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Fly Eagles Fly! That’s what fans have been wanting to say but it’s been a rarity in the city of brotherly love since winning the big one in 2018.
Philadelphia has been trying to rebuild over the years and are now smack dab in the middle of talent purgatory. Jalen Hurts is marginal at best, Jalen Reagor has been a waste of a pick and outside of DeVonta Smith, their drafts have been unimpressive. The roster is starved for young talent and they could possibly grab a treasure trove in 2022. Here is a scenario that could turn the team around sooner rather than later.
Round 1, Pick 15: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
Round 1, Pick 18: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The Eagles have two picks on day one after trading away and swapping two of their three in a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Saints.
Philly has to improve on both sides of the ball, so hitting on these two picks is a must. Both Booth and Williams are instant impact players that will give them a jolt of talent.
Booth is a long muscle packed corner with great ball skills in man coverage. He has the size to match bigger receivers and the physicality to be a factor in the run game. He would be a solid partner across from veteran corner Darius Slay.
Jameson Williams is a speedster with size that can’t be taught. He is a larger version on last year’s first rounder DeVonta Smith but he has less route running prowess. What he lacks in route running he more than makes up for in big play ability. He is a streak artist, he has the rare ability to throttle up or down and adjust to deep passes. Having him alongside Smith would give the Eagles a lethal duo for Hurts to throw to.
Round 2, Pick 19: Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA
Round 3, Pick 19: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 37: Bubba Bolden, Safety, Miami
Day 2 will be more of the same philosophy for Philly: “Maximize Talent Value!”
The Eagles can stick to that by focusing on areas of the team that need youth and also fit a niche that the team needs.
One such pick that fits the youth category would be Sean Rhyan out of UCLA. He has a lot of versatility as a guy that can play guard or tackle at the next level. He is an elite pull blocker and shows burst when steering defenders. The Eagles like to get Miles Sanders going and Rhyan would provide the ability to create holes for Sanders to use his speed and elusiveness more effectively.
Harris and Bolden are more niche players but could develop into starters with time.
Harris is an athletic run stopper with the skills to be adequate as a nickel linebacker on third downs. His vision is solid and he has the instincts to sniff out plays before they can develop. Bolden is a solid box safety who plays bigger than he actually is. He needs to improve on his tackling but he can provide a bigger body to cover tight ends on passing downs.
This could be a win for Philadelphia as these players make immediate impacts and could become mainstays on the roster for the foreseeable future.
Round 4, Pick 19: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
Round 5, Pick 11: Trae Barry, TE, Boston College
Round 5, Pick 19: Haskell Garrett, DL, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 23: Smoke Monday, Safety, Auburn
Round 7, Pick 16: Luke Wattenberg, OL, Washington
The last day of the draft for the Eagles should be focused around finding what I like to call “Future Foundation” guys. Those are players that will develop into integral parts of the team’s makeup over time but will provide depth for right now.
Monday, Garrett and Wattenberg fit that perfectly.
Monday is a rangy safety with good coverage ability but will need to get better with trusting his eyes. Garrett is a stout run defender who has above average athleticism for an interior defensive lineman. Wattenberg is a center than can kick out to guard if needed. He is a good candidate to take over for Jason Kelce once he retires.
Chenal and Barry can be contributors early but will need some time before they can be starters. Chenal is a special guy: he is one of those true “football players” that just pops on film with his instincts. He projects to be a pass rusher at the next level but he can play wherever you put him – he has a lot of T.J. Watt in his game. Barry is a monster of a man at the tight end position. He stands 6’6” and has all the athleticism to match it. He will definitely have the chance to fill that second tight end spot and possibly he a starter.
The Eagles have a chance to be back at the top of the league in a few year and this kind of draft would bolster those chances.