Eagles Predicted to Land 6-INT Cornerback with ‘Gumbo of Traits’

Eagles, Nick Sirianni

Getty Images Nick Sirianni and the Philadelphia Eagles could add one of the top cornerbacks in this year's NFL Draft class.

The Philadelphia Eagles, following an aggressive free agency, have only a short list of pressing holes yet to be filled during the upcoming NFL Draft.

However, even with veterans James Bradberry and Darius Slay locked in for the upcoming season, there might not be a more glaring weakness on the Eagles’ roster than at cornerback.

So, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles prioritize taking one of the top cornerback prospects in the first round of this year’s draft.

That’s exactly what plays out in Pro Football Focus’ latest mock draft projection, with the Eagles selecting Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell with the No. 22 overall pick.

“Many people’s top cornerback in the draft, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell has special click-and-close ability in zone coverage,” Sam Monson writes for PFF. “And earned 91.5-plus PFF grades in 2022 and 2023. Philadelphia’s cornerbacks are aging fast, and Mitchell would be a much-needed injection of youth.”

Mitchell enters this draft after a stellar Second-Team All-American 2023 campaign for Toledo, logging 32 tackles with one interception and 18 pass breakups.

Given the Eagles’ long-term concerns at the position, Mitchell could take a season to develop behind Bradberry and Slay, while being on hand should either falter — as Bradberry did down the stretch in 2023, as a plug-and-play replacement.

Quinyon Martin NFL Draft Scouting Report

Mitchell has seen his stock rise significantly ahead of the draft, thanks to a standout performance during this year’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

At six feet and 196 pounds, Mitchell ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.33 seconds during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, after intercepting six passes across four seasons at Toledo while producing 124 total tackles with one sack, one forced fumble, and 45 pass breakups.

“Mitchell possesses a gumbo of traits,” NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein writes of Mitchell. “With size, strength and speed filling up the pot. He’s built like a running back, tackles like a safety and has the ball skills of a cornerback. Mitchell can play in a variety of coverages and was the clear-cut top cornerback at the Senior Bowl when working against the top receivers in practice.

“While he needs to trace a more efficient path when hounding the route, his burst to close and physicality at the catch point could create tougher throwing windows for quarterbacks. Mitchell’s traits, play demeanor and special-teams potential should make him attractive to teams in the market for CB help.”

As Pro Football Focus points out, Mitchell 17 forced interceptions was third-most in the nation during the 2023 season as he held opposing quarterbacks to a paltry 43.5 completion percentage when targeting him en route to an elite 91.6 coverage grade and 88.7 man-coverage mark from the outlet.

Given Philadelphia’s need at cornerback and his athletic profile, Quinyon Mitchell could be a name to watch in the draft and a potential ideal fit for coordinator Vic Fangio’s system.

Howie Roseman Opens Up on Keeping Eagles’ Homegrown Talent

While the Eagles have grabbed the headlines this offseason thanks to marquee free-agent acquisitions, Philadelphia’s young core has largely been built around homegrown talent acquired across recent draft classes.

More importantly, over the past two offseasons, the Eagles have signed the likes of Jalen Hurts, Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, and just this week, wide receiver DeVonta Smith to long-term contract extensions ensuring their prime years will be played in a Philadelphia uniform.

Before this year’s draft gets underway, Roseman explained why the strategy of taking care of the Eagles’ young players is such a source of pride.

“When you’re able to do that,” Roseman told reporters during a pre-draft press conference. “And when you’re able to be in a position to lock down the caliber players that we think we’ve locked down over the last couple weeks, it really gives you tremendous flexibility as you build your team going forward.

“It’s a great success story for us to be able to draft guys and sign them to extensions. I think it’s a great message to our team, that if you come here and you do the right thing, you don’t have to leave.”

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