Thursday, May 26, 2022

2022 NFL Draft: Seven Eagles first-round trade possibilities, with Philly owning three Day 1 picks

The 2022 NFL Draft is fast approaching. And perhaps no team deserves more attention ahead of April’s big event than the Eagles. Relatively quiet during the splashiest offseason in recent history, Philly enters the draft with a league-leading three first-round picks. Not only that, but its general manager, Howie Roseman, has been one of the NFL‘s most frequent first-round movers during his time atop the front office. Suffice to say, few experts expect the Birds to sit still on Day 1.

With that in mind, what are some first-round Eagles trades that could be on the horizon? Here’s a look at seven different scenarios:

Blockbuster swing for a QB

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 3 overall), 2022 fourth-rounder (No. 108)
  • Texans get: QB Jalen Hurts, 2022 first-rounder (No. 15), 2022 first-rounder (No. 19)

All signs point to Philly giving the young Hurts another year to prove himself at quarterback, but if ever there were a time for Roseman and Co. to take another big swing under center, it’d be this year, with a trio of top-20 picks to spare. In this scenario, the Eagles steal the entire night’s spotlight (and offset their tame free agency), jumping ahead of the Panthers, Falcons and Seahawks to secure either Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis, assuming the Lions pass on a QB. Hurts, meanwhile, goes back to his hometown Houston to compete with Davis Mills, valued as a late second-rounder. And the Eagles get a stronger arm while retaining one of their 2022 firsts, as well as all of their 2023 picks.

Major splash for a star

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 8)
  • Falcons get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 15), 2022 second-rounder (No. 51), 2022 fifth-rounder (No. 154)

Let’s say the Eagles are, in fact, sold on rolling with Hurts in 2022. That doesn’t mean they won’t use their assets to swing big on a blue-chip talent. Here, the Falcons look to recoup value lost in their botched execution of the Matt Ryan trade, deciding to address QB later. Philly, meanwhile, jumps ahead of the Seahawks (No. 9) and Jets (No. 10), perhaps to land one of the top cornerbacks (Sauce Gardner?), pass rushers (Travon Walker? Kayvon Thibodeaux? Jermaine Johnson?) or wide receivers (Drake London? Garrett Wilson?) on the board.

A top-10 leap

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 9)
  • Seahawks get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 16), 2022 second-rounder (No. 51)

Roseman can sit tight and make three top-20 picks, but he’ll be the first to tell you that top-10 selections are more likely to bring premium talent. In this case, he calls up the Seahawks, who are still looking to collect picks as they rebuild post-Russell Wilson, and leapfrogs the Jets (No. 10) to claim a top receiver, cornerback or perhaps even safety, like Kyle Hamilton.

Dealing with an old friend

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 10)
  • Jets get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 15), 2023 second-rounder

New York may very well be positioned to move back and still find a Day 1 starter out wide, at linebacker or elsewhere, so Roseman dials up former colleague Joe Douglas, the Jets’ GM, to bypass the rival Commanders (No. 11) and secure one of the top remaining defensive talents, such as potential Fletcher Cox successors Jordan Davis or Devonte Wyatt, or linebacker standouts like Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd.

Move back to aid the QB-needy

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 26), 2022 third-rounder (No. 90), 2023 fourth-rounder
  • Titans get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 19)

It’s very possible the Eagles could use their first two picks and then sell their third. Here, the Titans leapfrog the Steelers (No. 20) to claim the top remaining QB prospect (Matt Corral? Desmond Ridder? Sam Howell?), following the ChiefsPatrick Mahomes model of moving up for a long-term plan with a veteran (Ryan Tannehill) in place. Philly, meanwhile, still gets to make a third first-round selection but adds a pair of Day 2 selections.

  • Eagles get: 2022 second-rounder (No. 40), 2022 third-rounder (No. 72), 2023 third-rounder
  • Seahawks get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 19)

What if Seattle decides to trade back into the first round, capitalizing on its Russell Wilson haul to jump ahead of the Steelers (No. 20) and secure a sliding QB prospect? In this case, the Eagles bow out of the first round, having presumably already made two picks of their own, but pick up a pair of Day 2 picks.

Surprise trade back in

  • Eagles get: 2022 first-rounder (No. 26)
  • Titans get: QB Gardner Minshew, 2022 second-rounder (No. 51), 2022 third-rounder (No. 83), 2023 fourth-rounder

Who says Roseman has to stop at three first-rounders? Loaded with draft capital, perhaps he seizes the opportunity to move back in and comfortably leave Day 1 with four first-round picks, addressing all of the top needs as early as possible. Minshew is approximately valued as a fifth-rounder here, giving the Titans some short- and potential long-term Ryan Tannehill insurance.

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