Philadelphia Eagles News

2010 Free Agency Rankings: Cornerback

The Eagles acquired one of the biggest prizes in all of the free agent market in 2008 when they signed cornerback Asante Samuel. The big-play corner has made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons with the Eagles and the team's overall turnover rate has improved drastically. Last year, the Eagles solidified the depth at the position by giving Joselio Hanson a long-term deal. The Eagles also traded for Ellis Hobbs, who is on the verge of becoming a restricted free agent. Could the Eagles add to the position in free agency? Here's a look at the 10 best who are about to hit the open market.

1. Dunta Robinson, Houston Texans (UFA)
Robinson is a good cover corner. He was a big-time playmaker early in his career, but didn't have any interceptions in 2009. He can press or play off. He isn't huge, but will hit and tackle. He did have 3.5 tackles-for-loss this year. Teams who need a starting corner are ecstatic that Robinson is hitting the open market.

2. Richard Marshall, Carolina Panthers(RFA)
The Panthers surprised me when they only gave a second-round tender to Marshall. He is a good young player. Marshall can cover, play the run and make plays. He was second on the Panthers in tackles. He isn't a typical cornerback in that regard. He also had four interceptions. Marshall can cover on the outside or play in the slot.

3. Leigh Bodden, New England Patriots (UFA)
Bodden is a big corner who thrives in zone coverage. He is 6-1 and 193 pounds. Bodden likes to be physical. Zone coverage allows him to do that and not worry about getting beaten deep. Bodden lacks the athletic ability to cover receivers all over the field. He had a very productive season for the Patriots. Bodden picked off five passes and broke up 19.

4. Carlos Rogers, Washington Redskins (RFA)
Very talented, but inconsistent corner. Rogers at times looks like a Pro Bowl player. Other times he is pedestrian. His production fell dramatically from 2008 to 2009. That will bother some teams. Rogers has the size and speed to be a top flight corner. He can be physical with receivers and then turn and run with them. Washington will likely put a high tender on him and certainly wants him to stay. You do wonder if a change in scenery might not help his career.

5. Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers (RFA)
Is he a cornerback or pass interference machine? Anyone who watched the Packers-Ravens game will remember that Williams was flagged several times and could have been flagged on virtually every downfield pass play. Williams is a talented player, but he has got to learn how to cover without being so physical. Pass interference penalties can be very costly. Williams hasn't been a full-time starter for a whole season yet, but he still is a playmaker. In the last two years, he picked off nine passes and broke up 29.

6. Fabian Washington, Baltimore Ravens (RFA)
Washington is a talented young player that has yet to reach his potential. He has outstanding speed. He has good cover skills. The biggest knocks on him are durability and a lack of playmaking skills. Washington has only played in 22 of the last 32 games. He's never started 16 games in a season. Washington only has six career interceptions despite being a starter for most of his career.

7. Marlin Jackson, Indianapolis Colts (RFA)
Interesting player. Jackson has started at strong safety, free safety and cornerback. He's started at both left and right corner. I guess you could say he's versatile. He's also been fragile the last two seasons. Jackson has only played in 11 of 32 games. He is talented, but has had a hard time finding his niche in the NFL. He has good size at 6-0 and 196 pounds. He's not a big-time playmaker, as evidenced by his four career interceptions. His value will be determined by how healthy his knee is.

8. Tim Jennings, Indianapolis Colts (RFA)
Undersized corner with some starting experience. Jennings is only 5-8 and 185 pounds. He will tackle. He has solid ball skills and gets a good break on passes that come to his side. Jennings is best suited to play in a zone scheme. He won't appeal to all teams. Jennings does have 21 starts in the last three years. He has four picks and 20 break-ups in that span.

9. Nick Harper, Tennessee Titans (UFA)
Harper is going to turn 36 years old this upcoming season, but he still can play. He started 11 games in 2009 and was effective. He isn't big or fast, but just knows how to cover. Harper can play man or zone. He is good tackler. His production as a playmaker started to drop in 2009. He only had one interception and six break-ups. Teams looking for a spot starter/role player will be interested. I don't know that anyone will bring Harper in with the idea of him being a full-time starter.

10. Rod Hood, Tennessee Titans (UFA)
Former Eagle has been up and down as a full-time starter, but can be a solid role player. Hood lacks ideal speed and athleticism. He can be effective in the slot or as a spot starter. Hood is tough, mentally and physically. He won't back down from any receiver. He has good ball skills. Hood picked off three passes last year and has nine in the last three seasons combined. He played well for the Titans after they picked him up late in the year.

-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 3:19 p.m., March 4*

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