By Peter Gleason
All of a sudden, Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe (32, above) is resembling the steal of the 2015 draft.
Second-round pick Rowe has only made two starts, but he has shown star qualities..
In the last two games, he faced up to QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 13 and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins last Sunday.
Rowe had a terrible Thanksgiving Day against the Lions Calvin Johnson after Nolan Carroll broke his ankle, but he allowed only four catches on 12 targets against Brady and kept Watkins under wraps..
Monday, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had high praise for the Utah product who, along with injured linebacker Jordan Hicks, gives so much promise to the potential of the 2015 draft class.
“Eric is growing. He’s played really well in his opportunities there. I think he’s a highly competitive guy. He can be physical at the line of scrimmage. He can run with people. He’s tall, he’s long, he’s exactly what we’re looking for in a corner.”
Earlier this season Rowe came up with a clutch interception to seal a Week 3 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium but only played sparingly before appearing in 79 snaps against the Patriots in Week 13.
The Eagles drafted Rowe for his versatility to play both cornerback and safety, but at least for the foreseeable future, he’ll line up opposite Maxwell and has an opportunity to seize that position heading into the future.
“Eric not being on the field before had nothing to do with Eric,” Kelly explained. “We had plenty of confidence in Eric but Nolan put forth a really great offseason for us, competed and earned the starting outside corner position. We had faith in Eric that we continued to grow him as he continued to keep moving along in his rookie year that he would continue to play well. That’s kind of what we expected for him.”