Who is the Philadelphia Eagles’ “Red Star” prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman chat during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 1, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Last year during the 2023 NFL Draft Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman referred to Sydney Brown as their “red star” player in the draft

Not many knew what he meant by that, including me. So I asked around and did a little research to learn more about the mysterious “Red Star”.

“Sydney Brown was a passion player for a lot of people in this organization, he was a red-star guy. And I think just a tremendous person with obviously really good athletic tools, leadership ability, and for us, just excited to get him in the building.”

Howie Roseman gave his description of the term. In a nutshell, it is a literal red star next to a player’s name.

Eagles 49ers vs packers super bowl
Philadelphia Eagles safety Sydney Brown (21) reacts after tackling San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“We go around the room, and we give every scout a chance to stamp their red star on guys. Goes back, it’s a long tradition, not only here but a couple of other places that people have been, and when we’re looking at the draft board we have a red star on the guys, and Jeffrey (Lurie) a lot of times will go, ‘Hey, don’t forget, and we’re deciding between those two guys, that’s a red star guy.’ I think for us, it gives our scouts a chance to really put their name on guys, and that gives them a lot of pride.”

These red-star players can be from any round in the draft or even UDFAs (undrafted free agents). Usually, the first-round players are more of a collective decision, as Howie explained.

“They don’t necessarily mean the first round.”

But on occasion, Red Star and Blue Chip talent are the same.

“DeVonta Smith would be a red star, Landon Dickerson would be a red star,” Roseman said of his current roster “I could probably go down 15 red stars. We like our red star guys because they’re passion players for us.”

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) catches the ball and runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The later rounds seem to be where the Eagles and Howie Roseman are comfortable with their scouts having a larger say. 

There are guys that are in the fifth and sixth round. There are undrafted free agents that are red star guys. Sometimes the scouts, they understand the first-round picks — the first-round picks are usually organizational decisions. Those are ones where everyone is involved in. But when you get later in the draft and certainly when you get into the undrafted free agent process, guys have a chance to put their name on guys and go recruit guys, and they do it with our coaches. It’s a really fun process.”

A process that while not many had heard of, is also not new. It also is a part of the draft process that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie will be more vocal and possibly throw his weight into a decision between two players. 

“It’s a long tradition, not only here but a couple of other places that people have been. When we’re looking at the draft board, we have a red star on the guys, and (Eagles owner) Jeffrey Lurie a lot of times will go, ‘Hey, don’t forget’ as we’re deciding between those two guys — ‘that’s a red star guy.’”

Traits of a Red Star Player

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The ferocity and passion that 2023 red star player Sydney Brown plays with exude most, if not all, of what they for.

Howie Roseman described Sydney as having “great character, captain, testing numbers, intelligence, plays the way it should be played, practices the way it should be played.”

The defensive coordinator for Illinois, Ryan Walters, who coached Sydney in 2021 and 2022 saw the same tenacity and traits the Eagles did.

“It’s in his DNA where he’s not going to run from anything. He attacks adversity head-on and doesn’t make excuses about anything. When he was wrong, he would own it. He enjoys working on things that he’s not good at. He enjoys the dissecting of his game. He really enjoys the process. So many people in today’s society are so obsessed with the outcome and the results that they lose sight of the beauty of the process, and how it shapes and molds you. Sydney is the complete opposite.”

Sydney Brown

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat (94) and safety Sydney Brown (21) react after a tackle against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Even though Brown was only a rookie, he had his sights on a starting role from day one, but he was willing to take on any assignment that Philadelphia asked of him.

“I want to compete for a starting job. I’m competing with everybody in the room, not just the guys in my position room. It goes beyond the starting job. I want to be a productive player as a rookie. I’m going to contribute however I can. If that’s as a defensive starter, perfect. If I have to be a backup defender and play on every special teams unit, I’m ready for whatever.”

Which he displayed three games into his NFL career. The Eagles felt comfortable enough with him as a slot corner to start giving him high-leverage snaps against Tampa after a rash of injuries decimated the secondary. His preparation benefited the Eagles and solidified what everyone already knew about Sydney. That he was prepared. 

“In understanding the entire scheme, in knowing everybody else’s position, that’s going to help you understand your own position. So I just look at it as an opportunity to kind of learn the entire defense. Versatility is something I took a big role in in college. I was kind of all over the place, played a lot in the slot, played a lot in the box, played a lot in the high safety stuff. You know, to me it’s I just want to do whatever I can to help the team. Whatever that is. If the opportunity is there to play in nickel, or wherever they need to place me. I want to be ready.”


“He’s very sharp. A really sharp guy. And high football IQ. We knew that with him coming in and we know, you don’t want to overload anybody. We don’t want to overload a guy playing a certain position. We don’t want to overload anybody. Because then you just give them too much to think about, that’s not a good thing.” ~ Nick Sirianni

“Sydney, he’s a fearless competitor. He also always gives great effort. You can see that with that play that he made.” ~ James Bradberry


Red star safety Sydney Brown is currently recovering from ACL surgery but seems to be very optimistic that he will be ready in week one.

“I feel amazing. I can start working out for you right now if you want to. I feel great. I feel like I’m miles ahead of where I should really be. I will be ready for when the season comes around.”

That quote from Sydney defines the heart of a red-star player. Desire, determination, and the effort to make sure all of it is realized. The best is yet to come from Sydney Brown.

Who will be the Eagles Red Star player this year?

As always, thank you for reading!

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Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire