6 Eagles players who could lose snaps to rookies in 2024

Which veterans could end up losing snaps to first-year players?
Philadelphia Eagles, Kenneth Gainwell
Philadelphia Eagles, Kenneth Gainwell / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

We're more than three weeks removed from the 2024 NFL Draft, and the Philadelphia Eagles are getting ready to begin some OTA action in just a handful of days.

The Eagles' roster is looking much different, these days, after the draft and free agency.

As we look ahead to OTAs and training camp, we could end up seeing some rookies take away a whole lot of playing time from veterans.

Which Eagles veterans should be worried about losing playing time to the 2024 rookie class?

James Bradberry, CB

When the Eagles drafted Quinyon Mitchell in the first round, that pretty much spelled the end for James Bradberry as a starting corner in Philly. This is not a situation where Bradberry "could" lose snaps to Mitchell. This is much closer to a sure thing, barring unforeseen circumstances unfolding throughout the summer.

Mitchell is going to be this team's starting outside corner opposite Darius Slay. There's no question about it. And, furthermore, Bradberry might even end up being cut when it's all said and done.

Nakobe Dean, ILB

Linebacker is a very interesting spot for this Eagles defense. Vic Fangio runs a 3-4, but they'll also use some 4-3 type of sets here and there. In the former sets, Philly will give Nakobe Dean every opportunity to be the inside backer. But, in the latter sets, nobody knows.

Devin White will get an opportunity to play, of course, as a free agent signee.

But, the Eagles didn't draft Jeremiah Trotter Jr. only to sit him on the bench 100 percent of the time. He is going to end up getting on the field. It's just a matter of which linebacker he steals time from. Will it be Dean? Will it be White?

Avonte Maddox, Slot CB

Prior to the Eagles drafting Cooper DeJean in the second round, it was veteran Avonte Maddox who would have lined up as the team's starting slot cornerback. Now that DeJean is in Philly, though, that job is likely going to end up being his, with Mitchell starting on the outside along with Slay.

Maddox has not been reliable in terms of being healthy and on the field, which is even further reason why the Eagles want to give DeJean a chance at solidifying this spot.

Tyler Steen, RG

Right now, the Eagles are likely looking at veteran Tyler Steen as the starting right guard. The 2023 third-round pick will compete with Matt Hennessy at that position, but there is also a slim chance that fifth-round pick Trevor Keegan could impress enough to take over that job.

While it's highly unlikely, it would be foolish to count out the likelihood of a fifth-round rookie earning a starting role. It happens every year across the league, therefore Keegan certainly has a chance. Steen only played 68 snaps at right guard last year, and did not impress too much, so there's definitely a world where Keegan has a shot.

Parris Campbell, WR

Currently, Parris Campbell is listed as the team's starting slot wide receiver. However, there's a feeling that DeVante Parker may be a better fit because the team has wanted a bigger guy in that role. Yet, neither one of them could wind up in that position come season's end.

Fifth-round rookie wideout Ainias Smith has an opportunity to impress and eventually take over that job, too. There is no guarantee that Parker or Campbell can be significant contributors, and teams always want to see what they have in their younger talent.

Smith is a bit smaller, standing just 5-foot-9, however he is a true slot receiver. He plays with the toughness and grittiness that is needed for the position.

Kenneth Gainwell, RB

Prior to the start of last season, it may have surprised fans to hear that Kenneth Gainwell was operating as the team's starting running back. That shows the confidence this team has within the former fifth-round pick back in 2021. However, it was D'Andre Swift that ended up taking over the job pretty quickly.

This year, the Eagles took Clemson running back Will Shipley in the fourth round. Based on recent years, a fourth-round pick on a running back is some pretty high capital to spend on the position. Shipley comes in being a dual-threat, too, having the ability to operate as a pass catcher and he could end up taking the RB2 role from Gainwell.