Final Eagles draft predictions from top NFL Draft analyst originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
On the eve of the 2022 NFL Draft, there are still many questions about how the first round will unfold.
Even NFL Network’s top draft analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, can’t possibly know how things will turn out. But Jeremiah was a guest on the latest Takeoff with John Clark and was asked for his gut instinct.
What will the Eagles do?
“I’m going to stay that they probably don’t stick in those same two spots,” Jeremiah said. “That’s just kind of the way they do business so it’s going to be kind of hard to predict.”
The Eagles will enter the draft with picks No. 15 and No. 18 after a March trade with the Saints to pick up a 2023 first-rounder. When the Eagles had three first-round picks, Jeremiah (a former scout in the NFL and with the Eagles) said there was no way they’d draft three players in the first round. He was right about that.
But now we have to figure out what the Eagles are going to do with these remaining two first-rounders. It seems very possible that GM Howie Roseman will be ready to make some draft day trades. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Roseman trades up from 15 to target a specific player and then trades down from 18 in an attempt to recoup some value and get a player in a range where he feels more comfortable. Of course, in that scenario, he’ll need to find teams willing to make trades on both sides of the spectrum.
For what it’s worth, Jeremiah thinks it’s more likely the Eagles will trade up than trade down.
One of the more popular names linked to the Eagles has been Alabama receiver Jameson Williams, who is coming off a tremendous 2021 season but is also rehabbing an ACL injury. But staying at 15 probably won’t get that done.
Jeremiah said Williams will be “long gone” by the time the Eagles are on the clock at 15. So … would a trade up for Williams be in play?
“I would not rule it out,” Jeremiah said. “I think you have certain guys you target and they have the ability with all these picks to be aggressive. So if you feel like that’s the guy and there’s a big drop-off after that. They are not hesitant to be aggressive and go get a guy.
“I look at them looking up for potentially Jameson Williams, I look at them if maybe (Drake) London or Garrett Wilson were to drop a little bit, I could see them moving up for any of those receivers. I could also see them, if Kayvon Thibodeaux starts to slide a little bit, be aggressive and go get him.”
If the Eagles stay at No. 15, the most likely position, according to Jeremiah, would be cornerback. That would likely mean Trent McDuffie from Washington, who figures to be a decent pick in that range. Jeremiah also mentioned Ohio State WR Chris Olave and Purdue edge George Karlaftis.
Another name Jeremiah mentioned? It’s a stretch to think he’d get to 15 and the Eagles have never — ever — taken a safety in the first round. But if Kyle Hamilton somehow made it to the Eagles, Jeremiah wouldn’t think twice.
“I’d run the card up,” Jeremiah said. “The safety from Notre Dame would fill a need for them and he’s a premier player.”
To recap: Not even the top draft analyst in the country knows exactly what the Eagles are going to do on Thursday night. That’s what will make it so much fun.