2024 NFL Draft

10 leftover odds and ends from Eagles 2024 NFL draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books but here are 10 leftover nuggets from the Eagles' weekend.

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The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books and it was a busy weekend for the Eagles.

They landed the top corner in the class, made about a thousand trades and left with nine players and three future picks.

Here’s a look at the class:

Round 1-22: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
Round 2-40: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa
Round 3-94: Jalyx Hunt, OLB, Houston Christian
Round 4-127: Will Shipley, RB, Clemson
Round 5-152: Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M
Round 5-155: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson
Round 5-172: Trevor Keegan, OG, Michigan
Round 6-185: Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State
Round 6-190: Dylan McMahon, OL, NC State
*Added a 2025 third, fourth and fifth

We’ve written and talked about all those picks over the last few days but it’s time to clear out the notebook before getting ready for rookie camp and then OTAs.

So here are 10 Eagles leftover odds and ends from the 2024 draft:

1. After landing Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean in Rounds 1 and 2, the Eagles took a swing on a high-upside player in Jalyx Hunt in Round 3. They traded down a couple of times before drafting the raw edge rusher from Houston Christian with the 94th overall pick. And some still think he might have been a reach.

Of course, Hunt is just a reach based on the consensus formed in the pre-draft process. According to Arif Hasan’s consensus big board (it’s a very cool tool, by the way), Hunt ranked as the 140th overall player in this class but ranked 126th among the “forecasters” group, which Hasan explains as a group that includes folks who might have more inside team information. That seems to check out. But regardless of what consensus board you look at, the Eagles drafted Hunt before many expected him to go.

Roseman admitted it’s not easy to figure out where to take a player like Hunt.

“Yeah, it is,” Roseman said. “I think this is one of the guys that you started to hear a lot of the buzz on him. We do all these mock drafts and you start seeing his name in the second round and third round. I think it starts out with a guy, you kind of are going, all right, maybe I can get this guy on the third day, and then you start seeing a bunch of mock drafts with his name in it in the second and third round and then you start seeing (NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah) DJ's list and stuff like that, and so then you realize there are no more secrets.

“I think for us, obviously we took some chances because we were picking at 78. We moved back. I think we went to 86, we moved back, and then I think right in between those picks I think that's when DJ's big board came on the screen, and it was best available and he was like the third guy. I wanted to text him and tell him to delete that. I don't think he would listen to me at this point. For us then it was just like we didn't want to get cute, we want to develop the player. I think one of our scouts, after we picked him, said, man, where can this guy be in two years? What kind of pass rusher?

“We believe he has an ability to be one of these small-school rushers that really can ascend, and we feel like we have the right coaches and the right support system.”

Time will tell about Hunt, but that’s a good look into the Eagles’ process.

2. The Eagles used their first two picks on defensive backs and those players will enter a room where veteran captain Darius Slay is the leader.

Slay is a really fun and goofy guy so he probably doesn’t get enough credit for his leadership. But since his arrival in Philadelphia, he’s gone out of his way to bring along younger players on both sides of the ball. Some older players view draft picks as a threat but Slay’s approach is very different.

Absolutely loved this Tweet and sentiment from Slay this weekend:

3. The Eagles drafted an undersized and athletic center in the sixth round. Sound familiar?

Obviously, we need to pump the brakes on the Jason Kelce-Dylan McMahon comparisons but there’s no denying that McMahon has an impressive athletic profile.

McMahon is undersized at 6-3, 299 pounds but his testing numbers were elite and he put a lot of work into them.

“I expected to test well,” McMahon said. “I knew that the combine was going to be a big thing for me because I am an athletic offensive lineman. Being able to show my athletic ability was there was going to be huge for me.

“Just going through the testing process, I had a great coach at Exos being able to show me how to do the right technique and put together my athletic ability with technique to get those great numbers. I was just blessed to go out there and perform the way I did. It was an amazing experience.”

The two areas where McMahon really shined at the Combine were in the short shuttle (4.33) and 3-cone drill (7.26), which are two tests extremely important if you’re going to be an undersized NFL center. McMahon was second among all offensive linemen in both to fourth-rounder Tanor Bortolini.

4. The Eagles made eight trades during the 2024 draft but a trade between two other teams has implications for the Eagles. The Jets traded pass rusher John Franklin-Myers to the Broncos for a 2026 sixth-round pick.

Why does this matter to the Eagles?

Well, JFM was a starting defensive end for the Jets the last three years and now that he’s out of the way, that means there’s a much better chance of former Eagle Haason Reddick having a big season.

The Eagles traded Reddick to the Jets for a 2026 third-round pick that can become a second-rounder if Reddick plays 67.5% of the snaps and has 10+ sacks. While Reddick has hit those benchmarks in recent years, that’s still a high bar for conditions on a pick. But the odds Reddick hits them improved a bit after the Franklin-Myers trade.

