Brandon Gowton of our sister site, Bleeding Green Nation, posed an interesting question to me last night over email – which Eagles player not named Nick Foles would I steal for the Texans' roster? It is an interesting query to say the least, considering that beyond Foles there are not a lot of superstar players in Philadelphia that fill immediate needs in Houston.
LeSean McCoy is phenomenal, but would there be any real sizable upgrade from Arian Foster? Probably not. Is Jeremy Maclin is a better option than Andre Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins? Possibly, but not necessarily enough for me to commit to him in a contract year either. Connor Barwin would not start over Jadeveon Clowney, Evan Mathis is 33 years old, and none of their starting corners and safeties would beat out Kareem Jackson, Johnathan Joseph, or D.J. Swearinger. However, even if the starting cornerbacks are useless to the Texans, I would not hesitate for one minute if given the opportunity to snag the best "off the bench" corner in the NFL – Brandon Boykin.
I wrote about Boykin in my long-winded piece on slot defenders earlier this year. Despite only playing in the Eagles' nickel and dime defense exclusively as a slot cornerback, Boykin was at or near the top of every coverage metric out there. Whether it was passes defensed, interceptions, or quarterback rating on targets, Boykin was simply dominant in every statistical category on a much smaller snap count than the NFL’s more "recognizable" corners. You could leave him in man or drop him in to zone, but one way or another, Boykin was going to get his hands on the ball. I want that on my team.
When it comes to the Texans, the acquisition of Boykin would allow Kareem Jackson to flex back to the outside, where he is a bit more comfortable. That would also keep some of Houston’s younger corners off the field while they are still developing. I remain confident that Andre Hal will be a great player in this league someday, but the more time he has to watch and learn from the sidelines, the better. For now, I am content to let Brandon Boykin generate insane amounts of turnovers behind J.J. Watt and company up front.
What say you, BRB? If given the pick of the litter on the Eagles' roster, who would you want for Bill O’Brien’s squad? And while you're at it, head on over to BGN and check out their own personal choice from the Texans' roster.
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