NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Iowa

While he was expected to come off the board in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean ended up lasting until the middle of the second round. The Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the No. 40 overall pick and selected him, adding DeJean to their first-round pick, cornerback Quinyon Mitchell

One of the things that sold the Eagles on DeJean was his versatility. 

"I think whatever he does he's going to do at a high level," general manager Howie Roseman said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Obviously we'll get him in here, and like everything else on this team, see how the pieces fit when Coach [Nick Sirianni] and his staff get their hands on these guys."

Last season at Iowa, DeJean played almost exclusively as a perimeter cornerback. According to Pro Football Focus, he took 630 snaps there, 23 in the slot, 23 in the box, 28 lined up along the defensive line, and just one at safety. He moved around a bit more in 2022, playing 553 snaps out wide, 140 in the slot, 91 in the box, and 30 along the line. However, as DeJean noted, he came to the Hawkeyes as a safety. 

"Played safety in high school all four years," DeJean said. "At Iowa I got a lot of safety reps in practice, just coming in and playing that position. Did it all through my first camp, first spring ball. Then I continued to get reps at all three positions throughout my time there."

For his part, DeJean is willing to go play wherever the Eagles tell him to go. "I'm a football player," he said. "You put me on the field and I'm going to go play football, whether it's inside, outside, at safety, wherever it is."

Philadelphia badly needs help all over the secondary, and DeJean's ability to play multiple spots is appealing for that reason. With Darius Slay and James Bradberry closer to the end of their respective careers than the beginning, with last season's defensive back additions of Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks not faring all that well, and with the only safety options being Reed Blankenship and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (who is really more of a slot corner), they're going to need to put that skill set to good use.