Nobody wanted to see Brian Dawkins go. He was and always will be a Philadelphia legend. The departure of Dawkins became even worse as the Eagles have continued to struggle in replacing him. When Quintin Mikell left, things seemed to get even worse.
The Eagles have attempted to make efforts to bring in talent at the safety position through the draft, but none of their options have played out the way they wanted. You can argue that the guys they drafted are still young and it’s hard to fully judge them at this point. However, it hasn’t looked good so far.
If the Eagles don’t make a move in free agency soon, they could be forced to look at drafting another safety early. This years draft class is considered to be thin at the position with Harrison Smith and Mark Barron being the only two players considered to be worthy of being picked in the top two rounds.
Barron is a very gifted player and could potentially be on the Eagles radar in the first round.
I like Barron because of the versatility he shows. While at Alabama, he showed he could line up in the box as an extra linebacker and play just like one. At the same time, he has the ability to play center field and make plays on the ball.
When watching Barron, I liked the physicality he showed. He’s not afraid to hit and likes to tackle the ball carrier with force. Some scouts think his violent nature can sometimes be harmful as he can tend to hurl himself at some runners who are able to bounce off. However, it seemed to me that he was usually able to deliver a good blow while wrapping up the ball carrier and bringing him down.
Another thing you’ll notice when watching Barron is his aggressive instincts. When he reads run, he gets to the ball quickly. He also has the ability to read tight ends releasing off the line and isn’t afraid to hesitate to get into them and try to knock them off their route.
He seems to want to make a play every time he’s around the ball and I think the Eagles could use a physical player like Barron on their defense.
Check out this video of Barron against LSU, via DraftBreakdown.com.
The hardest thing I have determining is how the Eagles currently feel about the safety position. They seemed to reach for Jaiquawn Jarrett last year and had a lot of hope that he’d be able to step in and contribute from the start. That clearly didn’t happen, and it’s hard to judge how they feel about him now.
Barron should undoubtedly go in the first round and Mel Kiper fully believes he will go in the top 16 picks. This isn’t to say that he will definitely be available at 15, as a lot of people think he may go to Dallas if he’s still on the board at 14.
I really like Barron. Hell, I really like the entire Alabama defense. I’m just not fully buying the Eagles having first round value on the position right now. However, if the Eagles don’t move from 15 and Barron is still on the board, I think they may have to seriously consider it. If they don’t like the odds of him falling to 15 and they want him, they may have to move up a bit, but I don’t think it would have to be a dramatic jump.
I’m getting tired of inconsistent safety play, so I wouldn’t mind if the Eagles ended up taking Barron in the first round.