Day 1 of the 2022 NFL draft is in the books and the Eagles made 2 trades and 1 selection. Let’s talk about the players and what to expect from day 2 of the draft.
For live reactions to the Eagles pick and to the entire 1st round you can check out our live stream on YouTube, and be sure to join us tonight on the day 2 live stream for more draft talk! After sleeping on it, I’m back today to break down the Eagles 1st round selection and what it means for the rest of the draft. I will also talk about who I would have selected and what to expect on day two of the draft.
Round 1, Pick 13 – iDL Jordan Davis
The Eagles gave up picks 124, 162, and 166 to leapfrog the Ravens from #15 to #13 overall and select iDL Jordan Davis from Georgia. Davis is an athletic freak, posting a 4.78 40-yard dash and 1.63 10-yard split at 6’6″ 341 pounds. He has a 10.0 Relative Athletic Score, marking him as the most athletic interior defensive lineman that has ever been tested.
His spider chart similarly portrays his elite blend of size and athleticism.
Jordan Davis' spider chart is just ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/FkRtdfV8Mc— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
Davis projects to be a two-down run stuffer early in his career. His college tape doesn’t show much as a pass rusher and he only had 7 sacks in his 37-game collegiate career. With Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave on the roster for 2021, Davis can comfortably be a two-down player, but if he never develops into a 3 own player it would be problematic for the Eagles. The Eagles obviously believe that he can develop into more than that.
Both Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave in the final year of their respective contracts, the Eagles’ need on the interior of the defensive line was much larger than many gave it credit for. Davis is a pick that helps the Eagles immediately in the run game and helps them long-term as it frees the Eagles from being tied to Cox/Hargrave in 2023 and beyond.
The 2021 season saw a stark shift in how defenses were countering the explosive offenses that are becoming more prevalent in the modern NFL. That shift was to take players out of the box and invite running against a lightbox. Without being plus one in the box, defenses can drop an extra defensive back into coverage to boost their pass defense but they can not account for running backs (or quarterbacks) in the running game. Jordan Davis solves this problem for the Eagles. His ability to control 2 gaps at the line of scrimmage allows a defense to deploy a lightbox to boost the pass defense without compromising their rushing defense. That will be the primary role of Jordan Davis in his rookie year as he refines the pass-rushing part of his game for the future.
Jordan Davis is a dream pick for the Eagles. He singlehandedly makes the entire Gannon defensive structure work. He is a math-changer, a scale-tipper, a force multiplier in the worlds of two deep safeties and light boxes. Home run.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) April 29, 2022
The Eagles had a major problem in pass defense last season. There are two ways to approach solving that problem. Option 1 is to put better players in your secondary so that you can cover receivers with fewer defensive backs. Option 2 is to create a situation that allows you to put more players into coverage. The selection of Jordan Davis is the Eagles choosing option 2.
Do you know what’s equally as important as a QB pressure? A lineman taking responsibility for two gaps in the run fit so the safety can stay deep and read the play from a better angle to be in the right spot. Jordan Davis was the most productive player in the NCAA last year.— Honest NFL (@TheHonestNFL) April 29, 2022
Are there legitimate concerns about his ability to develop into a three-down player? Yes. But a player with the absurd athleticism that Davis has is well worth the selection at pick #13.
I’m giving the Eagles an A- for the selection of Jordan Davis. Davis was the #7 overall player on my board and I consider it a great value pick at 13, even when taking into account the trade-up. However, S Kyle Hamilton was my #1 overall player in the draft and he was available so I can’t give the pick an A+ because Hamilton was still an option.
Who I Would Have Picked
S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
Simply put, Kyle Hamilton is the best defensive prospect that I have ever evaluated, he was available, and he fit a huge need for the Eagles. No one would revolutionize the Eagles’ defense from day 1 like Hamilton would have. He can play single high, split field safety, in the box, in the slot, blitz off the edge, and he can do just about anything else you ask him to.
