Should the Eagles trade one of their early 2022 draft picks?

NFL: OCT 03 Washington Football Team at Falcons
ATLANTA, GA Ð OCTOBER 03: Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) looks into the crowd while walking off the field following the conclusion of the NFL game between the Washington Football Team and the Atlanta Falcons on October 3rd, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

In case you didn’t know, the Eagles have three first round picks. When you include their lone second round pick, they will be able to land four top 100 talents to help improve their playoff-caliber roster from 2021. Jalen Hurts is set to continue his QB1 status for at least one more year, so it will be up to Howie & co to support him and continue to grow the roots of the flowers that Sirianni has planted.

But what if top established talents become available? If the higher-ups in Eagles management believe this team is a lot closer to being contenders than not, should they look into dealing one of those firsts or their second to another team for a top tier player? Here are some names to consider.

Players going into their contract year

Marcus Peters

Darius Slay is having an All Pro caliber year as the anchor of the Eagles secondary. However, while Steven Nelson has been solid, the CB2 position leaves a lot to be desired.

Peters tore his ACL in September during practice and did not play a game in 2021. He should be ready by training camp. The Ravens would save $10 million by trading him, creating some more space for Lamar Jackson’s mega deal.

A Second round pick to add a two time All Pro (who will only be 29 in the 2022 season) across from Slay? Yes please.

Calvin Ridley

I’m sure you’ve heard, but it’s worth mentioning that the relationship between Ridley and Falcons looks like it’s heading to an end.

Ridley hasn’t played since week seven due to taking a break from football to focus on his mental health. What better place for him than Philadelphia?

Jalen Hurts was Ridley’s teammate and roommate for two seasons at Alabama, DeVonta Smith was in the same WR room with him for one season, and assistant special teams coach Joe Pannunzio was on the Alabama staff when they won the National Title in 2017. Between those three, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson, there would be a plethora of support for Ridley.

While he’s a first round pick worthy talent, I think a second round pick would be enough to pry him from Atlanta.

Brandin Cooks

This won’t be a popular name with the “LoOk At HiS cOnCuSsIoNs” crowd but the Eagles should seriously consider trading for Brandin Cooks.

Cooks isn’t technically in the final year of his deal, but the final two years can be voided after 2022. In two years with Houston, HOUSTON, he’s had back to back 1k seasons. In Houston. Cooks has missed one game in 2021 due to COVID (who hasn’t?) and missed one in 2020 due to neck and foot injuries. He did slam his head on the ground in a game in 2020, but was cleared for concussion. His last concussion was in 2019.

For a team looking for a player who is as good as tracking (and catching) deep passes, Brandin Cooks fits that mold. Another player that should be able to be had for a second round pick.

Players with multiple years left

Danielle Hunter

Reports came out in March that Danielle Hunter was unhappy with his five year $72-million contract that he signed with the Vikings in 2018. He’s missed all but seven games in 2021 due to a back injury, but Hunter is a force when healthy.

He posted back- to-back 14.5 sack seasons in 2019 and 2020 and had six sacks in the seven games he played in 2021. Howie is no stranger to trading for a player who was unhappy with current contract (Slay) and restructured to appease, so this could be a move that fills (and upgrades) a potential Derek Barnett departure.

Michael Thomas

Mr. Slot has been the subject of trade talks all season despite not playing a game in 2021. The Saints could be looking to stockpile picks and rebuild around either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill (lol) and Thomas would give them the best return in a trade. Adding Thomas to the WR corp for the Eagles would free DeVonta Smith from many CB1 battles and give Jalen Hurts reliable hands to throw to.

Brandon Aiyuk

*This is IF the Eagles move on from Reagor this offseason

After a very productive rookie year in 2020, Aiyuk was inexplicably in the dog house for the first half of the 2021 season. However, after posting 13 catches for 141 yards in the team’s first seven games, he’s had 37 catches for 578 yards in the last nine. There isn’t any indication the 49ers will move on from him, but Aiyuk is everything Sirianni has been wanting in a YAC WR that he keeps trying to force into Jalen Reagor.

Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire