10 Takeaways from Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Draft Class
The Eagles 2022 Draft wrapped on Saturday with five selections in total.
- Round 1, Pick 13 (from Cleveland via Houston): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
- Round 2, Pick 51: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
- Round 3, Pick 83: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
- Round 6, Pick 181 (from Detroit): Kyron Johnson, LB, Kansas
- Round 6, Pick 198 (from Pittsburgh via Jacksonville): Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU
In going back to Thursday’s opening round, it’s time to examine what was learned from a Eagles draft, where they traded for the 13th overall pick and traded the 18th pick away to add wide receiver A.J. Brown.
Here are my takeaways from the Eagles 2022 Draft:
1. Center Of The Future? The Eagles took Jason Kelce in the sixth-round of the 2011 draft. 11 years later, the team took his successor. The Eagles think Cam Jurgens (6-3, 290) can be the teams next center when Kelce decides to retire.
Despite having some shorter arms, Jurgens brings nice athleticism to the center position, as he was a tight end in high school, and came to Nebraska as a tight end.
We know the Eagles have a very good offensive line, and Jurgens might have a shot to step in during year one at right guard. He could step into a competition with Isaac Seumalo, Jack Driscoll and Nate Herbig at the postion.
"We have a lot of good opportunities for guys," explained Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. Isaac has played a lot of football. We'll see how everything shakes out. Isaac is coming off an injury, but Jack Driscoll played meaningful snaps, Nate played meaningful snaps. Going back to Isaac, we know how good of a football player he is; [C] Cam [Jurgens] being able to be in the mix there."
"We think that he has good position flexibility, and kind of similar to Landon Dickerson last year of being able to play center and guard. As you saw last year, we drafted Landon. He had the C by his name, but obviously played really good for us at guard."
"We feel the same way with [C] Cam [Jurgens], that he has that position flexibility. Obviously, he has the C by his name first, but yeah, we're hopeful, and we know that he can do both."
Jurgens might be in the mix for guard this season, but you can expect Jurgens to take over at center when Kelce retires.
2. Eagles Win Thursday Night: Honestly, the biggest win of the draft for the Eagles wasn't even a draft pick, and took place mid-way through Round 1, when they landed former Titans wide receiver, A.J. Brown, in a trade with Tennessee.
Adding Brown to DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Dallas Goedert to the passing game, gives the Eagles offense a different look in 2022.
"With A.J., he just is – body quickness, strength and catches everything, and he's done it at a very high level for the last three years," Sirianni stated.
"Couldn't be more happy there. That was definitely something that really is going to help our offense. They are not going to be able to just key in on Dallas [Goedert] or key in on DeVonta [Smith] or key in on Quez [Watkins]. Now there's another guy in the mix that they are going to have to take away."
Brown is a major addition to the Eagles offense, and adding him even has some pegging the Eagles as the NFC East favorite this year.
3. No Cornerback, no Safety: Easily the biggest surprise was that the Eagles didn't take a cornerback or a safety. The assumption is the Eagles have young players at both positions they really like this year: Mac McCain III, Josiah Scott, Kary Vincent, Jr. and Tay Gowan at corner.
"They are young, talented guys that will have the first time going through our off-season program," said Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman. We look at them almost as part of this draft class in terms of adding guys who, for the first time, go through our off-season and get a chance to be with our coaches."
Over at safety, the team brings back Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere and Jared Mayden.
"We probably have a higher vision of that room than maybe is perceived, Roseman said about the safety position."
The team did add three players after the draft that are interesting, Alabama corner Josh Jobe, Clemson corner Mario Goodrich and Middle Tennessee State safety Reed Blankenship.
Jobe and Goodrich were smart additions and should have a chance to make the team and maybe even get playing time because of the systems they played in and how well they understand split coverage concepts, which will be a big part of Johnathan Gannon's defense.
4. Quarterback Investment: The Eagles love finding and developing quarterbacks and they signed maybe the most intriguing one from this years draft class - Nevada's Carson Strong.
While the team is clearly committed to Jalen Hurts, getting him plenty of weapons to succeed this season, but if he slips, they have an talent player to develop this season with Strong.
