The Depth Departure
Eagles Receive: 2022 First-Round Pick (32nd overall), 2022 Second-Round Pick (34th overall)
Detroit Lions Receive: 2022 First-Round Pick (15th overall), 2023 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth- Round Pick
The Detroit Lions are in a full rebuild. However, they ended their season with some momentum, winning half of their final six contests.
The concern for the Lions is their long-term quarterback. Jared Goff did nothing to galvanize his standing as the starter moving forward, and if Liberty prospect Malik Willis is still on the board, Detroit could try to move up.
The Eagles should be there to acquire more assets. The Eagles would be able to add more solid depth at less premium positions with the 32nd and 34th picks.
Look for them to target safety and receiver depth here. Wide receiver Christian Watson and safety Lewis Cine both provide fantastic value here if available, and still allow the Eagles to grab guard Daniel Faalele or linebacker Chad Muma with their 51st selection.
Go For The Gold
Eagles Receive: 2022 First-Round Pick (6th overall)
Panthers receive: First-Round Pick (16th overall), Second-Round Pick (51st overall), Third-Round Pick 2024, Fifth-Round Pick 2025
This deal may seem counterintuitive but stay with me.
There is no consensus order for the top of the NFL Draft. With many top-five worthy players, but no clear number ones, the Eagles should be holding onto their chips, ready to push them all in.
Tackle prospect Ikem Ekwonu seems to be gaining momentum to be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft. Furthermore, Charles Cross seems to be the best pass protector available, and will likely draw interest from both New York teams picking fourth and fifth. With Aidan Hutchinson and Kyle Hamilton also figuring into the top-five picks, the Eagles may have a chance at a premium lineman. If that is the case, huge tackle Evan Neal may be available at six.
If this is the case, the Eagles could strike gold. They can continue to have a huge, dominant offensive line by rolling Neal out at right guard as Lane Johnson approaches the twilight of his career. The mammoth tackle will bully interior defenders with ease and eventually transition to the right tackle position.
While this is a huge price to pay, Neal is a huge get.
The Big Get Bigger
Eagles Receive: Third-Round Pick (67th overall)
Giants Receive: Third-Round Pick (83rd overall), Nate Herbig, Sixth-Round Pick (2023)
Darian Kinnard is plain nasty. He is a huge 6’5″, 345 lbs. and oozes the physicality that is so synonymous with the Philadelphia Eagles’ newfound identity. Their rushing attack can blossom with the replacement of beloved yet injury-riddled retiree Brandon Brooks with Kinnard at right guard.
A tackle in college, Kinnard has all the makings of a terrific interior lineman in the NFL. His physical run blocking and surprising burst off the line make him an intriguing prospect. He figures to not last too long into the third round, hence the need for the Eagles to move up.
Conversely, watching mere seconds of Kinnard’s pass protection is problematic. Well, perhaps that is polite. He will need to completely reconstruct his pass sets and work on his hand usage. Kinnard’s footwork and balance seem to be completely broken when retreating against edge rushers.
Being able to play behind incumbent starter Isaac Seumalo will offer some time for development. Philly is a fantastic place for him to build confidence, as when he eventually starts, he will excel in their run-heavy offense. He will also be privy to the veteran savvy and mentorship of one of the league’s best interior linemen, Jason Kelce.
The Giants receive a developmental prospect in Nate Herbig. The big man struggled in the passing game but was really solid against the run and has some tools to assist in development. Furthermore, the additional sixth-round pick may help to sure up the running back position if they chose to move on from Saquon Barkley in the offseason of 2023.
Fletcher Out, Jordan In
Eagles Receive: Second-Round Pick (57th overall), Seventh-Round Pick (247th overall)
Bills Receive: Fletcher Cox, DT
No Eagles fan wants to read this.
Fletcher Cox is the heart and soul of a physical defensive line.
Last season, Cox missed the Pro-Bowl for the first time since 2015. He still had 23 pressures and 3.5 sacks but did not have the same game-wrecking presence as previous years. He will look to bounce back from a frustrating season learning a new scheme.
Alas, Cox is a potential trade casualty of a team trying to inject youth into their roster. To make room for more snaps from third-round pick Milton Williams, as well as the continued development of 2021 standout Javon Hargrave, the Eagles shift from their defensive cornerstone into a new era. They instead should choose to use the 16th pick on defensive line prospect Jordan Davis from Georgia, to keep the area a strength.
On the other hand, the Bills can pair Cox with developing youngster Ed Oliver. The two of them would form a frightening interior front that teams would have difficulty containing. Parting with their late second-round pick is worth it for the potential havoc that these two can cause.
Cox is a leader every team should desire. He was the integral catalyst of the Eagles’ midseason defensive turnaround. Cox personified the identity transformation through his stingy tenacity and mental fortitude.