The Philadelphia Eagles currently hold three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and all of them are between the 15th and 20th overall picks. With so much early draft capital this year, the Eagles will need to be smart about how they use it.
Last year was a great season for Philadelphia. In their first year under new head coach Nick Sirianni, the Eagles—who many expected to still be rebuilding—finished 9-8 and earned a playoff berth.
On top of their on-field success, they locked up some serious draft capital for 2022 with a trade that netted them another first-round pick from the Dolphins ahead of the 2021 draft. And thanks to now-Commander Carson Wentz playing more than 75 percent of snaps in 2021, the pick the Colts had traded to the Eagles for the quarterback stayed a first-rounder.
It just so happened to turn out that the Dolphins and Colts’ first-round picks in 2022 ended up being back-to-back. That means the Eagles currently hold the 15th and 16th overall picks in addition to their own first-round pick at 19.
Holding two consecutive picks like that gives Philadelphia a lot of power and options.
The simplest solution, of course, is holding onto all three picks. Though the Eagles were a playoff team in 2021, there are still several big roster holes to fill. Their quick exit from the postseason at the hands of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers made that clear.
One of the easiest ways to fill those holes is by drafting good players and with three first-round picks, the Eagles are in a great position to take several swings at doing just that. So why over-complicate things?
If Philadelphia really likes three first-rounders who will be available in that range, they should stick with their picks and take three first-rounders. They’ve filled some holes in free agency by bringing in Haason Reddick and Zach Pascal, and they can continue to slot in more immediate or future starters with three players drafted in the first round. Some of the top cornerbacks in this class could still be on the board by 15, and the Eagles could also invest in the trenches with long-term replacements for Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce with the other two picks.
Another option with so much early capital is trading it. If Philadelphia doesn’t love the value of players on the board at 16 or 19, or if they do love a player that may go higher, they should use their power in draft capital to their advantage.
There are several teams that might look to trade for one of those later picks. Any teams that may have found a temporary solution at quarterback, for instance, may want to trade up from the back end of the first round or later to lock in their future signal-caller. Look at the Saints, Colts or Falcons, for example. Even teams that aren’t looking for a quarterback specifically may want to trade up to make sure they get their guy. With three top-20 picks, Philadelphia is flexible enough to trade back from one of their picks and still get two of their top guys.
That flexibility goes both ways. The Eagles certainly would not lose any sleep if they used one of their three first-rounders and maybe one of their seven other, later-round picks to move up and lock in someone they really like. Even trading up, they’d still have a couple of picks to work with later in the first round.
Using one of their picks to move up might be the best-case scenario for Philadelphia. They make certain that they get someone they really like earlier in the draft and still have picks within that 15-20 range to address needs elsewhere.
Considering the fact that the Eagles have back-to-back picks, trading one of them for either more draft capital in later rounds or a higher pick makes a lot of sense. As such, don’t expect Philadelphia to have kept all three picks by the time Day 1 ends.
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