4 sneaky good players Eagles must take in 2024 NFL Draft

4 sneaky good players Eagles must take in 2024 NFL Draft

As the Philadelphia Eagles gear up for the 2024 NFL Draft, attention turns to uncovering the hidden gems that could enhance their roster. In a league where every selection carries weight, discovering those unheralded players can transform a good season into a great one. Here, we identify four prospects who possess the potential to inject vitality into the Eagles’ lineup come draft day.

Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, D’Andre Swift, Shaquille Leonard with Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman and Eagles mascot as Philly tries to figure out who they should re-sign in 2024 NFL free agency

The Eagles’ 2023 Season

Despite an auspicious start, the Philadelphia Eagles fell short of expectations following a narrow loss the previous season in Super Bowl 57. They did start strong in 2023 with a league-best 10-1 record heading into December. However, defensive challenges ultimately plagued the Eagles, leading to a late-season fade and a Wild Card playoff loss.

The silver lining lies in Philadelphia’s youthful core, anchored by quarterback Jalen Hurts. This promises to keep the team competitive in the seasons ahead. Yet, head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman face substantial offseason tasks to fortify this foundation.

Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, D’Andre Swift, Shaquille Leonard with Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman and Eagles mascot as Philly tries to figure out who they should re-sign in 2024 NFL free agency

The Eagles’ 2024 Draft Context

In recent drafts, the Eagles prioritized bolstering their front seven. As such, they selected defensive linemen Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter. That’s along with linebacker Nolan Smith in the first round. However, as the 2024 draft looms, attention shifts to shoring up the defensive backfield. That’s where the Eagles lack impact players at cornerback and safety.

Despite a dearth of top-tier secondary talent in this year’s draft class, opportunities exist. Right now, there seem to be only three defensive backs among the top 32 prospects. Those are Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, Ohio State’s Denzel Burke, and Miami’s Kamren Kinchens. Recall, though, that Burke opted to return to school.

Sure, defense remains a priority. Still, the Eagles might also seek to secure offensive playmakers during the draft. Armed with six selections— including one first-rounder, two second-round picks, and three sixth-round choices—Roseman’s draft strategy could involve further wheeling and dealing to maximize Philadelphia’s draft potential.

Here we will look at the four sneaky good players whom the Philadelphia Eagles must take during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Marist Liufau, LB, Notre Dame

Marist Liufau presents a compelling option for the Eagles at linebacker. His skill set perfectly aligns with the demands of Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme. Liufau possesses the ideal combination of aggression, football IQ, and versatility the Eagles need. As a potential fit in a 3-4 alignment, Liufau’s ability to play inside linebacker and contribute in blitz packages adds depth to the Eagles’ defensive unit. Moreover, his capability to remain on the field for all three downs enhances his value. That’s particularly true in short-area coverage situations. Yes, linebacker might not be the Eagles’ top priority early in the draft. That said, selecting Liufau in the later rounds could provide significant day-two value and contribute to Philadelphia’s defensive prowess.

Zak Zinter, OL, Michigan

Despite encountering a late-season leg injury, Zak Zinter emerges as a plug-and-play prospect along the offensive line. His versatility enables him to seamlessly transition into either guard position. He offers flexibility and depth to the Eagles’ offensive front. The uncertainty surrounding Jason Kelce’s future underscores the importance of solidifying the offensive line. Should Cam Jurgens transition to center, Zinter’s presence would ignite healthy competition at the right guard spot. This could foster growth and performance improvements. Yes, Zinter’s injury might affect his draft stock. However, his potential to make an immediate impact renders him a valuable asset for the Eagles. This is especially true considering the team’s focus on fortifying protection for their offensive playmakers.

Cody Schrader, RB, Missouri

As the Eagles address their running back needs, Cody Schrader emerges as a compelling prospect. Schrader’s tenure as the lead back for the Tigers showcased his blend of vision, hard-nosed running style, and underrated pass-catching abilities. Sure, he may not immediately assume a workload of 20 carries per game. However, Schrader’s potential to contribute to the Eagles’ offensive scheme is undeniable. His ability to anchor the offense with his versatility in the passing game adds a dynamic dimension to Philadelphia’s backfield. In a draft where value at the running back position can be found beyond the early rounds, Schrader represents a prudent investment for the Eagles. He gives them immediate impact and long-term potential.

Bryson Nesbit, WR, North Carolina

Amid uncertainties surrounding the Eagles’ WR3 position, Bryson Nesbit can be a compelling depth option. He boasts an imposing physical presence on the field. This makes him a challenging matchup for opposing defenses. Yes, the Eagles weigh their options regarding top-end talent in a loaded receiver class. Still, Nesbit’s attributes position him as a valuable asset capable of vying for playing time. His diverse skill set, coupled with his ability to complement established receivers like AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, makes Nesbit an intriguing prospect for the Eagles’ receiving corps. As Philadelphia seeks to bolster its offensive weaponry, Nesbit’s potential impact cannot be overlooked. He appears to be a viable solution to the team’s depth concerns at wide receiver.

Looking Ahead

The Philadelphia Eagles’ pursuit of hidden gems becomes paramount in their quest for sustained success. With critical needs across various positions, strategic selections are imperative. Marist Liufau, Zak Zinter, Cody Schrader, and Bryson Nesbit represent just a glimpse into the array of talent available. Each prospect offers unique attributes that could fortify the Eagles’ roster and elevate their competitive edge. As draft day approaches, the Eagles must navigate their selections judiciously. They have to balance immediate requirements with long-term aspirations. By identifying and capitalizing on undervalued talent, the Eagles can chart a course toward NFL greatness in the seasons ahead.

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