The Philadelphia Eagles have finally signed another cornerback

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Some people are hard to please. You never know what to buy them on a special occasion, they never know what they’d like to eat, and often times are dissatisfied by what is effectively thrust upon them.

Let’s call them “gift receipt people” just for the sake of simplicity.

Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, for all of the punishment they receive on the national stage, typically aren’t gift receipt people.

Sure, some may have lofty, wholly unrealistic expectations for how good the team will be in any given season or get a bit too tied up in big national rumors about trades that will never go down, but if Howie Roseman can just field a competent, competitive team each year, that’s all anyone really wants.

That, and a pair of starting cornerbacks.

Ah yes, much like the Eagles’ total inability to manufacture a 1,000-yard wide receiver since Jeremy Maclin left town, the Eagles haven’t had a pair of dominant outside cornerbacks since the middle of the Andy Reid-era. Despite consistently fielding a forceful front four thanks to players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, the Eagles’ defensive efficiency has waxed and waned based on the strength of their defensive backfield, for better or worse.

It’s not a coincidence that the one year the Eagles put it all together and won the Super Bowl also happened to be correspond with having their best one-two CB punch since Nnamdi Asomugha was a member of the 49ers.

Well, in a welcomed development, the Philadelphia Eagles have answered their fans’ prayers and finally added another cornerback… just not the one you may have expected.

Can Nate Meadors beat the odds to make the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster?

More from Section 215

Nate Meadors is 24 years old.

He’s been a professional football player for two years, has logged 48 snaps NFL snaps – 11 on defense and 37 on special teams – and has played for three different NFL teams since going undrafted out of UCLA in 2019; the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now, your friendly neighborhood Philadelphia Eagles.

There it is, the keyword for getting a defensive job with the 2021 Eagles: Minnesota.

While he may not be a household name and wasn’t exactly a highly heralded prospect after finishing out his career in Westwood, as Lance Zierlein and company over at didn’t even bother to give him a draft profile, Meadors caught the attention of the Vikings’ player personnel department during the pre-draft process, and he was signed shortly thereafter to compete for a roster spot in camp.

Considering Minnesota had spent three draft picks over the last two years on their defensive backfield – including a 2019 sixth-round pick on our old pal Marcus Epps – the odds were stacked against Meadors making the opening day roster, but the San Bernardino, California native clearly impressed enough to earn a spot on the Vikings’ practice squad, where he spent most of his rookie season.

Meadors was elevated to the active roster on two separate occasions in 2019, for a two-game stretch in September and at the tail-end of the season on January 10th in the lead up to Minnesota’s playoff bout against the San Francisco 49ers and while none of his individual performances were particularly noteworthy, it earned him another trip back to camp the following season, where he was once again waived, signed to the practice squad, and elevated yet again, only to be waived shortly thereafter to close out the month of September.

After weighing his options, Meadors signed with the Jaguars’ practice squad, where he would once again see in-game action, this time as a practice squad elevatee, before being waived in May of 2021 to make way for Jacksonville’s UDFA class.

But hey, you know what they say about the Jaguars; once you leave Jacksonville, anything is possible.

Sidebar: Does anyone actually say that? Did I just make it up? *sigh*

Assuming the Sixers don’t go out and make a blockbuster trade for a starter a la Ronald Darby in 2017, the Eagles are not a team loaded with talent at the cornerback position. Sure, they have Darius Slay, who came to the City of Brotherly Love as advertised, but outside of him, what do they have? Avonte Maddox, a diminutive speedster who struggled mightily on the outside last season, Zech McPhearson, a two-year starter at Texas Tech who is a question mark heading into his rookie season, and a number of other young, largely unproven corners who shouldn’t feel too comfortable heading into the 2021 season, not based on their individual performances last season anyway.

You see, Meadors doesn’t need to come in, outwork everyone and become the unlikeliest starting cornerback in the NFL. Sure, it’d be nice to see the former Bruin pull a Travis Fulgham and go from frequent cut to full-time starter, but his addition isn’t some boom-or-bust endeavor, as mid-May signings seldom are. No, all Meadors really has to do to make the first opening day roster of his NFL career is beat out the likes of Craig James, Michael Jacquet, and Kevon Seymour for a spot on the 53, which is far more attainable considering the strength of the competition.

Meadors has good size, inside-out versatility, and an eagerness to drop the wood when tackling in the open field. He could surely play a core role on special teams, serve spot duty if a starter goes down, and potentially even cross-train at safety, considering both of the Eagles’ projected starters are going to be free agents at the end of the season.

Again, a lot of this is projection based on a limited sample size, but considering Meadors already has two years in the NFL under his belt – learning new schemes, going to practice each day, etc. – he should be a lot further along than any UDFA player the Eagles could have targeted or even a player like Jacquet, who made his debuts in 2020.

And, for what it’s worth, Meadors appears pretty excited to be here too, as you can see below in his introductory tweet to Eagles nation.

A hidden gem waiting to be set free? Sounds good to me.

Just sign Steven Nelson, it’s not that hard. dark. Next

At this time of year, everything is fun in the NFL. Every team is undefeated, free agency, the draft, and their respective fallouts are in the rearview mirror, and we can all collectively sit back and enjoy the first inklings of NFL football with that beautiful exhibition known as Rookie Minicamps. While the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t go out, flex their proverbial muscles, and sign a Day 1 starter like Steven Nelson – which they should still very much consider doing (more on that here) – Nate Meadors just adds another body to the CB position who may just surprise some people depending on how things shake out. For fans who want nothing more than a competent secondary, adding another name to the competition surely can’t hurt; no gift receipt required.