PHILADELPHIA — Remember K’Von Wallace?
The Philadelphia Eagles' third-year safety was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was talked up by many as a potential steal.
Wallace was a standout defensive back at Clemson, where he played all over the field, and was one of the most efficient coverage safeties in college football.
So, why in a season where safety is seen as the biggest weakness on the Eagles defense (and maybe even entire team) why is Wallace a forgotten name?
Is there a reason that three other safeties seen as either average veterans on one-year deals or unproven, low-cost, role-players are favored over Wallace to be a major part of the starting rotation?
The answer mostly has to do with his health.
In two seasons with the Eagles, Wallace has dealt with a number of shoulder and groin injuries that have cost him playing time. Although he has only missed five games in two years, he has struggled to stay fully healthy even when active.
Wallace dealt with a groin injury throughout training camp last summer, and then suffered a separated shoulder during a Week 3 game in Dallas that resulted with him being placed on injured reserve, and missing an entire month of action.
Wallace's play on defense wasn’t overly impressive either when he did get out there. Whether it was because of these nagging injuries or not, he was a non-factor.
The Clemson product never showed the Eagles that they didn’t need to go out and pursue top free agents, like Marcus Williams, or that there wasn't a need to re-sign Anthony Harris and bring in Jaquiski Tartt on one-year deals.
Wallace being so unreliable also gave Marcus Epps a path to playing time that he has made the most of. Epps is now seen as the young, promising safety that could develop into a long-term starter.
And yet, there is still a path to playing time for Wallace. Harris and Tartt are not stars on long-term deals. Epps has shown flashes, but he hasn’t emerged yet as a reliable full-time starter.
The Eagles invested the more valuable resource in Wallace over the other three with that fourth-round pick.
If he can stay healthy and show flashes at training camp starting next week, it isn’t impossible for Wallace to still salvage his career and find a way onto the field.