Eagles Fourth-Rounder Boykin Looking Good in Bid to Win Slot Corner Job
The Philadelphia Eagles had probably the most impressive draft on the defensive side of the ball of any team in the NFL. First-round defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, second-round linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive end Vinny Curry were all blue chip options at their positions.
Fourth-round cornerback Brandon Boykin didn't get as much attention as that trio after the draft, but he could make the biggest impact of any Eagles rookie this year.
Boykin is only 5'10" and 182 lbs, but that lack of size is not important at the slot corner position, where offenses usually line up their smaller, quicker receivers. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie struggled in the role last year. The Eagles traded Asante Samuel to the Falcons, which will allow Rodgers-Cromartie to move back outside and put the slot corner spot up for grabs. Boykin and veterans Joselio Hanson and Curtis Marsh will compete for the job.
Hanson is in his seventh year with the Eagles, spending a lot of time as the slot corner before last year and even starting a few games here and there. He would seem to be the likely slot corner when the season opens, but he has to be looking over his shoulder after Boykin's performance in OTA practice today.
Geoff Mosher from the News Journal of Wilmington reported live from the practice on Twitter. He passed along that Boykin "blanketed" Chad Hall from the slot in man coverage and that another "sprawling" breakup of a pass to Hall highlighted his athleticism and instincts.
Oh, and the broken fibula that caused a player many had in the second round to fall to the Eagles in the fourth? Mosher says Boykin looks fine on the leg.
It was less than a year ago that the football world went abuzz with news that the best trio of corners in the league had been assembled in Philadelphia. This year's group could be superior, not in spite of, but because of a rookie joining the mix.
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