PHILADELPHIA — Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin smiled last week when discussing the physique of perhaps the team’s most important rookie in 2017: Rasul Douglas.
The 6-foot-2 frame, the broad shoulders, the long arms — all those attributes leave Douglas with tantalizing potential, Undlin said. The third-round pick from West Virginia stood out like an SUV in a lot full of coupes during position drills at Eagles minicamp, where he towered over the other cornerbacks, who each stand 6-foot or shorter.
“You guys have seen him,” Undlin told a pack of reporters. “He’s a big, big guy.”
But ask Undlin about Douglas’ greatest hurdle in his quest to NFL relevancy, and the answer might surprise. It’s his size, Undlin said.
While Douglas’ long arms figure to help him breakup pass and contend with the bigger receivers across the NFC East — guys like the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant and the Giants’ Brandon Marshall — they also make it more difficult to master technique. Cornerbacks needs to be sharp and precise in their movements to stay stride-by-stride with offensive playmakers, and Douglas’ length puts even more pressure on him to improve his footwork.
Undlin said Douglas spent time during the offseason workout program improving his form as he backpedaled and changed direction.
“For those big guys to be able to be efficient and drop their body and hips and get out on efficient angles, we’ve got some work to do there,” Undlin said.
And though footwork is key, Undlin said Douglas’ challenge starts with reeling in those long arms that left scouts salivating during the pre-draft…
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