The Philadelphia Eagles signed former Minnesota Vikings Safety Anthony Harris to a one-year five million dollar deal on Friday.
This is an amazing upgrade at the position and gives fans the much-awaited “splash” signing they have been seeking this Free-Agent Frenzy.
The Eagles were able to swoop Harris from the Vikings after the two sides could not reach a long-term deal since Harris played on the franchise tag last season for 11 million.
Harris certainly did take a pay cut to come to the Birds, but it is very encouraging to have a player of this caliber in the Birds’ defense’s back ends this season. In 2019, Harris was the highest-graded Safety according to PFF.
Harris had 104 tackles last season and also played in 94% of the defensive snaps in Minnesota.
Anthony Harris was the NFL's highest-graded safety in 2019 with 6 INTs and 60 tackles.
— Word On The Birds (@WordOnTheBirds) March 19, 2021
“You can make a case that Anthony Harris has been the best safety in the NFL,” Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson said about Harris. “Basically, every step of grading we have on him is really good. And then the more they increase his playing time, the better he’s gotten.”
Overall, Harris finished his time in Minnesota with 9 interceptions, 28 passes defended, and four fumble recoveries paired with a forced fumble.
Will the Eagles also look to address the Safety spot in the NFL Draft?
Howie Roseman and company should certainly still invest at Safety next month when the NFL Draft rolls around. Although Harris is an instant plug-and-play starter, the Birds still need to think about the future of the position. Currently, Rodney McLeod is recovering from a torn ACL which occurred back in Week 14 of last year, and will be 31-years old by the time the 2021 season starts.
K’Von Wallace showed flashes at times but did not see the field too much outside of special teams so the Birds still don’t know what they have in last year’s fourth-round pick out of Clemson. It will be very interesting to see how Wallace develops under a new coaching staff with defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon (former defensive backs coach) at the helm.
Expect for Wallace to see increased playing time in his second season, especially with McLeod out of the lineup.
TJ Edwards forces the fumble and K'Von Wallace secures it for Eagles!
Biggest play of the day for Eagles! pic.twitter.com/q1OWYpPWim
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) September 20, 2020
There are a few intriguing safety prospects coming out of college the Eagles could pursue.
Trevon Moehrig seems to be the consensus pick for top-rated Safety in this year’s draft class.
At 6-2, 202 lbs, the Spring Branch Texas native totaled 124 tackles, and 7 interceptions during his time at TCU.
Trevon Moehrig has been a beast for @TCUFootball.
Now he's the top Safety prospect in the draft, per @MoveTheSticks.
— NFL (@NFL) March 19, 2021
Richie Grant // UCF
Riche Grant from UCF on the other hand has been shooting his draft stock up after an incredible performance at the Senior Bowl. Grant accumulated 290 tackles and 10 picks over his tenure as a Knight and won all-conference honors two of his four years as a starter.
Grant is quite easily one of the best safeties in run support. His quick read and fill ability led to a 90.0 run-defense grade this past season. Grant may be the most versatile of the group and should expect to hear his name called as a second-round selection.
Jevon Holland // Oregon
Despite opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Jevon Holland out of Oregon still remains one of the top Safeties in this year’s class. He started as a true freshman at safety, where he earned an 89.6 coverage grade with five picks and six pass breakups.
Holland’s production of 108 tackles and nine takeaways over a two-year period stands to NFL talent evaluators and value him as a third-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Holland would have likely been a higher draft pick if he had not opted-out but his tape at Oregon does not disappoint.
Top safeties in the draft…
Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Richie Grant, UCF
Jevon Holland, Oregon
I think Moehrig would be a good fit and someone you could trade down for. Watched him a couple times while covering OU – smart, talented player.
— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) March 16, 2021
The Eagles need to get younger (and seemingly better) at essentially every position on the football field.
Philadelphia can easily improve their secondary by drafting a Safety when they are on the clock with one of their eleven total draft picks. Names such as Divine Deablo and Caden Sterns can be targeted with one of the Eagles’ two fifth-round picks.
Regardless of where the player is selected, the Birds should add a Safety who can be groomed behind Harris and maybe even played alongside him in 2021.
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