- Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jaiquawn Jarrett’s transition to the NFL should be an easy one.

After playing four years at Lincoln Financial Field as a member of the Temple Owls, Jarrett gets to stay there as a pro. The Philadelphia Eagles selected the defensive back with the 54th overall pick in the NFL draft on Friday night.

“This right here is one of the greatest situations with my family right down the road,” Jarrett said. “I played in the Eagles stadium for the last four years, so to be able to play for Coach (Andy) Reid as an Eagle, is a dream come true.”

The Eagles added another defensive back in the third round, taking Utah State’s Curtis Marsh with the 90th overall pick.

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Marsh could eventually compete for a starting spot opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. The Eagles used Ellis Hobbs and Dimitri Patterson at right cornerback last year. Hobbs sustained a career-ending neck injury and Patterson is not under contract.

Jarrett, who was a four-year starter with the hometown Owls, adds depth in a secondary that has lacked a big-play safety since the departure of Brian Dawkins. Jarrett, listed at 6-foot and 196 pounds, played mainly free safety at Temple.

“He has all the intangibles,” Reid said. “You’re getting a good, solid, smart guy and an aggressive hitter, one of the most intimidating safeties in the draft, one of the people who’ll come up and smack you.”

Reid compared his style to Dawkins, an eight-time Pro Bowl pick and four-time All-Pro who left Philadelphia for Denver after the 2008 season.

“They both torch you,” Reid said. “I don’t think you wanna run over the middle on either one of them. They’ll blow you up.”

Jarrett had 74 tackles and two interceptions in his senior season. Scouts say he’s an intelligent player who is aggressive against the run and solid in pass coverage.

“I’m gonna bring physical toughness and a smart player,” Jarrett said. “I’m real disciplined. I’m gonna do whatever necessary to help the team win. That’s what I’m all about. I’m physical enough to show up in run support and I have enough skills to prevent the deep ball.”

Nate Allen, also a second-round pick, started 13 games at free safety for the Eagles as a rookie last year. He sustained a season-ending leg injury in December, but should be ready when the season starts. Quintin Mikell, a former Pro Bowl pick, was Philadelphia’s strong safety. He’ll be a free agent.

Jarrett ran just a 4.62 in the 40 at the scouting combine. That may have caused some teams to shy away.

Not the Eagles.

“They showed a lot of interest,” he said. “They worked me out several times. They saw something in me other teams didn’t see and I really appreciate that.”

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