The Philadelphia Eagles are arguably the most intriguing team heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. They’re entering the draft with three first-round picks, and general manager Howie Roseman is known as someone who likes to move up and down the draft board.
It feels highly unlikely Roseman will make all three picks in their given slots. Instead, we’ll likely see the Eagles make one or two trades before or on draft night in an attempt to pick up extra value or snag an elite prospect.
Regardless of the Eagles’ draft day plays, they’re an important team to pay attention to leading up to the draft.
Common sense suggests the Eagles will prioritize defense in the draft
If we’re assuming the Eagles are sold on entering 2022 with Jalen Hurts under center (there’s still a lot of noise around Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson), it’d make the most sense for Roseman to target defense in the first round of the draft. Their offensive line is elite, they just took a first-round WR in 2021, and they just extended tight end Dallas Goedert.
On the other hand, the defense is filled with glaring holes and weaknesses. Philadelphia needs a new edge rusher, cornerback, linebacker, and two new safeties. It could fill at least three of these holes using its war chest of first-rounders.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Jermaine Johnson, Travon Walker, Nakobe Dean, and Andrew Booth Jr. are just a few commonly mentioned defensive players being mocked to the Eagles in the first round.
ESPN suggests an ‘outside-the-box’ mention for Philadelphia
The Eagles snagging three defensive starters in the first round makes a lot of sense. However, as previously stated, GM Howie Roseman rarely operates conservatively. The idea of him making three safe picks is unlikely.
ESPN seemingly agrees that Roseman is due to mix things up in the first round of the draft. They suggested an “outside-the-box” option with Philadelphia landing a first-round wide receiver, for the third year in a row.
Get ready to draft yet another first-round receiver. The Eagles have three first-round picks, and there are a bevy of wideouts projected to go around the middle of the round such as Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, USC’s Drake London, Alabama’s Jameson Williams and (also) Ohio State’s Chris Olave. The team has tried to boost the wideout corps early and often over the past few years and has wound up with…
Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Now, DeVonta Smith’s rookie season was promising despite the run-heavy profile the team took on with Jalen Hurts under center. But whether you consider Hurts a long-term solution or not, the team needs more firepower to exploit teams that stack up against the run, as the Bucs did to Philly in the playoffs…
…the best way to figure out what they have in Hurts is to put another top-notch wideout into the equation…ESPN
The Eagles can easily justify taking another WR
The Eagles have desperately been trying to build a strong receiving room over the past few seasons. Landing DeVonta Smith in the first round of last year’s draft was a solid step in the right direction. However, the selections of Jalen Reagor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the previous two drafts were disastrous.
Most experts have Philadelphia entering the free-agent market for a veteran WR to pair alongside Smith, someone like Allen Robinson or D.J. Chark. However, if Roseman can’t sign someone, it would make some semblance of sense to target another pass-catcher in the first round.
It’s a deep WR class — there’s no shortage of talent. You can even argue some of the receivers in this year’s class have higher ceilings than DeVonta Smith.
Taking a WR in the first round in three straight draft classes would certainly be bold from Roseman. However, WR is undoubtedly a position of need in Philly. ESPN isn’t too far off predicting this as a possibility.