Regrading the Eagles' 2024 draft class now that the adrenaline rush is over

Okay, the dust cleared and the smoke settled. How are we feeling about this draft class now that we're a tad calmer?
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Someone give Howie Roseman his flowers. Questions about the current roster construction and how to improve it flooded the offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. After an end-of-season collapse and uncertainty during the offseason, Roseman silenced the doubters, reminding the NFL world of his gifts and his acumen as the general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. Optimism permeates among Birds fans.

Philly tied an NFL Draft record with eight trades made in seven rounds. With limited draft capital for next season's draft, Howie Roseman replenished the team's cupboard. He also added both top talent and value picks with upside. All things considered, this class earns a passing grade. How do we feel now that we've had a chance to settle down and take it all in?

Let's regrade the Eagles 2024 draft class now that the adrenaline rush has subsided.

There will be no knee-jerk reactions and emotionally tinged theories. We allowed ourselves time to calm down, and here we are.

Philly added nine prospects to the nest as part of their 2024 draft class. How do we feel about them now? How do we grade them? We're glad you asked.

Round 1, Pick 22: Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo)

After the NFL world bared witness to a QB frenzy that featured six quarterbacks selected in the first 12 picks, the overall board fell, giving teams at the back end of the first round a chance at higher level prospects to further improve their chances at contending for the Lombardi Trophy. One of the prospects who fell victim to the run on quarterbacks was Toledo Cornerback Quinyon Mitchell.

Mitchell had an impressive last two seasons for the Rockets, with gaudy numbers in both pass breakups and touchdowns allowed, comparable to Sauce Gardner's numbers in college at the University of Cincinnati. An uber-athletic, off-the-line cornerback, Mitchell showcases good size and ability at a position Philadelphia needs help at.

Darius Slay and James Bradberry are both on the wrong side of the 30-year-old threshold. Inconsistent play, injuries, and depth concerns are all signs that Mitchell may be headed toward the Eagles' future 'CB1'.

Mitchell shows flashes of versatility at the Senior Bowl as well, lining up on the line in press coverage against college football's best. With a strong offseason, it is possible Mitchell contribute immediately as a starter outside Darius Slay, or assert himself as the third outside cornerback on the roster?

Either way, Mitchell is a player the Eagles can continue to develop and give meaningful reps. He isn't necessarily a player Philadelphia has to rush onto the field unless circumstances arise that way.

Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 40: Cooper DeJean (DB, Iowa)

Thought Quinyon Mitchell was a steal? How about potential first-round defensive back Cooper DeJean in the second round? The Eagles pulled off their first trade to move up and select the versatile, do-it-all defensive specialist from Iowa.

DeJean showed versatility as both a safety, nickel cornerback, and outside cornerback in his time at Iowa. With the Eagles announcing him as a 'defensive back' with their pick, expect more of the same from DeJean with the Eagles even if we don't see him used in several ways early.

The Eagles obviously value DeJean, trading up for him in round two. They value his versatility, versatility that can be used on special teams as well.

DeJean was used heavily as a punt returner in college and can be a major threat to flip the field with his ability to be explosive in the return game. With the pick, the Eagles continue to pry away at fixing a secondary that was among the worst in the entire league last season, after being one of the best in their run to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.

Grade: A+

Round 3, Pick 94: Jalyx Hunt (OLB, Houston Christian)

A former safety roughly a year ago, Hunt sports the necessary speed and flexibility to be a threat on the edge for the Eagles. After trading Haason Reddick and restructuring Josh Sweat's contract, the Eagles are looking to replenish some depth and future playmakers within their defensive line room.

Hunt has tremendous upside and ability. He is however relatively unproven considering the level of competition he played at Houston Christian. While I like the pick, round three felt early for 'upside'.

Grade: B-

Round 4, Pick 127: Will Shipley (RB, Clemson)

The Eagles' vision of the running back position has changed this offseason. After signing Saquon Barkley to a lucrative, three-year, $37 million deal, they found an opportunity to add something they haven't seen since LeSean McCoy, a bellcow back.

Even though Barkley will have a massive workload in the offense, he does hold a rather suspect injury history. Additionally, nearly the entire Eagles' running back room entered free agency, leaving a lack of depth.

Shipley was one of the most consistent, versatile running backs in all of college football over his three seasons at Clemson. During those three seasons, Shipley amassed 526 carries for 2,748 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and 31 touchdowns on the ground.

