2024 NFL Draft

Eagles Sign Second-Round CB Cooper DeJean

Entering Monday, the Eagles had only two unsigned members of their draft class. One of them – second-rounder Cooper DeJean – has now inked his rookie deal, per a team announcement.

DeJean was one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2024 class, one dominated at the top by offensive players. That was demonstrated by the historic run of quarterbacks, tackles and receivers to begin the opening round, but it still came as a surprise when DeJean did not hear his name called on Day 1. The Eagles traded up to select him at No. 40.

In doing so, they made another draft investment in the secondary. That unit struggled in 2023, and Philadelphia responded prior to the DeJean selection by adding Quinyon Mitchell as the first defensive back to hear his name called. The latter is positioned to see time alongside Darius Slay and James Bradberry as a perimeter corner, but the former’s NFL role is less clear.

DeJean played at corner during his time at Iowa, but he also had success when lining up as a safety. He was named the Big Ten’s top defensive back and returner last season, a sign of his skillset both on defense and special teams. A fractured leg ended the 6-1, 203-pounder’s college career prematurely, and it may have hindered his draft stock.

Nevertheless, DeJean will join the Eagles with expectations of being able to contribute in the third phase even if he does not land a starting job on defense right away. After ranking 31st in the league in passing yards allowed last year, the team has plenty of room for improvement in the secondary. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will spend the summer attempting to find DeJean’s ideal position during his rookie campaign.

Here is an updated look at the Eagles’ draft class:

NFC North Rumors: Amegadjie, Oladapo, Turner

After watching left tackle Braxton Jones miss six games last season, the Bears utilized a third-round pick to add some quality depth to the roster in Yale offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie. That quality depth will have to wait, though, as Amegadjie is still reportedly making his way back from a season-ending injury he suffered in college, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN.

Amegadjie suffered a partially torn quad in his final season at Yale that limited him to only four games last year after he underwent surgery. The team claims that doctors had medically cleared Amegadjie, but he has yet to practice in Chicago and will likely be sidelined for the at least the remainder of the spring. Head coach Matt Eberflus said that the plan is for the rookie to be ready by training camp.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC North:

  • Another rookie getting a delayed start to his NFL career is Packers safety Kitan Oladapo, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. The fifth-round pick out of Oregon State broke the big toe on his left foot during a drill at the NFL scouting combine. He waited to undergo surgery until after his pro day, where he still performed in position drills, and made teams aware of the situation during the pre-draft process. Currently sporting a protective boot and riding a scooter to lessen stress on the toe, Oladapo is not expected to participate in any offseason workouts. He aims to be ready by training camp.
  • New Vikings pass rusher Dallas Turner suffered from an unprecedented run of offensive draft picks to open the 2024 NFL Draft. After the minor slide to the middle of the first round, Turner finally came off the board at No. 17 overall as the third defensive player taken. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated hints that the unforeseen streak of offensive players may not have been the only reason that Turner slipped later than expected. Breer says that Turner, UCLA pass rusher Laiatu Latu, and Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu all fell due to red flags from medical concerns coming into the draft. Without those issues, Breer speculates the three would’ve gone closer to their projected values.

AFC North Rumors: Ravens, Steelers, Hines

After losing both of 2023’s starting guards, Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson, to free agency, the Ravens have been tasked with replacing both starters on either side of center Tyler Linderbaum. Though Baltimore had thoughts to address those holes in the 2024 NFL Draft, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reports that a third-round run on guards led the team’s draft room to shy away from the position.

Starting with the seventh pick of the third round, the Ravens watched Isaiah Adams, Cooper Beebe, Christian Haynes, Zak Zinter, and Dominick Puni all come off the board. Similarly, in the fourth round, a run that included running backs Jaylen Wright, Bucky Irving, Will Shipley, Ray Davis, and Isaac Guerendo (the last four making up four of the five picks before Baltimore’s) led the team to go in another direction (though Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen was available and selected four picks later).

These runs, especially the four running backs selected in the five picks before the Ravens’ selection, seemed strategic, given the team’s obvious desire to add to both positions in the draft. Faced with this challenge general manager Eric DeCosta pivoted, and instead of drafting a player at those positions far above their distinguished value, Baltimore addressed other needs, selecting Penn State pass rusher Adisa Isaac and Iowa State cornerback T.J. Tampa.