The Eagles then proceeded to trade pick #18 and a 3rd rounder (pick 101, their later 3rd round pick) to the Titans for WR A.J. Brown, whom they promptly signed to a 4-year, $100 million extension.
Brown is a dynamic 24-year-old receiver with 2 1,000 yard receiving season in his first 3 years. As the WR market inflated throughout the offseason, the Eagles didn’t get desperate despite the multiple attempts to add players at the position. Instead, they stayed patient and waited for an opportunity to pay below market value for an elite weapon.
The Eagles entered the offseason with one of the worst receiving rooms in the NFL. Now they have arguably one of the top groups and they were able to achieve it while still hanging onto 2 day 2 picks and both first-rounders in the 2023 NFL Draft. A.J. Brown is elite over the middle of the field, an area where Jalen Hurts notably struggled in 2021. The worst possible outcome for the 2022 season is the Eagles arriving at the end of it and having mixed feelings about Jalen Hurts.
Brown is elite over the middle of the and Jalen Hurts is one of the more middle of the field averse QBs in the NFL, and when he does throw over the middle it is bad. His completion % on passes of 15+ yards over the middle was 22% below league average. https://t.co/xZ4REaut4b— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
The move for Brown gives them the last tool that they need to complete their evaluation of his future as the franchise QB. If Jalen Hurts develops into the franchise QB then they have 2 1st round picks to spend in next year’s draft to build around him. If he doesn’t then they can make a move to get their guy and can bring him into an offensive infrastructure that features one of the best offensive lines in the league, a star WR duo in DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown, and a very talented TE in Dallas Goedert.
I’m giving the Eagles an A+ for their trade for A.J. Brown. The Eagles got a lot better last night and it is hard to remember a time that I have walked out of the 1st round feeling so bullish about what the Eagles accomplished.
What to Expect on Day 2
The Eagles still have major needs on the defensive side of the football, particularly at LB, S, and CB. The Eagles spent 6 draft selections on Jordan Davis and A.J. Brown and only have 4 picks remaining, so trading back could be in the cards for round 2. There is also a chance that they will take a shot at another developmental offensive lineman, a position that they love to invest capital into. The Eagles could also look to move WR Jalen Reagor and/or OT Andre Dillard for draft capital, with the likely price for both being day 3 picks.
Here are my top players on the board for the Eagles at #51:
CB Andrew Booth
Booth is a physical, aggressive corner who excels in off coverage. He led the ACC for most snaps without surrendering a 20+ yard completion this season. There are medical concerns with Booth, who was considered a round 1 talent, that may cause him to continue to slide.
My #1 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is CB Andrew Booth Jr.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with the Minnesota #Vikings at #34
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/senlK8yS7y
QB Malik Willis
Willis has elite athletic traits and would be the 2nd best runner at the QB position in the NFL behind only Lamar Jackson. His decision-making is erratic and his accuracy isn’t the best, but if he makes it to #51 he could be a realistic option for the Eagles to hedge their bet on Jalen Hurts with a very similar albeit more athletically gifted QB.
My #2 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is QB Malik Willis— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with New York #Giants at pick #36
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/AZkRMLr2Hr
S Jaquan Brisker
Brisker has good size and is a very good tackler. He brings some versatility to the table and would instantly be the best safety on the Eagles roster if he was their selection.
My #3 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is S Jaquan Brisker.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with Tampa Bay #Bucs
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/A0fWuEZOfI
EDGE David Ojabo
Prior to the injury at his pro day, Ojabo was considered a top 15 pick and was my EDGE2 in this class. He is a raw player with elite athleticism who needs to develop. The Eagles could afford to bring him along slowly with their pass-rushing rotation.
My #4 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is EDGE David Ojabo.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with Atlanta #Falcons at #43.
