Stop us if you have heard this before. Darius Slay is 32 years old and will turn 33 on New Year's Day. Philly's other starting outside cornerback is James Bradberry. He'll turn 30 ahead of the regular season on August 4th. The Philadelphia Eagles currently have 11 cornerbacks on the roster and another listed defensive back (Tristin McCollum), but when the smoke clears and the dust settles after training camp and three preseason games, they'll probably only carry six CBs on the initial 53-man roster.
In addition to Slay and Bradberry, we expect Avonte Maddox and Kelee Ringo to make the team. You do the math. The competition will be intense this summer.
Despite the number of bodies the Eagles have at the position, turnover is to be expected. No one should be shocked if the depth chart is again shuffled next March during free agency and in April during the next NFL Draft.
We know what you're thinking. Why are we discussing this when we haven't even reached July? The answer is simple.
The wheels have been turning ever since we stumbled upon a 2024 mock draft cooked up by Pro Football Network. They're guessing the Eagles move on a corner.
Eagles add Ohio State star Denzel Burke in a recent Pro Football Network mock draft.
Typically, the Eagles don't draft defensive backs in Round 1 of any NFL Draft. They have only done so three times in their 90-year history. They never did so prior to 1980, nor have they done so since taking Lito Sheppard in 2002.
It's for that reason that we'd disagree with PFN in terms of their theory that Ohio State's Denzel Burke might be the choice in Round 1 of next year's draft, but he's an attention grabber. Here's what was said about his proposed selection.
"Denzel Burke will be a name to keep a keen eye on in 2023. Being drafted high as a CB can sometimes come down to timing. It’s incredibly hard to be consistently great as a coverage player. Burke had a down year in 2022, but if he bounces back this year, he could cement his status as a first-round pick. Both of the Eagles’ starting CBs are over 30, and that hill can come incredibly quickly for the position."
It makes sense when you think about things in those terms. What do you think? Would drafting a cover guy this early make be feasible? Let's look at some other prospects just in case.
Here are five other prospects at the cornerback position that are worth paying attention to as well.
Burke will turn heads all season. Keep a close watch on him. Here are a handful of other intriguing cornerback prospects that you'll want to place on your draft boards as well.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama Crimson Tide
By the time it's all said and done, Kool-Aid McKinstry might be the top prospect at the cornerback position in next year's draft. We're a long way from guaranteeing that though.
Keep an eye on his teammates as well, Terrion Arnold and Malachi Moore. The latter might be better suited to play safety at the pro level, but all will hear their names called during next year's NFL Draft.
Cooper DeJean, Iowa Hawkeyes
Last year's Music City Bowl Most Valuable Player, Cooper DeJean was named a First-Team All-Big Ten nod by the media and a Second-Team All-Big Ten nominee by league coaches. In 17 career games that have spanned two seasons, he has collected 79 total tackles, five interceptions, and eight pass breakups.
Kalen King, Penn State Nittany Lions
The Eagles haven't taken shown much of an interest in the Penn State Nittany Lions' best players recently. The last time they drafted a couple was 2019 when they added Miles Sanders and Shareef Miller. As you're aware, neither of them are still on the roster.
Just for kicks, let's keep an eye on Kalen King anyway. He's five-foot-11 and 187 pounds, but if interested, Philly could think about him for a slot CB role.
Tony Grimes, Texas A&M Aggies
At six-foot-tall and 195 pounds, Tony Grimes has the physical traits of a starting NFL cornerback. The questions now are about whether or not he can play like one. He doesn't haul in a ton of interceptions. He only has one on his NCAA resume, and that came back in 2020 as a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels.
After three years in Chapel Hill, he takes his talents to the SEC. We'll see how he does in the Western Division, the toughest division in all of college football.
Max Melton, Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Here's a wild card for you. Most of you probably don't watch a ton of Rutgers Scarlet Knights football, but Max Melton is the owner of a name that you may want to familiarize yourselves with. He has already accumulated 79 tackles, four interceptions, a defensive TD, and 16 pass breakups during his first 29 games at the NCAA level. That total spans three seasons.