Some thought Strong was the best QB in this class, with a strong arm and tons of talent. The one issue has been his injured right knee, which brought some red flag to teams thinking about investing in him during the draft.
He completed 70% of his passes for 4,186 yards with 36 touchdowns and just eight interceptions for the Wolfpack in 2021.
5. The future of Jalen Reagor: Those wondering about the future of Jalen Reagor, this draft class should do little to impact that decision. Yes, the Eagles traded for a No. 1 wide receiver, but there was little interest in Reagor in a trade.
Reagor scrubbed all of his Eagles pictures on his social media pages, a 2022 sign that he wants to be moved. However, Eagles GM Howie Roseman indicated that Reagor will remain with the team.
"Jalen Reagor is a Philadelphia Eagle and he's going to be here," Roseman stated. "We want to have good players in that room and good players on this team. He's worked tremendously hard to get in shape and come into this off-season program, and now he has an opportunity. We don't anticipate anything changing."
If Reagor can find the former that made him a first-round pick in 2020, he can add to an offense that now has plenty of weapons. Maybe his role can be similar to Nelson Agholar in 2020 when they moved him in to the slot and helped him make a bigger contribution to the offense.
Reagor and Quez Watkins should batter for snaps in the slot, with Watkins seeming higher on the teams depth chart.
6. Gannon gets his guy: This draft class gives defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon more tools to fit his defense.
The addition of Jordan Davis allows Gannon to run his defense more of the way he envisioned. Gannon no long should have to load the box and should be able to use his secondary in different ways in coverage with Davis up front taking up multiple blockers.
They should also be much better against the run and have some athletic linebackers behind Davis now to make plays with Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean both very athletic players.
"Jonathan Gannon does so many things, so many virtual things with three down, four down and you can have alignments where you can have Fletch and Jordan and Hargrave in three down with edge players," Roseman explained. And you still have Milton [Williams] and Marlon Tuipulotu from last year, hopefully I'm not forgetting anyone, and Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett."
The addition of Davis should allow the Eagles to use more odd fronts with Davis, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Haason Reddick, Milton Williams and Derek Barnett being freed up to get after the quarterback.
7. Red Zone Targets: The Eagles love tight end Dallas Goedert, but has a lot of question marks behind him. In Round 6, they added tight end Grant Calcaterra, who is a athletic, pass-catching tight end, who might stick and give the Eagles a nice red zone target.
"He is an outstanding ‘F’ tight end," explained Vice President of Player Personnel Andy Weidl. "Really good in the passing game in terms of route running, catching the football, separating, getting down the field. He has really good play speed. Really smart football player. Just reads coverages, can cover for us in zone and man, and catches the football clean. So, we are excited to have him as well."
Calcaterra (6'4/241) is a big athletic tight end, with a 4.62 40-yard time, who caught 38 passes for 465 yards and four touchdowns for SMU.
8. SEC wins: Howie Roseman went diving in the SEC pool again. After taking DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson from Alabama last year, they went over to Georgia this year in the draft.
Davis and Dean are two of the best players on the best defense in the SEC and Roseman continued to swing for players at big schools. Often criticized for trying to outsmart the room, the Eagles went with some well known, productive talent that hopefully translate to the NFL game.
9. Completion at linebacker: The Eagles remade the linebacker room since the off-season started, they signed Haason Reddick and Kyzir White, then drafted Nakobe Dean and Kyron Johnson, giving the team a much different look in the linebacker room.
The Eagles have added much more talent to the linebacker position and should be a very interesting competition for playing time, with T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor returning.
This should no longer be a weak spot for the Eagles and with Jordan Davis up front, these guys could turn into a strength of the team.
10. How Much Rookie Playing Time? There is a good possibility that you see a lot of the five rookie draft picks and even some of the undrafted guys could see the field in 2022.
I would think Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean see the most time, with Cam Jurgens in the mix for playing time at right guard. Kyron Johnson should be a part of the Eagles special teams and Grant Calcaterra in two-tight end sets.
Undrafted corners Josh Jobe and Marcus Goodrich could be in the mix for playing time and Noah Elliss (6’4/346) is a big run-stopping tackle, who could be a part of the teams short yardage and goaline packages.