2011 Free Agent Profile: S – Quintin Mikell – Eagles

Quintin MikellIf nothing else, the Jaguars safety group is one that can boast youth. If the Jaguars lose Sean Considine to free agency, which seems like a near certainty at this point in time, the oldest safety on the team would be the 26-year-old Tyron Brackenridge.

Unfortunately there hasn’t been a whole lot more to boast about. Courtney Greene looks like an ascending player for the Jaguars, but Don Carey was forced into the starting lineup and was clearly ill-prepared. Chris Prosinski, a 4th round draft pick by the Jaguars, could be a good player for the Jaguars in the future and possibly even a starter, but relying on him to make an impact at the position right away would probably be unwise.

Perhaps instead, the Jaguars should look to free agency to bring in a talented safety that can fill a starting role for the team for a few seasons. While the names Eric Weddle and Michael Huff have been tossed around, the name Quentin Mikell has been passed over.

“The biggest secret in the NFL is just how good a player Quintin Mikell is. After living in the shadow of Brian Dawkins, you would have expected him to emerge, only it’s never really happened. Why? I’m not sure, because his performance over the past two years (especially 2010) has been on another level from all other safeties. Makes plays on the ball in coverage and makes plenty of defensive stops, but it gets lost because Mikell just isn’t a highlight reel type of player.”

That quote is from a Pro Football Focus article where they are ranking the top 100 players of the 2010 season. Mikell came in as the 28th best player ahead of both the 79th ranked Weddle and the 66th ranked Huff. In fact, Mikell is thought so highly of on PFF that he finished 6th in their defensive player of the year race and was the only defensive back to make the top 10.

The best defensive back in the league roaming around the secondary wearing teal sounds pretty good to me. What’s the catch, right? I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

The Eagles have never been big fans of resigning players in the back stretch of their careers and have avoided signing older free agents. Most of the iconic faces in the recent era of the Eagles left to finish their careers elsewhere, rarely retiring in Philadelphia.

Set to turn 31 in September, Mikell has never missed more than two games in a season, but looks like he there’s a very good chance that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason after the Eagles selected Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round of the draft. For the Jaguars, this could be the opportunity to add an elite talent to the secondary and finally give an identity to a secondary that has been among the league’s worst in recent years.