Unrelated, rookie safety Beau Brade, one of the Ravens’ top undrafted free agent signings out of Maryland, is set to be sidelined for a few weeks after injuring his ankle in the team’s rookie minicamp. Considered one of the most likely undrafted players to make a roster spot (the Ravens historically have at least one per year), Brade is expected to be back before the team adjourns for the final break before training camp.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of the NFL’s toughest division:

  • The Steelers utilized three of their seven draft picks in an attempt to make improvements to their offensive line, including taking Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu 20th overall. While the team was happy to see Fautanu fall to them, considering they predicted he could go as high as No. 10, the team also had their eye on Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims. With all the recon the team dedicated to offensive linemen, Pittsburgh likely figured out that Mims was headed to Cincinnati two picks before them, so it speaks to the team’s feelings on Fautanu that they opted not to make a trade up. As soon as they put in the pick in the first round, they went back to work, targeting West Virginia center Zach Frazier to determine whether or not he would still be around at No. 51 (he was).
  • New Browns running back Nyheim Hines missed the entire 2023 season on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in a freak jet skiing accident last summer. Known for his abilities receiving out of the backfield and returning kicks, Hines lines up as a perfect complement to recovering lead back Nick Chubb on paper. In order to do that, though, Hines has to come all the way back from the season-ending injury. On the Up & Adams show on FanDuel TV, Hines explained that he’s made progress on his rehabilitation and is on schedule for his recovery.

Seahawks Finish Draft Pick Signings

The Seahawks have completed the signing of their rookie class, according to reports from Seahawks senior reporter John Boyle. The team had already signed six of their draft picks and 16 undrafted free agents. Now, with these final two contracts getting inked, Seattle can move on to other offseason activities.

Third-round offensive guard Christian Haynes was the first to sign this morning. In his six years at UConn, Haynes was a four-year starter for the Huskies, redshirting his first season in 2018 and seeing his 2020 season cancelled due to COVID-19. He played exclusively at right guard in Connecticut, which sets him up perfectly for a position battle as a rookie.

Between tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, both of whom were acquired in the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seahawks have a recent history of rookies starting on the offensive line. Last year’s rookie fourth-round pick Anthony Bradford was another such example, starting 10 games at right guard in 2023, but Haynes will have the opportunity to push Bradford for the job this summer.

Sixth-round offensive tackle Michael Jerrell isn’t likely to get the same opportunities. Cross and Lucas are firmly entrenched as Seattle’s starters, but Jerrell, a small-school lineman with quickness, length, and toughness, projects as an intriguing developmental piece in the NFL.

This concludes the Seahawks’ eight-man draft class. The eight players are:

  • Round 1, No. 16: Byron Murphy (DT, Texas) (signed)
  • Round 3, No. 81 (from Saints through Broncos): Christian Haynes (G, UConn)
  • Round 4, No. 118: Tyrice Knight (LB, UTEP) (signed)
  • Round 4, No. 121 (from Dolphins through Broncos): AJ Barner (TE, Michigan) (signed)
  • Round 5, No. 136 (from Panthers through Browns and Broncos): Nehemiah Pritchett (CB, Auburn) (signed)
  • Round 6, No. 179 (from Commanders): Sataoa Laumea (G, Utah) (signed)
  • Round 6, No. 192: DJ James (CB, Auburn) (signed)
  • Round 6, No. 207 (from 49ers through Broncos): Michael Jerrell (T, Findlay)

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/17/24

Today’s rookie draft pick signings as we head into the weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans

Bullock joins a talented group in Houston and will have a chance to learn behind a veteran in Jimmie Ward before eventually having a chance to earn the starting job.

Trice becomes the third pass rusher selected in the first three rounds by the Falcons in as many years. With Arnold Ebiketie and Zach Harrison showing limited production in short samples, Atlanta will hope for a more immediate impact from Trice.

49ers Eyed T Roger Rosengarten In Second Round?

The 49ers appear all but set to go into a second season with Colton McKivitz as their starting right tackle. The team has signed recent Titans stopgap RT Chris Hubbard, but no clear threat to McKivitz appears on the team’s roster.

That could certainly have changed, in the view of several, had the Ravens not addressed their tackle need in Round 2. Forty-two picks after Pittsburgh selected Troy Fautanu, Baltimore chose the Washington Huskies’ other tackle starter, Roger Rosengarten. In the view of many around the league, the 49ers were preparing to draft Rosengarten with their No. 63 overall selection, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes.

Playing opposite Fautanu for last season’s Division I-FBS runner-up, Rosengarten graded as the No. 62 overall player in the view of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. That certainly makes his No. 62 landing spot rather interesting. The Ravens having traded away two-year right tackle starter Morgan Moses made them a clear candidate to target this position in the early rounds. The 49ers have a short-term option in McKivitz, but it appears they were strongly considering bringing in a higher-upside option in Round 2.

San Francisco ended up with Florida State cornerback Renardo Green in the second round, trading down one spot (via the Chiefs) after Rosengarten went off the board. The team will hope Green can fill its multiyear need in the slot. Green also joins a 49ers team with its top two corners — Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir — going into contract years. For the time being, the defending NFC champions have viable pieces at corner and right tackle. But McKivitz’s first year replacing Mike McGlinchey produced some hiccups.

