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MX News Update 2024


Eagles’ Position Group Named ‘Most Improved’ in the NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles have made rebuilding the secondary a top priority for the organization this season, and the strategy is taking shape to pay big dividends this upcoming season.

In the wake of losing five of six to end the 2023 season and falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card Game, general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles selected two of the top two cornerbacks in a loaded draft class. at the position after signing safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to boost the talent and restore some swagger to a defense that collapsed down the stretch.

Following the return of Gardner-Johnson and the addition of new cornerbacks Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, Pro Football Focus suggests mission accomplished for Roseman and the Eagles.

Analyst Trevor Sikkemma ranked the most improved secondary players in the NFL after the NFL Draft, with the Eagles topping the list.

“James Bradberry and Darius Slay fell off a bit last year,” Sikkemma wrote for PFF. “They achieved 77.1 and 77.3 coverage rates respectively in 2022 before scoring 52.0 and 65.4 points in 2023. The Eagles then went out and hit not one, but two home runs in that area when drafting Mitchell and DeJean.

“Mitchell will likely start right away, while DeJean could get some relief as he recovers from a foot injury he suffered in 2023 that hampered his draft process. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see DeJean at all in 2024. He should be a good starter in training camp and is one of the more versatile secondary players from the class of 2024. He could be looked at in the slot or at safety.

What Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean bring to the Eagles

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Bradberry’s play has declined over the past seven weeks, to the point that some believe the veteran could be cut before the season starts.

Such a bold move is especially possible if Mitchell or DeJean prove this spring and summer that they are capable of getting on the court right away and playing at a high level.

“He’s really fast and quick,” an AFC Personnel Executive told Heavy after the Eagles selected Mitchell. “Excellent close-from-zone (coverage), can press and turn vertically. He could use some work on his ball skills, but he has hand-eye coordination at the catch point. It fits universally into every plan.”

Mitchell arrives in Philadelphia after 123 tackles and six interceptions in four seasons at Toledo.

Meanwhile, there was some belief within the league prior to the draft that DeJean was the best cornerback available, and the Eagles were able to land him after moving up to the No. 40 overall selection.

Last season, before breaking his fibula in November, DeJean held opponents to a measly 37.8 passer rating when targeting him.