Are the Philadelphia Eagles going to trade up in the 2022 NFL Draft? The latest buzz ahead of Thursday’s action indicates that the Birds are looking to make a move.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport said the following during an NFL Network appearance on Tuesday:
So, we talk about teams every time this time of year, who wants to move up? Who wants to move down? One of the teams that I would say it most notably making calls about potentially moving up is the Philadelphia Eagles. Which, no surprise, every time this year it seems Howie Roseman is interested in doing a lot of things. Moving up is one, moving back is another. Moving up is a fascinating one because you do wonder if the Eagles move up from 15 — of course, they do have plenty of ammunition, including the two first-round picks — who would they be targeting? Potentially would a corner be someone they would be targeting? Would it be an edge rusher? Would a [Kayvon] Thibodeaux slip? Lot of options here for the Philadelphia Eagles. Obviously we’ll keep our eyes on that. No one loves trades more than Howie Roseman.
A number of things to unpack here.
- Reporters, especially ones like RapSheet who are employed by the league to some extent, obviously aren’t just reporting on a team’s true intentions. They’re often fed information for a reason. One must consider who leaked the Eagles’ interest in moving up and why it’s being put out there.
- The inclusion of “Moving up is one, moving back is another” is really covering all bases here. Though, it’s quite possible the Eagles could do both with a move up from No. 15 and a move down from No. 18. That’s probably their preference.
- Just how far might the Eagles move up? Howie Roseman has a history of jumping up a few picks to get a guy he really wants. See: DeVonta Smith last year, Andre Dillard in 2019, Fletcher Cox in 2012. Speculation about that possibility isn’t incredibly exciting since it would be about the Eagles securing a player they hoped would fall to No. 15, such as a Jameson Williams gold to Jordan Davis.
- Trading up in the top 10, by contrast, is a juicy consideration. It feels like Ahmad Gardner will be long gone by the time he’s even within Philly’s range. But if he falls for some reason? That would be one to watch. Derek Stingley Jr. has some red flags that make it more complicated to target him in a trade up but the Birds might be tantalized by his potential. Trading up for any other corner, such as Trent McDuffie, feels too rich.
- The Eagles notably hosted Thibodeaux on a pre-draft visit. Maybe he does indeed fall. For what it’s worth, NFL insider Mike Garafolo recently said that he thinks Thibs is going to slide a little further than expected. The Eagles would certainly be tempted by an edge rusher.
There’s some more (related) buzz to consider in addition to Rapoport’s report. Check out this tweet from the great Josh Norris of Underdog Dynasty:
Plenty of talk about the Saints and Steelers trading up…
I’d watch out for the Eagles, especially if they have one WR ranked above all others
Two 1sts, a 2nd, Two 3rds
Howie loves a deal
—Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 25, 2022
For those unaware, Norris does have some history of being plugged in to the Eagles. And, really, not just them but the whole league as a whole. Norris had the most accurate first-round mock draft last year.
Speaking of being plugged in, Derrick Gunn always has his pulse on the Eagles’ intentions. Here’s what he had to say about their priorities:
Certainly sounds like the Eagles could really take a first-round wide receiver for the third year in a row. That much would be fine if he’s the right player (see: Jameson Williams). As for edge rusher, Thibodeaux, Jermaine Johnson, and George Karlaftis are the top names to watch in the first round.
Ultimately, the NFL Draft is so fluid that these rumors and reports must be taken with a grain of salt. But sometimes there’s fire to be found where smoke exists. Given the latest reporting, we can’t be surprised if/when we see the Eagles move up on Thursday night. It might just be a matter of how far they go.