The Eagles tabbed Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett with the 54th pick. It's the second straight year that the Eagles used a second-round pick on a safety (Nate Allen). The Eagles struck a deal with Baltimore to move back five spots in the third round and gain an extra sixth-round pick before selecting Curtis Marsh, a cornerback from Utah State, with the 90th overall selection.
With Quintin Mikell slated to become a free agent, Jarrett joins a safety corps that includes Allen and Kurt Coleman, both of whom were drafted last season and saw significant amounts of playing time. The Eagles also have Colt Anderson, who was a dynamic special teams player last year and played in some dime packages toward the end of the season.
At cornerback, the Eagles have Asante Samuel, a perennial Pro Bowl selection, on one side. He was backed up by nickel corner Joselio Hanson and rookie fourth-round pick Trevard Lindley, who saw action last year after starting right cornerback Ellis Hobbs went down with a potentially career-ending injury. Dimitri Patterson stepped in for Hobbs and performed well early, but struggled towards the end of the season and was benched during the Eagles' 24-14 loss to the Vikings.
Barring something unexpected, Hanson, a seven-year vet, has the nickel spot locked down but he could also be pressed into duty as a starting corner if the situation dictates such a move. Third-year cornerback Brandon Hughes debuted with the Eagles in the regular-season finale against Dallas and showed tremendous potential after spending the early part of the 2010 season on the New York Giants' practice squad.
The Eagles also have some depth at corner courtesy of the United Football League. Isaiah Trufant was the league's defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and Gerard Lawson showed his value as a kickoff return specialist.
Then there is the curious case of Jamar Wall. He spent most of last season on the Eagles practice squad and, like Hughes, was supposed to start the season finale against Dallas. He was cut by the Eagles prior to that game but was re-signed shortly thereafter, so clearly the Eagles see value in the young man.
With the additions of Jarrett and Marsh, the Eagles addressed what was widely viewed as a need and bolstered an area already deep in young talent. Only time will tell which of these players will emerge as starters for the 2011 season.