Overview

 

  1. Head Coach: Chip Kelly
  2. Defensive Coordinator: Bill Davis
  3. Defensive Back Coach: Cory Undlin
  4. Base Defense Scheme: 3-4 Hybrid
  5. Transactions: CB Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond III and Marc Anthony signed
  6. Draft Picks: CB Eric Rowe,  JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans

 

Projected Starters

 

CornerBack # 1: Byron Maxwell
CornerBack # 2: Nolan Carroll
Strong Safety : Malcom Jenkins
Free Safety : Walter Thurmond III

 

Backups/ Potential Starters : Jaylen Watkins, Eric Rowe, Denzel Rice

The Numbers

 

Total Fantasy Points Allowed to WR: 439.04

Average Fantasy Points Per game against to WR: 27.44

Total Receiving Touchdowns Allowed: 21

Total Receiving Yards Allowed: 3,141

Average Receiving yards per game against: 196.31

 

Strengths

 

Byron Maxwell  was the splashy offseason signing this past year. He made his way over from the vaunted Seahawks secondary and is a long and physical corner who should be an excellent fit in this press coverage scheme. When comparing him to the rest of the Seahawks defensive backs he was definitely the weakest of the four but that didn’t stop the Eagles from spending 63 Million to bring him to the east coast. Only time will tell how is transition is going to go. Was he a player propped up by those around him in Seattle or is he worth the money spent on him in Free agency? He is a player to monitor early on. The Eagles spent their second round pick on Utah’s Eric Rowe. Rowe is another long and physical corner that Chip Kelly seems to target.  He was known for his press coverage ability at Utah and should be able to disrupt receivers off the line of scrimmage. He definitely is not considered a burner and does not have great recovery speed so if he gets beat early there will be no making up that ground. Still he is expected to  challenge Nolan Carroll for the opposite starting cornerback position. Carroll is currently listed as the starter and might even begin the season as the starting corner with Rowe coming in on passing downs.

 

 

Weaknesses

 

It will be key to monitor who is seeing the majority of reps opposite Maxwell. I think early in the year Carroll will continue to start with Rowe playing the nickel and dime packages but that could change throughout the season. Preseason talk has Walter Thurmond winning the starting free safety position. In week 2 last year he was placed on injured reserve after tearing his pectoral. Out of Oregon, Kelly has some familiarity with Thurmond which is probably why most expect him to start the year. He has never played free safety though but scouts have been raving about his natural instincts and think he should make the transition easily. This is definitely another player to monitor closely. Other players have made the transition from Corner to Safety but they had a lot more history at the corner position then Thurmond currently has.

 

Overall Outlook

 

The Eagles have some tough matchups early on and how Maxwell responds to being the #1 guy will be key to this defensive backfields success. If he can hold his own and force teams to beat the Eagles by picking on either Carroll or Rowe they could make significant strides right away. Still questions abound at the other defensive back positions and with the fast pace that the Eagles offense plays at it gives other teams tons of opportunity to exploit the Eagles defense. They always seem to be a defense to target for DFS purposes and I will definitely be doing that at the beginning of the 2015 season as well.