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Plugging In The Pieces: SS Jarrett

Posted Jun 22, 2011

The Eagles plucked strong safety Jaiquawn Jarrett from local Temple in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Could he be a starter as a rookie?

 

College Career: A four-year starter and a two-time first-team All-MAC performer, Jaiquawn Jarrett started in 43 games for the Owls and finished among the all-time school leaders in tackles (299) and interceptions (9). Jarrett was Temple's team MVP and captain as a senior. He was also an All-American selection by Pro Football Weekly. In his final year, he had 74 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Strengths: The buzz surrounding Jarrett is how much of a physical hitter he is. But before we extol the virtues regarding his ability to lay a lick on ballcarriers, Jarrett is also a very astute, smart player with a high football IQ. Having played the safety position since high school, Jarrett is very good at seeing the field and being able to communicate what he sees with his teammates. His style of play was compared to Eagles great Brian Dawkins, but obviously, there is only one Dawkins.

What He'll Need To Prove: Jarrett is not a speedster, but this is not a track meet. The reduced offseason will mean that Jarrett won't have as long to pick up the playbook as a typical rookie, especially with the entire defense learning a new scheme under Juan Castillo and Jim Washburn. Knowing the playbook inside and out allows Jarrett to make up for any lack of speed. Any extra time needed to think on the field will result in big plays at his expense.

How He Fits In: Quintin Mikell is set to be a free agent and it remains to be seen whether he will return. The Eagles have a lot of youth at the safety position now with last year's draft picks Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman in addition to Jarrett. With a second-round pick invested in Jarrett, the Eagles certainly expect him to be in the mix to start immediately and for the long haul.

Personal: Was nicknamed "The Clinic" by former Temple coach Al Golden for his textbook style of play. Jarrett's mother, Audrey, has served as a corrections officer at Rikers Island in New York for over 20 years. As a single mom, Audrey instilled the toughness that fuels Jarrett's play on the field. Jarrett is from Brooklyn, N.Y. which isn't exactly a hotbed of football talent. An all-state selection at Fort Hamilton High School, Jarrett was the Brooklyn Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and helped his team win the Public School Athletic City Championship in each of his final two years.

What He Said: "This right here is one of the greatest situations ever coming, staying close to home so my family is right down the road. I’ve played in the Eagles stadium for the last four years so being able to play for Coach Reid as an Eagle is a dream come true."

What The Eagles Said: "He has what I consider tremendous football knowledge and great retention and I think he’s just naturally a smart guy – team captain, graduated (and) all those intangible things. But on the football field he’s able to translate as smarts and make the adjustments that need to be made on that back end that are so crucial." - Head coach Andy Reid

Click here for the All-Access Archive Interview Highlights Bio

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