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Eagles’ Cooper DeJean reveals position he’s starting at during minicamp, what about remainder of rookie year?

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Cooper DeJean is going to be playing all over the secondary for the Philadelphia Eagles this summer. Where the team was going to play DeJean first was a mystery.

Until the rookie defensive back spilled the beans, sort of. DeJean revealed on the Up and Adams Show where he started out in rookie minicamp for the Eagles, but will he be staying at that position?Β 

“I really talked all three positions with them, how I worked mostly the nickel and corner position at rookie minicamp,” DeJean told the Up and Adams Show Thursday. “But there’s been talks about safety during the pre-draft (process), and returning as well.

“Wherever they put me, I’ll be excited. I’m excited for the opportunity to start at the corner position … that’s where I’m starting out, the nickel and corner position, yeah”

DeJean is starting in the slot, in what appears to be where the Eagles want him — for now.Β 

“There’s a lot of players that physically are capable of being versatile,” said Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio Thursday. “Where a lot of them get eliminated from being versatile is they struggle to learn the assignments and the techniques and the execution at a couple different positions.

“There’s a lot of guys that are versatile physically, but can’t do it mentally. And I don’t mean that — they’re not going to get — your reps are watered down the more you’re moving around — and other guys it comes easier for them than others.”

Would DeJean start in the slot?

Mandatory minicamp will paint a bigger picture, but the Eagles are still figuring out their secondary alignment. Since DeJean is starting in the slot, he’ll be competing with Avonte Maddox for the bulk of first-team snaps there. Zech McPhearson appeared to be in line for significant reps in the slot last season prior to his season-ending injury in August and the Eagles took a flier on Tyler Hall in free agency.Β 

There’s also the possibility Isaiah Rodgers could move inside too, even though he played mostly boundary cornerback (outside) in Indianapolis. The Eagles have the whole summer to sort this out, but they want DeJean on the field.Β 

What about safety?Β 

DeJean would be a natural fit at safety given his style of play and his ability to track the football. The Eagles will start C.J. Gardner-Johnson at one of the safety spots while Reed Blankenship is the front runner for the other spot. Then there’s Sydney Brown, who appears to be recovering from his ACL injury quicker than anticipated. Whether Brown is back by Week 1 remains up in the air.Β 

DeJean will likely get a look at safety at some point this summer. The Eagles owe it to themselves put DeJean in multiple spots on the defense.Β 

“I’m a football player,” DeJean said on the day he was drafted by the Eagles in a Zoom interview. “You put me on the field and I’m going to go play football, whether it’s inside, outside, at safety, wherever it is.”

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Author: Jeff Kerr
May 10, 2024 | 1:06 pm

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