The Philadelphia Eagles have been left searching for too long now. Searching for an impact safety, a player that will change the face of a defense in desperate need of an identity. It’s been a position that has negatively affected the play of their defense over time since the departure of all-time great, Brian Dawkins. It has become obvious that none of the current options are the makeup changing options the Eagles have been looking for.
Earl Wolff, after just finishing his rookie season and missing some time due to injury, may play a part in time, but it seems a long shot that he’ll be “the guy.” Most likely he’ll play spot situations as a role player that can have an effect and make a positive difference as he learns the game at the professional level.
After Wolff, Philadelphia should go all in to replace and replenish the position. Nate Allen has been a disappointment since his drafting and hype. It has became apparent long ago that he will not make the contributions this team needs. Patrick Chung was brought in through free agency before last season, but his impact was not what anyone hoped for. He missed some time due to injury, but overall did not provide what the Eagles need as far as policing the secondary.
The huge off-season for the Eagles should begin on day one of free agency when they have an opportunity to corner the safety market and add a young player who can improve the position immediately. TJ Ward is the obvious choice for the Eagles. He played for Chip Kelly at Oregon and would be coming from a system similar to the new hybrid defense that Philadelphia is playing. He is still young and able to fit right into the movement the Eagles are in the process of completing. The biggest part is that he is an upgrade over any of the safeties Philadelphia currently has manning the secondary. The Eagles may have to overpay to get him right out of the gate, but in the end, they don’t have much option.
In addition to making a move to start free agency, Philadelphia should do something drastic to make a move in the draft and get another safety. Alabama’s Hasean Clinton-Dix seems to be the favorite in the free safety position approaching the draft. It is likely that unless the Eagles can make a move, he’ll not still be left when they can make their pick at 22. Therefore, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor is another option which has about the same upside. Either choice would help to quickly improve the Eagles at the safety position. Paired with a free agency move, Philadelphia could drastically improve their defense over a short period of time.