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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: K’Von Wallace primed for a big rookie year


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https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/2020-breakout-candidate-kvon-wallace-clemson

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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: K’Von Wallace primed for a big rookie year

 

Over the next two weeks, I’m taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. I looked at Boston Scott yesterday. 

Up today: K’Von Wallace 

Age: 22

How acquired: Drafted in 4th round (No. 127)

Entering: Year 1 

It might seem overly ambitious to name a fourth-round rookie as a breakout candidate but there are reasons it isn’t crazy. 

While Wallace was the 127th selection in this year’s draft, he’s considered by many to be be a steal in the fourth round. In fact, ProFootballFocus named Wallace one of the biggest steals in the entire 2020 draft class.

At Clemson, Wallace was a three-year starter and played 59 games for the Tigers. He was a versatile player at Clemson, playing strong safety, free safety and some as the nickel corner. That type of versatility is likely one of the attributes that really attracted the Eagles to him. 

Another huge part of Wallace’s game is his physicality. 

Check out what VP of player personnel Andy Weidl said about Wallace after the Eagles drafted him: 

"You know, the thing about K'Von Wallace is his tape, and what stuck out was his physicality, his tackling, his ability to play around the line of scrimmage. The mentality he played with, the motor he played with. He's a guy that likes contact. He gets to the ball. He passes people to the ball, and when he gets there, he strikes. We saw that. It was consistent with the motor that he played with, the mentality he played with, and we really enjoyed it and thought he fit what we were doing and what we're putting together here.”

At 5-foot-11, 206 pounds, Wallace isn’t the biggest player and he’s not a speed demon. His 4.53 time in the 40 put him in the 65th percentile among safeties. 

But it’s not like Wallace isn’t athletic. He is.

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During the pre-draft process, Wallace became one of my favorite players and I actually mocked him to the Eagles several times. He seems to check a lot of their boxes for defensive backs. He’s instinctive, competitive and versatile. 

And a reason he has a chance to break out, perhaps more than many of his fellow rookies, is opportunity. The Eagles will be able to get him into the rotation and the only players in front of him are Jalen Mills and Will Parks, who are both on one-year deals. 

While Mills knows the Eagles’ defense, he’s switching positions this offseason from corner to safety. And while Parks knows the position, he’s switching teams this offseason from Denver to Philly. 

Maybe Mills or Parks becomes a long-term solution — it’s certainly possible — but the Eagles drafted Wallace and if he impresses enough early, he should be at least given a chance to win the safety job next to Rodney McLeod, not just for this season but for the future too. 

 

 

 

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Let's hope he does because we are going to need him to produce. There are real question marks over the safety positions going in to this year. McLeod is very good but he's also getting on in his career. Mills has some good safety traits but hasn't played there in the NFL really and Parks may be a decent starter but more likely is back up. 

Wallace is the one I'm really excited about. He's the one who I think this fan base will want to see on the field. 

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If Wallace pans out and turns into a solid S for us for the next several years, I'll get past passing on Thornhill to draft JJAW last year.  :-)

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19 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Let's hope he does because we are going to need him to produce. There are real question marks over the safety positions going in to this year. McLeod is very good but he's also getting on in his career. Mills has some good safety traits but hasn't played there in the NFL really and Parks may be a decent starter but more likely is back up. 

Wallace is the one I'm really excited about. He's the one who I think this fan base will want to see on the field. 

 

16 hours ago, time2rock said:

If Wallace pans out and turns into a solid S for us for the next several years, I'll get past passing on Thornhill to draft JJAW last year.  :-)

I am cautiously optimistic about Wallace. Guy looks like a baller who slipped due to combine performance. If he can come in and start at some point in his rookie year that is a big bonus.

Agreed on Thornhill. Will also help me getting over passing on Chung to draft Hurts this year.

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1 hour ago, ManchesterEagle said:

I am cautiously optimistic about Wallace. Guy looks like a baller who slipped due to combine performance. If he can come in and start at some point in his rookie year that is a big bonus.

I mean ultimately he's a fourth round pick so expectations, especially in year 1, shouldn't be too high. But he does look a baller and I do think could be a steal for a fourth round pick.

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1 hour ago, ManchesterEagle said:

 

I am cautiously optimistic about Wallace. Guy looks like a baller who slipped due to combine performance. If he can come in and start at some point in his rookie year that is a big bonus.

Agreed on Thornhill. Will also help me getting over passing on Chung to draft Hurts this year.

I think you mean Chinn. Eagles already had Chung, he sucked.

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I don't think this kid will contribute much this year as he can't play deep safety, he has Mills and Parks in front of him at the other safety spot and the team as a glut of people at slot corner, where he also fits.

But the team does have to figure things out in the secondary, because cap space is tight for next year and, with the exception of Slay, Maddox and McLeod, everyone else with any experience is a free agent (Mills, Robey-Coleman, LeBlanc, Douglas, Parks, Williams.) Plus, McLeod is likely only here two more years, and the team doesn't have anyone who can fill his role right now, with the possible exception of Maddox, who isn't ideal at that position.

