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Rookie DB Cooper DeJean willing to play 'wherever' within Eagles' secondary

The Philadelphia Eagles flew up the board in Round 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft to swipe a defensive back with the No. 40 Cooper DeJean overall pick.

The trade-up to stop DeJean's fall gave the Eagles two of the top defensive backs in the draft class, pairing the former Iowa product with first-round corner Quinyon Mitchell.

Entering offseason work, the question is where DeJean will spend most of his playing time. The former Hawkeyes cornerback has experience on the outside and at safety and can also fill in the slot.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wouldn't put a cap on DeJean's versatility.

"I think whatever he does he's going to do at a high level," Roseman said over the weekend, via the Philly 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."

For his part, DeJean isn't worried about where he lands either.

"I'm a football player," he said Friday during 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."

A potential first-round pick, DeJean fell into the second round, where Roseman traded up with Washington to add another Swiss Army knife to the defense.

"I came in [to Iowa] as a safety. Played safety in high school all four years," DeJean said over the weekend. "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."

The 21-year-old joins a Philly secondary that brought back fellow do-it-all DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, safety Reed Blankenship, veterans Darius Slay and James Bradberry, and fellow rookie Mitchell.

DeJean could play anywhere from safety to nickel to even outside corner.

"If they put me out there, I'll be excited to play out there on the edge at the corner position," DeJean said. "If I don't, there's no hard feelings."

The rookie's versatility gives new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio options in the secondary.

After Philly's defensive backfield struggled through injury and ineffective play, Roseman added weapons during the draft that inject youth, talent, and versatility to avoid those same pitfalls in 2024.

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