Philadelphia Eagles 2024 NFL draft picks: Selection analysis

ByTim McManus ESPN logo
Saturday, April 27, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The 2024 NFL draftbegan Thursday night in Detroit and wrapped up on Saturday. The Philadelphia Eaglesmade nine of the draft's 257 picks, beginning with the No. 22 selection of the first round on Thursday night.

ESPN provided pick-by-pick analysis of each of the Eagles' selections as they were made.

A look at each of Philadelphia's selections:

Analysis of every pick | Updated depth chart

Round 1, No. 22: Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

My take: The general belief entering the draft was that the Eagles would have to trade up to land one of the top corners. But the board fell general manager Howie Roseman's way. In Mitchell, they get a blazing fast (4.33 second 40-yard dash) playmaker who led the FBS with 15 pass breakups last season. He could make an immediate impact on a defense that finished second-to-last in touchdowns allowed (35) in 2023.

Will he start as a rookie?If all goes well this summer, yes. Veteran James Bradberry is coming off a rough season. He remains under contract, but the Eagles are clearly open to finding a new partner on the outside for Darius Slay. It's a big leap from the MAC to the pros, and there will undoubtedly be some growing pains, but there is an opportunity for Mitchell to contribute right away.

Ties to the team to know: There are a couple of connections to coach Nick Sirianni. Toledo's head coach, Jason Candle, played at Mount Union with Sirianni (they were both receivers) and they later coached together on the Mount Union staff. Toledo's defensive coordinator, Vince Kehres, is the son of Larry Kehres, who coached Sirianni at Mount Union. Safe to say, the Eagles were able to gather plenty of information on Mitchell during the pre-draft process.

Round 2, No. 40: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

My take: One of the worst secondaries in the league last season will have a new look in 2024. After selecting Mitchell in the first round, the Eagles moved up in Round 2 to take DeJean, a multidimensional playmaking defensive back. He has experience at both corner and safety. Some project Cooper as a safety at the pro level, though there's a sentiment within Philadelphia's building that he can "do it all." DeJean proved to be a difference-maker for Iowa on defense -- he was named first-team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year -- and was an impact punt returner as well.

Will he start as a rookie?First, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will have to decide where to play him. If it's safety, he'll be in a room led by C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown. If it's corner, he'll be competing with Mitchell, Kelee Ringo and Bradberry (assuming Bradberry stays on the roster) for playing time opposite Slay. At a minimum, DeJean could be featured on special teams -- he could come in handy on the new-look kickoffs the NFL is implementing this year -- while building out a role defensively as the year goes on.

Round 3, No. 94 (via SF): Jalyx Hunt, LB, Houston Christian

My take: The Eagles roll the dice on a former safety with plenty of upside. Philadelphia is in a state of transition at the edge position. Haason Reddick was traded to the New York Jets this offseason and Bryce Huff was signed in free agency. Brandon Graham is likely playing his last NFL season and Josh Sweat is in the last year of his contract. Hunt, the 2023 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, has plenty of ability but needs time to develop.

Key stat: The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Hunt ranked fifth among edge players in overall athletic testing at the combine. He showed playmaking ability at Houston Christian, leading the team with nine tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks while forcing a pair of fumbles. He started his college career at Cornell before transferring in 2022.

Round 4, No. 127 (via Houston): Will Shipley, RB, Clemson

My take: The Eagles add a versatile skill player to an already dynamic offense. Shipley rushed for over 800 yards last season and caught 31 balls for 244 yards, while also serving as an effective kick returner (28.6 yards per return). The new kickoff rules should increase the value of returners, and Philadelphia just added a couple intriguing options in Shipley and DeJean. He could earn a spot in the running back rotation overt time, as well, alongside Saquon Barkley and Kenneth Gainwell.

Round 5, No. 152 (via Washington):Ainais Smith, WR, Texas A&M

My take: Slot receiver was a need entering the draft, and the Eagles add an intriguing one in Smith. He had over 2,400 receiving yards at Texas A&M and also contributed as a runner, toting the ball 72 times for 405 yards (5.6 average). Smith can return punts and kicks as well. The Eagles have added multiple players in this draft with return abilities, including Cooper DeJean and Will Shipley.

Round 5: No. 155: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson

My take: Never will a fifth-round pick be more celebrated in Philadelphia. Jeremiah Trotter Sr. is an icon in the city after eight memorable seasons in the middle of the Eagles defense in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now his son will be in Midnight Green. Trotter Jr. had 88 tackles (15 for loss), 5.5 sacks and a pair of interceptions for Clemson last season, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He could have the chance to compete for playing time early, as he joins a linebacker room that includes Nakobe Dean, Devin White and Oren Burks.

Round 5: No. 172: Trevor Keegan, G, Michigan

My take: The Eagles address their need for offensive line depth with the addition of Keegan, a three-time All-Big Ten selection. He started three seasons at Michigan, playing primarily left guard, and was a captain last season for the national championship team. The Eagles still have to solidify a starter at right guard and need to build out depth following the departures of Jack Driscoll and Sua Opeta in free agency. Keegan will compete for a roster spot this summer and go from there.

Round 6: No. 185 (via Jets): Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State

My take: At 6-foot-6, 231 pounds, Wilson is not your average receiver. It's easy to understand why the Eagles would want to take a chance in the latter rounds on a player who has rare size to go with 4.52 40-yard dash speed. He didn't post exceptional numbers in college (41 catches, 617 yards, 2 touchdowns in 10 games last season) but if he can develop on the next level, Wilson would be well worth the investment.

Round 6: No. 190 (from New Orleans via Packers and Jets): Dylan McMahon, G, North Carolina State

My take: McMahon played both guard and center in college. He can provide further depth as the Eagles prep for life without future Hall of Famer Jason Kelce. Cam Jurgens is expected to move from right guard to center to replace Kelce, leaving an opening at the right guard spot. McMahon will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster during training camp.

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