Near the end of the Doug Pederson era with the Eagles, Howie Roseman was emphatic that the team was going in a much younger, and faster, direction. That was evident in the way they drafted in 2020 and 2021, but in 2022, they went back to stacking the trenches. It’s no surprise, then, that there are no Eagles named in Daniel Jeremiah’s mid-season list of Top 25 rookies.
The Eagles’ first -ound pick in 2022 was DT Jordan Davis who is having a good year, no question, but also missed some time due to injury and plays a position where the Eagles utilize a heavily rotation. The ginormous human being is critical to run defense, and when he was injured in Week 8, his absence was felt in the weeks that followed — that was until they added veterans Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh to help fill the void.
As important as Davis is to the defense, because of the rotation, he’s never seen more than 42 percent of the defensive snaps, and in recent weeks, he saw just 11 percent against the Titans and 26 percent against the Giants. He’s a situational player and DC Jonathan Gannon doesn’t appear pressured to utilize him more when the defensive line is playing lights out like they have been.
The rest of the Eagles 2022 draft class just hasn’t seen much playing time thus far. Second-round pick Cam Jurgens gets garbage time snaps, but he was brought in to learn from Jason Kelce and eventually be the veteran’s replacement — he was never a play-now pick. Third-rounder Nakobe Dean has been getting credit from Nick Sirianni on special teams, and has gotten defensive snaps occasionally, but certainly not enough to be significant. Same with Kyron Johnson, who has seen just 18 defensive snaps all season.
Philadelphia’s final draft pick in 2022 was TE Grant Calcaterra who didn’t see much playing time early in the season, but due to Dallas Goedert’s injury in Week 10, has been a recent contributor. Calcaterra saw his biggest game last week against the Giants, not only getting the start, but staying on the field for 57 percent of the offensive snaps. He caught two of his four targets for 24 yards (two first downs) and has really stepped up his effort as a blocker. The rookie won’t be taking Goedert’s starting role anytime soon, but it’s good to see him more involved in the offense and someone who could help more in 12 personnel situations.
Given the nature of the Eagles’ 2022 draft class, it’s not surprising they wouldn’t have anyone on the Top 25 list. Their biggest splash in the first round was trading for A.J. Brown who, if he was a rookie, would be at the top of the list — and is absolutely worth not having a rookie who is more dynamic and involved than the group of five that they have.