Eagles' Top 2022 NFL Draft Targets After Trade with Saints

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2022

Eagles' Top 2022 NFL Draft Targets After Trade with Saints

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    The Philadelphia Eagles may have just traded a first-round pick, but they remain one of the most interesting teams in the 2022 NFL draft.

    A little under a month ahead of the draft, which gets underway April 28, general manager Howie Roseman pulled off a trade that appears to be a big win for the Eagles. The New Orleans Saints received the 16th, 19th and 194th selections while the Eagles got the 18th, 101st and 237th picks in this year's draft along with the Saints' first-round pick in 2023 and second-round pick in 2024.

    In essence, the Eagles went from having three first-round picks in this year's draft to having multiple firsts in back-to-back drafts and an additional second in 2024.

    It's a great trade for Philadelphia because it can still give Jalen Hurts additional support in 2022 while preparing for a future in which they could be looking for a quarterback again in 2023.

    For now, the Eagles will look to improve the roster as best they can with the 15th and 18th picks. Here's a look at the top prospects who could fit the bill.

WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

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    The Eagles have used first-round draft picks on wide receivers in back-to-back drafts. Yet it would be appropriate for them to use a third this time around.

    Jalen Reagor's time to make an impact is about up. After two seasons of little production as a starter, it would be fair to expect him to beat out competition if he wants to continue to have a role in the offense.

    With DeVonta Smith's success as a rookie, the Eagles are still in need of a No. 2 option. Adding Chris Olave would give Hurts two elite young receivers to work with.

    Olave's greatest trait is his ability to win in his routes and create separation. He thrived at Ohio State as a deep threat early in his career and evolved into a complete receiver.

    In his scouting report B/R's Nate Tice praised Olave for his ability to both run great routes and improvise when necessary: "His understanding of space is on display when he's asked to run more advanced routes and also during scramble drills, where he has to find unoccupied areas of the field."

    That's a great complement to Hurts' skill set, as he is able to buy time in the pocket and extend plays.

LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

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    Roseman has not traditionally valued off-ball linebackers in the draft, but this year might be an exception. T.J. Edwards has proved to be a capable starter and Kyzir White is a good free-agent acquisition, but the Eagles could afford to get more agile in the second level of the defense.

    It doesn't get much better in that regard than Nakobe Dean (scouting report).

    Dean has not tested during the pre-draft process, but there's no reason to overthink that. Georgia's defense was great on a historic level, and Dean still pops on tape thanks to his sideline-to-sideline speed and quickness.

    On a defense loaded with stars, he made his presence felt with 72 tackles, six sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions.

    He can still grow in his ability to play zone coverage, but he has the athleticism and versatility you want in an every-down linebacker who doesn't have to come off the field in sub-packages.

DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

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    While fellow defensive lineman Jordan Davis (scouting report) has gotten a lot of publicity for his size in the pre-draft process, teams shouldn't forget about Devonte Wyatt (scouting report).

    Wyatt has a more typical build for a defensive tackle at 6'2 7/8" and 304 pounds. Much like Davis, his combine testing was through the roof.

    Highlighted by a lightning-quick 1.6-second 10-yard split on his 40-yard dash, Wyatt scored a 9.56 relative athletic score out of 10, per Kent Lee Platte.

    That matches up with what Wyatt shows on film. He has an explosive first step that hints at a devastating pass-rusher down the line.

    In that regard, Philadelphia is a great match for him. The Eagles have two great pass-rushing defensive tackles in Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox. The problem is Cox is 31, Hargrave is 29 and there is little depth behind them.

    Wyatt is a perfect fit to contribute as their third interior lineman early before taking over for Cox.