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10 first-round targets for Philadelphia Eagles in 2024 NFL draft

Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman holds press conference at Day 1 of NFL Combine 2024
Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman holds press conference at NFL Combine 2024 12:50

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Philadelphia Eagles will have some intriguing options with the No. 22 pick in the 2024 NFL draft this week. Philadelphia needs secondary help, but this class is loaded with offensive linemen and premier edge rushers that will be hard for the Eagles to pass up.

The Eagles have a history of using their first-round pick in the trenches, building the core of their roster through the offensive and defensive lines.

Here are 10 prospects the Eagles will target at No. 22 in Thursday's Round 1 of the 2024 NFL draft. Some players the Eagles will have to trade up for, but these players are expected to be on their big board.

CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Terrion Arnold was the definition of a shutdown corner in college, as he accumulated the most incomplete targets among SEC players last season. He didn't allow a single touchdown on 445 coverage snaps, playing both the outside and the slot - he played nearly 25% of his college snaps in the slot.

Arnold is excellent at route recognition and a very good tackler. The Eagles would have to trade up for Arnold, but he's a future No. 1 cornerback. He had a top-30 visit with the Eagles.

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Defensive back Terrion Arnold #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide defends in coverage during the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl Game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2024 in Pasadena, California. Ryan Kang / Getty Images

CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Nate Wiggins should be available at No. 22. He allowed 44% of passes thrown his way to be caught, having 19 passes defended over the last two seasons. While Wiggins doesn't have a big frame (on the slender side), he doesn't allow big plays when targeted. 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 North Carolina at Clemson
Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) during a college football game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Clemson Tigers on November 18, 2023, at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wiggins is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, as two of his three interceptions were returned for touchdowns. He's also a strictly outside corner, so Wiggins would develop behind Darius Slay and James Bradberry.

CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Another playmaker in the secondary, Cooper DeJean can play both cornerback and safety - position versatility the Eagles crave. Also a good punt returner and gunner on special teams, DeJean offers anything to a roster.

DeJean allowed no touchdowns on 374 coverage snaps last season, isn't out of position much and has significant athleticism that would make him a success at cornerback or safety. He's an ideal target for teams that significantly need secondary help and could be an All-Pro safety in the league. DeJean also had a top-30 visit with Philly.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Rutgers at Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes left cornerback Cooper DeJean (3) as seen during a college football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 11, 2023, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA. Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Edge Jared Verse, Florida State

One of the best pass rushers in the draft, Jared Verse had 18 sacks in just 25 games at Florida State. An excellent closer with explosion off the edge, Verse might be the most athletic pass rusher in the class.

If Verse somehow falls because of the quarterback-wide receiver overdraft, the Eagles would be wise to trade up and get him. The combination of speed and power off the edge is impossible to pass up.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Florida State at Florida
Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) reacts after a play during the game between the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles on November 25, 2023 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Edge Chop Robinson, Penn State

The Eagles are looking for bigger edge rushers this offseason, which is part of the reason why Haason Reddick was traded. Chop Robinson would fit what Philadelphia is looking for, leading the Big Ten in pressure rate (18.6%) over the past two seasons (minimum 200 pass rushing snaps).

Explosive off the first step, 42.7% of Robinson's tackles over the past two seasons came in the backfield. His productivity off the edge is eye-popping, and the sacks will come lining up wide at the next level. Robinson had a top-30 visit with the Eagles.

Delaware v Penn State
Chop Robinson #44 of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Delaware Fightin Blue Hens during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 9, 2023, in State College, Pennsylvania. Scott Taetsch / Getty Images

Edge Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Laiatu Latu might be the best pass rusher in the draft, evidenced by the most sacks (23.0) and second-most tackles for loss (34.0) in the FBS over the last two seasons. He could fall with the prior concerns over his neck, but Latu is excellent at getting to the quarterback and stopping the run off the edge.

Latu can stand up or get his hand on the ground, still getting to the quarterback no matter the stance. He's a natural pass rusher and had a top-30 visit with the Eagles.

Laiatu Latu #15 of the UCLA Bruins in a defensive stance during a game against the USC Trojans at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. Ric Tapia / Getty Images

IOL Troy Fautanu, Washington

If the Eagles are looking for a starting guard come Week 1, Troy Fautanu is the player. The technique needs some work, but it is hard to ignore the dominance Fautanu displays when he's pulling on the line and how he displays the power from gap to gap. 

Fautanu can play tackle (a two-year starter at Washington) but is a dominant force at guard. He can play all five positions - versatility the Eagles crave - and had a top-30 visit with the Eagles.

Washington v USC
Troy Fautanu #55 of the Washington Huskies in an offensive stance during a game against the USC Trojans at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Ric Tapia / Getty Images

OL Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

There's a case to be made Taliese Fuaga is the best run-blocking lineman in the draft, dominating in the zone-run scheme at Oregon State. Fuaga has excellent pop with his hands at the point of contact and controls the pace when he hits the second level.

Fuaga can play right tackle but might be better at guard. He would start at right guard for the Eagles come Week 1.

Oregon State v Oregon
Taliese Fuaga #75 of the Oregon State Beavers blocks during a game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on November 24, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. / Getty Images

T Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

Tyler Guyton is purely a tackle (6-foot-7, 328 pounds), so he would be a developmental piece behind Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata. He allowed zero sacks on 335 pass-blocking snaps last season but has just 15 starts under his belt.

The upside with Guyton is very high, as he shows incredible fluidity and balance in pass protection. He's an ideal Jeff Stoutland project and had a top-30 visit with the Eagles.

Iowa State v Oklahoma
Right tackle Tyler Guyton #60 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs onto the field for a game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma won 50-20. Brian Bahr / Getty Images

WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

This is the wild card of the Eagles' potential targets, as it will be hard to pass up a player like Brian Thomas if he's available at 22. Thomas has the size and athleticism to fade past man corners and is very aggressive to the football. Not known for playing inside, Thomas is a deep-ball threat and a big-play receiver. 

LSU v Ole Miss
Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. #11 of the LSU Tigers looks to catch a pass in front of safety Daijahn Anthony #3 of the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Oxford, Mississippi. Michael Chang / Getty Images

Thomas led the FBS in receiving touchdowns (17) and clocked a 4.33 at the combine. He adds another dimension to the Eagles' offense and would be a welcome addition to an already-loaded group.

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