INDIANAPOLIS --The Eagles have one of the most talented secondaries in all of the NFL. At cornerback, the Eagles have an excellent 1-2-3 punch with two-time Pro Bowl honoree Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown and the recently re-signed Joselio Hanson. At safety, Quintin Mikell had a breakout year in 2008, but his partner - seven-time Pro Bowl free safety Brian Dawkins - is on the verge of becoming a free agent. If the Eagles look to bolster the secondary through the draft, here are some names to keep a look out for ... Chip Vaughn/S/Wake Forest:** Vaughn's workout numbers were off the charts at the Combine. He weighed 221 pounds, completed 21 reps on the bench then cracked 4.4 seconds on his first attempt in the 40-yard dash. Vaughn displayed himself as a big hitter at Wake Forest and the type of safety willing to throw his pads into the action. He's a big hitter that's shown moderate improvement in pass coverage. Somewhere in the third round teams will start to look towards Vaughn with interest.
Morgan Trent/DB/Michigan: Trent is a cornerback by trade yet has intrigued scouts with his potential at safety. He exceeded expectations in every way at the Combine. Trent measured 6-feet, 193 pounds and completed 23 reps on the bench. He ran his 40s in the very low 4.4-second range and then put on a show in position drills. He's a quality person which complements his physical skills and Trent moved into the third round with his Combine performance on Tuesday.
|Missouri safety William Moore runs the 40|
William Moore/S/Missouri: The Missouri safety showed great improvement after a pitiful performance at the Senior Bowl last month. Moore is a big hitter and well-sized at 221 pounds. He showed the ability to move in reverse with proficiency at the Combine, something he struggled with in Mobile. Moore's footwork, backpedal and hip movement was significantly better in Indianapolis. Coming into the season most thought Moore was a lock to be a first-round choice. Moving towards April he could be a steal late in the second round.
Brandon Underwood/S/Cincinnati: Underwood gets lost amidst the big names in the Bearcats secondary yet could he end up as the best NFL player of the bunch. He ran well, timing under 4.5-seconds in both runnings of the 40 at the Combine. Underwood later showed a lot of skill in the position drills. He has the versatility to play either cornerback or safety and the underrated defensive back stated his case to be a top 75 pick in Indianapolis.
Jamarca Sanford/S/Mississippi:Sanford's 40 times were adequate at 4.55 seconds but the safety's strength numbers were eye-popping. He completed 29 reps on the bench press, a number bettered by just 13 offensive linemen last week. He's considered one of the more aggressive run defending safety's in the draft and Sanford proved he has the physical tools to back it up.
Christopher Owens/CB/San Jose State:Owens was a terrific cornerback in college yet slighted by scouts because of the perception he was small. He quelled that criticism at the combine measuring 5-9.5 and 181 pounds. Owens later ran well in the 40, clocking right around the 4.48-second mark. He's not mentioned with the elite cornerbacks in this draft yet Owens has the skills to be the first defensive back off the bench in nickel packages at the next level. His Combine performance elevated Owens into the third/fourth round area.
Donald Washington/CB/Ohio State:Washington is a sleeper of sorts and a potential late-round gem. His 2008 season was a wash as Washington was suspended for two games then unable to win back his starting job upon returning to the Buckeyes talented backfield. Yet looking at his sophomore film of 2007 (Washington enters this year's draft as a junior) he looks like the complete package. Washington was constantly around the ball making positive plays against the run or pass. He's worth a shot in the later rounds and if the light ever goes back on Washington will be a steal.
Ryan Palmer/CB/Texas: Palmer is a feisty cornerback with solid ball skills. His Combine performance was underwhelming as he clocked in the mid 4.5-second range after measuring 5-8 and 190-pounds. Those measurable will push him into the late rounds where Palmer could be a steal for a team looking to add inexpensive depth.
Tony Pauline has been the NFL draft analyst for SI.com since 2002. He's also been a draft contributor for PhiladelphiaEagles.com. Tony is also owner of ****www.TFYDraft.com***, a site solely dedicated to the NFL Draft 12 months a year.*