4 things we learned about the Eagles during the 2022 NFL Draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JANUARY 10: Georgia Bulldogs ILB Nakobe Dean (17) lines up on defense during the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

The NFL Draft is in the rear-view mirror but before we turn our attention to offseason workouts, it’s time to take a deep breath and recap the weekend that was for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The next generation of Eagles football has its identity

It started two years ago and it’s now been perfected. Howie Roseman’s NFL Prospect checklist has been finalized. Athletic monsters who have high-character traits and preferably a link to the team in some way. Jordan Davis was once recruited by the Eagles DL coach, Jalen Hurts has enough pals on the team to run Call of Duty Warzone, Jason Kelce handpicked his replacement, and the Eagles going into day 3 had the highest average RAS of any team up to that point.

Whether you agree with the picks or not, it’s hard to disagree with the motive behind each one. Philadelphia wants to get younger, faster, and bring in players with giant upsides. They’ve done exactly that in a draft class that at least on paper is one of the strongest we’ve seen in a very long time.

No more excuses

DeVonta Smith
AJ Brown
Zach Pascal
Quez Watkins
Dallas Goedert
A Dominant offensive line
The League’s best rushing offense in 2021

If Jalen Hurts does not improve in 2022, it may well signal the end. Everyone wants Hurts to be the guy and at this point, the Eagles physically couldn’t do any more to put him in a better situation. This is as good as it could ever be for the Oklahoma product, who is going into his second year under Nick Sirianni. But if he doesn’t take a significant step forward, there’s no room for excuses.

Quarterback debates are always really weird to examine. If a QB has few offensive weapons the counter is ‘Yeah but he has nobody to throw to/no O-line. If they have all that it becomes ‘well he shouldn’t need all that help’.

I hope Jalen Hurts can silence critics and ball out next year, but the fact is he has too…because this is the most complete offense the Eagles have had in years.

Confidence in the coaching staff

The Eagles made a very noteworthy decision in not pursuing a cornerback or safety. This could be because of the belief in guys like Marcus Epps or Tay Gowan, and it could also be because of how packed this class was, meaning guys like Mario Goodrich went undrafted. However, I think it’s a little bit of both.

The Eagles clearly have a firm belief in their coaching and training staff. If they didn’t, Nakobe Dean wouldn’t have been drafted in round 3. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t have left Tay Gowan and Zech McPhearson as the only viable CB2 candidates before adding a pair of impressive UDFA’s.

Long-term development is the name of the game, but the Eagles can’t win if they don’t back their coaches to help those players reach their potential. The trend of getting raw guys who are freak athletes is also continuing, as aforementioned, only further showcasing that Howie is all-in on a slightly longer-term vision that allows for the coaching staff to work its magic.

Building the smart way

The Eagles added more linemen with their early picks and predictably, fans were annoyed about it. But having a strong offensive and defensive line is what allows the team to take swings at guys like A.J Brown.

Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave have contracts expiring in 2023. The signing of Jordan Davis gives them a debatably generational talent for five years to grow alongside Milton Williams. Oh, and Hasson Reddick exists too.

Cam Jurgens will develop under Jeff Stoutland and Jason Kelce for a year before potentially taking his throne.

Could you imagine if the Eagles team have a clunky changing of the baton at center, or what they’d do without that bulk up-front on defense?

If you continue to yolo assets into skill position players, it’s only going to end one way. By building a solid foundation and developing the talent that fills those perimeter spots, the Eagles give themselves a chance of not only building a sustainable future, but one that is primed to be filled with success.

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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