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Eagles Player Profile: Cooper DeJean

We’re currently in the dead period of the off-season, and the Eagles won’t be back on the field until late July. Today, I’m kicking off a player profile series to get to know some of the new faces on the Eagles. The plan is to start with the rookies and then move on to the free agents. Today, we take a look at the Eagles’ second-round draft pick, Cooper DeJean.

If you missed out on the previous “Player Profiles” you can check them out here: Quinyon Mitchell

Draft Day Surprises

Before the draft, Cooper DeJean was widely expected to be a first-round pick. In some of my own mock drafts, I had him going to the Eagles at 22. However, by the end of the first night of the draft, DeJean was still waiting for his name to be called. This was a surprise to me and my co-hosts, as we were live streaming a draft special and trying to figure out why he had fallen. Consensus rankings had DeJean as a top-20 player throughout. Eventually, the Eagles selected him with the 40th pick, and if you were watching us, you saw how excited we were. Historically, the Eagles seemed to disregard DBs in the draft, but this time they picked two, both top-20 talents. Let’s dive into Cooper DeJean’s background.

High School & College

Cooper DeJean attended Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School, where he played both quarterback and defensive back. In his senior year, he passed for 3,447 yards with 35 touchdowns and rushed for 1,235 yards and 24 touchdowns. He won numerous awards, such as the Gatorade Player of the Year for Iowa and the 2021 All-American Bowl Adidas Player of the Year, and led his team to a state championship. During the state championship game, he amassed 391 total yards of offense and five touchdowns.

Despite these impressive stats, DeJean earned a three-star rating from ESPN and a four-star grade from 247 Sports, which didn’t lead to many offers out of high school. He had the chance to play quarterback in his birth state of South Dakota but chose to play defense for Iowa instead. During his freshman year, he saw very little playing time, mainly as a special teamer, but in his sophomore year, he became a starter on defense. During his sophomore season, he had 56 solo tackles (75 total), 5 interceptions, 8 pass breakups, and 3 pick-sixes, making him a player to keep an eye on.

DeJean was looking to continue to build on his sophomore season, but his junior year was cut short due to a leg injury in mid-November. Despite the injury, DeJean managed to add 26 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 5 pass breakups. While in college, he also returned punts, recording 31 returns for 406 yards (13.1 yards per return) and 1 touchdown. During his time at Iowa, he racked up several accolades for his performances, including unanimous All-American (2023), Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (2023), Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year (2023), and 2x First-team All-Big Ten (2022, 2023).


DeJean is a freak athlete who excelled in multiple sports during high school, including football, basketball, baseball, and track. He won the Iowa state titles in both the long jump and the 100 meters. As a football player, he is a great zone defender, fitting perfectly into what the Eagles need in the Fangio system. DeJean has an ideal frame for a cornerback, which led some to consider him as a safety before the draft. He has experience at both strong safety and cornerback. His big frame allows him to be an excellent run support defensive back, giving him the ability to outmuscle some wide receivers. DeJean plays the ball like a receiver, evidenced by his seven interceptions throughout his college career. Here’s a video for reference:


If he sticks at CB, he would be one of the better tacklers at that position. He excels when driving downhill and reacting to what the QB is seeing, preventing receivers from gaining yards after the catch (YAC). Additionally, he is a plus returner, with the ability to contribute on special teams as a gunner.


You’re going to have a hard time finding a lot of negatives to DeJean’s game. However, his biggest obstacle as a CB is his stiff hips. Despite his elite burst, shifty wide receivers can win reps against him in man coverage. Additionally, he occasionally bites on double moves, which, while not frequent, can be frustrating. DeJean also has the occasional drop when trying to make a play on the ball. To become an elite CB, he will need to work on his technique in man coverage.


DeJean was a steal for the Eagles, plain and simple. Walking away from the draft with both Mitchell and DeJean is an A+ from me. There’s a clear theme with the DBs drafted—they excel in zone coverage. Vic Fangio loves zone, and DeJean thrives in it too. He’s poised to become a fan favorite for years to come. DeJean comes across as humble and hardworking, qualities that will resonate well with many fans. I’m curious to see if he challenges Britain Covey for the return role. Defensively, I can see him playing multiple roles as his career progresses. I believe both the Eagles and their fans will be thrilled with how his career unfolds. The sky’s the limit for DeJean.

Player Comparison: Jevon Holland

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