More Sports:

May 06, 2022

Eagles quotables: What are the veterans saying after last week's NFL Draft?

It's an exciting time to be a Bird

The NFL Draft closed and the Eagles left as one of its biggest stars.

They picked up Georgia DT Jordan Davis in the first, selected the Jason Kelce-approved center Cam Jurgens in the second, and may have nabbed potentially the biggest steal with Bulldog's linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third. 

Oh, and they pulled off a trade for star receiver A.J. Brown, giving them a scary 1-2 punch at wideout between him and DeVonta Smith.

It's an exciting time for the Eagles. You can see it from Kelce,  Brown and quarterback Jalen Hurts when they saw the news of the trade break, and GM Howie Roseman is back in the front office spotlight again.

But you have to make good on those moves, and players are already arriving to NovaCare to get started on that process with offseason workouts. 

A handful of players were made available to the media earlier this week, and usually, we'd do a full feature story or a roundup from around the city of what the beats and columnists are saying. 

But let's try something a little different here. 

There was a lot said, from expectations to recovery from injuries, the incoming rookies, and of course reaction to the Brown trade, and we pulled the quotes that stood out to us the most.

Here's what we got:

CB Darius Slay

Slay's been enjoying the offseason, which included a trip to the Penn Relays to see new Eagles signee Devon Allen run. The 27-year old receiver, and track star, set a new record in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, clocking in at 13.11. 

I think Slay's happy he doesn't have to cover him. 

"Man, he's fast," Slay said.

Probably feels the same way about Brown too. Slay's never had to cover him, but after watching film, the veteran corner had nothing but praise, maybe a little backhanded in this case, but still praise. 

"People kind of look at him like he's big and slow, but on film I've never seen him get ran down yet."

QB Jalen Hurts

The Eagles made the playoffs last season, when they really weren't expected to, and Jalen Hurts' message for building off that is simple:

"The foundation has been set. The standard has been set. The only direction is to climb...the only direction is to rise."

Hurts heads into 2022 as the starting quarterback, but getting to this point wasn't without a fair share of rumors regarding Howie Roseman trying to lure other big-name quarterbacks to town, though at every turn, both Roseman and coach Nick Sirianni publicly committed to Hurts. For this year at least, he's the guy.

"That's what they say...It's understood. It's my opportunity, it's my team, it's pretty much what it is. It's my team, so I'm ready to go."

C Jason Kelce

A big part of Cam Jurgens' story following his selection was the role Kelce played in the Eagles picking him up. He talked about the team consulting with him about center prospects over the years while on Bleacher Report's draft coverage, and how, in a lot of ways, Jurgens is a lot like him.

Kelce opened his press conference by saying that his role in the draft might have been a bit overstated. He wanted to dial it back a bit, but he did go more into why the front office came to him for his opinion.

"I think a big part of them asking my opinion is really just them saying 'Hey, we're gonna draft replacement here, are you OK with this?' Let's all be honest here." 

He's a real one.

"I've been in some ways trying to mentor my replacement for eight years now. You always wanna try to help young guys and help the team moving forward."

"The only way you can live on in this game is through the players and the relationships you forged as a player. Your game is gonna be what it is when it's all said and done and that's gonna be for me a good track record. But the way you make a lasting impact, as a player, as a person, is how you influence other people and hopefully helped others realize their dreams."

DE Brandon Graham

Brandon Graham can't wait to have Jordan Davis with him in the trenches.

"Man, I'm excited for big boy, because he's gonna be taking two or three people with him, hopefully, and take a lot off us.

"That's a big boy for real. That's a Jordan Mailata on the defensive side."

The 34-year old said he felt good working his way back from an Achilles tear. He was asked if he still feels he can be a starter, but he was pretty upfront about happily slipping into whatever role helps the team.

"I'm with whatever. For this being my last year as far as my deal, I'm just like man... I just love the depth that we got. I'ma just show that I can still play and that I can help this team win." 

Now how about Nakobe Dean?

"Ooh, that boy gonna be sideline-to-sideline! It's just all about him coming and knowing the plays, knowing exactly where [defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon wants him to be, and just playing at a high level."

WR DeVonta Smith

Between Smith, Landon Dickerson, and now Davis and Dean, the Eagles have added a lot of SEC talent in the past couple years. 

For Smith, that's a good thing. They all come in ready to be on the biggest stage. 

"You've played in the big games, so you don't really feel like the moment is too big for you. You want guys that have experience in playing in stages like that." 

By the way, what was that first conversation with Brown like?

"It wasn't really a talk. I just sent him the eyes emoji and he was just like 'let's get to it.'"

Important information. Said with no hesitation.

"I'm the best hooper on the team by far."

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports