The Eagles had an eventful first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
First, they traded up from 15 to 13 to draft Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, one of the centerpieces of the best defense in the country.
Then, they shipped their 18th pick to Tennessee in a deal to acquire veteran receiver A.J. Brown.
It was eventful, but how successful was the evening. Here’s a look at how they graded out according to several publications. Note: The first grade is an overall first-round grade, while the others are just grades of the No. 13 pick:
“It feels like GM Howie Roseman won the first round before it even started, after making a number of big-time trades dating back to last offseason's Carson Wentz deal with Indianapolis. Of course, to truly benefit, Roseman had to make Round 1 count. I projected the Eagles moving up for Davis in previous mock drafts because they desperately needed to improve their run defense. His ability to eat up double-teams will make veteran Fletcher Cox and last year's third-round pick, Milton Williams, even better up front. The athleticism Davis showed at the NFL Scouting Combine was outstanding, and when given a gap to shoot in Georgia's defense, he made his way into the backfield. As long as Davis stays in shape, he will prove to be more than a one-trick pony, affecting passing lanes with his pure size.
“Roseman turned Philly's second first-round pick (No. 18) into former Titans receiver A.J. Brown, whom they immediately gave a four-year extension worth $100 million with $57 million guaranteed. That's better than picking any receiver in this draft, so you have to hand it to the Eagles' staff for making great moves on Day 1.”
“The Eagles didn’t give up too much in later draft capital to move up a little and ensure the Ravens didn’t snipe them for Davis. Philadelphia was in the market for defensive line reinforcements with Howie Roseman and needed a powerful run stopper to complement Fletcher Cox, who’s also 31. Davis had a late boost up the board as he got more attention for his sometimes explosive interior pass rush.”
“Davis is a force in the middle who I absolutely saw as a potential Ravens target. This made the jump necessary in my opinion, and they get an anchor at DT. Davis’ athleticism as a 300+ pound tackle is ridiculous, and while he’s not a penetrating pass rusher, he can shove a lineman back into a QB’s pocket and make life difficult.”
“The Vikings-Lions trade was shocking. The Eagles-Texans trade is not. This is the least-surprising move of the 2022 NFL Draft. It was rumored that the Ravens loved Jordan Davis, but the Eagles felt the same way about him. The Eagles envision the 350-pound athletic marvel to be a good replacement for Fletcher Cox, so he's not going to just play two downs. His weight is a concern, but the upside is as big as Davis.”
“The Eagles started to fly a year ago when the club switched to more of a run-heavy approach. With the addition of the massive Davis, opponents won't be able to take that same strategy against Philadelphia. While perhaps not a classic pass rusher, Davis gets a strong push inside that should help the Eagles' speedy rushers on the outside. Teams will struggle moving him off the line of scrimmage.”
“The Eagles flipped a trio of day-three picks (nos. 124, 162, and 166) to the Texans to move up from 15 to get in front of the Ravens here, grabbing one of the most unique and exciting players in this entire draft. Davis is a mountain of a man with extraordinary athleticism and a run-stuffing, early-down enforcer. You’d like a bit more in a first-round pick (especially one you trade up to get), but if Philly can cultivate Davis’s untapped pass-rush potential, this could go down as one of the biggest steals of the draft.”
“Jordan Davis is unlike anything anyone has ever seen along the defensive interior. He's simultaneously an immovable object and an elite athlete.
“Sure, defensive tackle Aaron Donald left mouths agape when he demolished his predraft workout and then went on to have a Hall of Fame career. While Donald's unbelievable effort at the 2014 scouting combine was somewhat expected, he weighed 285 pounds. What Davis accomplished this year at 341 pounds was nothing short of staggering.”
“The Eagles traded up with the Texans to take Davis, the mammoth interior defender who absolutely blew up the scouting combine. Some will debit Davis as more of a two-down run defender, but he’s got more than enough moves to be a third-down disruptor. There’s a need to replace Fletcher Cox sooner than later, and while Davis is a bit of a different player (think Shaun Rogers or Vita Vea instead), this is a very solid pick with a bit of projection.
“This is a heck of a pick for the Eagles. They needed to get a power player inside with age becoming a problem there. Davis will be a three-down player in the NFL, even if some don't think he will be. The Eagles will be much better against the run — that's for sure.”
“It’s not surprising to see Howie Roseman use a first-round pick on the defensive line. Physically imposing and stout at the point of the attack, Davis immediately provides a shot in the arm to Philadelphia’s run defense. His impact is not always felt in the box score, but he opens up opportunities for those around him to make plays. While he may primarily be utilized as a two-down run stuffer to begin his career, his elite mobility (4.78 40-yard dash at 341 pounds) should enable him to develop into a more disruptive player on passing downs.”
“Leapfrogging the Ravens (a team heavily connected with Davis), the Eagles miss out on a receiver but land this draft’s unicorn. He’s a dancing bear with rare athleticism for a man this massive. Can he rush the passer? Play more than 30-35 snaps per game? We don’t know. But the Eagles haven’t had a player like this in recent memory. This is a boom-or-bust pick, but we feel good about it. This can dramatically change the way teams attack the Eagles.”
“Concerns were brought up throughout the pre-draft process about Davis’ ability to play a high volume of snaps, but there are so many things to love about what the 341-pounder can bring to Philadelphia’s defense. He can single-handedly change the way a defense operates against the run, allowing the Eagles to devote more resources to coverage and creating more third-and-long situations. And Davis’ rare athleticism at his size points to the idea that he’s not just an early-down run stuffer. He represents the future at the position with Fletcher Cox trending in the wrong direction the past few years for Philadelphia.”
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