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Eagles safety Marcus Epps makes an ESPN ranking of the NFL's top-25 young prospects


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Eagles safety Marcus Epps makes an ESPN ranking of the NFL's top-25 young prospects

Glenn Erby 
August 4, 2021 3:59 pm ET

Amid all the big names in the Eagles secondary, Marcus Epps is quietly going about his business of trying to secure a spot on the 53 man roster.

Epps is somewhat of an enigma, as he’s been unable to fully lock down a starting role in the NFL, but he was also the 13th best safety in the NFL last season according to Pro Football Focus.

Epps appeared in 14 games last season, starting five, while only logging 363 snaps in limited action.

ESPN and Football Outsiders recently looked at the top-25 young prospects around the NFL who are on the brink of taking that next step.

Epps made the list at No. 22 overall.

22. Marcus Epps, S, Philadelphia Eagles
Age: 25 | Drafted: 2019, pick 191 | 474 defensive snaps
There are two kinds of prospects that tend to hit the end of this list. There are the ones who have the pedigree but haven’t done much yet, and there are the ones without the pedigree who have been showing out whenever they get on the field. Epps is in the latter camp. Yet another Wyoming product, Epps got a priority free-agent grade from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. He was Mel Kiper’s 50th-ranked … safety. Epps ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, showing off a nice 6.7-second three-cone drill time as well. He picked off nine balls in four seasons at Wyoming, adding 22 passes defensed and five forced fumbles. But at 6-foot-even and just 191 pounds, size was a major factor in forcing him out of the NFL’s upper rounds.

Drafted by the Vikings, Epps was claimed by the Eagles on waivers and used at free safety in December of 2019. Rodney McLeod was ahead of Epps on the depth chart last year, but after a torn ACL in December, Epps grabbed a major share of the snaps yet again by getting at least 56 percent of the snaps in each of Philadelphia’s last four games. Epps picked off two passes and defensed four more. And while we wouldn’t expect this to last at his size, Epps had the best run stop rate of any Eagles secondary player last year, at 64%.

The Eagles had themselves a Vikings import offseason on defense. They brought in former Vikings defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon as defensive coordinator, and they added Anthony Harris to the safety equation on a one-year deal. Epps will be battling a 31-year-old McLeod and 2020 fourth-rounder K’Von Wallace for playing time, but he outplayed Wallace last year and has shown the ability to be a versatile middle-of-the-field defender. Don’t sleep on his chances of yet again bubbling up to the surface in 2021.

Last season Epps had 47 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups.

Likely having to survive the fray of constantly rotating safeties, Epps will likely battle special team’s ace Andrew Adams for the fourth safety spot behind McLeod, Anthony Harris, and K’Von Wallace.


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