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NFL

Saints and Eagles Agree Draft Trades

First round picks are always the gold dust of the NFL Draft, and we see them traded by the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles in a new twist

First round picks are always the gold dust of the NFL Draft, and we see them traded by the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles in a new twist

Still three weeks away and already the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles are making 2022 draft moves that have everyone wondering one question: what is really going on here?

The landscape of the draft has now shifted dramatically with the two organizations agreeing to swap picks: the Eagles send the 16 and 19 picks to the Saints and get the 18 pick, a third and seventh round pick, and a first round pick next year in return.

Fans and pundits alike are wondering what all this means. What do the Saints want? The Eagles come off better on the deal as it stands, giving up one of their three first round picks for a second first round in 2023, but the Saints have a history of these kind of deals being made, and they are almost never what they first appear.

The conventional wisdom has been to see the Saints as angling for a quarterback or wide receiver pick in the first round, and it is possible that this trade is simply putting together a package to trade up for a higher pick. If they have their eye on a top quarterback prospect then they could well make a move toward Houston or Carolina for a top five pick spot.

But the Saints have always been proud of their offensive line and their defense, above all. The loss of Terron Armstead to Miami could signal that they may be looking to go for an offensive tackle and wanted another first round spot for that purpose. Also, let’s not forget that Dennis Allen is a defensive-minded head coach and there could be a defensive back on the horizon that he has his eye on.

So far, eight teams are going to be without a first round pick this season. This deal shakes things up a little more in an already complicated draft situation. Both of these teams finished 9–8 last season, and the Eagles edged out the Saints for the last NFC playoff spot, ultimately losing 31–15 to the Buccaneers in the wild-card round.

On the Eagles side of the equation, their gains are more obvious. They have managed to get rid of a third first round pick, carrying a guaranteed salary with it, in exchange for a second one next season. They would seem to be angling for a quarterback as well, and they are perhaps willing to wait for it. Just in case next season’s draft class is a better fit for them, they can look to make moves then.