Draft preview: Looking at the secondary

It is no secret that the Eagles are in need of help in the secondary in the upcoming draft.

As part of the Daily News' series with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, here is his take on the top player, the riser and the sleeper among cornerbacks and safeties:

The Best
Earl Thomas, Texas

Height, weight: 5-10 ¼, 202
40 time: 4.37
Projected round: 1
Mayock: "I think he’s what the league is all about today. To me, he should be a top 15 pick. He probably won’t be, but he should be. He’s the most instinctive free safety I’ve seen in a lot of years. He will tackle. He’s a playmaker. He had 8 interceptions. He can cover man. In the passing league that the NFL has become, he’s the ideal safety.’’

The Riser
Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

Height, weight: 6-1 ½, 209
40 time: 4.45
Projected round: 2
Mayock: ``He looks the part (of a safety). He had a great Pro Day. People like him as a free safety. He’s big. He runs well. He’s got range. He will tackle. For me, he’s a little too inconsistent. But he probably goes in the second round, even though his play on the field this year was closer to a third- or fourth-rounder.’’

The Sleeper
Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech

Height, weight: 5-11, 203
40-time: 4.55
Projected round.: 6
Mayock: ``Russ Grimm’s son. He finally cracked the starting lineup last season and had great one-year production. He was always considered too slow or too small or too something. But he had 6 or 7 forced fumbles; a ridiculous number. He’ll be a core special teams player. He’ll be a strong safety. And he’ll be impossible to cut.’’

The Best
Joe Haden, Florida

Height, weight: 5-10 ½, 193
40 time: 4.43
Projected round.: 1
Mayock: ``He’s smart, physical, instinctive and tough. He’s a little tight. Doesn’t have elite corner speed. He plays that boundary corner. People might get a little nervous putting him out there with a 6-2 burner. But I like him because he’s so physical and so instinctive. I think he goes in the top half of the first round.’’

The Riser
Kareem Jackson, Alabama

Height, weight: 5-10 ½, 196
40 time: 4.40
Projected round: 2
Mayock: ``He’s a typical Nick Saban corner. Well-coached. Physical. This kid will tackle. He’d make a great compliment to Asante Samuel if the Eagles took him. He ran better than people expected and really helped himself. Some people think he’ll sneak into the first round, but I think he’s a second-rounder.’’

The Sleeper
Myron Lewis, Vanderbilt

Height, weight: 6-1 ½, 203
40 time: 4.42
Projected round: 4-5
Mayock: ``He kind of had a down year last year and fell off a lot of people’s radar. Had some injuries and wasn’t as physical his senior year as he was as a junior. But he’s one of the biggest corners in the draft with extremely long arms (34 inches). He ran well at the combine, and (vertical) jumped 37 inches. He’s a guy somebody’s going to take fairly late and they’re going to get a good football player.’’