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Safeties Eagles could consider

Although general manager Howie Roseman said the Eagles have talent at the position, they could still use a standout cover guy.

Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. (Rick Osentoski/AP)
Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. (Rick Osentoski/AP)Read more

Fourth of a series of looks at positions the Eagles might target in this week's NFL draft.

What they have: Eagles beat writers talked to general manager Howie Roseman for nearly an hour last week, and the thing that came through most clearly was that Roseman feels the Malcolm Jenkins signing was the Eagles; big safety move of the offseason. Roseman also touted 2013 rookie Earl Wolff and even Nate Allen, the disappointing 2010 second-rounder who was brought back on a 1-year deal. Roseman wanted to at least create the impression that he would be happy to go ahead with this group, plus former Seahawks special teamer Chris Maragos.

What they need: Earl Thomas. Sorry, just had to toss that in there. But despite what Roseman said last week, very little would improve the Eagles' defense more than a standout cover safety who could free the corners to play bump-and-run, Seattle style.

What's available: Probably not the superstar fans covet. It would be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime thing if Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were available 22nd overall. Very little chance of that. Calvin Pryor of Louisville? Maybe a little better chance, but does Pryor have the cover versatility the Eagles want? He's a big hitter. Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward (5-11, 193) in the second round probably would be an eventual starter. Terrence Brooks (5-11, 198) of Florida State, Deone Bucannon (6-1, 211) of Washington State, and Wyoming's Marqueston Huff (5-11, 196) also are possible targets after the first round. North Carolina State's 6-2, 200-pound Dontae Johnson is listed as a corner but might be a safety in the NFL.