Many of you may be familiar with its history.
The Eagles haven’t used a first-round pick to draft a cornerback since the 2002 draft when they picked Lito Shepard out of Florida. That was 20 years ago.
But if the Eagles want to buck that trend in 2023, there are many reasons. Likely to lose James Bradbury in free agency. They have a team they have to fight for this season. And the top rookie cornerback has been playing very well in recent seasons.
The Eagles have a chance to draft the best cornerback in the draft.
First, they have to figure out who it is.
“I’m the best cornerback in the draft,” Devon Witherspoon said confidently at this week’s Combine.
Many agree with him. In fact, if you look at the cornerback rankings in this upcoming draft, his three names will consistently appear at the top. Witherspoon from Illinois, Christian Gonzalez from Oregon, and Joey Porter Jr. from Penn State University.
The order of these three is a little more subjective.
It seems that everyone has their own opinion.
“There’s a reason I feel like I’m CB1,” Porter said. “I feel like I’m in the best corner here, so I’m here to really show my talent and prove why.”
Let’s take a closer look at the options.
Devon Witherspoon (6-0, 180)
This season Witherspoon is widely predicted to be one of the Thorpe Award finalists and one of the top off-board cornerbacks after a big junior season in Illinois.
It was quite a journey.
Witherspoon didn’t start playing soccer until his sophomore year of high school, but he quickly became a star at Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida. Still, he was his 0-star recruit, and when the Power 5 offer came along, he jumped at the chance to play for Illinois. He made the most of his chance.
“Play with that chip on your shoulder,” Witherspoon said. “It doesn’t matter if you were hired a lot. If you’re a good friend on the football field, they’ll come find you.”
He was so busy during this pre-draft process that Witherspoon tried to focus on the task at hand and never looked back on the journey. He admitted that he felt it was unrealistic.
It’s not that I don’t have confidence. Because Witherspoon thinks he’s the best corner in the draft.
“I’ll just say I’m confident. I’m physical,” he said. “I like playing football, I’m smart, I like studying, and I just try to beat my opponents. And I’m energetic and very passionate about what I do.”
In 12 games last season, Witherspoon had 3 interceptions, 41 tackles and 14 pass breakups. He is considered a top his corner in the draft by Daniel Jeremiah of ProFootballFocus and his NFL.com.
Witherspoon was targeted 63 times in 2022 and allowed only 22 catches for 206 yards, according to the PFF.
Christian Gonzalez (6-1, 197)
After playing his first two seasons in Colorado, Gonzalez moved to Oregon for the 2022 season, picking the first four passes of his college career.
it was important to him.
“You know, people were asking if I had ball skills,” Gonzalez said. I knew it was my whole life, but I just had to go and play.”
Gonzalez has a great physique and there’s no denying his performance last season.
What’s the difference between him and other corners in this class?
“I’m a long, speedy, versatile corner, right?” Gonzalez said, “someone who can guard 6-5 receivers on the outside and 5-10 speed type receivers on the inside. “Can be a smart player, can learn very quickly. Can change. To any type of what I’m trying to do (receiver type).”
Gonzalez comes from a family of athletes. His father played semi-professional basketball in Columbia and his sisters are track stars. His older sister Melissa happens to be an Olympic hurdler, she is married to NFL QB David Blow.
He said many young cornerbacks have had success in their rookie years, typified by Source Gardner, who became an All-Pro in his rookie season after the Jets drafted him fourth overall.
“You know you’re on an island alone and that’s what I live for,” said Gonzalez. “When I look at the sources and the rookies, they’re tall and they’re rounding long corners, and I’m just like them, so it’s great to experience that.”
Joey Porter Jr. (6-2, 193)
Porter was present like a star when he took the podium at Indy on Thursday. Of course, having a father who played 13 years in the NFL put Porter on this path early.
“My family really motivated me,” Porter said. “It’s really a legacy position for me. My father has been there before. He’s done it. I want to do the same thing, but I want to be better. That’s the main thing. He’s always been there.” You told me you wanted me to be better than him, so that’s what I’m trying to do and that’s why I’m here.
During his Penn State career, Porter had only one interception but had 20 pass breaks, including 11 in 2022. He worked hard last season to eliminate penalties.
According to the PFF, Porter has allowed just 45 yards on 73 snaps against Ohio State the last two years, playing against a very talented receiver.
How would Porter describe himself?
“I say it’s a physical press corner that hits you in the face and does my job well,” he said.
With that description, it’s no surprise that Porter thinks his best composition is Jalen Ramsey. will take
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https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/eagles-have-a-shot-to-land-the-top-cornerback-in-2023-draft/3514180/ Eagles Have A Shot At Top Cornerback In 2023 Draft – NBC10 Philadelphia