Want a cornerback that can run stride for stride with DK Metcalf? This younger brother of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. How does Trevon Diggs fit with the Philadelphia Eagles? Before we get started, here are some links to our previous Eagles draft targets.
- CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
- Henry Ruggs III, WR, Bama
- Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
- Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
- Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Eagles haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first round since 2002 (Lito Sheppard). Looking beyond the first round, it’s truly been a dumpster fire for drafting defensive backs in the early rounds. Past second round selections include Sidney Jones, Eric Rowe, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Nate Allen. While there have been some later round hits (Avonte Maddox, Jalen Mills), cornerback is one of the major areas of need this offseason.
A Look at his College Performance
While Trevon Diggs played 14 games his freshman season at Alabama, it wasn’t at cornerback. Like his brother, Diggs was a 4-star WR/athlete recruit out of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Diggs finished his freshman season with 11 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. From the jump, Diggs showed Alabama coaches his wide range of versatility on the field. He returned kicks and even played some safety his freshman year.
Diggs moved to defensive back his sophomore year but made his biggest impact his junior season, where he began to turn some heads while starting 4 of 6 games at cornerback. During a blowout win over Arkansas State, Diggs broke his foot while tackling Aggie WR Tony Nicholson and saving a touchdown after a 44-yard gain. In 6 games as a junior, Diggs made 20 tackles, an interception, 6 pass breakups (team high) and a 27.3 percent forced incompletion percentage according to Pro Football Focus (3rd in the SEC behind Eric Stokes and Kristian Fulton).
Prior to the broken foot, Diggs had missed only one game in his first two seasons with Alabama. Without injury, Diggs was considered one of the top prospects at his position in the 2019 NFL Draft. Diggs remained with Alabama for his senior season in order to finish his degree. A ton of pressure was on Trevon Diggs heading into his senior season.
Quite simply, he didn’t disappoint. Trevon Diggs allowed only 22 receptions on 52 passes for 309 yards his senior season. He allowed only 92 yards after the catch and only 3 catches over 20 yards on the year. He was a 3-down cornerback for the Tide, had 8 pass breaks ups (team high) and 3 interceptions on the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Diggs allowed a passer rating of just 44.5 when targeted during the regular season. Other than a difficult game vs Ja’Marr Chase and LSU (really who didn’t?), Trevon Diggs continued to show he is an elite cornerback prospect.
Current Draft Projection
- 20th – The Athletic
- Not listed (first round only) – NFL.com
- 20th – Sports Illustrated
- Not listed (first round only) – CBS Sports
- 20th – Fox Sports
- Not listed (first round only)- Mel Kiper/ESPN
- 20th – Sporting News
A Look at the Cornerback Position on the Philadelphia Eagles
Other than Avonte Maddox (who was average to below average) and Cre’Von LeBlanc (played great but activated Week 13), it was a horrendous year for the cornerback position in 2019. The Eagles must look to add at least two cornerbacks in Free Agency and/or the NFL Draft. Upgrading the cornerback spot is one of the biggest priorities for Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson.
Major question marks lie at the cornerback position. Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills will test free agency. Darby is not worth the money and I still have nightmares from DJ Metcalf owning Jalen Mills in the playoffs. Cre’Von LeBlanc looked great in extended playing time when he returned from injury. All signs point to Strap playing the slot in 2020. How much faith do you have in Sidney Jones? Rasul Douglas should never be considered a full-time starter. He’s a backup, period. Cre’Von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox should be the only two cornerbacks welcomed back with open arms in 2020.
Trevon Diggs’ Fit with the Philadelphia Eagles
Trevon Diggs, standing at 6’2 and an elite athlete, is one of the biggest upside picks in this year’s NFL Draft. Diggs not only has the size to play at the line of scrimmage, but he’s also got the athleticism that makes him fantastic in zone or press coverage. Most notably, Diggs thrives at ball tracking, staying with his man on vertical routes and making pass break ups downfield. If you’re an Eagles fan, then you know this was something that Eagles corners struggled mightily at last season.
How does Trevon Diggs fit with Jim Schwartz’s defense? I’ll be honest: I’m not the biggest Jim Schwartz fan. I hated how often he played his corners 5 to 10 yards off the line of scrimmage and never called more 2 deep safety looks on 3rd and long situations. Trevon Diggs is a physical corner with excellent length that should really help in this area for the Eagles. However, Diggs shows promise in the flat and intermediate routes if he needs to play off the line.
The Philadelphia Eagles don’t have a cornerback with the athleticism and length of Trevon Diggs. He has the size of Rasul but also has the deep speed Rasul Douglas lacks. Replacing Rasul Douglas on the outside would provide an excellent upgrade for Jim Schwartz, especially against the deep ball. Unlike Jalen Mills, Trevon Diggs also has recovery speed to keep up with fast wide receivers.
Areas Trevon Diggs Needs to Strengthen
Tackling: Trevon Diggs could spend some time working on shedding blocks and his form on tackling. He’s not the best open field tackler and very inconsistent. This is a very raw prospect but understandably so. He’s only played defense for the last couple of years.
Intelligence: This is a ball hunter, so you live and die with Diggs’ knack for playmaking. There were times last season when Diggs would be over-aggressive and miss. He doesn’t have the best motor and can take off plays, especially in the run game. When Trevon Diggs plays aggressive on the line and in coverage, he’s one of the best in college football.
Expectations for 2020
I don’t know if the Eagles will trade up, trade back or even stay put in the draft. But I would be shocked if the Eagles don’t take a cornerback with one of their first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. I am 100% certain that the Eagles first round pick will boil down to best player available between the wide receiver and cornerback position.
As of January 2020, my preference for the Eagles would be to find a starting outside corner in Free Agency and focus on wide receiver in the first round. However, the Eagles haven’t exactly had the best luck acquiring cornerbacks in Free Agency. I expect Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas to get a look at safety this offseason. Cre’Von LeBlanc is fine in the slot and in nickel situations.
The Eagles have a plethora of short, injury prone, slow footed defensive backs and are in desperate need for a big, physical cornerback. Whether at pick 21 or in a trade back, Trevon Diggs deserves a look and would fill a major area of need for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft.