Despite the Eagles' loss, key offseason addition Darius Slay had a pretty solid start to his time with the Eagles. He kept Terry McLaurin check, and didn't get beat for any big plays - a win for all Eagles fans watching.
The trade for Slay was viewed as a win by most, but not a perfect trade, in part because of the capital Howie Roseman gave up, and in part because Slay isn't getting younger, and some think he's past his prime. Others disagree.
Apparently, even the highest-up decision makers in the NFL can't decide where Slay falls in the league's cornerback hierarchy.
Executives from around the league ranked the NFL's best cornerbacks this week over at The Athletic, and while Slay landed in the Top 10, he could've been higher. Maybe even Top 3, according to a few interviewed.
Slay was ranked No. 9 among all corners, one spot behind Browns corner Denzel Ward and one spot ahead of Ravens corner Marcus Peters.
Here's the top five:
- Jalen Ramsey
- Stephon Gilmore
- Patrick Peterson
- Marshon Lattimore
- Marlon Humphrey
Curiously, though, the Eagles cornerback seems to have befuddled the league's coaches and coordinators. Here's what they had to say about Slay:
"A former head coach said he’d place Slay a notch below Peterson. A secondary coach said he’d take Slay over Peterson at this point, which illustrates, again, that not everyone uses the same template for evaluation.
"Another defensive coordinator thought Slay belonged in the bottom half of the top 10 at the position because his ball skills still weren’t elite. However, this coach couldn’t necessarily name nine corners he liked better."
So... he's No. 9, but he could be No. 3? Or No. 4? And one coach would put Slay at No. 10, except he doesn't know if there are nine better corners? What is going on here?
Slay is signed through 2023, so he has plenty of job security, but 2020 feels like a big year for Slay the person. He spent a large portion of the offseason on Twitter talking about feeling disrespected by his No. 92 spot on the NFL 100, and feeling overlooked by numerous other cornerback rankings. If he has a big year with the Eagles, he can set himself up as one of those ageless defensive backs who play at a high level in his 30s.
Which would be great news for the Eagles - and would probably help him get a little higher in these execs' rankings.