The Philadelphia Eagles selected eight players on the 2017 NFL Draft.
That, my friends, is a lot, one more than teams are typically assigned from the league, to be exact.
To make matters all the more advantageous for Howie Roseman and company, the Eagles actually had two picks in the fourth round and two more in the fifth – but no seventh-rounder – making the chances of securing a few starters from the class a whole lot better than average.
And yet, fast forward five years into the future, and only one member of the class, Derek Barnett, is still with the team, and his days appear to be numbered.
So what gives? Did Howie Roseman just make that many bad decisions or what?
In a word? Yes.
He drafted Barnett two picks before Marlon Humphrey went to Baltimore 16th overall, chose Sidney Jones over Chidobe Awuzie, and left one of deepest running back drafts in recent memory with Donnell Pumphrey, a player who never actually appeared in an NFL game.
But hey, just because the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2017 draft class hasn’t quite taken the league by storm doesn’t mean that some of its members haven’t found ways to find success in the NFL. Rasul Douglas, everyone’s favorite super-sized perimeter cornerback, just picked off Kyler Murray in the waning moments of the Arizona Cardinals’ bout versus the Green Bay Packers to hand Zach Ertz’s squad their first L of the season.
Not too shabby for a should-be safety.
Watch the former Philadelphia Eagles’ corner ruin the Arizona Cardinals’ streak.
Rasul Douglas has been a member of the Green Bay Packers for 23 days.
He started off the 2021 NFL calendar year as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, signed with the Houston Texans two days following his release back in August, and eventually made his way to the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad at the beginning of September. From there, Douglas sat and bided his time, waiting for an opportunity either in Arizona or elsewhere to re-join an active roster and potentially see the field.
That happened on October 6th, when a shoulder injury sent Jaire Alexander to IR and opened up a spot on the Green Bay Packers’ cornerbacks depth chart.
Douglas saw his first playing time in Week 6 versus Chicago, his first start in Week 7 in Green Bay’s win over Washington, and made arguably the play of his career on Thursday Night Football, when he picked off Kyler Murray with 15 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, with the Arizona Cardinals down three on second-and-goal.
What? You were too busy watching the Philadelphia 76ers route the Detroit Pistons to catch the game? Fortunately, Ian Rapoport (and the NFL) has you with the highlight.
Not too shabby at all.
Now to be fair, this has always been part of Douglas’ game. In Philadelphia, Douglas recorded five picks and 25 passes defensed in 46 games of action, he just gave up too many big plays down the field due to his lack of outside speed. While that is still technically true, see the number of teams he’s played for in 2021, in the endzone, where you have only a few yards to worry about, Douglas can be a very effective player.
Boy, can a team find a role for Douglas where he just plays in the red zone? That would certainly solve a lot of his problems.
Should the Philadelphia Eagles have held on to Rasul Douglas in 2020? Yes. Their depth was severely challenged down the stretch last season, and his presence would have at least kept players like Michael Jacquett and Keyvon Seymour off the field in meaningful minutes. But now? Now, the Eagles have a decent enough depth chart with better fitting players in both the starting lineup and coming off the bench. Let Douglas have his moment in Wisconsin; he’s earned it.