Earlier this week, I wrote that Ronald Darby should be moved due to his up and down play and expiring contract. Readers seemed to agree, while a few mentioned how Jalen Mills shouldn’t be on the field in midnight green either.
Both cornerbacks have their strengths and weaknesses. Mills bites on double moves and lacks the deep speed to recover, but he tackles fairly well and is money when the opposing offense is in the red zone. Darby on the other hand seems to have some trouble staying on his feet, and his tackling skills are pretty poor against anyone slightly bigger than him.
While neither cornerback contributes in the turnover area (only one interception in 2018 between both Darby and Mills), Mills has allowed the most passing yards (541) through the first seven weeks this season in coverage as the nearest defender. That’s bad.
I like Mills. He has the mentality required to be a starting player on a championship defense, and he’s proven that he can make big plays when counted on — defending Rob Gronkowski on the opening Patriots drive in Super Bowl LII, the Falcons final drive in the NFC divisional round playoff game, and last year’s pick six in a matchup against San Francisco that gave the Eagles a huge momentum swing come to mind.
Mills should be coached up on how to fill in Rodney McCleod’s role because opposing teams have been attacking the deep middle of the field since the safety’s injury. If the Eagles can deal Darby to a team, and use the compensation in an agreement with Arizona to bring Patrick Peterson to Philadelphia, then they could potentially move Mills to safety, promote Rasul Douglas into Darby’s spot, and plug Peterson into Mill’s current outside spot.
Moving that many pieces around isn’t always a good thing, and Schwartz is incredibly reluctant to make so many moves at once. However, at this point in the season with the struggles they’ve faced in the passing defense, maybe more change is better than none.