He showcased an ability to be a receiving threat for the Tigers, with 85 receptions, 602 yards, (7.1 yards per catch), and two touchdowns.

The Eagles running back room has been completely depleted, with D'Andre Swift, Boston Scott, and Rashaad Penny all leaving in free agency. Shipley offers a chance at stability in the backfield with Barkley and Kenneth Gainwell. Shipley's presence gives Philadelphia a versatile, receiving threat.

Grade: B+

Round 5, Pick 152: Ainias Smith (WR, Texas A&M)

The first of three Eagles fifth-round picks, Smith was an explosive player at Texas A&M. With 180 career receptions through five seasons. Those are just some of the things we need to highlight. His impact on the Aggies' offense was undeniable.

Smith racked up 2407 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns. With a career yards per catch average of 13.4 and a five-foot-ten, 200-pound frame, Smith could be an explosive downfield option for the Eagles. What makes Smith a late-round name to watch is his versatility as a runner and special teams prowess as a punt returner.

He carried the rock 72 carries for 405 yards (5.6 yards per carry) in college, including 49 carries for 293 yards (six yards per carry) in 2020 as a sophomore.

Smith's four career rushing touchdowns came in that 2020 season when he was used heavily as both a runner and receiver. Smith has five collegiate years of experience returning punts, and two years as a kick returner. With punt return touchdowns of 95 and 82 yards, Smith can flip the field for the Eagles and be a threat.

Here's a fun fact about Ainias Smith: He is the only player in SEC history with 2,000 receiving yards, and at least 250 rushing, kick return, and punt return yards.

Grade: B+

Round 5, Pick 155: Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (LB, Clemson)

The pick that every Eagles fan wanted to see. The late-round story to watch in the buildup of the draft was if the Eagles would draft Jeremiah Trotter Jr. 'Senior' spent much of his NFL career with Philly. The Birds had an opportunity, and they seized it, selecting the linebacker from Clemson.

Trotter doesn't have great size or speed, but he is one of only 14 FBS players ever with 10-plus sacks (12 over the last two seasons), three or more forced fumbles, and multiple pick-sixes in the past 20 seasons.

Trotter is promising in coverage, as a run stopper, and in pass coverage. With a thin linebacker room, Trotter will get a chance to contribute in Vic Fangio's defense on day one with a strong training camp.

Grade: A

Round 5, Pick 172: Trevor Keegan (G, Michigan)

Trevor Keegan is a former team captain, having started 37 games for the Michigan Wolverines. The interior offensive lineman has effective hands and quickness, with the ability to be a force in the run game.

Keegan is also very good on the second level, especially when he gets to 'pull'. He is very big (six-foot-six, 311 pounds) for a guard, but will have a chance to be a solid depth piece for the Eagles.

Suppose Philadelphia sees potential in Keegan at right guard. In that case, he may just be in the thick of things in the competition to determine who will start there this upcoming season, with Cam Jurgens sliding to center after longtime Eagle and future Hall of Famer Jason Kelce retired.

Grade: B+

Round 6, Pick 185: Johnny Wilson (WR, Florida State)

This pick felt very 'J.J. Arcega-Whiteside'-like. Wilson's a big-bodied, six-foot-six, 230-pound wide receiver. While the size is appealing, his opportunities at wide receiver won't come often.

A loaded wide receiver room combined with a thin tight end room may lead to Wilson's transition to the tight end room (hopefuly).

He tends to drop passes. He lacks separation skills. He also received a searing diagnosis from Steve Smith Sr. However, his big frame and catch radius make him a viable downfield target and red-zone threat.

Grade: C

Round 6, Pick 190: Dylan McMahon (OG/C, North Carolina State)

The Eagles are getting a versatile offensive lineman in Dylan McMahon, who played all three interior positions at North Carolina State. He has 44 starts under his belt and has shown a grittiness to play after the whistle.

Like Trevor Keegan, McMahon runs well. He's quick, and he has effective hands in protection. After losing a few key depth pieces and a future Hall-of-fame inductee along the offensive line, Philly replenished that same depth, with an experienced, high-upside lineman.

Grade: B-

Overall, it would appear the Eagles did a marvelous job in the 2024 NFL Draft. Not only did they address many team needs in this draft. They also stockpiled draft capital for next year. It was a fantastic job overall.

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