Lesser-mentioned and doubted Eagles who could become stars in the near future

Watching this roster build has been fun, but don't sleep on the guys that some of you have been doubting.
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Remember when Howie Roseman was public enemy number one on the City of Brotherly Love? The Philadelphia Eagles had just ignored Justin Jefferson to take Jalen Reagor in the 2020 NFL Draft, and in Round 2, they settled on a quarterback, when they already had Carson Wentz mind you. Who would have thought? Those decisions set several chain reactions in motion.

Taking Jalen Hurts proved to be a wise decision. Trading Carson Wentz eventually led to some addition by subtraction and had Philly taken Jefferson, they wouldn't have DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown on the roster.

Howie proved us wrong, he's gone from being vilified to being one of the most trusted men in the city. His later roster build represents some of his best work, and though there are stars at seemingly every position, it may be the lesser-mentioned guys that help tell 2024's tale.

It's easy to forget about players when the Eagles have a stacked roster, but here are some lesser-mentioned guys who might be ready for prime time.

Can you imagine having a roster that is so stacked that people sometimes forget to mention Jalen Hurts? That's the position Philly is in, and during the most recent draft, the rich got richer.

Cooper DeJean and Quinyon Mitchell are going to be stars. Just take the former. He's a versatile defender whose first name is pronounced with a long u phonetically. That means we all get to yell 'Coooooop' at home games whenever he makes a big play.

Both will be utilized as will the guys on this list. All have been doubted for one reason or another. All will have an opportunity to change their narratives this season.

Nakobe Dean & Devin White, linebackers

Nakobe Dean is a third-round selection who some thought might be a first. Devin White is a former first-rounder that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up on. The former was supposed to start for Philly last season but ended up on the injured reserve twice. The latter has fallen from grace in a matter that we normally don't see.

How does one go from being one of the best players on the field during a Super Bowl to being benched during a playoff game? Here we are. These are the top two inside linebackers on the Eagles depth chart.

We choose to believe. Honestly, we don't have an X's and O's reason why. Something tells us both have chips on their shoulders though. That will sustain them. Buckle up. The bouncebacks are loading.

Nolan Smith, EDGE

Hey! Remember this guy? Nolan Smith was the second of two Eagles first-round selections in 2023. Some have turned the page from him already, and that's a doggone shame if they have.

Smith wasn't as needed a season ago as he will be this go around. Haason Reddick's presence last year meant Philly wouldn't have to place their rookie under any undue pressure.

Bryce Huff is in town now. That means Nolan is again relegated to reserve duty, but Smith should play a bigger role and enjoy more production this season.

DeVante Parker, wide receiver

It just feels like Philly feels better when they have a bigger-bodied guy play slot receiver. The Julio Jones thing didn't work though, and it's hard to understand why anyone thought it might. The Future Hall of Famer's best days are clearly behind him.

Enter DeVante Parker... Maybe... If there was a game to play tomorrow, we guess he'd be the starter, right? He won't be the primary weapon in Philly's offensive attack, like ever, but he could benefit from the opposing defense's need to stop so many of the other Eagles stars.

It's hard to imagine that there are a large number of NFL defenses that can consistently limit Saquon Barkley, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert anyway. Let's say there are a few. The attention paid to them could open things up for Parker.

He doesn't need to put up huge numbers. One or two decent plays during a game here and there might do the trick. If Parker can do that, he would have done all that has been asked of him.

Read more Eagles news and notes