Sleepers In The Secondary
DiCecco: Day 3 DBs Birds Should Watch
For pre-draft evaluations, the NFL Scouting Combine is an important phase, as it often reaffirms what clubs had previously known about a given propsect.
It also serves as a vital showcase for under-the-radar prospects who need every opportunity to catch a potential employer’s eye.
Given the potential of the Eagles losing veteran cornerback James Bradberry in free agency, the the secondary will need to be retooled – and the depth presumably bolstered by cost-effective youth.
Here are some Day 3 cornerback prospects who could prove to be intriguing developmental commodities as the Eagles look to fill out the depth chart.
Lance Boykin, Coastal Carolina
An East-West Shrine Bowl participant, Boykin – 6-3, 200 – produced 58 tackles (two for loss), two interceptions, a sack, 10 passes defended, and a forced fumble in 11 games for the Chanticleers last season. Originally beginning his collegiate career at Old Dominion before transferring to Coastal Carolina after sitting out the 2020 season – the Monarchs’ 2020 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic – Boykin was named a team captain as a redshirt senior. He also garnered second-team All-Sun Belt honors.
Sporting a lengthy frame and sculpted build, Boykin is an instinctive defender who uses his size to his advantage. He’s not overly fluid in his change of direction and his lack of long speed likely makes him scheme-specific, but if he tests well at Combine in Indianapolis, Boykin possesses enough tools and intrigue to come off the board in Day 3.
Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern
A redshirt junior last season, Mitchell earned Big Ten Honorable Mention recognition on the heels of a campaign that yielded 52 tackles (2.5 for loss), an interception, a sack, 10 passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 11 games. The 6-foot, 195-pound Mitchell is an intuitive defender who boasts exceptional short-area quickness and anticipation. Very aggressive at the catch point. Mitchell’s physicality can sometimes work against him, however, as he often shows signs of panic if he feels the receiver has a step on his and will bail on his technique and become overly handsy. One of four Wildcats invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, Mitchell is an early favorite of mine in regard to Day 3 sleepers.
Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
A first-team All-Sun Belt Conference, Pro Football Focus second-team All-America, along with a Reese’s Senior Bowl selection, Luter Jr. concluded his final season at South Alabama with 42 tackles, an interception, seven passes defended, and a quarterback hit. He finished his Jaguars career with five interceptions and 18 passes defended. His modest career interception total is not indicative of his ball skills. The 6-foot, 190-pound Luter should thrive as a zone corner at the next level, where his eye discipline, anticipation, and length to close throwing windows stand apart. However, his lack of long speed could prove problematic. I’d also like to see more physicality and aggressiveness from Luter, who I believe will be a Day 3 steal and rookie contributor.
– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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