Eagles Focus on Defense Early in 2024 NFL Draft: Did Howie Roseman Address Philadelphia’s Biggest Needs?

The Philadelphia Eagles continued to address the defense on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Did Howie Roseman make the right decisions?

The defense was an issue for the Philadelphia Eagles down the final stretch last season. It was clear that addressing Philadelphia’s defensive struggles was going to be a main priority for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman this offseason.

Through the first two nights of the 2024 NFL Draft, Roseman has selected three defensive players with the team’s first three picks. Despite Philadelphia’s latest additions to the defense, there are still questions that need to be answered on that side of the ball.

Philadelphia Eagles Continue To Build Defensive Foundation in 2024 NFL Draft

For several years, it felt like the Eagles were never going to select a cornerback early in the NFL Draft. Yet Roseman continues to break his tendencies in 2024, as he selected two defensive backs with the team’s first two selections in this year’s draft.

There were rumors that Philadelphia was going to trade up in the first round to select Quinyon Mitchell or Cooper DeJean. Fast forward to the end of Day 2, and the Eagles somehow have selected both Mitchell and DeJean while adding even more draft capital in the 2024 NFL Draft.

KEEP READING: Eagles 2024 NFL Draft Picks

While Mitchell will immediately challenge for the starting job opposite of Darius Slay at outside cornerback, DeJean’s role is a bit unclear. Given his versatility, DeJean should be able to play any position in Philadelphia’s secondary in 2024.

After we saw Philadelphia’s secondary ravaged by injuries in 2023, it will be refreshing to see the Eagles field one of the deepest groups in the NFL next season. Roseman didn’t only add depth in the secondary, though, he also addressed Philadelphia’s defensive front.

With their final pick on Day 2, the Eagles selected Houston Christian edge defender Jalyx Hunt. While many fans were surprised to hear Hunt’s name called so early, he has enjoyed a meteoric rise during the pre-draft process.

The Eagles hosted Hunt on a 30 visit, which was a clear sign of the team’s interest in selecting him. Hunt has all of the size and athleticism that NFL teams dream of in an edge defender. He is extremely raw at the position after making the switch from safety in 2022.

Yet, Hunt’s upside and versatility are exactly what caused him to rise up draft boards. Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Ian Cummings ranked Hunt as the 87th overall player on his final big board. Hunt’s size and athleticism make him a perfect developmental edge defender, who will also contribute in 2024 due to his coverage ability.

Potential Defensive Targets for the Eagles on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft

Roseman and the Eagles have done a great job of addressing two areas of concern on the defense through the first three rounds. Cornerback and edge defender were question marks given the decline of James Bradberry and the departure of Haason Reddick.

Yet, Philadelphia will also need to address linebacker at some point in the 2024 NFL Draft. Many fans were begging for the Eagles to select Payton Wilson instead of Hunt, though significant medical concerns caused Wilson to fall, and there’s a chance that he was completely removed from Philadelphia’s draft board.

There are still several linebackers remaining that have been linked to Philadelphia. North Carolina linebacker Cedric Gray reportedly had a 30 visit scheduled with the Eagles before it was canceled. Gray could be the top remaining linebacker on Philadelphia’s draft board at the start of Day 3.

KEEP READING: Eagles 2024 NFL Draft Grades

Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is a player that many fans were clamoring for the Eagles to select months ago. Obviously, the ties to his father, a former legendary linebacker for the Eagles, will help his case in Philadelphia. Trotter’s tape is very impressive, but there are concerns about his size and disappointing athletic testing.

Temple linebacker Jordan Magee attended Philadelphia’s local pro day, and the team has shown interest in him throughout the pre-draft process. Eagles linebacker coach Bobby King was in attendance at Magee’s pro day and specifically requested for Magee to participate in on-field positional drills.

While many fans may have been disappointed by Philadelphia’s failure to select a linebacker on Day 2, there is still plenty of time. Roseman traded back multiple times, and the Eagles now have seven more selections to work with on the final day of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft results, overall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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