Grading Every Pick Of The Eagles 2022 Draft
Regardless of your opinion on the Eagles haul from this weekend, everyone can agree that this draft will be huge for the future of the Eagles. They only made 5 picks but next year is a massive season for the team in terms of evaluating Jalen Hurts.
The thing is that I think the reaction from the fanbase has been almost all positive, which is interesting considering some of the positions they drafted in the first few rounds. Ether way, it's time for grades!
Side note, the trade for A.J. Brown will not factor into any of these grades besides from the fact that they filled the need at WR.
Round 1, Pick 13: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
I think the only debate with this pick has absolutely nothing with the player. Davis should be a flat out stud in this league and that isn't based soley off projection. At the worst, Davis will be an elite edge rusher who has just average pass rushing ability. If he can be better at getting to the quarterback with more opportunities in the NFL, he could go down as one of the best defensive players in Eagles history. The only issue I have with this is that they took Davis over a few other players, specifically Kyle Hamilton. I know the Eagles have an underrated need at defensive tackle because Javon Hargrave is a free agent after this season and Fletcher Cox is almost certainly in his last year on the team, but take a look at this safety room right now. Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K'Von Wallace and Jared Mayden. None of those guys have been anything above average in an Eagles uniform. When you have a dynamic player like Hamilton sitting right there, I just don't see the logic on going with Davis instead. Honestly I probably would've taken guys like Trent McDuffie, Jermaine Johnson and Devin Lloyd all at 13 if I was the one making the pick. However, it's pretty hard to be completely angry with Davis.
Round 2, Pick 51: C Cameron Jurgens, Nebraska
This is another situation where I don't hate the player at all, it's what position he plays and where they drafted him. Here's the logic: there's a very high chance that Jason Kelce retires after this season so the Eagles liked the value of getting his replacement now. But was it really necessary taking him at 51 when you have so many bigger needs? What happened to the Kelce replacement being in the building already? I get the concept of keeping the tandem of Mailata/Dickerson at C-LG but have we forgotten about Issac Seumalo? Seumalo was seen for many years as Kelce's eventual successor and has taken snaps at center at different parts of his career. Even if they don't think the same thing, I could think of at least 15 players that I would've taken over Jurgens but there's really no point in naming them all. But safety, cornerback, edge rusher, linebacker and running back all felt like bigger needs then taking a center/guard this early. I feel bad going on about this since Jurgens as a player and a competitor seems great but that can't excuse the pick. Even after Jason Kelce talked up this kid a lot on TV after the pick was announced I'm going to have to be pretty harsh with my grade.
Round 3, Pick 83: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
I already wrote a whole article on the site about this pick so I'll nudge you to check that out and I'll keep this short. The biggest thing is just how nice it is for the Eagles to finally have a solid group of linebackers. After years of Nate Gerry and others, the tandem of Reddick-Dean-White-Edwards should bring some juice to Jonathan Gannon's defense. If all the medicals end up working out, this is a slam dunk pick by Philadelphia.
Round 6, Pick 181: LB Kyron Johnson, Kansas
I also wrote an article about Johnson and how he fits into this defense but I'll give a quick recap here. Although Johnson is listed as a linebacker, he'll most likely be playing edge rusher unless he undergoes some major growth in training camp. He rushed the passer at Kansas and I see no reason for him to transition to inside linebacker unless it is absolutely necessary. He'll likely be competing for the backup SAM linebacker role behind Haason Reddick with Patrick Johnson and JaCoby Stevens. You can't expect that much from a 6th round pick but Johnson needs to work on his power rushing and run defense if he wants any chance of beating out the guys that are already on the roster. Overall, this was where he was projected to be picked and I see him more as a project that may take multiple years to develop. But the fact that he really only has a chance as the backup SAM in this defense puts down the grade a bit.
Round 6, Pick 198: TE Grant Calcaterra, SMU
With the Eagles last pick in the draft they decided to address an underrated need. Dallas Goedert is the clear TE1 but there aren't many great options behind him if the Eagles want to continue running 2 tight end sets. Last year it was mostly Jack Stoll, who is exclusively a blocker and may never really give you anything in the passing game. Richard Rodgers is also back but you really never know what you are going to get out of him. Everyone else is unproven: Tyree Jackson, Noah Togiai and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. So I actually like them taking the upside on Calcaterra, who has had a really up and down career. He actually retired from football after 3 years at Oklahoma but then came back to the game a year later, playing at SMU. Although he didn't put up eye popping stats, his explosiveness and skill after the catch caught the eye of scouts. Calcaterra may not have the most ideal size for a tight end but I'm a huge fan of the Eagles taking the upside on someone they could be able to develop over a couple of years. Maybe Stoll can exchange tips with him on blocking.
If you just look at the player haul the Eagles got instead of where they were selected and who was on the board, it's definitely one of Roseman's best drafts. The Eagles got two difference makers on defense, a potential replacement for an all-time great and two developmental guys who have some potential.
However, I can't ignore the glaring need in the secondary. The Eagles have Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox locked in but everyone else is really unproven. There are familiar faces at safety but I don't have immense confidence that any of them is going to break out next season. I've been a fan of Zech McPhearson since he was drafted but the idea of him starting Year 2 as CB2 is scary to me.
Even so, the Eagles will get a relatively high grade from me. Davis and Dean can be huge playmakers on this defense for years to come, even if it doesn't come right away. Not addressing the secondary at all is the reason that I cannot bump this grade up to an A and honestly, the Dean pick prevents it from moving down significantly.
Final Grade: B+