Philadelphia Eagles Rookie Forecast 2024

Solid Starter

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo – Round 1

Cornerback was a weakness for Philadelphia in 2023 and the Eagles did little to upgrade the position in free agency. They attacked the position hard in the 2024 NFL Draft taking cornerbacks in the first and second round. Mitchell was the corner they wanted the most and the Eagles had Mitchell fall into their lap with the 22nd overall-pick.

The 6-foot, 196-pound Mitchell is a natural cover corner with an excellent skill set. All that teams want in terms of height, weight, speed, strength, quick feet, and agility are clearly present with Mitchell. He is very fluid and does a nice job of running the route with receivers to prevent them from gaining separation. He keeps receivers from coming open and is quick to recover if they get a step. For a big cornerback, Mitchell has very nice hips to turn and run downfield with speed receivers. He has enough twitchy athleticism to break on the ball and drive down hard on wide receivers.

On top of his coverage ability, Mitchell has outstanding ball skills. He has soft hands to pick off passes and is dangerous on returns. Mitchell tracks the ball well and attacks passes like a receiver. On top of being an interception threat, he is very skilled at slapping passes away and preventing completions. Mitchell times his slaps well to avoid penalties but also separate the ball from receivers. He uses his height, length, and strength very effectively to break up passes.

As a rookie, Mitchell can rotate with Bradberry and Slay to form a talented trio of outside cornerbacks. After a season of developing, Mitchell should take over as the starter for Bradberry and he could be a solid starter early in his pro career.

2023: Tyler Steen, G
2022: Nakobe Dean, LB
2021: Landon Dickerson, C
2020: Davion Taylor, LB
2019: Miles Sanders, RB
2018: Avonte Maddox, CB
2017: Derek Barnett, DE
2016: Isaac Seumalo, C
2015: Nelson Agholor, WR
2014: Marcus Smith, OLB
2013: Zach Ertz, TE

Most Likely To Bust

Jalyx Hunt, OLB, Houston Christian – Round 1

The Eagles always invest a lot of money and picks on interior and exterior pass rushers. Philadelphia added more competition to the mix with the selection of Hunt in the third round. While Hunt was not a bad pick in the third round, I could see him having a hard time getting playing time over players like Bryce Huff and Nolan Smith. Both of them figure to be Eagles for many years to come, and there are other current edge rushers that he will get a lot of snaps in the form of Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat. I could see Hunt getting buried on the depth chart and being a third-round pick that does not provide much impact for Philadelphia.

2023: Nolan Smith, DE
2022: None
2021: Milton Williams, DT
2020: Jalen Hurts, QB
2019: Shareef Miller, DE
2018: Josh Sweat, DE
2017: Rasul Douglas, CB
2016: Wendall Smallwood, RB
2015: Jordan Hicks, LB
2014: Josh Huff, WR
2013: Bennie Logan, DT

Potential Boom Pick

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa – Round 2

Cornerback was a weakness for Philadelphia in 2023 and the Eagles did little to upgrade the position in free agency. They attacked the position hard in the 2024 NFL Draft taking cornerbacks in the first and second round. While there is some debate as to whether DeJean will be an outside corner, nickel corner, or safety, I think he is a pure football player who could be a boom pick for Philadelphia.

The first thing that jumps about DeJean are his instincts. DeJean seems to be playing a step ahead of the offense as he has lightning quick diagnosis skills and he uses them to get in position to make plays. With excellent feel, anticipation, and route recognition, DeJean can run with receivers and prevent separation. DeJean tracks the ball well and does a fantastic job of playing the ball in the air. Throwing at DeJean is dangerous as he is a real threat to pick the pass off or tip it away from the receiver. DeJean could be a nice weapon for covering slot wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL.

In the ground game DeJean is a gritty defender that is a willing tackler. He flows to the ball and won’t hesitate to come downhill on a back. With his tackling and run defense, DeJean definitely could fit as a safety in the NFL.

I think DeJean will settle into a hybrid role in the Eagles defense, but I think he will be a real weapon in coverage that is able to start at three different positions. Of the Eagles picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, DeJean has the most boom pick potential.

2022: Jalen Carter, DT
2022: Jordan Davis, DT
2021: DeVonta Smith, WR
2020: Jalen Reagor, WR
2019: Andre Dillard, OT
2018: Dallas Goedert, TE
2017: Sidney Jones, CB
2016: Carson Wentz, QB
2015: Eric Rowe, CB
2014: Jordan Matthews, WR
2013: Lane Johnson, OT

Future Depth Player

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson – Round 5

The Eagles have had underwhelming linebacker play over the past few seasons and they addressed the position by bringing in veterans like Devin White, Zack Baun, and Oren Burks. Philadelphia added Trotter in the fifth round to provide more depth at the position. Trotter was a good college linebacker and is a tough run defender. However, he has some limitations in pass coverage and the NFL is a passing-driven league. I think that could cause Trotter to be stuck as a backup at the pro level. Still, he could be a good backup linebacker and special teams player for the Eagles.

2023: Tanner McKee, QB
2022: Grant Calcaterra, TE
2021: Kenny Gainwell, RB
2020: John Hightower, WR
2019: Clayton Thorson, QB
2018: Matt Pryor, OT
2017: Donnel Pumphrey, RB
2016: Alex McCalister, LB
2015: JaCorey Shepherd, CB
2014: Jaylen Watkins, CB
2013: Matt Barkley, QB