Philadelphia Eagles: Rasul Douglas named a Pro Bowl alternate

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

In Darius Slay, the Philadelphia Eagles have their first Pro Bowl cornerback in over a decade.

I know, crazy, right? I mean, with all of the incredible talent Howie Roseman has amassed at the cornerback position, you’d think we’d be talking about a decade jam-packed with Pro Bowlers, but it’s true; the last Eagles corner to make a pro bowl was none other than Asante Samuel all the way back in 2010.

Sidebar:  When your last Pro Bowl cornerback has a son playing in the NFL, it’s probably not a good sign.

While it’s a bit of a bummer that Avonte Maddox won’t be joining Big Play Slay in Las Vegas, it’s nice to know at least one member of the secondary is being honored for the unit’s much-improved efforts.

But what if I were to tell you that we’re one injury, illness, opt-out, or Super Bowl berth away from a player the Philadelphia Eagles drafted also making it into the Pro Bowl at cornerback? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, tell that to Rasul Douglas, who is having a season with the Green Bay Packers.

Ex-Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas has finally found an NFL home.

Rasul Douglas and Jim Schwartz fit together like oil and water.

The former is a long, physical ballhawk with the eyes of a wide receiver but a lack of recovery speed needed to play on an island. And the latter? Well, he liked his cornerbacks to play press-man, something Douglas could conceivably excel at, but seldom provided the over-the-top safety coverage to make up for subpar athletic options on the perimeter.

For every incredible play or highlight reel interception Douglas committed to tape, there were just as many examples of him getting beaten by a stunt or a go route that resulted in a massive gain and usually a touchdown for the opposing team.

Over his final two seasons in midnight green, Douglas surrendered 10 total touchdowns on 148 targets and was largely relegated to a reserve role on the depth chart as a result.

In Douglas, the Eagles had a conundrum. He was obviously a good playmaker, as his five career interceptions would suggest, but his deficiencies would often result in more harm than good. The team’s solution? Not move him to strong safety, a move many a fan begged for over his tenure, but instead release him outright in the leadup to the 2020 season and allow the former third-round pick out of West Virginia to latch on with Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers.

After a pretty good season in Carolina, Doug was passed around the NFL in 2021 before ultimately landing with the Green Bay Packers, first on their practice squad and then their active roster. He had a big interception against Arizona in Week 8 and has since gone on to pick off two more passes as an instrumental part of one of the NFC’s best defenses.

In a weird twist of fate few people saw coming, Douglas might just leapfrog both Kevin King and 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes to play opposite Jaire Alexander when he eventually comes back from an IR-landing shoulder injury, which felt absolutely insane to say on the first day of the league calendar year, when the pride of East Orange, New Jersey wasn’t even on an NFL roster.

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Would Rasul Douglas fit in with the Philadelphia Eagles now in 2021? Yeah, I think he actually would actually look good in Jonathan Gannon’s defense instead of Steven Nelson, but unfortunately, that’s a conversation for another day. Instead, I’d like to give some ups to Douglas, who miraculously found a way to stick it out when many counted him out and ultimately come out on top on another team with serious playoff aspiration. That, my friends, is a very cool story in a very weird year.