2022 NFL Draft: 5 Players the Philadelphia Eagles Must Target With Their 2 First-Round Picks
Even after trading the No. 16 and No. 19 overall picks to the New Orleans Saints earlier this month, the Philadelphia Eagles still own two first-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Philly currently holds the No. 15 and No. 18 overall selections thanks to some nifty work from general manager Howie Roseman.
Based on his extensive track record of draft-day trades, it’s likely Roseman will end up moving up or down depending on how the board shakes out. But if the Eagles stand pat, here are five players they need to target with their two first-round picks.
Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
After losing Steven Nelson to the Houston Texans in free agency, the Eagles have a glaring hole at cornerback opposite Darius Slay. Ahmad Gardner, the consensus No. 1 CB prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati, will surely be Philadelphia’s first choice at the position, but he seems poised to hear his name called inside the top 10.
That leaves Washington CB Trent McDuffie as their best option in the first round.
McDuffie is a versatile cover corner who can play outside and in the slot. He loves to challenge opposing wide receivers in press coverage and isn’t afraid to fly downhill and make plays in the run game. As a junior last season, McDuffie allowed the fewest yards in coverage of any CB in the country.
If McDuffie is still available at No. 15, it would be hard for Roseman to pass him up.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Jameson Williams was arguably the best wide receiver prospect in this year’s draft before a torn ACL in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game dropped him down a few pegs. Still, any team willing to take a chance on the speedy wideout in the first round could be rewarded with a future superstar.
As a junior at Alabama, Williams went off for 1,572 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in the regular season. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the football, and the Eagles could use that kind of instant offense surrounding Jalen Hurts.
With two first-round picks at its disposal, Philadelphia can afford to take a risk on Williams at 15 or 18. The payoff could wind up being epic.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
There aren’t many prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft you know can step into a starting lineup and make an impact in Week 1. Jordan Davis seems to be one of them.
At 6-foot-6 and 341 pounds, Davis expertly clogs up running lanes and blows offensive linemen off the ball. He eats up double-teams to free up linebackers in the run game, has quick hands and feet for his size, and finishes well once he gets his hands on the ball carrier.
With Fletcher Cox approaching 32 years of age, Davis could be a perfect eventual replacement on the defensive line.
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Nakobe Dean doesn’t have the size of a star NFL linebacker (5-foot-11, 229 pounds). He struggles a bit with play recognition and can get swallowed up by bigger offensive linemen in the run game.
But the tape doesn’t lie with this kid.
Dean is a ridiculously explosive athlete who can get sideline-to-sideline in the blink of an eye. His game-breaking speed and uncanny ability to blow up plays in the backfield (10.5 tackles for loss last season) made Georgia’s defense the most ferocious group in the country.
The Eagles have been searching for this kind of defensive playmaker for years. He’d be a perfect upgrade to Philly’s uninspiring LB corps.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Eagles should definitely use one of their two first-round picks on a wide receiver. DeVonta Smith looks to have a bright future ahead of him, but no one else on the roster inspires any confidence moving forward.
If Philadelphia is looking for an ideal complement to Smith on the outside, Treylon Burks might be the answer. The Arkansas product has the size that Smith lacks (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) and plenty of speed to separate from defensive backs.
If the Eagles come away with two of these five players on Thursday night, the first round should be considered a rousing success.
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