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July 12, 2016

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Blake Countess

Eagles NFL
070816BlakeCountess Butch Dill/AP

Blake Countess may be small, but he'll hit.

Leading up to training camp, as we did last year, we'll be comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current NFL players. In case you missed the first four Eagles draft picks comps, you can find them below:

     • Carson Wentz, QB, 1st round
     • Isaac Seumalo, C/OG, 3rd round
     • Wendell Smallwood, RB, 5th round
     • Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, 5th round

Today we'll find a comp for CB/S Blake Countess. At Auburn last season, Countess played corner, nickel, and safety, and his team voted him the MVP of the defense, per Michael Niziolek of the Ledger-Enquirer. From Niziolek's piece:

“Blake is a football player,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He is a football player from the word go. From what he did for us, he played safety, corner, nickel. He was one of our best special teams players. He’ll be somebody that is a very good football player at the next level.”

While Countess is a hair under 5'10, he is more than willing to stick his nose in, fight through blocks, and make tough tackles. For that reason, the Eagles have been lining Countess up at safety through OTAs and minicamp. Countess reminds me of another Eagles veteran, acquired this offseason in free agency, Rodney McLeod, another small player who plays bigger than his size.

Their measurables are incredibly similar:

Measurable Blake Countess Rodney McLeod 
 Height5'9 3/4 5'9 3/4 
 Weight 184183 
 40 yards dash4.48 4.60 
 Vertical jump36 1/2 36 1/2 
 Broad jump121 121 
 20 yard shuttle4.19 4.12 
 3-cone drill6.85 6.50 
 Bench press21 15 

Under the new coaching scheme, the Eagles clearly don't care if their safeties are a little smaller than ideal, so long as they can cover like corners and play with a physical demeanor. McLeod went undrafted when he entered the league in 2012, while Countess didn't come off the board until the sixth round. The Eagles will be thrilled if Countess' career path mirrors McLeod's.

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