Pro Football Focus charged Trent Williams with allowing zero sacks last season; the advanced metrics website tagged McKivitz with nine allowed. PFF ranked McKivitz, who previously operated as a swingman during the latter part of McGlinchey’s five-year starter run, 47th at the position last season. The 49ers still extended their current RT, authorizing a one-year, $5.85MM bump early this offseason. The deal, however, does not guarantee McKivitz anything beyond 2024.

San Francisco is operating with a Williams-led line that features four modest contracts around that $23MM-per-year deal. McKivitz, 27, is signed through the 2025 season. With Williams going into his age-36 season, tackle looms as a key 49ers need beyond 2024.

Rosengarten worked as Washington’s right tackle for the past two seasons. That role carried additional importance due to Michael Penix Jr., a transfer pickup in 2022, being left-handed. The eventual second-rounder earned back-to-back Pac-12 honorable mentions for his performance in the role. The Ravens, who memorably traded Orlando Brown Jr. after using him as a multiyear RT, will see if he can become a long-term answer after Moses served as a bridge. The 49ers appear prepared to use 2024 to further gauge McKivitz’s prospects of filling this post long term.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/16/24

Here are today’s rookie deals agreed upon between teams and players chosen in the middle and late rounds:

Chicago Bears

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams now have a two-Kamren safety group, with Kinchens following free agency addition Kamren Curl. The Kinchens and Jackson slot agreements leave only first-round pick Jared Verse unsigned among Rams draftees. The Rams got the ball rolling for picks near the top of the second round — the slowest-moving sector of the draft due to guarantee wiggle room — by inking Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske late last week.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/15/24

Here are the NFL’s midweek draft pick signings:

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

AFC South Notes: Colts, Nabers, Texans, Jags

The Colts‘ wide receiver room includes two starters acquired before Shane Steichen‘s arrival — Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce — and the team made a three-year, $70MM commitment to its No. 1 target in March. Steichen is starting to put his stamp on the WR room, however, with the Colts having drafted Josh Downs in last year’s third round and Adonai Mitchell in this year’s second. As Chris Ballard continues to run Indianapolis’ draft, ESPN.com’s Stephen Holder notes Steichen “strongly advocated” for Mitchell in the second round.

Mitchell is unlikely to stroll into a starting spot early, as Holder adds the Texas product will be expected to begin training camp as the top backup behind Pittman, Pierce and Downs. But the ex-Longhorns standout’s draft slot (No. 52) suggests he will be heard from early in his career. The Colts have seen mixed results from their second-round WRs under Ballard, with Pittman shining and Parris Campbell struggling to stay on the field. Pierce (No. 53 overall in 2022) has eclipsed 500 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons. A Georgia transfer, Mitchell blazed to a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. Although he only topped 450 receiving yards in one college season (2023, with 845 and 11 touchdowns), plenty will be expected from a Colts team that has struggled with receiver depth for most of Ballard’s GM tenure.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Staying on the WR topic, the Titans had a contingency plan in the event one of the teams above them at No. 7 zagged. The Giants were seemingly down to QB or WR at No. 6 throughout the pre-draft process, but a post-draft report suggested they were also eyeing Joe Alt. The Chargers were both connected to Alt and JC Latham at No. 5. In a scenario in which targets Latham and Alt were off the board, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes Malik Nabers would have been the Tennessee pick at 7. A Nabers choice would have left the OL-needy Titans less equipped up front, and Latham filled a bigger need. The team has since signed Tyler Boyd to team with outside targets DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley.
  • The Colts are changing some of their rookies’ positions ahead of their first NFL offseason programs. Ballard said fifth-round pick Jaylon Carlies will move from safety to linebacker, with the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson indicating fifth-round safety Jaylin Simpson is sliding from safety to cornerback. Simpson has CB experience but moved to safety while at Auburn. Before Day 3 investments, the Colts did not address the cornerback position beyond Kenny Moore‘s re-signing. This leaves some uncertainty here — particularly on the outside.
  • Third-round Colts draftee Matt Goncalves spent his college career at left and right tackle, but ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan notes the rookie will be given time at guard this offseason. The Day 2 pick will compete for a backup job as a rookie, per Holder, as it appears Indy is planning to keep its low-cost starters (Bernhard Raimann, Will Fries) in place alongside veterans Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith.
  • The Texans will make an adjustment at a key front office post. The team did not renew director of pro personnel Ronnie McGill‘s contract, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes. McGill followed GM Nick Caserio from New England in 2021; the Texans had promoted him to the director post in 2022. Teams regularly make scouting adjustments post-draft, and a notable Texans hire will be on tap.
  • A scouting veteran of more than 30 years, Tom McConnaughey is retiring from his Jaguars post. The veteran staffer, who has been with the Jags since 2021, will leave after three years as a national scout with the team, InsidetheLeague.com’s Neil Stratton tweets. McConnaughey spent 26 years with the Chargers prior to moving to Jacksonville.
  • In addition to hiring A.J. Highsmith and Keenan Agnew, the Titans are adding Sam Summerville to their scouting staff. Summerville is expected to join the team as a national scout, per Stratton. The Bears recently parted ways with Summerville, a former Fritz Pollard Alliance scout of the year honoree, after 12 years.

