Why have the Eagles had so much success in recent NFL Drafts?

Jason Kelce eagles 49ers vs eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Roseman, the once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year, returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The 2023 NFL Draft is just weeks away and it’s another chance for the Philadelphia Eagles to add to their already impressive array of talented standouts.

With three picks in the first two rounds and a top 10 selection, Philadelphia has a chance to nab a top talent that could potentially start right away should they decide to stay in their designated spots.

The good news for the Eagles is that the team has had tremendous success recently in finding top talent in the first couple of rounds which has led to their consistent success in the past two seasons. The reasons for why are clear as well.

Keep it Simple, Stupid

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

The Office joke that sparked a movement, “Keep it Simple, Stupid” has brought the Philadelphia Eagles into being one of the most dominant teams in football. Keeping the draft board simple means the top players from the top schools should get priority. Jalen Hurts, Jordan Davis, Landon Dickerson, DeVonta Smith, and several other top players have come from the SEC or Big Ten, the two top conferences in college football today.

Taking the best players from NFL-ready programs means the Eagles have had a boatload of young, and game-ready talent that has played exceptionally well to start their careers. Alabama, Georgia and other top programs have already shown the Eagles why this has worked.

It’s taken a few years to perfect the system, but finding the balance between measurables, college production, and readiness has helped Philadelphia be the class of its conference.

Stay away from the PAC-12

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 24: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard (77) waits for the snap during the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 24, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Any time the Eagles have made a draft selection for a PAC-12 player, disastrous results usually follow. Andre Dillard, Davion Taylor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Sidney Jones, and Nelson Agholor are all PAC-12 players that the team has selected within the first three rounds of the NFL Draft – none of them received a second contract with the team.

The PAC-12 has certainly had its strong history of NFL players but recent results have shown this conference does not breed top talented players in the positions the Eagles need. That means players like Christian Gonzalez might not be the right selection for the Eagles.

It’s a lesson that the Eagles have learned very well in recent years and it shows. Staying away from PAC-12 talents is usually a good thing for any top team looking to compete for a title.

Best Available Player over Need

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) makes a catch against Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) and safety Bobby McCain (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

An argument could be made that a majority of the top selections the Eagles have made in recent years have worked out in large part because the team focused on getting the best available player as opposed to one who fit a need.

Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens, Landon Dickerson, and even Jalen Hurts are all examples of this. When a team takes the best available player in the draft, it allows them to remain flexible with how they rebuild their roster and develop their team in a healthy way to compete and win consistently over the years.

When the team has a need and that need just so happens to align with the best player available, wonderful things can happen. That’s where an example like DeVonta Smith comes in.

Philadelphia has used the three above pillars as part of its draft strategy and it should come as no surprise that the team has succeeded far beyond most other franchises because of this. As long as they continue down that path, they should have even more success in 2023.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum