Best Day 2 targets for each level of the Eagles defense

The Eagles own two picks in Round 2. Here are some ideas if they elect to address their defense there or by trading back into Round 3.
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Philadelphia Eagles draft news
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Philadelphia Eagles draft news / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of how an NFL career turns out, we'll remember where guys were drafted forever. Even now, it's hard to imagine that Philadelphia Eagles legends David Akers, Bucko Kilroy, Herman Edwards, and Hollis Thomas all went undrafted and Jason Kelce was acquired in Round 6.

Akers saw three NFL locker rooms before joining Philly. He was also a kicker who landed with NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder in 1999. You get the idea though. When we can argue for your Hall of Fame induction, you must be mentioned in this discussion.

The above stories aren't common. That's what makes them special. More will always be required of the early-rounders. They're expected to make impacts immediately.

Philly owns three of the 2024 NFL Draft's first 53 selections. They're void of one in Round 3, but no one should rule out the possibility of them trading back from Round 2 or using later-round picks as collateral to bargain their way into a third second-day choice.

There will be plenty of options if they do so. Here are the top prospects at every position on the defensive side of the ball that figure to be available in Round 2.

The top second-day targets at EDGE

You can never have too many edge rushers, especially if you're like Philly and don't have enough. Here are a few guys worth monitoring if the Birds don't take a pass rusher on Day 1.

Adisa Isaac, Penn State

Chop Robinson's injuries in 2023 opened the door for Adisa Isaac. He didn't just walk through. He kicked said door off its hinges.

Jonah Elliss, Utah

Jonah Elliss is the younger brother of former and current Eagles Christian and Noah. Jonah is the best of the three however and an accomplished sack artist. Keep an eye on him.

Chris Braswell, Alabama

We've spent so much time talking about how good Dallas Turner is that we haven't given Chris Braswell as much shine as he deserves. That's okay. You can best believe that he's been mentioned quite often by NFL scouting departments.

Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan

Former Missouri standout Darius Robinson is probably a slightly better prospect than Kneeland, but the latter enjoyed an early pre-draft visit with Philly. That may not mean a ton, but it certainly doesn't mean nothing.

Best Day 2 interior defenders

The Eagles love to build their defensive line from its interior. Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Marlon Tuipulotu, Moro Ojomo, and Milton Williams are all in the picture but don't think for a second that will talk Philly out of selecting another one early.

Braden Fiske, Florida State

In 2023, Braden Fiske tallied 43 tackles and six sacks for FSU. He's a big guy who can move. Did you see that monster 4.7-second 40-yard dash?

Kris Jenkins, Michigan

One of the standouts from the national champs, Kris Jenkins plugged holes, stuffed running backs, harassed quarterbacks, and even hustled his way into an interception. He's going to shine at the next level.

Brandon Dorlus, Oregon

If you stayed up late to watch Oregon home games, you already know who Brandon Dorlus is. He gets to the QB. That was evidenced by five sacks last season, but his seven pass breakups prove he still affects games even if he doesn't get home because of the pass rush.

Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson

Clemson's Ruke Orhorhoro shined at the NFL Combine after stacking five sacks for Clemson in 2023. Don't shed a tear for him. He'll hear his name called in Roun2

The best interior linebackers that figure to be available on Day 2

Edgerrin Cooper and Payton Wilson are considered the top two linebackers in this class, but no one should be shocked if one or the other slips into Round 2. Let's say they don't here are a few consolation prizes if Philly addresses their needs at linebacker early.

Junior Colson, Michigan

Junior Colson was another of Michigan's game wreckers. Playing behind a talented front that included Kris Jenkins, this 238-pounder could improve versus the pass, but he's already a stout run defender.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson

Hey, we know this guy. Every time we say 'Junior Ax Man', we smile. We're interested, but is Philly as interested? That's the question.

Marist Liufau, Notre Dame

We end this with a Day 2 Fighting Irish double play. We begin by mentioning the brilliant
Marist Liufau. He collected 44 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2023.

J.D. Bertrand, Notre Dame

Some may value J.D. Bertrand ahead of Liufau. Others see him as a better fit for Philly than Jeremiah Trotter. J.D. makes a lot of sense. He's blessed with tremendous talent. Last year, he became a better defender in pass coverage. No one has ever questioned his nose for the football in the running game.

Best projected second-day options at cornerback

Some say the Eagles should invest in a cornerback in Round 1, but that hasn't happened for 22 years. No one would bat an eyelash, however, if they selected one on Day 2 in Round 2.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri

Assuming Quinyon Mitchell, Nate Wiggins, Terrion Arnold, Cooper DeJean, and Kool-Aid McKinstry all hear their names called in Round 1, Rakestraw is the best of the second-round options.

Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

The NFL Draft's secind tier of cornerbacks also features Kamari Lassiter. Philly wouldn't take another Georgia guy, would they?

Max Melton, Rutgers

Max Melton is a future NFL star, but with his five-foot-eleven, 187-pound frame, we wonder if he makes the most sense as a slot guy.

Cam Hart, Notre Dame

Cam hart is better than advertised. If you doubt that, pull up Notre Dame's game versus the Ohio State Buckeyes last season and check out what he did versus Marvin Harrison.

Best projected Day 2 safeties

The Eagles don't prioritize the safety position, but they've done much that was uncommon this offseason. Tyler Nubin is the best of this class if you aren't considering the versatile Cooper DeJean as an option. We'll assume both hear their names called in Round 1.

Javon Bullard, Georgia

Perhaps the best safety not named Tyler Nubin, Javon Bullard played well last season despite playing through injury. Well, at least we know he's a warrior.

Jaden Hicks, Washington State

We wanted to place Miami's Kamren Kinchens on this list. While few matched his flair for the dramatic (i.e. splash plays), few were more consistent than Jaden Hicks over the past two NCAA seasons.

Calen Bullock, USC

Calen Bullock may need to add body mass for the professional level, but he's tall and rangy at six-foot-two. There are questions about whether he should move to corner at the next level though.

Cole Bishop, Utah

Cole Bishop isn't getting a ton of burn from the general public, buthe's one of the guys we are eyeing as a possible star.

60 tackles, three, sacks, and two interceptions demonstrate his versatility. he can play in the box and deep.

Get ready for the 2024 NFL Draft!