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    Eagles Mailbag: Who Will Start at Outside Cornerback Opposite of Darius Slay?

    The latest Philadelphia Eagles mailbag includes questions about the cornerback situation, concerns about the offense's slow start, and more.

    Welcome to my first official Philadelphia Eagles mailbag! This series will allow everyone to submit Eagles-related questions to me on X (formerly Twitter), and I’ll do my best to provide insight and analysis while answering your questions.

    Although the Eagles have wrapped up mandatory minicamp and we’re heading into the “lull” of the offseason, there are still plenty of topics to discuss ahead of training camp!

    Eagles Mailbag: Who Will Start in Philadelphia’s Secondary in Week 1?

    Despite all of the moves that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has made this offseason, there are still a few concerning spots on Philadelphia’s roster. One area that Roseman reinforced this offseason was the team’s secondary, which struggled mightily last season.

    Following mandatory minicamp, several people are interested in what Philadelphia’s secondary might look like in Week 1. After receiving 18 total questions in the debut of my Eagles mailbag, I have decided to answer them all between two articles. Let’s start with the first nine questions!

    @RealThomasMott asked, “Which surprise roster bubble candidate will get cut?”

    First of all, Thomas Mott does a phenomenal job creating Eagles-related content on YouTube, which you can find here. But to answer his question, I believe we’re going to see a few surprising cuts at cornerback ahead of the regular season.

    After adding several cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, signing Tyler Hall, and the reinstatement of Isaiah Rodgers Sr., there is simply too much talent to keep everyone on the final roster. Therefore, it would not shock me at all to see a promising young cornerback such as Eli Ricks or Josh Jobe waived during final cuts.

    @ScooterMcgilli1 asked, “Which defensive player in front 7 benefits most from Fangio being DC?”

    During his only season as defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, Vic Fangio did wonders for the team’s defensive line. Christian Wilkins enjoyed easily the best season of his NFL career as a pass rusher, finishing with nine sacks.

    Therefore, it seems like Philadelphia’s defensive line will benefit the most from Fangio’s arrival, specifically Jalen Carter, who will truly be able to take the next step in 2024. Carter showed flashes of dominance during his rookie season, but he should push for a potential All-Pro-caliber season given the workload and role that he’ll handle in Fangio’s defense.

    @smitty_city6 asked, “What corners do you think make the roster?”

    As I previously mentioned, Philadelphia is going to have to make some tough decisions at cornerback during final cuts. Darius Slay, Quinyon Mitchell, Avonte Maddox, Cooper DeJean, Kelee Ringo, and Rodgers seem like locks to me.

    That’s already six cornerbacks, and what the Eagles do at other positions is going to dictate how many more will make the final roster. If they keep a seventh cornerback, I think Hall might make it over younger players such as Ricks and Jobe.

    @Michael93826345 asked, “Who do you think will start opposite Slay? Ringo, Quinyon, or Rodgers?”

    Well, I guess it’s safe to say that it won’t be James Bradberry at this point. In all seriousness, it seems like Rodgers has taken an early lead for the starting job opposite Slay. He has impressed the media during open practice sessions, and Philadelphia’s coaching staff has praised him as well.

    Rodgers obviously offers more NFL starting experience than the other candidates, which will give him the upper hand early in the regular season. Although Mitchell or Ringo might win the job eventually, I’d guess that Rodgers will be starting as an outside cornerback in Brazil.

    @PhillyTruthr asked, “Who do you predict will be the week 1 starters in the Eagles secondary for their dime packages?”

    This is an interesting question given all of the talent that Philadelphia now has in the secondary … which seems weird to say. Yet, the possibilities are truly endless, especially given the versatility C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Maddox, and DeJean offer.

    If I had to guess which six defensive backs the Eagles will use in a potential dime package in Week 1, I would go with Slay and Rodgers at outside cornerback, Reed Blankenship and Gardner-Johnson at safety, and then Maddox at slot cornerback and DeJean in the “dime linebacker” hybrid role.

    @hubie1182 asked, “My Question is about the offense and if you think its concerning how mediocre its looked this mini camp and if that is to be expected.”

    Considering that the Eagles are installing essentially an entirely new offense, I wouldn’t be concerned at all. I also think players should struggle now, during practice, instead of having issues in games that actually matter.

    While it certainly isn’t fun to hear that Jalen Hurts has thrown several interceptions, I truly don’t believe it’s much of an issue. New Eagles offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is likely throwing a lot at the team early in the offseason to see what they can grasp. If the struggles continue after the first few weeks of the regular season, then it’s time to panic.

    @devinweber796 asked, “Could Johny Wilson become WR3 or at least the top outside backup? Keon Coleman is expected to be a 1 in Buffalo and they were 1A and 1B in Florida state. Why no faith in Johnny?”

    Before Johnny Wilson was even selected by the Eagles in the 2024 NFL Draft, I talked about his unique blend of size, athleticism, and potential at the next level. While I don’t think Wison will start as Philadelphia’s third wide receiver, he could certainly play a role in the offense during his rookie season.

    Depending on whether John Ross III makes the final roster or not, Wilson seems like the obvious choice to be the top backup at outside wide receiver. While he also can play a few snaps in the slot, Wilson’s best fit is clearly on the outside, which may not lead to many opportunities immediately given A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith’s presence.

    @dredeezle asked, “Hello Sir, so I’m wondering how you feel about our backup TE position.. I have a feeling none of the guys we have back there are very good run blockers”

    For several years, I believed that the Eagles were doing a poor job of investing in depth at tight end, especially given Dallas Goedert’s constant struggles with injuries that have forced him to miss games nearly every season.

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    However, I’m surprisingly confident in Philadelphia’s current group, as I believe C.J. Uzomah is a notable upgrade over Jack Stoll. While I understand your concerns about blocking ability, I think Philadelphia needed a reliable pass-catching tight end outside of Goedert. Uzomah should fill that role, and Grant Calcaterra has shown flashes this offseason as well.

    @CMPXMV asked, “This may seem stupid (and it is) but fun: how do you see the roster playout for the 2025 draft? Cuts, extensions and draft needs (first two rounds). Imo I think we’re a drafting edge and TE and no extension for JD.”

    It’s always fun to look into the crystal ball and try to predict the future, but I believe we could see Slay traded next offseason, as it’s clear that the Eagles focused on getting younger at cornerback this offseason.

    Both Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham will likely be gone in 2025, so edge rusher will be a strong point of emphasis next offseason. I believe we could see the Eagles address edge rusher and offensive tackle early in the 2025 NFL Draft.

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