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How the Philadelphia Eagles Faired in the Draft and What to Expect

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NFC East teams were some of the biggest winners in this year’s NFL Draft. Sports Illustrated gave the Philadelphia Eagles an A+ for choosing quality players in every round. New York got an A- while the Commanders ranked third with a B-.

The Eagles selected nine out of the 257 picks available, starting with Quinyon Mitchell, a cornerback who formerly represented Toledo University. GM Howie Roseman went into the draft looking to fill the gaps created by the retirement of Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox.

Roseman has been leading the Eagles’ front office since 2010 (except in 2015). And he used his rich experience to pick some amazing players. Many football experts believe the Eagles now have what they need to fight for the Super Bowl next season.           

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That being said, here are the Eagles’ nine draft picks and what they’ll add to the team.

#1: Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo)—Round 1, No. 22

The Eagles needed a quality cornerback after ranking second last in the number of touchdowns conceded last season. Quinyon Mitchell might answer their defensive needs.

He’s superfast—holds a 4.33-second record on the 40-yard dash. He’s also an excellent playmaker who managed 15 pass breakups for Toledo. Mitchell has a chance to break into the first-team squad if he impresses his new team. However, he will have to fight his position with James Bradberry.

Coach Nick Sirianni probably played a role in his team selecting Quinyon Mitchell. Sirianni played with Toledo’s coach, Jason Candle, at Mount Union. They also worked together at the university as coaches.

#2: Cooper DeJean (Iowa)—Round 2, No. 40

GM Roseman believes Cooper has what it takes to offer both defensive and playmaking skills. To be fair, Cooper was the difference in Iowa’s defense last season. The 21-year-old registered 26 solo tackles, made 15 assists, and defended at least five passes.

Philadelphia picked DeJean in the second round as the 40th pick of the night. They plan to utilize him as a safety. As mentioned, Cooper could also assist Mitchell in playmaking.

The Eagles have a solid lineup for safety players—Sydney Brown, C.J. Gardner Johnson, and Reed Blankenship. However, they need a lot of help in the cornerback position, where at least one veteran (Bradberry) is expected to leave.

#3: Jalyx Hunt (Houston Christian)—Round 3, No. 94

Hunt began his college life in Cornell before transferring to Houston Christian IN 2022 to put more effort into football. The six-foot linebacker ranked fifth at the combine and led Houston in tackles and sacks.

Although the edge rusher has explosive power and the athleticism needed to excel in the NFL, he needs plenty of development before he can be considered a top-level player.

The Eagles will need Hunt to step up and prove his worth after trading Haason Reddick to the Jets. Bryce Huff also left while Brandon Graham is almost retiring. The team is currently relying on Josh Sweat in defense even though his contract will be over this year.

#4: Willy Shipley (Clemson)—Round 4, No. 127

Philadelphia strengthened its offense line by picking Willy Shipley, a Running Back who rushed for more than 800 yards and caught 31 balls for 244 yards. Shipley also acted as a kick returner with an average of 28.6 yards per return.

Shipley will play alongside Saquon Barkley, Kenneth Gainwell, and DeJean, meaning he will need to work hard for playtime. In all fairness, returners will have more value in the upcoming season due to the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

#5: Ainais Smith (Texas A &M)—Round 5, No. 152

The Eagles needed a Wide Receiver going into the draft but they had no chance at selecting a top-tier pick. They settled for Ainais Smith, a former Texas A&M talented in running, kicking, and returning punts.

With Cooper DeJean, Shipley, and Ainais all picked to strengthen the offense, Philadelphia might turn into one of the best teams in the league defensive-wise.

#6: Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (Clemson)—Round 5, No. 155

It is a dream come true for Trotter to play for the same team his dad did. Jeremiah Trotter Sr. rocked the Eagles’ defense in the 90s and early 00s. GM Howie was excited to pick Jeremiah, a player he believes will strengthen the franchise’s defense.

Trotter will have to compete for playtime with Nakobe Dean, Oren Burks, and Devin White for minutes. But considering his impressive record at Clemson, he won’t have an issue performing well for his new team.

#7: Trevor Keegan (Michigan)—Round 5, No. 172

 Trevor Keegan is a three-time All-Big 10 player. He’s legitimately one of the best guards in this year’s draft class. At Michigan, Keegan was the starting left guard for three straight years and captained the 2024 NCAA champions.

Although Trevor has the right qualifications, he will need to compete for a spot in the O-Line. It won’t be particularly hard with the departure of Sua Opeta and Jack Driscoll.

#8: Johnny Wilson (Florida State)—Round 6, No. 185

Johnny Wilson is sort of a risky pick. He had 41 catches and 2 touches in his last 10 games at Florida State and only rushed for 617 yards. However, he’s also six feet tall weighs 231 pounds, and can complete a 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds.

These are rare numbers to find in a receiver. With the right training, Wilson could become an exceptional receiver in the Major League. He wouldn’t be the first athlete with average college numbers to perform outstandingly well at a professional level

#9: Dylan McMahon (North Carolina State)—Round 6, No. 190

Dylan is yet another guard GM Roseman and company hopes can step up in the shoes of Jason Kelce. He will need to compete for playtime with Keegan now that Cam Jurgens will take up Kelce’s position.

The North Carolina alumnus was a top player in his college but mostly had average numbers when compared to other guards across the country. For him to find a spot in the star-studded Eagles’ team, he will need to work hard for it.

 

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