What a time it was in the days leading up to, and even during, the draft for the Philadelphia Eagles! Originally, the Eagles had the #6 overall pick and, come draft night, they held the #12 pick. Both picks, however, were traded away: the #6 to Miami to move down to #12 and the #12 to move up to #10, where they ended up eventually picking from. Though it was a minor move, I believe it had huge implications. Again, there was a lot of movement here, with multiple trades of picks, which is usually not seen in the NFL.
With all of that in mind, I believe that they executed their draft very well. At the same time, they were able to gain some draft capital as well. How they were able to convince the Dallas Cowboys to trade with them is beyond me! For the price that they paid to get the #10 overall pick, it was simply a steal, knowing what we know now. To say the least, the Eagles have become a lot better, and have shown that they believe in Jalen Hurts to be their QB of the future… Well, at least for now, I guess.
The trades did not stop there, though. The Eagles, once again, traded with Carolina in the third round in order to draft DT Milton Williams (who had an impressive pro day). Look for him to be a rotational piece across the defensive line and, yes, he does have that type of ability. Let’s not forget that they were able to get a fourth round pick from Miami, where they decided to add CB help (Zech McPhearson).
As a reminder here is a look at their 2021 Draft Class, which can be found in our previous article.
- 1, Pick 10 (from Dallas) – WR- DeVonta Smith, Alabama
- 2, Pick 37 – C- Landon Dickerson, Alabama
- 3, Pick 73 (from Carolina) – DT- Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech
- 4, Pick 123 (from Miami) – CB- Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech
- 5, Pick 150 – RB- Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis
- 6, Pick 189 (from Denver via Carolina) – DT- Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
- 6, Pick 191 – DE- Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
- 6, Pick 224 – S- JaCoby Stevens, LSU
- 7, Pick 234 – OLB- Patrick Johnson, Tulane
Let’s go back to, perhaps, their biggest move of the draft. I am still shocked by the fact that they were able to steal the #10 pick for peanuts from a division rival, nonetheless! As if moving up weren’t bad enough, let me introduce you to the player they selected: Heisman Trophy winner WR DeVonta Smith. On top of that, there have been reports that Smith was the player who the Eagles originally intended to draft at pick #6 anyways! He has the potential to torch division rival corners for years, IF the Eagles play their cards right.
On a minor side note, the Eagles were able to sign the Washington Football Team’s all-time sack leader, Ryan Kerrigan. They have only added to their strength in the defensive line with this move.
The time is now for this team to gel and hope that all the right pieces are in place for next season. They certainly are looking towards the future and are trying to rebuild with a younger core. Some major moves have certainly been: 1. Moving on from Carson Wentz to go with a younger QB in Jalen Hurts, 2. Looking to move on to a younger TE in Dallas Goedert, as opposed to vet Zach Ertz, 3. Having some young WRs in the last two drafts who are all looking to make an impact, and 4. Making a run on young D-line talent in this year’s draft, which could be the precursor to the Eagles potentially moving on from their aging, but productive, vets. Additionally, some of the minor moves have been: 1. Having a fairly young RB core (with a 26 year old being the oldest RB in that room at the moment), 2. Bringing in some young blood on the O-line through draft picks (5); signings (7); and waiver claims (1), 3. Having a revamp on their LB unit (a 27 year old is oldest LB in the room), 4. Mostly opting for younger players in the secondary recently (12 players are aged 26 or lower as opposed to 5 aged 27 or higher), and 5. Getting younger on their special teams unit as well, as the current kicker, punter, and long snapper are all taking over older, more experienced guys from before.
While they could have been looking to get back to their glory days of being perennial postseason contenders, and certainly looking to add another SB title to their trophy shelf, I think they believe that it was time to hit the reset button. Like I said in the Giants article before them, I definitely think the Eagles will improve, but the question is how much? We will find out in due time. They are trying to take the slow and steady approach on their way back, and are certainly looking to make the right steps to get there.
Edited by: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.