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/SKnZ8Aqloi
LB Nakobe Dean
Dean is an undersized LB who is good in coverage and a tremendous blitzer. There are concerns about his abilities in the run game but the Eagles just need a linebacker.
My #5 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is LB Nakobe Dean.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with Washington #Commanders at #47.
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/ULug4M8Ybr
WR George Pickens
The Eagles are unlikely to select a WR after acquiring Brown, but Pickens would be a great selection. He likely would have been in the conversation for WR1 if not for an ACL injury in 2020 that forced him to miss the majority of the 2021 season.
My #6 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is WR George Pickens.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with the Chicago #Bears at #37.
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/8niujzlQ9p
S Jalen Pitre
Pitre did a little bit of everything for Baylor. From safety to linebacker to slot corner, he showcased a ton of versatility and a high football IQ. Like Brisker, Pitre would instantly be the best safety on the Eagles roster.
My #8 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is S Jalen Pitre.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with the New York #Jets at #38.
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/LJva6XQCjO
RB Breece Hall
Hall is a very talented running back who displays good vision and patience. He would be a great fit with the Eagles’ zone rushing attack. He is also a dynamic receiver out of the backfield and a plus in pass protection. Miles Sanders is in a contract year, so it would make sense to select his eventual replacement.
My #12 Prospect Available in the 2nd Round of the #NFL Draft is RB Breece Hall.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 29, 2022
He would be a great fit with the Buffalo #Bills at #57.
Check out the full video of my top 12:https://t.co/ZWOCyMReon pic.twitter.com/mYA4UosKTQ
EDGE Boye Mafe
Mafe turned in impressive performances at the Senior Bowl and Cobine. He didn’t have the best season in 2021, but he is the type of pass rusher the Eagles could afford to take a gamble on.
CB Kyler Gordon
Kyler Gordon was Trent McDuffie’s running mate at Washington. He is a very good tackler and saw a lot of targets with teams avoiding McDuffie in 2021. Gordon was up to the challenge, earning All Pac-12 First Team honors. He surrendered 0 TDs on 354 coverage snaps in 2021.
EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
Ebiketie had a dominant season for Penn State with 9.5 sacks and 18 TFL in 2021. He rushes out of both a 2 and 3-point stance and shows great bend off of the edge. He struggles as a run defender, but has very good pass rush moves and could contribute early in his NFL career.
LB Christian Harris
Harris is an undersized LB who has the athleticism to go sideline to sideline in the run game. He is a great blitzer who collected 5.5 sacks in 2021. He isn’t the best in coverage but he has the athleticism to progress as his play recognition increases.
iOL Dylan Parham
Parham played 2 seasons at LG, 1 at RT, and 1 at RG for Memphis. He is undersized, so he likely projects to C in the NFL despite never taking a snap there. He has exceptional athleticism and a very high football IQ. When I watch Parham I see a lot of Jason Kelce which is convenient since Jason Kelce is nearing retirement. Parham would be a great player to develop behind Kelce for a season before taking over at C.
CB Tariq Woolen
Woolen is a former WR who transitioned to CB during his sophomore season. He has rare size, length, and speed and showcases natural coverage skills. He is best in zone coverage but will likely need to develop in whatever scheme he is drafted into.
EDGE Nik Bonitto
Bonitto recorded 16 sacks and 26.5 TFL over his last 2 seasons at Oklahoma and was named a 3rd team All-American. He primarily rushes from a two-point stance and has great explosiveness in his first step and bend around the edge. He was also was comfortable spot dropping into zone coverage. He is more of an OLB pass rusher than a defensive end, but the Eagles have already gone after that archetype in Genard Avery and Haason Reddick so Bonitto could be a nice piece for them.
LB Chad Muma
Muma recorded 142 tackles, 8 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and 3 INT in 2021. He has good speed and is always around the ball making plays. His football IQ is very high and he is pretty good in coverage, although he can struggle to carry running backs upfield in man coverage. He is undersized and struggles in the running game.