Isaiah Rodgers Reinstated: Will Latest NFL Decision Effect Eagles’ Draft Options?

Isaiah Rodgers' reinstatement to the NFL is great news for the Eagles, but how does it impact their draft strategy?

When the Philadelphia Eagles picked up cornerback Isaiah Rodgers last year, they knew he wouldn’t see the field for the entire 2023 season.

That’s because Rodgers was suspended for violating the league’s policy on gambling following the 2022 season. When he was on the Indianapolis Colts, Rodgers was considered an up-and-coming star at the cornerback position.

Now, after the Eagles stashed him away from the 2023 season, Rodgers is back and ready to officially roll towards 2024.

Isaiah Rodgers Reinstated After Gambling Suspension

Tuesday afternoon saw the NFL fully reinstate Rodgers to the Eagles’ active roster after a year-long ban. Rodgers had reportedly applied for reinstatement following the end of the 2023-24 season, and after a week of seeing other players receive their reinstatement notices, the former Colt has joined that list.

Taking to social media, Rodgers showed open excitement about being able to participate in the organization’s offseason activities this year.

During the 2022 season, Rodgers was the fifth-best overall cornerback graded out by Pro Football Focus and the sixth-best cornerback in coverage. The former sixth-round pick out of Wake Forest has recorded three interceptions in 45 games played during his NFL career.

Now, after being stashed away on the Eagles roster, Rodgers can help make an immediate impact.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Depth Chart at Cornerback

To say Philadelphia’s cornerback room has become crowded would be an understatement.

Aging veterans like James Bradberry and Darius Slay paired with young players like Josh Jobe, Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks, and Rodgers all make up the outside cornerback depth chart, and that’s not even counting slot cornerback Avonte Maddox.

SEE MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Depth Chart

With Bradberry and Slay both under major deals, it would appear that Rodgers would need to win the roster battle spot outright over the organization’s other young talents. While Jobe and Ricks are undrafted players, the Eagles spent a fourth-round pick on Ringo — a sign that the organization values him to a point.

So while Rodgers may have been an excellent corner with the Colts, how he performs a year removed from the game could be telling to see how far and how long the Eagles are willing to go with him.

Do the Eagles’ Draft Plans Now Change?

While the Eagles’ needs in the secondary do not change with Rodgers’ return to the field, the crowded cornerback room could lead some to believe that the specific type of cornerback Philadelphia has been interested in might not be the pick.

The cornerback room has become very crowded, so should the Eagles draft a top cornerback in the selection process, a player who can play in the slot and also at safety could be the better overall value pick for the franchise.

A defensive back like Iowa’s Cooper DeJean makes more sense for the organization now over others like Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, and Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell.

According to Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings, DeJean’s versatility makes him a quality player for any defensive-needy team.

“[He] projects especially well as a field safety with slot and boundary versatility. As a safety, DeJean would be able to play with his eyes to the ball most often,” Cummings said. “He manages and plays in space with proficiency, has universal alignment versatility in zone and off-man coverage, and is a playmaking force at multiple levels.”

MORE: Eagles 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Visit Tracker | Ian Cummings’ Full Scouting Report of Cooper DeJean

Alabama’s Terrion Arnold could also be a strong fit for the team, although his overall skillset could simply add him to the crowded cornerback room.

In the end, while Rodgers’ return to the organization could certainly alter the exact plan of the cornerback room, it’s a safe bet to assume the Eagles could still look to address the position early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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