We’re just four weeks away from the 2022 NFL Draft and it’s all quiet in Philadelphia. The Eagles are subtly prepared for a weekend of surprises after gently floating through free agency. With three first-rounders in their back pocket, the Birds look set to soar…but how should they spend their picks?
The Eales are locked and loaded
Many have suggested moving up and down, others are quick to push for them all to be spent on one side of the ball. But to get a logical answer, we have to first do some digging.
The team’s biggest needs are undoubtedly on the defensive side of the ball. Priority doesn’t really matter as the Eagles are desperate for defensive talent across the board. The good news is that the first round is loaded with elite talent. The next step is simply to figure out how to make the best of a very exciting and unique situation.
If we rank the top 5 prospects at each key position of need, we can see which are top-heavy and which see a steeper drop-off in talent.
Eagles positional needs: Defense
|Kyle Hamilton (top-5)||Devin Loyd (15-20)||Ahmad Gardner (6-10)||Kayvon Thibodeaux (top-5)|
|Lewis Cine (15-20)||Nakobe Dean (20-25)||Derek Stingley (10-15)||Aidan Hutchinson (top-5)|
|Daxton Hill (17-25)||Chad Muma (40-45)||Andrew Booth (15-20)||Travon Walker (top 10)|
|Jaquan Brisker (30-40)||Christian Harris (40-45)||Kaair Elam (20-30)||Jermaine Johnson (10-15)|
|Jalen Pitre (40-50)||Brandon Smith (50-55)||Roger McCreary (25-35)||George Karlaftis (10-15)|
The CB and EDGE spots are absolutely stacked with talent. The steepest drop-off is at linebacker, while the one at Safety is actually pretty shallow, it just so happens that Kyle Hamilton is a freak of nature.
The Eagles hold picks 15, 16, and 19. Their value, per DraftTek, is 1050, 1000, and 850. A trade into the top 5 would cost roughly 1700. Is it worth trading two picks to move up and snag a player like Thibodeaux or Hamilton? You can definitely make the case. But the Eagles would probably be more inclined to pick-swap and then move a second-rounder and picks from next year’s class if needed.
What should the move be?
If they’re able to keep picks 16 and 19, they could very easily walk away with a premier edge rusher, a premier corner thanks to the strength of depth at each spot. They’ll still be in a position to take a flier on someone like Jalen Pitre or Chad Muma later in the draft depending on what’s given up. On top of that, they’ll be able to move up and snag one of the best prospects that the Draft has to offer.
You can slice the cake any way you want. Maybe the Eagles trade up for Hamilton, or maybe it’s Aidan Hutchinson. But the fact that they could do so and still have enough ammo to take advantage of densely populated groups after such a move is almost too exciting to pass up.
This isn’t even taking into account the WR position, either, another area where the Birds may be looking to improve. A trade-up in a scenario where they are looking to add to their WR room would still leave room for someone like Drake London out of USC. Conversely, Tyler Linderbaum, the athletic monster of a center, could also still be on the board depending on how the draft pans out. There is so much opportunity to be seized in this first round and there is n better-placed team to do exactly that than the Philadelphia Eagles.
Nobody knows whether the Eagles will make a move or not, but it would behoove them to explore every opportunity…and something tells me that they will.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire