Philadelphia Eagles 2022 NFL Draft Recapby Alex Kielar May 1, 2022 0 comments
The Philadelphia Eagles came into the 2022 NFL Draft with 10 total picks and after trading around, wound up making five. They came away very well at positions of need, including trading the 18th overall pick and the 101st pick to the Tennessee Titans for stud receiver A.J. Brown. In the first round, they traded picks 15, 124, 162, and 166 for pick 13, in which they took beast defensive tackle Jordan Davis.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.
Best Pick: Nakobe Dean (Round 3, Pick 53)
This pick was the steal of the draft, as Dean had a surprising tumble to the third round. There were some concerns with his medicals, despite the All-American linebacker never missing a game in college. The report was that he opted against surgery for a pectoral strain he suffered during training for the draft, while his medical history includes a torn labrum and knee issues. However, Dean stated after Philadelphia drafted him that he expects to be a full participant for minicamps this month. General manager Howie Roseman stated the Eagles’ team doctors did a thorough examination and felt the pec strain had healed.
In regards to his playmaking abilities, Dean was a dominant linebacker for the Georgia defense. Playing all 15 games for the national champions, he finished with 72 total tackles and led the Bulldogs with 10.5 tackles while also recording six sacks. Dean is a versatile linebacker as well, with the abilities to cover, pursue, and blitz at an elite level. The Eagles haven’t had a true do-it-all linebacker in a long time, and they do now. Lining him up behind his Georgia teammate in Davis is going to be scary for opposing offenses.
For more on Dean, check out our scouting report on him.
Worst Pick: Kyron Johnson (Round 6, Pick 181)
This isn’t a bad pick by any means, the Eagles just had that good of a draft overall. It is a little head-scratching that they opted not to draft any secondary players, but they did sign a couple of undrafted free agents in Mario Goodrich and Josh Jobe. There were some solid secondary players on the board at this pick, but Philadelphia went with another linebacker.
Johnson adds some versatility to the Eagles, saying after he was drafted, “I’m willing to play wherever the coaches are willing to put me.” He was a four-year starter at Kansas, where he played safety, nickel, linebacker, and defensive end. During his fifth year in 2021, the Texas native was primarily a defensive end and led the Jayhawks with 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. Johnson was a leader at Kansas, as he was a three-time team captain and provides depth behind Haason Reddick. At worst, Johnson can be a solid special teams player.
Sleeper Pick: Grant Calcaterra (Round 6, Pick 198)
The Eagles traded back with the Jacksonville Jaguars from pick 154 for picks 188 and 198. Philadelphia then traded back up from 188 to 181, which turned into the pick for Johnson. After trading Zach Ertz last season, the Eagles have needed a second tight end to complement Dallas Goedert. Calcaterra was actually out of football after missing most of his junior season due to multiple concussions and opted to retire. But he decided to come back for the 2021 season and transferred to SMU, where he put up solid numbers.
The Oklahoma transfer played with Jalen Hurts in his final season with the Sooners of 2019, so the two are certainly familiar with each other. In 2021, he recorded 38 catches for 465 yards and four touchdowns. Calcaterra will be able to compete for tight end number two behind Goedert, with JJ Arcega-Whiteside – who is moving to tight end – and Jack Stoll. Tyree Jackson is also in the mix but is likely to land on the injured reserve to start the season. Calcaterra is a solid pass blocker along with being a pass-catching tight end. He can also play some slot receiver and full back.
No matter what the Eagles did on day three, this draft class was already an automatic A-plus for Howie Roseman. As I have previously said in other articles and on Twitter, this draft was make-or-break for Roseman. With as much ammunition they came in with, they needed to hit and hit big. Boy did they ever in the first three rounds. Getting two of the stud Georgia defensive players (one as a steal), and trading for a big-time receiver in Brown for practically nothing, was astronomical. Not to mention, they got Jason Kelce‘s eventual replacement in between the Georgia guys, with Cam Jurgens out of Nebraska. Kelce himself wanted to bring Jurgens in to help polish him. The final two picks were flyer picks, which is what the final rounds are for. But they are certainly ones that could hit as well.
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