Xavien Howard at Left Cornerback, Byron Jones at Right Cornerback. Bobby McCain at Free Safety and Eric Rowe at Strong Safety. I believe this is our best secondary in a long time. Both Howard and Jones can be lockdown corners. Howard has the INT’s but Jones is regarded as one of the top cover corners in the NFL and shuts down the receivers he’s on. A healthy Bobby McCain this season will be better than he was last year struggling with a shoulder injury. Eric Rowe who has played a lot of different positions much like McCain, really seemed to find himself at Strong Safety. I thought he played his best ball there and his elite athleticism is a big plus at safety.
We drafted another CB who will likely be our slot and nickel corner in RD1 pick #30, Noah Igbinoghene (Iggy Mahogany). Those 5 guys in addition to up and comers like Nik Needham, Stevie Parker, Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis makes our depth legitimate. At safety we have 3 young vets who provide nice depth in Clay Fejedelem, Adrian Colbert and Kavon Frazier and a very promising rookie who may end up rising to the top of the depth chart before long in Brandon Jones. Add in a CB who at one time seemed like a potential starter in Cordrea Tankersley. Tank started 11 games in 2017 replacing Byron Maxwell who we picked up from Philly. Tank definitely showed promise in 2017 but suffered a season ending ACL injury in 2018. He was placed on the PUP in 2019 while recovering but couldn’t make it back last year. This is Tank’s final year on his contract so I expect he will be looking to crack the lineup to get himself another contract next year either here or elsewhere.
Having two shutdown corners should make a huge difference for our defense. We all know we’ve struggled to get to the QB the last few years but the additions we made this offseason in both free agency (Kyle Van Noy, ShaqLawson, Emmanuel Ogbah) as well as in the draft (Raekwon Davis, Curtis Weaver, Jason Strowbridge) will give us a lot more juice in the pass rush department. Pairing that potentially dominant secondary with an upgraded pass rush could yield excellent results from our defense. I don’t about all of you people here, I’m really looking forward to seeing this defense grow this year!