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Apr 26, 2024 9:58 am

Eagles’ inside intel aided selection of Toledo CB in first round

Quinyon Mitchell

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni made a call no other NFL coach or general manager could before the final decision was made to select Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell in the first round Thursday night.

Sirianni called his old college roommate Jason Candle and soon knew his pairing with Mitchell was a perfect match.

“Their personality match is perfect,” Candle, the head coach at Toledo who maintains a close bond with Sirianni years after they roomed together at Mount Union, said Friday of the Eagles drafting Mitchell.

What some in the NFL viewed as a risk because of his small-school production in the MAC (Mid-American Conference), the Eagles viewed as a decided edge. Sirianni knows the small-school, prove-it mentality when he sees it, and Mitchell starred in every phase of the pre-draft process. He was the best player on the field at the Senior Bowl by their estimation, then ran in the 4.3s at the NFL Scouting Combine and smashed position drills and private meetings.

Candle was able to ease some of those concerns for Philadelphia, telling Sirianni how Mitchell turned down Power 5 options — including Alabama, Georgia and Florida State — to stay with the Rockets four years and all about how he sees Sirianni’s personality and competitive mentality in Mitchell in everything from team meetings to pickup basketball games.

The game tape and production — 45 pass break-ups the past two seasons — spoke for itself.

“We think we have an extremely talented, hard-working outside corner,” Eagles president Howie Roseman said. “He’s got the right mentality, all the tools in his body. He had a great process. He had a chance to transfer out of Toledo; he stayed there and came back. He got better, he went to the Senior Bowl, and he checked all the offseason process boxes one by one, which is important.”

Mitchell walks into a loaded secondary with James Bradberry and Darius Slay at cornerback and 2023 draft pick Kelee Ringo, Josh Jobe and Eli Ricks are in the running for more time this season.

“He’s got a lot to prove as a small-school player. The MAC isn’t the National Football League. We understand that … so to take a player like this, he has to be special. We think he is a special person,” Roseman said.

–Field Level Media

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