With three weeks until the NFL draft, rosters are taking shape, and some clear picks are beginning to show.

With the Bears, Patriots, and Commanders expected to take their future quarterbacks, it will be a long way to go to see who might fall to the Eagles with the 22nd overall pick.

While the Eagles recently ended the conversation about whether they would trade Reddick or Sweat, another hole has opened in the depth of the roster.

Sure, the Eagles have already signed Bryce Huff to a $51M deal and have Nolan Smith waiting in the wings after only playing 188 defensive snaps in his rookie season, barely seeing an increase in playtime after the Eagles had waived Derek Barnett prior to their Week 11 game against Buffalo. 

Laiatu Latu // Edge, UCLA

Re-filling the edge-rusher position after trading away Reddick, with Brandon Graham on his final season, all while not knowing what you have in Smith and Huff, is probably one of the best options for the Eagles at #22. It’s similar to drafting Davis and Carter instead of Hargrave and Cox’s departures in the last two seasons.

The biggest area of concern regarding Latu is from a neck injury he suffered during a preseason workout in 2020. An injury that had the University of Washington medical staff refusing to medically clear him to continue playing.

The Eagles have had multiple instances of drafting players with this warning, including Josh Sweat and Nakobe Dean. 

If the Eagles don’t believe that Huff and Smith can take over enough defensive snaps, bringing in Latu could be the final piece of a new defensive line. 

NFL.com has multiple mock drafts, with Latu going to the Rams at 19 and 24, as well as the Buccaneers at 26. He might fall perfectly within the Eagles’ range.

Kool-Aid McKinstry // CB, Alabama

After the disastrous end to the Eagles’ season, it’s clear a new CB might be needed on the roster. They’ve already re-signed C.J. Gardner Johnson and brought back Avonte Maddox as well.

James Bradberry was “part of the plan” when Howie Roseman spoke at the combine, but things can always change by September. There are plenty of available Cornerbacks in this draft. Quinton Mitchell, Nate Wiggins, Cooper DeJea,n and McKinstry are all projected to go in the late first round per NFL.com’s mock drafts. 

Much like Latu. The Eagles may have to look at trading up if they wanted to go after Mitchell in the draft. However, if they wanted to move back in the 1st, McKinstry could be available past 22nd. Allowing the Eagles to regain assets later in the draft.

With Bradberry and Slay still under contract for multiple seasons. The Eagles should be looking to draft their predecessors like they have on the defensive line. Unless Eli Ricks or Kelee Ringo have breakout sophomore seasons, a long-term solution needs to be put in place alongside Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown in the secondary. McKinstry could be that answer and could even allow them to trade Bradberry before the start of the season. Rumors have swirled about the Eagles landing Surtain from the Broncos, but I’d prefer to draft and acquire a starting-caliber player still on a rookie deal.

No Offensive Picks?

The offense may not have been able to score at will last season. But the Eagles’ defense hemorrhaged yards and points beyond belief last year. Was it all on coaching?

The Eagles have already signed Saquon Barkley, DeVante Parker, Matt Hennessy, and Parris Campbell, plus more additions to the offense. Taking another day one defensive pick won’t hurt an offense that recently extended two players on the offensive line. Mailata, Dickerson, and Jurgens are all under contract for multiple years. There are multiple options for the Eagles to find a Right Guard late in the draft if Steen hasn’t won the starter’s spot.

The Eagles will still have 7 draft picks following the 22nd pick. Where they’ve been able to make successful picks in the later rounds, including 2 more picks in the the top 60.

Who do you have the Eagles drafting in the 1st round?

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