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May 28, 2024

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: CB Cooper DeJean

What NFL player, or players will Eagles rookie cornerback Cooper DeJean most resemble when he hits the field this fall?

Eagles NFL
050624CooperDeJean Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles DB Cooper DeJean

As we do every offseason, we'll be comparing each of the Philadelphia Eagles' rookies to current or former NFL players. Today we'll find a comp for second-round defensive back Cooper DeJean.


CB Quinyon Mitchell | DB Cooper DeJean | EDGE Jalyx Hunt | RB Will Shipley | WR Ainias Smith

It was difficult to find a great comp for DeJean, because he was such a unique, versatile player at Iowa who played outside corner, slot corner, safety, and even some linebacker. He was also arguably the best punt returner in college football, and an outstanding gunner on the punt coverage team. He is a great athlete with good size who produced big plays throughout college.

In 2022, DeJean had 75 tackles, 5 INTs (3 pick-sixes), and 8 pass breakups. Here are all five of those picks:

In 10 games in 2023 before his season was cut short due to injury, he had 41 tackles, 2 INTs, and 2 punt return TDs (one didn't count).  

For this exercise I tried to think of bigger corners with inside-outside versatility and excellent athleticism. I landed on former Bucs, Pats, Broncos, Rams, and Dolphins corner Aqib Talib. To begin, Cooper's and Talib's measurables are remarkably similar:

Measurable Cooper DeJean Aqib Talib 
Height 6'0 1/2 6'1 
Weight 203 202 
40 yard dash 4.43 4.44 
Vertical jump 38.5" 38" 

In college, Talib had a handful of punt returns, but that wasn't a huge part of his game, so he's not a perfect comp in that respect. However, Kansas realized that he was too skilled a player to only play on defense, so Talib also played on offense on occasion, catching four TD passes in his final season there. 

In the pros, Talib mainly played outside corner, but would often move into the slot to cover bigger receivers and some the league's better tight ends. Like Cooper, Talib was a physical, competitive defender who produced his share of big plays (10 career pick-sixes).

Both players also fell in their respective drafts. Talib was a top 10-15 type of talent who got drafted 20th overall in 2008 because of character concerns that continued into the pros. Cooper fell because... 🤷‍♂️.

Next up: EDGE Jalyx Hunt.

MORE: Darius Slay wants to lead young DBs into the future

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