 

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Are Eagles fans putting too much pressure on K’Von Wallace in 2020?

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

K’Von Wallace might not even start for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

Gosh, I really, really want K’Von Wallace to be the Philadelphia Eagles‘ next great safety.

On paper, Wallace is pretty much the prototype for what most teams want in a versatile, do-it-all hybrid safety. Measuring in at 5-foot-11, 206 pounds with a 133-inch broad jump and a 4.53 40 yard dash, Wallace was a three-year starter for a perennial college football playoff contender where he played all over Dabo Swinney’s elite defensive secondary.

 

For what it’s worth, Wallace is also incredibly jazzed to be a member of the Eagles. Mosey on over to the 22-year-old’s Twitter feed and you’ll see dozens upon dozens of posts about how much he likes his new fanbase, his new teammates, and even a brand-spankin’ new back tattoo of his new team’s titular logo.

Heck, Wallace even has a fan in Eagles all-timer – and fellow Clemson Tigers alum – Brian Dawkins, what more could you ask for?

But before we go about setting Wallace’s floor at All-Pro and move on, I want to pause for just a second and only question whether some fans have set their expectations just a wee bit too high for the 2020 season.

Why? Well I’m glad you asked.

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As things presently stand, two of the positions the Eagles have a surplus of talent at are slot cornerback and box safety. Granted, one could make the argument that having two, three, or even four players of comparable talent at the same position is just another way of saying you don’t have one tried and true unquestioned star, but I digress.

What two positions does Wallace play? That’s right, slot cornerback and box safety.

So right from the jump, Wallace will have to compete with a stacked collection of players like Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre’Von LeBlanc in the slot, and/or Jalen Mills and Will Parks at strong safety to even see the field on defense. Sure, Wallace could potentially rise through the ranks over the course of training camp and unseat a penciled-in starter a la Mills in 2016, but that becomes a tough ask when you consider the peculiar nature of this offseason. Unless things turn around in a hurry, the Eagles – and the NFL as a whole – are going to have an abbreviated offseason with considerably less on-field practice time when compared to a typical offseason. Based on the Eagles’ recent bias of going with older, more experienced players getting the nod over rookies until they show a mastery of the position, I’d be shocked if Wallace sees the field in Week 1 of the 2020 regular season, let alone Week 10.

The Eagles almost exclusively worked out JJ Arcega-Whiteside at the ‘X’ wide receiver spot in 2019, which limited his ability to see the field when Alshon Jeffery returned in Week 4. If Jim Schwartz pulls a similar stunt in 2020 on the defensive side of the ball, Wallace’s versatility may largely go to waste until 2021.

 

Who was the last Eagle of note to wear the number 42? Chris Maragos. Maybe the Birds’ plan of allowing Wallace to adjust to the speed and pace of an NFL season slowly while picking up some crucial on-field experience as a four-core special teamer as a rookie.

Or hey, maybe Wallace will come into camp as the player many declared the steal of Day 3, take the team by storm, and start for the Eagles at safety in base and in the slot in defensive sub-packages for the next decade-plus. If that happens, no one will be happier than yours truly.

It’s rather rare for a mid-round draftee to capture the hearts of an entire fanbase before they even see the field, especially when said player isn’t a quarterback. K’Von Wallace has already thoroughly accomplished that feat, and he deserves a ton of credit for doing so in seemingly record time. However, a neck to butt commemorative tattoo doesn’t a starter make – just ask legions of fans who throw around the rock in the Lot F. If K’Von Wallace is going to become a full-time starter for the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward, he’ll actually have to, ya know, see the field, and that’s a whole lot easier said than done based on the team’s crowded 2020 depth chart.

 

Then there's this... he makes some good points.  He's not going to win the slot corner job, it's almost a given that Nickell Robey-Coleman will win that job.  He's gotta beat out Jalen MIlls for the SS job, and I also think that may be a tall task.  Not saying K'von won't be a stud, because I think he absolutely will be, but let's put the brakes on the "big rookie year" talk...

 

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And I expect some $$$ back from fansided if any of y'all buy that fugly looking button up Eagles shirt.  Dude looks like a stuffed sausage.  I think you need the next size up there tubby, LOL.

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I am already saving my money to get HOF tickets for when he is inducted into Canton. #DAWKINS-RELIVED :) 

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Let's take a chance on a real upset prediction. 

We have a 6'1" corner who runs in the 4.4's and is extremely smart and disciplined. 

I predict he will not only make the team but will start opposite of Darius Slay - 

ELIJAH RILEY from ARMY

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On 6/2/2020 at 4:51 PM, time2rock said:

If Wallace pans out and turns into a solid S for us for the next several years, I'll get past passing on Thornhill to draft JJAW last year.  :-)

I won't.

We could have 2 fine young Safeties right now. Oh well.

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I like the Wallace pick and I hope that he turns into a hall of fame player, but as with any 4th round rookie I just hope that the coaches trust him enough to give him some snaps and that he doesn’t mess them up while making a few nice plays.

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