Perfect Picks 2024: Philadelphia Eagles

By Joshua Edwards

The Eagles are coming off a strange 2023 in which they won 10 of their first 11 games before winning just one of their final six. They were then smoked by Tampa in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Both coordinators (Brian Johnson and Sean Desai) were fired after the loss.

Nick Sirianni, however, returns for his fourth season as head coach. There are question marks across the roster which, although bolstered by some good work in free agency (Devin White, Saquon Barkley, CJ Gardner-Johnson, Devante Parker), remains in flux. It’s hard to tell whether the Eagles are on a downward trajectory or just one of the NFL’s good but patchily inconsistent franchises. Here’s some help they could get in this year’s draft.

Round 1 - Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

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Corner arguably still tops the list of Eagles’ needs heading into 2024. Behind James Bradberry and Darius Slay, there isn’t a great deal of confidence, and Slay continues to miss games through injury (5 in 2023). A lot of draftniks are looking in this direction with their first-rounder.

I like Nate Wiggins out of Clemson to help bolster the Birds’ secondary. Wiggins, a junior, is nevertheless an accomplished prospect with a tonne of upside. He’s a tall corner with fantastic speed (4.28 40-yard dash at the combine) and is well suited to a role on the outside, given his instincts. He’d have to improve his tackling, and general willingness in run defense, to be considered an every-down starter in the league, but the Eagles could do a lot worse with the number 22 overall selection.

Round 2 - Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

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Nakobe Dean and the recently signed Devin White may be productive, impactful linebackers for Philly next season but there are enough question marks over both (injuries and age, respectively) to warrant taking another punt at the position in the draft.

I like Edgerrin Cooper out of Texas A&M as an option. Cooper is ultra-athletic; at 6’3” and 230 pounds he moves really well (4.51 40-yard dash), which is a pre-requisite for the position if being asked to carry running backs or tight ends on deeper and crossing routes.

Some scouts think he may need to add a bit of weight to help more in the run game, but that could limit his effectiveness in coverage, so a schematic decision would be necessary for whichever coaching staff picks the Aggie.

Mid Round Gem - Jalyx Hunt, Edge, Houston Christian

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Another defensive pick (you’ll sense a theme) in the mid-round gem category, and I’ve gone for Jalyx Hunt, the edge rusher out of Houston Christian University. Hunt’s a really cool story: he was a both sides player in high school, as a wide receiver/cornerback, and then a safety originally at Cornell. At Houston Christian, he switched up to edge rusher and hasn’t looked back.

As is to be expected given that journey, Hunt is extremely raw, but he certainly has an intriguing profile: 34” arms and 6’4, he has great reach. If he can bulk out the frame and put on some weight, he could be a physical mismatch, even at the pro level. In his final year in college he notched 9 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and returned a pick for a score.

Late Round Sleeper - Trey Taylor, S, Air Force

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It wouldn’t be a Perfect Picks series from me without a military academy pick and I’ve left it to the last to fit one in. I love Trey Taylor out of the Air Force academy. He originally entered Air Force as a running back, but quickly starred for the Falcons after moving to safety.

Starting 36 of 38 games in the last three seasons, he racked up up 205 tackles, 11 TFLs, six INTs, 14 PDs, and 3.5 sacks. He also had a great performance at the East-West Shrine Bowl, which might get him drafted, where previously he was considered more likely to be hitting practice squads in the summer.

A cousin of Ed Reed with immediate pro eligibility (no military deferment), the Eagles could get a true leader in Taylor as a late-round sleeper.

Draft in full

Round 1 – Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Round 2 – Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

Round 2 – Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

Round 4 – Jalyx Hunt, EDGE, Houston Christian

Round 5 – Isaiah Davis, RB, South Dakota State

Round 5 – Curtis Jacobs, LB, Penn State

Round 5 – Jaylon Carlies, S, Missouri

Round 6 – Trey Taylor, S, Air Force

Joshua Edwards