Underrated Prospects Eagles Must Prioritize in 2022 NFL Draft

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 4, 2022

Underrated Prospects Eagles Must Prioritize in 2022 NFL Draft

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles own 10 selections in the 2022 NFL draft, so they are going to add a bunch of young talent to their roster in the near future. And they will be busy during the first round on April 28, as they own the Nos. 15, 16 and 19 overall picks.

    But there will be opportunities for Philadelphia to add effective players on April 29 and 30 as well. The Eagles own two picks on Day 2 of the draft and five more on Day 3. So there could be some sleeper prospects who end up getting drafted by the team and then fill key roles in the future.

    In order to have a successful draft, teams must make smart selections in the later rounds too. That's what the Eagles will be trying to do after they add three players on the first night.

    Here's a look at some underrated prospects Philadelphia should target over the final two days of the draft.

Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Ahmad Gardner is one of the most talented players in this year's draft class, and he will likely be selected early in the opening round. But he isn't the only Cincinnati cornerback who could go on to have success in the NFL, with Coby Bryant another former Bearcat to keep an eye on.

    Bryant played 53 games over the past five seasons at Cincinnati, recording nine interceptions over his career. He had a strong 2021 campaign for the Bearcats, as he had 44 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a touchdown in 14 games while helping them reach the College Football Playoff for the first time.

    The Eagles need more playmaking ability among the cornerbacks who can play alongside Darius Slay, and Bryant could be a strong addition to that group.

    "Very serious-minded. Good in your meeting room and talented on the back end," an NFC area scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.

    If Philadelphia chooses to address other needs in the early rounds, then Bryant could be a good target later on. He has the potential to outperform his projections and develop into a big-time defensive playmaker.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Will the Eagles use a first-round draft pick on a wide receiver for a third consecutive year? It's possible considering they will be still looking to give quarterback Jalen Hurts some better options to throw the ball to.

    But if Philadelphia waits until the middle rounds to select a receiver, then Romeo Doubs could be a strong addition. Doubs spent four years at Nevada and had more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of his final two seasons. In 11 games in 2021, the 6'2" standout had 80 catches for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns, all career highs.

    Doubs impressed at the Senior Bowl in February, but he didn't participate in the NFL Scouting Combine or Nevada's pro day because of a knee injury. Because of that, the former Wolf Pack wide receiver may be flying under the radar going into the draft.

    However, Doubs has a lot of potential, even if it takes him a little bit of time to realize it. He could be an intriguing young player for the Eagles to add to a receiving corps that is still lacking some depth heading into 2022.

Luke Fortner, OL, Kentucky

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Jason Kelce may be returning to the Eagles in 2022, but the 34-year-old center is likely nearing the end of his career. So Philadelphia may want to start thinking about who will replace him while also adding some depth to the interior of its offensive line.

    That's why it would be smart for the Eagles to draft a guard/center during the middle rounds of this year's draft. And Luke Fortner could be a great fit considering he played multiple positions over his five seasons at Kentucky, including right guard and center.

    "Center prospect with outstanding character, leadership and intelligence to go with position flexibility," Zierlein wrote in a scouting report. "Fortner has a proportional frame with adequate length and room to get bigger."

    While Kelce closes out his career, Fortner could get bigger and stronger while learning from one of the best centers in the NFL. Then Fortner could take over the job at some point in the next few years. Because the Eagles have flexibility with so much draft capital, this could be a great long-term move for the franchise.