The Eagles were fodder for the defending champion Buccaneers on Super Wild Card Weekend, but they have a big chance to make sweeping upgrades in the 2022 offseason. Thanks to a pair of blockbuster trades prior to the 2021 season, one involving a swap of first-round draft picks with the Dolphins and another that sent quarterback Carson Wentz to the Colts, Philadelphia owns three first-rounders -- all of them now officially in the top 20 -- ahead of the 2022 draft.
But what, exactly, should the Eagles do with their trio of top picks? Here's how we'd handle them:
1. Make a decision at QB, and act accordingly
Jalen Hurts has a lot going for him. The 23-year-old is mobile and unfazed, and he showed improvement throughout his first year as a starter. None of that means the Eagles should commit to him in 2022, let alone beyond, without first exploring alternatives. At the end of the day, a top-tier passer gives you the best chance to win in today's NFL. Hurts is not that. He may be, in time, with more help. But the Eagles, with all their resources, owe it to their fans and themselves to consider all options.
If it's not a veteran (the price tags for Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and even lower-tier starters like Derek Carr may not be feasible), the Eagles should -- and almost certainly will -- give every top 2022 prospect a hard look. Generally, the consensus candidates to go in the first round are as follows: Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh), Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Malik Willis (Liberty), Sam Howell (North Carolina) and Carson Strong (Nevada). If the Eagles believe any of those guys are worth a top-20 pick, they should absolutely pull the trigger. And if one requires a trade up, they should certainly consider it.
Cost shouldn't be much of a concern. Let's say Pickett is the apple of their eye, for example, but the Eagles are confident he won't make it past the Broncos (No. 9). Their three first-rounders (Nos. 15, 16, 19) together equate to the value of at least the No. 2 overall pick, according to Drafttek, so moving inside the top 10 should be easy. If you combine just their latter two first-rounders (Nos. 16 and 19), you have the equivalent of at least the No. 4 pick. In other words, a trade up -- to which general manager Howie Roseman is no stranger -- is very much on the table. And that's not even considering the possibility a QB will just fall to them.
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2. Address defense and WR
That may sound broad, but it's because the Eagles could legitimately afford investments at each of the following spots in the first round, roughly in this order: pass rusher, wide receiver, safety, linebacker and cornerback. A move up for a QB could obviously impact their ability to hit more than one of these needs before Day 2 of the draft, but there are scenarios where Philly uses a first-rounder on a QB and still has multiple firsts to plug other holes. Either way, these spots need help.
Josh Sweat was decent as a starting edge rusher in 2021, but the Eagles lacked front-four pressure way too often, and with Derek Barnett due to depart via free agency, they could use a bona fide player there. Receiver has drawn plenty of Roseman's early-draft attention already, but the fact is the Eagles still sorely need a second starter opposite smooth rookie DeVonta Smith. Jalen Reagor has played his way out of a role, and guys like Quez Watkins and Greg Ward are better suited as complements.
At safety, veteran starters Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are both aging free agents. Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox give the Eagles a pair of playmaking starters at corner, but the latter mans the slot, and serviceable outside man Steven Nelson is set to hit the market, with only unproven rookie Zech McPhearson offering long-term upside. Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards are just OK at linebacker, meanwhile, and the team has lacked a true force at the position since its Super Bowl run in 2017.