NFL Draft 2022: Eagles’ trade-up and trade-down targets

·8 min read

Finding Eagles’ trade-up and trade-down targets originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Howie Roseman already made a major trade with the Saints earlier this month to pick up an additional first-round pick in 2023.

But that doesn’t mean he’s done.

After that April 4 trade, the Eagles still have two first-round picks next week (Nos. 15 and 18) as well as eight picks in the next six rounds. Roseman is never one to sit on his hands so it’s very possible more trades are coming and potentially more in the first round.

Here’s a look at some trade-up and trade-down options for next Thursday night:

Trade up

With the Eagles sitting at No. 15 in the first round, they might have an opportunity to slide up a few spots to land a marquee player while also keeping their other first-round pick. Just last year, the Eagles moved up from 12 to 10 (after they had already traded back from 6 before the draft) to land DeVonta Smith. To move up two spots last year, the Eagles had to give up a third-round pick (No. 84). So that gives you an idea of the cost of business to move a couple spots in that range of the first round. Keep in mind, the Eagles have two third-round picks this year as well as one fourth and three fifths.

Here are some targets who should interest the Eagles in a trade-up scenario:

Derek Stingley, CB, LSU: We can go ahead and include Sauce Gardner in this too, although it seems very likely the CB from Cincinnati will be well out of the Eagles’ range. But if Stingley, the talented corner from LSU, isn’t the first CB off the board, he could potentially slip into the Eagles’ striking distance. The Eagles desperately need a top-flight cornerback to pair with Darius Slay; Stingley would not only be that but he could eventually be his replacement as CB1. Stingley (6-0, 190) has played in just 10 games over the last two years because of injuries but was a dynamic player as a true freshman in 2019. He showed off his athleticism recently at his pro day. There’s some risk but the reward could be huge.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon: It wasn’t that long ago that Thibodeaux was considered to be the No. 1 pick in this draft. So what happened? Well, Aidan Hutchinson overtook him as the top edge player in this class and then some questions — right or wrong — began to arise about Thibodeaux’s commitment to football and his passion for maximizing his potential. So the Eagles would have to feel comfortable about taking him, but if they are, then landing a guy who was once thought to be the No. 1 pick at a position of need with a modest trade up is pretty attractive.

Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State: A couple months ago, it might have been a stretch for the Eagles to take Johnson with their worst first-round pick. Now, their best pick probably won’t get it done. Johnson, a transfer from Georgia who excelled at Florida State in 2021, went to the Senior Bowl in Mobile and really helped his stock. He’s been rising on draft boards ever since. Johnson (6-4, 254) is a true edge player who had 12 sacks for the Seminoles in 2021 and was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia: Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t draft a run-stuffing defensive tackle high in the draft and you definitely shouldn’t trade up to get him. But Davis is a true unicorn. He’s 6-6, 341 pounds and is an absolute freak athlete. He had a defined and somewhat limited role as a centerpiece on the best defense in the country but it’s easy to project him as much more in the NFL. His athletic profile makes you think he can be a dangerous interior pass rusher as well as a menace as a run stuffer.

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame: Hamilton is one of the top overall prospects in this draft class. And while the Eagles have never taken a safety in the first round (never!) Hamilton is the type of player who could really be a difference-maker on the back end the next 5+ years. Hamilton’s 40 time at the combine was a disappointing 4.59, which could be a big reason for his potential slide. But the 6-4, 220-pound All-American has plenty of range on tape to make teams overlook it.

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama: The Eagles can sit at 15 and probably land a pretty good receiver. But if they need to move up a few spots to land Williams, it might be worth it. This is a top 10 guy who might not go in the top 10 because of his torn ACL in the National Championship Game. But as long as he’s on the right track in his rehab, Williams should be a star at the next level just like he was at Alabama in 2021 when he caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards (19.9) and 15 touchdowns.

Trade down

There’s a chance the Eagles could move up and down next Thursday. Those players above would be reasons to move up. The reasons to move down are pretty simple too. The Eagles might have a chance to add 2022 or 2023 draft picks. Sure, they have two first-rounders next season but they’re not the only team with multiple first-round picks in 2023. If they could potentially add another one by trading completely out of the first … it might make some sense.

But even if the Eagles can’t add a future first-rounder, they could pick up additional picks to slide down later into the first or into the early second and still land some really good players. Here are a few who come to mind:

Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson: I’d be completely fine with using the No. 18 pick on Booth, but it seems like Trent McDuffie is ahead of him for most people. Great. That gives you a chance to land a better corner (my opinion) later. And Booth is also coming off a core muscle surgery so it’s possible some teams will let him slide deeper into the first because of that. The Eagles can pounce.

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: While many consider him to be the best linebacker in this draft class, Lloyd didn’t have the type of showing at the combine that many expected. If he had, maybe he’d be a trade-up candidate. Yes, the Eagles haven’t used a first-round pick on an off-ball linebacker since 1979 but if they use the second of their first-rounders after a trade-down on Lloyd, that makes it more palatable. And, no, Lloyd isn’t Micah Parsons but if he offers something as a pass rusher, the Eagles could talk themselves into that trait being a reason to draft him too.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: There will be receivers available when the Eagles pick at 15 and 18 and it’s not like Burks would be a major stretch there. But they could perhaps pick up some extra value and move back if he’s their target. At 6-2, 225 pounds, Burks is an intriguing prospect because of how he was used at Arkansas. He played in the slot, out wide and in the backfield, but primarily in the slot. Nick Sirianni values YAC and maybe that will draw him to Burks.

Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia: Sometimes overshadowed by Davis, Wyatt is a very solid prospect and a more traditional fit in the Eagles defense as a 3-technique. Still not a big sack guy (just 2 1/2 in 2021) Wyatt still has impressive straight line speed, running a 4.77 and projects as an every-down defensive tackle at the next level.

Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State: Hey, maybe Watson will end up being available when the Eagles are on the clock at No. 51 but he’s been getting first-round buzz for a reason. Watson (6-4, 208) had an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl earlier this offseason and looked good at the combine too, running a 4.36. He has impressive size/speed and the ability to make tough, contested catches. There are several other receivers in this area too, like Jahan Dotson and George Pickens.

David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan: There’s a chance the Eagles want an edge rusher and feel like the value won’t line up for them at 15 or 18. If that happens, perhaps they can trade down and get a guy who likely would have been a top 15 pick. Ojabo is now coming off a torn Achilles and was already a raw prospect to begin with. So this wouldn’t be a safe pick. But if the Eagles can pick up some extra value before making it, perhaps they would pull the trigger. Go ahead and throw another edge, George Karlaftis, into this trade-down category as well.

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