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AJ Mast/Associated Press
The Philadelphia Eagles are among the teams that have a heavy stake in the 2022 NFL draft. That makes it all the more imperative that the franchise is successful at maximizing the value of the sizable capital.
After completing a draft-pick trade with the Saints in early April, the Eagles have 10 picks, including two in the first round, a second-rounder and a pair of third-rounders. It’s the sixth-most valuable haul in the draft, per Tankathon.
In short, combined with the 2023 draft where they already have another two first-round picks, it’s a potentially franchise-altering draft.
A lot of things could go well for the team, and there are a lot of good scenarios that could play out. There are also some ways that things could play out that ultimately wouldn’t be ideal.
Let’s take a look at three scenarios that aren’t great for the Birds.
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Matthew Hinton/Associated Press
There may be fans who are frustrated with Jalen Hurts, but it just doesn’t make sense to move on from him in the 2022 draft.
For one, Hurts has shown enough in his first season as the full-time starter to warrant another look in 2022. His running ability helped the Eagles have one of the best rushing attacks in the league last season, and he did enough as a passer to show he can still develop as he led them to the playoffs.
If the Eagles had a clear upgrade over Hurts it would be understandable. But this year’s quarterback class comes with questions. Only one passer received a first-round grade on Bleacher Report’s big board.
The quarterback class is such that one of the top options might wind up falling all the way to the Eagles’ pick at No. 15. They’ll need to resist the urge to pick one even if they like them. It’s more important to build the best roster now, find out what they have in Hurts and draft a quarterback in 2023 if he doesn’t work out.
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Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
There’s nothing wrong with trading up. If a team really likes a player, it’s worth it to part with some draft capital to ensure they get the prospect who can help right away.
But just because the Eagles have an impressive stockpile of picks this year it doesn’t mean they should spend recklessly.
For instance, the Eagles have demonstrated some interest in Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (scouting report). Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reported the team hosted the elite corner for a top 30 visit.
Perhaps that’s just the Eagles doing their due diligence. But if that interest is real, it’s likely going to mean they have to trade up to get their target. If that’s the case, the Eagles have to be wise in what they are willing to give up.
Giving away the opportunity to get two first-rounders in this draft would be a mistake. The ability to get two blue-chip prospects on rookie contracts outweighs the opportunity to take an elite prospect in the top 10.
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Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
In an ideal world, the Eagles will be able to walk out of the draft with a top receiver prospect to pair with DeVonta Smith moving forward or an elite corner to play opposite Darius Slay. Really, coming away with both in the first round would be a great day for general manager Howie Roseman.
Conversely, it would be a bad scenario if the Eagles get on the clock at 15 with dwindling options for either position.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility, either. Many of the top prospects at both positions occupy the top 15 prospects on the B/R big board.
Three cornerbacks (Derek Stingley Jr., Sauce Gardner and Kaiir Elam) and three receivers (Drake London, Chris Olave and Treylon Burks all make the cut.
The worst-case scenario for the Eagles would be to get on the clock at 15 and all six of those are gone. They will then be forced to pick a less-than perfect fit or look elsewhere to stock up in positions of need.