NFL Draft 2022: An NFL GM suggests a draft scenario that could greatly benefit the Eagles

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NFL GM suggests draft scenario that could greatly benefit Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Our NBC colleague and Eagle Eye podcast guest Peter King had a fascinating tidbit in this week’s Football Morning in America column about a fascinating possible 1st-round scenario that could have a huge impact on what the Eagles do in the draft.

King spoke to 12 NFL coaches, personnel executives and general managers about how they thought the top of the first round might go, and one of them – an unnamed GM – suggested that the first 10 picks could very well be all offensive, defensive linemen and defensive backs.

Which is fascinating because it’s never happened.

RELATED: Howie Roseman's best and worst picks by round

Since the inception of the draft in 1936, there’s never been a first round with no offensive skill players – quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, receivers – going at some point within the top 10 picks. In 1985, 1991, 1997 and 2013, only one of the first 10 picks was an offensive skill player.

“I could see seven tackles and edge players going in the top 10,” he told King. “Then the two corners. It’s strange. With the league so slanted to the wide receiver and quarterback, to think it’s possible none get picked high. I could see it, though. Every one of the quarterbacks has question marks, and there are so many good receivers that teams think they can wait to take one.”

Under this scenario, 10 players out of this group - defensive linemen Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jordan Davis, Jermaine Johnson and Devonte Wyatt and offensive linemen Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, Charles Cross, Tyler Lindenbaum, corners Sauce Gardner, Derek Stingley and Trent Duffie and safety Kyle Hamilton – would presumably all come off the board before the first receiver or quarterback.

The GM’s thinking is that the depth of the wide receiver group and serious questions about even the most highly regarded QBs in this draft combined with some elite offensive and defensive line talent without a lot of depth will cause the WRs and QBs to slide.

If teams know their best chance to land an elite offensive lineman or edge rusher is early but they can find good value at other positions later, it could cause an unprecedented early run on linemen on both sides of the ball.

The only time since 1998 no quarterback went in the top 10 was 2013. There’s been at least one WR among the top 10 picks 16 of the last 23 years.

The Eagles are sitting in the No. 15 and No. 18 spots in the first round, and if there’s a run on offensive linemen and edge rushers early, it would push receiving talent down to the point where they would likely not only have their pick of several elite receivers, it could even make sense for them to trade out of No. 15, move down in the round and still land a receiver they covet. As well as more picks.

And Howie loves more picks.

Now, the Eagles are always going to be a threat to draft offensive and defensive linemen early. Of their last 28 first-round picks going back to 1991, 20 have been offensive or defensive linemen (with five WRs, two QBs and one CB).

But if the value is already gone by the time their picks roll around, it’s hard to imagine Howie Roseman reaching for one.

The Eagles already have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines with the entire group returning, and they’ve already signed a highly regarded edge rusher in free agency. So that gives Roseman the flexibility to focus on other areas, especially if he can work his trading magic and turn picks into more picks – and still land a receiver and a corner who can contribute from Day 1.

Now, let’s be honest. This scenario is unlikely.

MORE: Ranking the biggest 1st-round busts in Eagles history

There’s a reason there’s never been a top-10 without an offensive skill player. And teams are so desperate for quarterbacks there’s always a few who are over-drafted.

But even if seven, eight or nine of the top 10 are linemen, it will still play into the Eagles’ hands.

Because the more players the Eagles value as potentially draftable at No. 15 or 18 who begin to slide, the more options Roseman has to move around and still get what he wants.

However it plays out, it’s going to be fascinating. And however it plays out, Roseman will be on the phone, desperately trying to take advantage of it.