use more nickel packages because of their glut of talent at corner. While their conclusion is right, their reasoning is wrong. The Eagles will be forced to use more nickel packages by their opponents, especially in the playoffs.