Michael Livinston comments: The first round of the NFL draft and the Eagles

Michael Livinston, Correspondent

The Eagles did a lot during the first round of the National Football League draft, and there is certainly a ton to unpack. From trades to picks to superstar wide receivers, Eagles fans got a taste of everything. After a turbulent first ten picks, team executive vice president Howie Roseman and the Eagles were looking to make a move. It was rumored they may try to jump into the top 10 or top 12. 

The Eagles ended up making a trade to acquire the 13th pick: defensive tackle Jordan Davis. They sent the 15th pick, two 4th rounders and a 5th rounder along with a future mid-round pick to the Houston Texans to move up just two spots to get a guy they could’ve gotten at 15 and maybe even 18. This was a bad decision by Roseman. He gave away a lot of picks and didn’t move much.

A second quarrel with this selection by the Eagles is the fact that they had Kyle Hamilton just fall into their laps. Hamilton is quick, athletic and can play all around the defensive backfield. He is a true jack of all trades. He also was one of the most pro-ready players in the class and was a guy who was seen as having much more “boom” than “bust” potential. If the Eagles traded up to get Davis and made this move by getting rid of all this capital, they must see something in him. He’s a huge athletics specimen who can move faster than anyone that size should be able to. Davis is undoubtedly the best interior lineman in the draft, but the Eagles’ need for a defensive back was much more dire than their needs on the defensive line. But with that being said, Davis is still a good pick.

The story of the night for the Eagles was undoubtedly Roseman’s draft night blockbuster to acquire Titans wideout AJ Brown. The Eagles got away with highway robbery, trading just Pick 18 and a third rounder to the Tennessee Titans. Brown became disgruntled with Tennessee following the 2021 season as a result of a contract dispute. That won’t be an issue for the Eagles because, just minutes after the trade went through, the news dropped that AJ Brown and the Eagles were in agreement on a four-year, $100 million dollar contract. This locks up the young superstar wideout in the city for the foreseeable future and for the latter half of Jalen Hurts’ prime. Brown, who posted 1000 yards in two of his three pro seasons and scored 11 touchdowns on his way to a Pro Bowl in 2020 is one of the game’s premier young receivers. This now gives the Eagles a great young core of offensive weapons surrounding Jalen Hurts. Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith, AJ Brown, Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, and Quez Watkins headline the group. With this move, this Eagles team will look to compete for an NFC East title next season, and hopefully go even farther. AJ Brown is a complete game changer for the Birds. 

This first round was undoubtedly a huge win for the Eagles. Although I would have like to see them go after Kyle Hamilton with the 13th pick, I think that I’ll be able to find it in myself to still give them an A- grade for the first round. Roseman did a great job of flipping assets and filling holes that needed to be filled. While Davis may not be the guy I wanted, I think he is going to be a solid DT for the Birds for years to come. AJ Brown was also obviously an amazing pick up for the Birds. He is a top tier receiver in this league.  We will see how it all shakes out. GO BIRDS!