When the dust settled from Vegas, the 2022 NFL Draft had closed with many winners. Few had the weekend the Philadelphia Eagles had though. Originally starting the weekend with 10 draft selections, the Eagles made shrewd trades that improved the roster, and draft selections that set the team up for extended success.
The plan has been simple. The Eagles have done everything on the offensive side of the ball to have QB, Jalen Hurts, succeed. The only remaining needs lie in the secondary. But the comparisons to the 2017 draft and free agent strategy are all over the blueprint of the Eagles as they gear to the 2022 season.
There’s an argument to be had in that their strategy has even improved from five years ago.
Young and Athletic Talent
The largest difference between the 2017 offseason and this offseason has been the age and athleticism taken by the team. The 2017 offseason looked to get solid veterans to pair with Carson Wentz and a veteran team. Alshon Jeffery, Nick Foles, LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Robinson and even Torrey Smith were older free agents that paired well with an already older team. The strategy was the same though. Build around the young QB on a rookie contract.
The 2022 offseason is a tad different with the same strategy. Ignore the older Smith & Jeffery signings. Say goodbye to an aging Chris Long. Enter a 26 year old Kyzir White. Welcome to 27 year old phenom Hasson Reddick. Whar about a 24-year-old pro-bowl wideout in AJ Brown? The average age of the free agent acquisitions acquired this offseason is only 26 years old. Add this to a team that is already younger around Hurts, and the team is in a much better position for elongated success than even the 2017 class had.
Eureka! A LB!
The last time the Eagles had an above average LB Core was 2017. Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks were an excellent trio that helped Philadelphia’s defense be the most underrated unit in the league. Since then, LB has been a position the fanbase has been begging for over the last four years.
The signing of Kyzir White was a breath of fresh air. Then, on day two of the draft, the Eagles got one of the best steals of the class in taking Georgia LB, Nakobe Dean. The Georgia product was the heart and soul of the National Championship winning team. His presence pushes the Eagles front-seven up there to the best they’ve had in over five years.
Just a tremendous draft that improved the most important part of the Eagles defense.
Moves STILL to Make
Howie Roseman, speaking to reporters after the draft Saturday, was adamant in saying the Eagles have not finished their offseason. Most fans would agree with his notion.
Issues at safety and with the #2 corner still remain. With guys like Joe Haden and Xavier Rhodes still available, the team has the ability to get veteran players to match with a young front seven. It’s a combo that is eerily similar to the Eagles in 2017. The Eagles were not a complete team after the draft in their Super Bowl season either. The Jordan Matthews-Ronald Darby trade in camp ended up helping the Eagles solidify their secondary.
Whether it’s Haden or Rhodes, or a different plan entirely, the 2022 Eagles should be as complete a team the franchise will have for opening day since the Super Bowl team.
How about that Eagle fans!
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire