The 2022 NFL Draft is just hours away. With two first-round picks, the Philadelphia Eagles will have a chance to find the support they lacked last season.
Coverage will begin at 8 PM as the Eagles prepare for the No. 15 and No. 18 overall picks. Both selections were acquired from other teams through a trade — the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints. After maneuvering across the board, fans are interested to see how Howie Roseman will play his cards.
Iggles writers provide their predictions for the Eagles first-round selections.
EAGLES FIRST ROUND PICK PREDICTIONS
My predictions are based off of two things:
- The Eagles have ten total pick and the draft class isn’t as good as last year (or next year, for that matter).
- Though the Eagles are looking for a “young” team, Philadelphia’s salary cap is higher compared to last season’s, therefore they have more money to spend on better players outside of the draft.
That being said, I think Roseman pulls off another trade, trading up from No. 15. With that, Philadelphia chooses a wide receiver for the third year in a row. My prediction is Jameson Williams out of Alabama. Williams is coming off an ACL injury; however, CBSSports.com has him ranked at No. 11.
Williams has a slender frame similar to Eagles’ 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith. His speed allows him to separate from defenders early on, making him a good throwing alternative for Jalen Hurts. Last season, he finished with a career-high 79 catches for 1,572 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Williams ranked seventh with 19.9 yards per reception.
I think their No. 18 overall pick stays as is, and Roseman gives the team a defender, selecting cornerback Trent McDuffie. McDuffie is from Washington, ranking as No. 22 overall in his draft class. He finished his collegiate career with 94 total tackles (71 solo), three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one sack.
Philadelphia’s cornerback position is currently thin with the recent loss of Steven Nelson. The Eagles have Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, and Zech McPhearson.
Like Alicia, I also think the Eagles will be planning on trading up. Reports suggest Howie Roseman has been busy, with many like CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards saying Philadelphia is among the likeliest teams to trap up within the top-10. Jameson Williams seems to be the one the team is eying, and it makes sense. He’s an ideal player to pair with DeVonta Smith, and the team loves speedy receivers. I think that’s the move, though Georgia DT Jordan Davis could also be a potential target.
If the team DOESN’T trade up, I still believe they take a wide receiver. Chris Olave seems to be a fallback option. Olave put up 936 yards on 63 receptions and 13 touchdowns in 2021, while he posted 4.39 40 yard dash (along with a 32 vertical) at the combine.
Olave’s speed and ability to create separation are huge pluses, though NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein notes an “average hand strength” could be a problem (especially since the Eagles aren’t quite known for developing solid hands). Still, Olave could be an appetizing option should the team not want to part with additional assets to acquire Williams, but still want a potential second receiving option for Hurts next season.
With their pick at 18, I think they go with Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. While Jason Kelce is coming back for this season, it appears this is going to be his last. Philadelphia has shown a preference of stocking up the OL in the past couple years with Landon Dickerson and Andre Dillard being prominent picks in the first two rounds.
Linderbaum, 22, has been frequently compared to Kelce, which is encouraging. He stands at an intimidating 6’2″ with 31 1/8″ arms and 10″ hands. Below 300 lbs (he was registered at 296) might be a concern, though Zierlein notes he’s explosive in his dip, gets the snap off quickly, and has strong core strength and leverage.
With Dickerson settling in at left guard, having someone to not only learn under Kelce, but ready to step in following his retirement, might be smart and help to keep the stability of that unit alive and well. It’s a pick that would be annoying for those wanting instant impact players, but it might be better outcome than seeing a huge downgrade in a post-Kelce world.
In addition to both first-round draft picks, Philadelphia owns eight others, including No. 83, 101, 124, 154,162, 166, and 237. Round one begins tonight at 8 PM, followed by rounds two and three on Friday at 7 PM. The 2022 NFL Draft will conclude with rounds four through seven on Saturday, beginning at noon.