Eagles Gm Howie Roseman Is Confident In His Early-Round Draft Picks From Toledo, Houston Christian

Philadelphia Eagles first-ound draft pick Quinyon Mitchell holds up a jersey during a news conference with the NFL football team in Philadelphia, Friday, April 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Eagles first-ound draft pick Quinyon Mitchell holds up a jersey during a news conference with the NFL football team in Philadelphia, Friday, April 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Who needs to draft prospects from the Power Five to build a Super Bowl contender?

The Philadelphia Eagles might soon find out after taking an unconventional approach in the NFL draft. General manager Howie Roseman used a first-round pick on Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell and a third-round selection on Houston Christian linebacker Jalyx Hunt.

Surely those two were on every Eagles fan's mock draft board.

Only the most diehard college football fans in Philadelphia — of which there are few — and the most dogged Eagles scouts — of which there are many — had much of a report on Mitchell or Hunt. While the picks seemed outside the box, Roseman said it's not out of the ordinary to find players of that caliber out of more than 400 scouting reports that he receives.

It may have been a surprise to some — it's just not necessarily the new norm.

"They’re the best players," Roseman said. “The SEC guys are still playing against great competition. I think these were kind of two extenuating circumstances because of the particular guys. Probably wouldn’t say it’s going to be a trend.”

The Eagles stuck to picks from more familiar football schools with 2023 All-America cornerback Cooper DeJean of Iowa in the second round and Clemson running back Will Shipley in the fourth.

“Once you draft them, it’s what they do in the NFL,” Roseman said. “We bring them in here and we talk about it a lot, we got to develop the player and the person. We’re still talking about a young guy coming to Philadelphia, and I think at this point it’s all what he does from here. Whatever happened pre-draft, none of that matters. Wherever they’re picked, none of that matters.”


The biggest move of the draft had nothing to do with picks and rounds.

It had to do with an extension — the Eagles and wide receiver A.J. Brown agreed to a three-year extension that included $84 million guaranteed. Brown is set to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at $32 million a season.

He had 106 catches for 1,456 yards last season after he had 88 catches for 1,496 yards in 2022 in his first season with the Eagles.

“We try to be proactive to try to keep this team together,” Roseman said. “That starts with (owner) Jeffrey (Lurie) and his support (and) the benefits of trying to keep it together as much as we possibly can. The only way we can possibly do that is by doing deals early. We felt like it was an opportunity to do that here with A.J. Obviously we’ve done a bunch of deals with a bunch of our players, and want to add to that and keep this team together as much as we possibly can.”


The Eagles liked DeJean. Like, really liked him.

The Eagles traded picks No. 50, No. 53, and No. 161 to the Washington Commanders in exchange for picks that landed them DeJean.

The 6-foot, 203-pound DeJean, who had seven interceptions in two seasons at Iowa, was considered a first-rounder by the Eagles. It was one reason they were willing to trade the picks to move up for their shot at drafting him.

The Eagles weren't alone in the assessment of DeJean — he even thought he should have been a first-rounder.

“Obviously there’s a little frustration,” he said. “but I’m excited with where I’m at, being in Philadelphia, being able to play for a great organization.”

Lurie told Roseman it was “rare for us to be picking in the 20s and to get two first-round players.”

“Both those guys were first-round players for us,” Roseman said. “We didn’t have 32 first-round guys, so when you get that opportunity to get two first-round guys, especially picking where we were, we felt like it was an opportunity and it was obviously an area we wanted to address. We felt like we addressed a lot of the areas of our football team through free agency, but that was one area we could address.”


Mitchell might be talented enough to earn a starting spot in the NFL. But can he immediately crack the Eagles' lineup?

He was widely considered the top cornerback in the draft — he ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine. The Eagles have plenty of depth with Darius Slay and James Bradberry returning as starters, at least for now.

“We didn’t feel like we had to a take a corner in the first round but it was the highest-ranked player on our board at a position that we would like to get some younger players here,” Roseman said. “We got some younger players last year and we like those younger players. We wanted to add some competition at the corner position.”


The Eagles traded up Saturday to pick at No. 155 and select Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

Yes, the son of that Jeremiah Trotter — an Eagles great, an All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

The younger Trotter wears his dad’s No. 54, plays the same position and celebrates sacks and big tackles with the same signature axe swing.

Trotter was a finalist last year at Clemson for the Dick Butkus Award given to the best linebacker in the country. Trotter was projected to be drafted as high as the second round and some draft analysts believed only his size — he’s 6-foot and 238 pounds — kept him out of the first round.

His father was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 1998 draft.


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