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Spadaro: Eagles stand pat and add their top-rated CB in Quinyon Mitchell

Quinyon Mitchell meets Eagles fans in Detroit.
Quinyon Mitchell meets Eagles fans in Detroit.

How do you know when to hold? To move up? To take the offers on the table and move back? Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman is a master of that strategy, built from many weeks of his internal staff studying rosters of the other 31 teams, from having phone conversations leading up to the NFL Draft, and of judging who is telling him the truth with the relationships that he's built over the years.

In the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Eagles stood pat at No. 22 overall and they allowed the draft to come to them and then they wasted no time snatching the cornerback at the top of their list: Quinyon Mitchell, University of Toledo, a player they put an enormous amount of research into and walked out of the NovaCare Complex on Thursday night extremely happy.

"As a lot of offensive players came off (leading to 22), we were in a good position," Roseman said. "Based on the totality of the player, his character, his talent, we felt it was the right pick for us."

Roseman said "it was unusual not to have action in that (draft) room" and that the Eagles "contemplated" moving up, but in the end they drafted a "really good player at a position of need," Roseman said.

The top part of Thursday night was dominated, as expected, by the quarterback valuing. But this much? A surprise for everyone that six quarterbacks were taken in the opening 12 selections, but, hey, who's complaining? That allowed defensive talent to fall to the mid-teens and then, ultimately, to 22.

And the Eagles, with offensive tackle Jordan Mailata in Australia on the Gold Coast announcing the pick, wasted no time taking Mitchell, who dominated at Toledo playing a lot of off coverage, and then showed the world what he was all about with a terrific performance at the Senior Bowl, winning in press coverage to wow the NFL to become the Eagles' first cornerback taken in Round 1 since Lito Sheppard in 2002.

"We think we have an extremely talented, hard-working outside corner," Roseman said. "He's got the right mentality, all the tools in his body. He had a great process. He had a chance to transfer out of Toledo; he stayed there and came back. He got better, he went to the Senior Bowl, and he checked all the offseason process boxes one by one, which is important.

"He's got a lot to prove as a small-school player. The MAC (Mid-American Conference) isn't the National Football League. We understand that ... so to take a player like this, he has to be special. We think he is a special person."

The next question, of course, is how he fits in. And the Eagles suddenly have a lot of volume and talent at cornerback, with veterans Darius Slay and James Bradberry leading the way on the outside, with young players Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks and Josh Jobe set to take that next step, with veteran Avonte Maddox back and ready to play well again in the slot, with the addition of Tyler Hall in free agency, and with the reinstatement of Isaiah Rodgers, who missed all of 2023 after an NFL suspension, looking to bring his game to Philadelphia and make a difference.

It's a healthy, competitive situation and that's exactly what the organization wants. Bringing in the highest-ranked cornerback on the team's draft board is a terrific move. You can't have enough cover players. That's an NFL rule.

The Eagles stayed at 22 and a player they loved was there to pick.

"It seemed like a pretty easy pick," Roseman said.

One pick down, seven to go for the Eagles as it stands now in this 2024 NFL Draft. The Eagles didn't have to give up a stitch of draft capital on a night when they also announced a three-year contract extension with wide receiver A.J. Brown, another turbo boost in an offseason full of them. Brown became the fifth Eagle to sign an extension, and he and DeVonta Smith are again ready to be dominating pass catchers in an offense loaded with playmakers.

On to Friday, then. "In order to have a successful weekend, we've got a lot of work to do," Roseman said.

That they do. Picks 50 and 53 await and the Eagles can do as they wish – staying true to their draft board all the way. Roseman admitted that "it's not normally my nature" to stay put at 22, but he did it. He stayed cool.

And he landed the team's top cornerback in the NFL Draft.


And another significant step in this remarkable offseason as the Eagles continue to address the roster, challenge every position and win with every move they make.


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