Eagles training camp 2022: Tough competition for cornerback spots

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After the starters, intense competition brewing at CB originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We're getting close to Eagles training camp so we’re taking a look at five notable camp competitions.

We already looked at the right guard and linebacker spots.

Up today: Cornerback

The Eagles have one of the best starting cornerback trios in the NFL with Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Avonte Maddox. This isn’t about that.

This is about the two or three (or maybe even four) remaining spots for cornerbacks on the 53-man roster. Because the Eagles have a stable of young prospects who will be fighting this summer for limited roster space.

Zech McPhearson

Age: 24
Experience: Year 2 (16 games, 1 start)
Size: 5-foot-11, 191 pounds

The Eagles used a fourth-round pick on McPhearson out of Texas Tech last April. He was in line to be a starter before the Eagles added Bradberry in free agency. Last year, he was the team’s primary backup outside corner and figures to have that role again in 2022. While he didn’t play much on defense as a rookie, he was a big special teams contributor and held his own when he had to play cornerback in a pinch.

Tay Gowan

Age: 24
Experience: Year 2 (2 games)
Size: 6-foot-1, 186 pounds

When the Eagles traded Zach Ertz in October for a fifth-round pick, they also got Gowan back in exchange. The Cardinals used a sixth-rounder on Gowan last year out of UCF but his only game action as a rookie came with the Eagles after the trade. He has the most length of these backup players.

Josiah Scott

Age: 23
Experience: Year 3 (19 games)
Size: 5-foot-9, 185 pounds

The Jaguars drafted Scott in the fourth round out of Michigan State back in 2020, but the Eagles acquired him for a 2023 sixth-round pick last May. Scott ended up playing in 13 games with the Eagles in 2021 — 90 defensive snaps, 171 special teams snaps. Scott is a backup nickel corner and showed an ability on special teams last year.

Jimmy Moreland

Age: 26
Experience: Year 4 (37 games 10 starts)
Size: 5-foot-11, 182 pounds

Washington drafted Moreland in the seventh round out of JMU back in 2019 and he played a lot for them over the next two seasons (30 games, 10 starts). In 2021, Moreland was in Houston, and now he’s here. Most of his career snaps have come as a nickel cornerback, but some folks think he offers more versatility than we’ve seen so far.

Kary Vincent Jr.

Age: 23
Experience: Year 2 (2 games, 1 start)
Size: 5-foot-10, 189 pounds

In the regular season finale in Week 18, it was actually Vincent who started opposite McPhearson. Vincent was drafted in the seventh round out of LSU by the Broncos last year. In November, the Eagles shipped a 2022 sixth-rounder to the Broncos to get Vincent, who is a former track athlete and ran a 4.33 at the LSU pro day last year.

Mac McCain III

Age: 24
Experience: Year 2 (2 games)
Size: 6-foot, 185 pounds

The Eagles and Broncos played tug-o-war with McCain for much of last season. The rookie from North Carolina A&T initially signed with the Broncos as a UDFA but was claimed by the Eagles. When the Eagles released him in November, he was claimed by the Broncos. When the Broncos released him later that month, the Eagles claimed him again. He finished the season on the practice squad but is back with the team this offseason.

The rest

In addition to all those names, the Eagles still have special teams stud Craig James as well as a trio of UDFAs (Josh Blackwell, Mario Goodrich, Josh Jobe). This is a crowded room and spots are hard to come by, so the competition should be exciting.

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