5. Eagles fifth-round offensive guard Trevor Keegan ended up starting 37 games for Michigan and was a team captain in 2023 for the National Championship winners. But early in his career, he really thought about leaving the Wolverines.

“Yeah, it was a very tough decision that I had to make,” Keegan said. “Me as a player, I want to get on the field, want to play, help the team, do everything possible to be out there on the field. For the first time in my life not playing, it definitely stung. At the end of the day I just wanted to play and it was up to me. I'm not a quitter. Never quit anything I have ever done. I never back down to a challenge and I accept it and look myself in the mirror.

“I had to make some changes in my game, study the playbook in and out and do everything possible to get on the field. I'm so eternally grateful that I decided to stay. Man, when you stay and stick to it and you tend to your work and work in the dark, you are going to shine in the light. That’s exactly what happened. I couldn't be more grateful for my five years at Michigan.”

6. The Eagles’ drafting Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is undoubtedly a great story. But Roseman really wanted everyone to know that they didn’t draft the young Axe Man because of that great story.

Roseman said that when they traded up to take Trotter in the fifth round, they were sticking to their draft board.

“As much as you like those stories, and it's a great story without the ending, you know. We just started that story,” Roseman said. “But it's got to be skill set, and he has a skill set, and that's why we drafted him. He has a mentality. That's why we drafted him. We're looking forward to him being his own person and not having to walk in anyone's footsteps, but creating his own legacy.”

7. Last year, Roseman explained that the team has what they call “red star” players, which are basically players that exemplify what it means to be an Eagle.

He said they drafted five such players in 2024.

But more than that, Roseman said the players the Eagles drafted this offseason fit into what they’ve been looking for all offseason.

“We had kind of a philosophy. We wanted to have a mentality offseason,” Roseman said. “We wanted to bring in people here who had a chip on their shoulder because we felt like we had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. Not in a bad way. Just in a way like we felt like we wanted to do whatever we could to put ourselves in the best possible situation for this year because we had a bad taste in our mouth the last year, and we wanted to bring in as many people. I say we because it starts with us that had that kind of same feeling.

“It started in free agency bringing in the free agents that we brought in, and we were looking for people in the draft who had that.”

8. While Cooper DeJean ended up becoming a star for the Iowa football team, he played a bunch of sports in high school: Football, basketball, baseball and track.

If you haven’t seen his impressive high school basketball highlights, they’re worth your time:

In a world where so many young athletes begin to specialize in one sport early, DeJean found value in being a multi-sport and well-rounded athlete.

“I think each sport that I played, I think it helped the other,” DeJean said on Saturday. “You know, whether it's football and basketball, track, the explosiveness in track, the speed; basketball, change of direction. A lot of it translates over to football. I loved playing sports growing up, so playing four sports was a no-brainer for me in high school. 

“But it definitely helped me excel at the game of football and helped me get to this point. I still continue to play basketball to this day because I love it so much. But I think just playing all four sports really helped me a lot just to -- the way you think about the game, see things in different positions, different spots, different areas, whatever it is.”

And if you’re wondering, DeJean said in an Eagles social media video that he can still dunk.

9. Maybe there wasn’t some big concerted effort to draft players with return ability but the Eagles ended up with three of them in DeJean, Will Shipley and Ainias Smith.

DeJean as punt returner: 31 returns 406 yards (13.1), 1 TD

Shipley as a kick returner: 34 returns, 904 yards (26.6)

Smith as a punt returner: 82 returns, 835 yards (10.2), 2 TDs; as kick returner: 20 for 360 (18.0)

The Eagles still have Britain Covey on their roster and he was a very good punt returner in 2023. But their top kick returner from last year, Boston Scott, remains a free agent.

There will be even more opportunities for returns in 2024 with the new kickoff rules. Head coach Nick Sirianni said on Friday that DeJean could factor into the play.

“Obviously we spend a lot of time working on that, myself, Coach [Michael] Clay, the special teams staff, you know, even the defensive and offensive coaches,” Sirianni said. “Without giving too much into it, obviously Game 1 I know there will be some things in preseason. I am assuming not going to be a lot of people showing what they're going to do. So Game 1, we have to hold some of our secrets until then.”

10. One of the biggest surprises of this year’s draft is that the Eagles didn’t come away with an offensive tackle and they didn’t draft an offensive lineman, in general, until Day 3.

That’s why it made sense to see them sign Mekhi Becton to a one-year deal on Sunday. It’s unfair to expect Becton to get to Philly and suddenly become the first-rounder the Jets drafted 11th overall in 2020. But Becton (6-7, 363 pounds) has started 30 games in his career and could be a decent swing tackle for the Eagles. It’s exciting to see what Jeff Stoutland can get out of Becton.

And swing tackle was a pretty big need for the Eagles. They lost Jack Driscoll in free agency and their top backup tackle before Sunday was Fred Johnson, who has just eight NFL starts in five seasons.

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