Kirk Cousins Addresses Michael Penix Jr. Pick; Latest On Falcons’ Draft Plan

A post-draft report pegged Kirk Cousins as stunned by the Falcons’ decision to choose Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall. The move came after the team signed Cousins to a contract that includes $100MM in practical guarantees.

Some around the league are already wondering if the Falcons will be ready to trade Cousins in 2025, as only the Packers have tried a multiyear QB apprenticeship during the rookie pay-scale era (2011-present). Cousins did respond, “I don’t deal in hypotheticals” when asked if he would have signed with the Falcons knowing they would use a top-10 pick on a passer. But the veteran QB is onboard with Atlanta’s current (and unexpected) setup.

[RELATED: Raheem Morris Addresses Falcons’ QB Situation]

I don’t really deal in hypotheticals. We could go down that path for a long time in a lot of ways,” Cousins said, via Falcons.com’s Terrin Waack. “It just doesn’t do us any good. I’m excited for this opportunity that I have. I think it’s a real privilege to be a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and I’m trying to make good on the opportunity that they’ve given me with the way I work each day and the way we play this fall.

Cousins, 35, then compared this situation (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter) to Washington drafting both he and Robert Griffin III in 2012 and Michigan State signing Nick Foles as a recruit in 2007. Foles transferred to Arizona after one season. Washington also had no plans of using Cousins as a starter, with that path emerging after RG3’s career began to skid off course. As we detailed during a recent Trade Rumors Front Office post, no direct 21st-century comp exists of a team committing to a high-profile starter (for big money) and following it up with a first-round pick a month later.

“Mike’s been great. There’s always going to be competition in this league and you have to go out and earn it,” Cousins said, via The Athletic’s Josh Kendall. “I’m going to control what I can control and I understand there’s a lot you can’t control.”

Part of the reason Cousins departed Minnesota came due to the team informing him a quarterback pick was likely. Now, Cousins is in that situation in Atlanta. The Falcons may not have been fully committed to go in this direction until its new coaching staff arrived, with ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler noting the hires of Raheem Morris and his staff coming close to free agency may well have influenced the team to acquire a stable quarterback before doing work on the draft class. Penix’s throwing session during a workout in Seattle moved the needle for the Falcons, as Fowler adds the Morris-led staff zeroed in on the Washington product.

Falcons national scout Joel Collier provided the initial report that led to Penix going eighth overall, Ledbetter adds. Collier’s work on Penix began following the 2023 draft, and the left-handed QB obviously built on his profile with a dominant 2023.

Shoot, that goes back to, all of our guys in this draft, that goes back to the year before,” Falcons assistant GM Kyle Smith said during a feature on the team’s YouTube channel. “So, our guys will start evaluating the players for next year’s draft at the end of May here. So, Joel was the guy who really liked Penix.”

Smith referred to Collier, the former Chiefs assistant GM, as the “primary scout” on the Penix project. Other members of the organization cross-checked his report on the former Indiana recruit, and the new coaching staff became involved later in the process. The Falcons attempted to trade back into the first round, which would have cost considerable future capital, with Laiatu Latu being the target in what would have been a way for the team to add Penix and grab a high-end prospect to help the 2024 team. That plan did not produce a trade, however, and the Falcons exited the first round with a player who might ride the bench for multiple seasons.

We had an opportunity in unrestricted free agency to add a guy that we believe in, and it’s an expensive addition because he’s that guy,” Smith said of Cousins. “He’s our quarterback. He is our starter. He’s the guy we believe we can win with. He’s the leader.”

Coming off a torn Achilles suffered Oct. 29, 2023, Cousins is moving close to being cleared for full work. He is not there yet, but Morris said (via Pro Football Talk) the recently signed QB has been “pretty much full-go” for what the team is asking him to do in voluntary workouts. Full clearance is not expected during the offseason program, but Cousins expects to be at full speed when camp starts.

Until then, the previously durable passer will continue his rehab while Penix — who dealt with a number of major injuries while at Indiana from 2018-21 — assimilates, creating a historically unusual situation. Penix’s development will certainly be a key 2024 subplot to monitor, though Cousins will still be set to move last year’s Division I-FBS passing leader out of the spotlight once he completes his recovery. But Penix’s progress will be a lingering issue — most likely throughout Cousins’ Atlanta stay.