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Spadaro: What did we learn about the Eagles in the NFL Draft?

Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman
Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman

The approach as the Eagles started their roster building for the 2024 season began in the days that followed a disappointing end to the 2023 campaign, one that started with such promise but ended abruptly with a playoff loss in Tampa. That sting set the tone for where this football team is right now, taking in everything it has done in free agency, through this 2024 NFL Draft Weekend.

As the team put together its blueprint for improving the roster for the season to come, Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, Head Coach Nick Sirianni, and everyone else who has a hand in shaping the team, came back slugging.

"We wanted to have a 'mentality' offseason," Roseman said on Saturday night at the NovaCare Complex after the draft ended and the Eagles looked at what they'd accomplished – nine new draft picks and a history-making eight trades that helped give the team three more selections in the 2025 NFL Draft all following a roster transformation with impact players added in free agency.

"We wanted to bring in people here who had a chip on their shoulder because we felt like we had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. Not in a bad way. Just in a way like we felt like we wanted to do whatever we could to put ourselves in the best possible situation for this year because we had a bad taste in our mouth the last year. It started in free agency bringing in the free agents that we brought in, and we were looking for people in the draft who had that."

Call it whatever you want – chip on the shoulder, swagger, hunger for the game, a fighter mentality – the Eagles needed it. Wanted it. Had to have it. And went out and upgraded the roster and, they feel, the culture after last season's pratfall that ruined a 10-1 start.

This is a football franchise that understands what it means to go all in every season without sacrificing its future. Instead, and remarkably, the Eagles put on a clinic on how to move around pieces in the salary-capped NFL world, hopscotch throughout the three days of the NFL Draft, challenge the roster in every possible way – creativity is a gift, and a rarity in the league – and emerge with a roster that is going to compete for the highest prize this season.

Nobody is foolish enough to think the work is done, or to take a lick for granted. The Eagles play in an improved NFC East and compete in a high-quality NFC. The regular season begins in Brazil on September 6 against a Super Bowl contender in Green Bay, and nothing is going to come easily for the Eagles in 2024. That's just the deal in the league. You earn what you work for.

The Eagles have a lot going on with a roster that has such a new look, particularly on defense, a coaching staff that welcomes two new coordinators and several new position coaches and an identity to create. Certainly, though, everything is pointing in the confident direction because this football organization is aligned with a vision and has the go-ahead to spend the resources to accomplish the vision year after year after year.

Check out these exclusive photos from inside the Eagles' Draft Room at the NovaCare Complex.

So, what to make of the NFL Draft Weekend? A great three days for the Eagles, no doubt. They trusted their scouting board, they drafted with purpose, they addressed needs, and they brought in high-character players – five of the nine draft picks, Roseman said, were given red stars by the personnel team, indicating personal favorites that checked every one of the high-scrutiny boxes. Surely you understand that every team in the league feels good about its draft, and this weekend when the Eagles hold their post-draft camp, they will know a whole lot more about their rookies.

What the Eagles have right now is a high-quality roster, chock full of talent and competition at every single position. Developing those players, establishing a depth chart, narrowing the list to 53 active players, and another 16 for the practice squad, that is the course of action for the next four months.

"I just think everybody is, 'Hey, we're starting again,'" Sirianni said. "Obviously none of us are satisfied. All of us are pissed off of how that (2023) ended. But we're working every single day in the sense of how do we get better today, how do we get better today, how do we get better today, and putting it one day at a time.

"I do sense that everybody has that feeling of unsatisfaction from last year. And that's a good thing when you can control it, right? That's our job is to make sure that we're controlling it and not knowing – we can't go out and win the first game right now against Green Bay or anything like that. We have to take it one day at a time and do what we need to do today to get ready."

The Eagles nailed it in free agency and then did the same in the NFL Draft. One move at a time, one day at a time, and the team is where it wants to be, with another critical several steps – developing the players into the new systems – at the top of the list.

But the momentum is undeniable. Last year served as a lesson learned, and boy, have the Eagles come out flying in this offseason.

From first-round pick CB Quinyon Mitchell at No. 22 overall to G/C Dylan McMahon to close out the Eagles' 2024 NFL Draft in the sixth round, check out these photos of all nine selections.

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