With the 15th pick of the second round, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Eric Rowe. This cornerback played his college ball at the University of Utah, and the Eagles were so impress with this prospect that they traded up with the Miami Dolphins in order to select him. Rowe was rated as one the more athletic of the defensive backs entered into this years draft.
A major strength that Rowe possesses at this time rests in his athleticism given his position. At the combine, he is simply better than most others at his position, and those numbers were also reflected in his on the game play at Utah. At the combine itself, he excelled over all other cornerbacks in every category, beginning with a very speedy 4.45 second 40-yard dash. He also benched pressed 19 repetitions, had a 39.0 inch vertical jump, and 125.0 inch broad jump. Rounding it all out, he continued to best all others with a 6.70 second 3-cone drill, 3.97 second 20-yard shuttle, and 11.48 60-yard shuttle. When going deep, he has the speed to stay with offensively minded receivers, but he also has the versatility to blitz as well, due to his size at 6’1” and 205 pounds.
Graphic via phillymag
A main weakness that has been noticed with Rowe is his relative lack of experience playing cornerback. He actually played safety during his first three collegiate years, shifting to the outside during this senior year. He stepped in nicely and put up some great stats, but there is still much room for him to improve. A particular weakness is in his tackling ability. He also has a tendency to play too upright at times, which enables strong ball carriers to power through him rather easily.
During his collegiate career, he started in 45 games and had 26 tackles, seven of those for loss, in addition to tallying three interceptions. Many analysts do suggest that he lacks the acceleration need to play deep in the NFL, and he tends to play into the boundary too often. That being said, he is also able to break hard on throws that are placed in front of him, which if done consistently will throw NFL quarterbacks off their game on occasion. He is a solid tackler and has shown himself at being adept at attacking the ball at catch point, which makes it difficult for a receiver to finish the catch through to completion. All in all, it does appear that he can match up on the outside with big receivers at the pro level, which makes this a solid pick for the Eagles on defense.
Graphic via mlive