Philadelphia Eagles: 2 recently waived safeties worth pursuing

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
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2. Elijah Riley

From 2020 through 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles really liked Elijah Riley.

Though he didn’t make the team’s roster in either season, the Birds kept him around on the practice squad in each season and even protected him from being picked off by a safety-needy team for much of the 2021 season… at least for a while. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Howie Roseman didn’t formally protect Riley for the week of November 9th, and he was signed by the Jets to their 53-man roster, where he spent the remainder of the season.

Riley appeared in seven games with seven starts for the Jets down the line and finished out the season with 45 tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed on the way and looked particularly good in run support. While he allowed 10 of the 13 passes thrown his way to be completed and missed five tackles on 50 tries, there’s little reason to think that Riley’s efforts in 2021 would make him less attractive to the Eagles in 2022. If anything, his 386 defensive snaps would probably be looked at as an asset and may even give him the nod over a player like Blankenship, who is completely unproven at the NFL level.

One way or another, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume Riley may end up on an Eagles sideline this fall, even if he’s just on the practice squad.