New Jersey sports gamblers can’t wait to sign up for the draft. Even if, figuratively speaking, there is nothing to fight over when the annual NFL Draft kicks off April 28.
There’s a distinct difference between the Philadelphia Eagles’ NFL Draft scenario for this year over last. In 2022, they may be locked in at the No. 15 position, with no chance to move.
There’s even a different theme for the league, with the lack of high-profile quarterbacks to dominate the opening round.
How does that shift the sentiment and suggest other position players taken, especially early?
Let’s observe some themes.
No Heisman hype with 2022 NFL Draft
The Eagles draft twice in the opening round, at No. 15 and No. 18, instead of once at No. 12 like last year. This factor had already removed speculation about them taking a Heisman Trophy winner, as they did last year in leap-frogging the New York Giants into the 10th spot to grab DeVonta Smith.
The second factor applies more to the league at large. Nobody will draft a Heisman Trophy winner this year. Bryce Young of Alabama is not part of the 2022 NFL Draft class.
There is magic in the No. 15
Just ask the New England Patriots.
They were in this position last year. The Patriots wanted to trade up for a quarterback in the worst way to get an upgrade over Cam Newton. No teams traded with them.
New England was stuck until a first-round surprise changed the landscape. The Atlanta Falcons took tight end Kyle Pitts rather than a quarterback, as projected, and the wheels began turning.
That set up a series of selections in which one quarterback fell all the way to 15. That’s when the Patriots took Mac Jones.
We called it the steal of the draft that night and it was. Jones had a better season than all the other quarterbacks. Remember, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields were all taken before him.
He had more touchdowns, 22, than Lawrence and Wilson combined, 21.
What would those betting odds have been?
A guy falling to 15th and having more TD passes than the top two draft picks?
New Jersey sports bettors still have time to project who will fall to the Eagles in pick 15.
This is a weak NFL Draft class for quarterbacks
There’s no magic to the sound of Kenny Pickett (University of Pittsburgh), Malik Willis (Liberty), Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) and Matt Corral (Ole Miss), the proclaimed best of a just-average quarterback class.
It pales next to the ring of Joe Burrow two years ago. Burrow has led a once 2-14 Cincinnati Bengals team to within an eyelash of its first Super Bowl crown.
This class also fails to arouse the excitement of last season, when quarterbacks were taken in the first three selections. That was Lawrence by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wilson by the New York Jets and Lance by the San Francisco 49ers.
The average QB group leads to a larger assessment of the 2022 NFC East and its quarterbacks. Only the Dallas Cowboys, with Dak Prescott, love their quarterback situation.
The Eagles with Jalen Hurts, the Washington Commanders with twice-traded former Eagle Carson Wentz and the New York Giants with Daniel Jones are stuck with those players.
“In my personal opinion, the Giants and Eagles should be looking to replace their quarterbacks, but it’s probably not going to be this year,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayNJ. “The quarterback class is down so much, that this may not be the time they will be able to do that, although they could still decide to pick up somebody in the third and fourth round.”
Eagles play let’s make a deal with Saints
Howie “Shake Rattle N Roll” Roseman already made some big moves before the draft as the Eagles’ general manager.
The 2021 scenario of a dramatic on-the-clock deal the Eagles struck with the Cowboys to obtain Smith appears remote now.
Roseman brought the term “player to be named later” to historic new depths last month. Literally every player in a deal he made with the New Orleans Saints is one to be named later because this is an all draft-pick swap.
NJ sportsbooks could not have produced a betting line for something this unpredictable.
The Eagles reduced their number of first-round picks from three to two, beefing up their position in the 2023 and 2024 drafts. New Orleans gained an additional first-round selection this year.
Follow this: Philadelphia traded its 16th and 19th overall picks, along with a sixth-round selection (No. 194 overall) in the 2022 NFL Draft to New Orleans in exchange for five draft picks.
The Eagles get:
- The 18th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft
- Third-round draft pick from New Orleans, the 101st overall selection in 2022
- Seventh-round pick from the Saints, the 237th overall selection in 202
- First-round pick from New Orleans in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Second-round pick from New Orleans in the 2024 NFL Draft
The upshot: New Orleans gets one more first-round pick than it otherwise would have this year. The Eagles stack themselves up nicely for the two following drafts.
Many New Jersey bettors believe New Orleans should have filled out a police report on the grounds of being fleeced. But in New Orleans, the trade has been viewed as even, with the Saints getting a little better chance to win now.
In either case, Roseman brought interest to the otherwise droll area of future draft picks.
NFL Draft memory lane: Here’s to you Mr. Robinson
Jerry Robinson was the last linebacker selected in the first round by the Eagles. That was way back in 1979.Robinson played six years with the Eagles, appeared in Super Bowl XV with them, and seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He made the Pro Bowl once.
Some projections forecast the Eagles ending that drought by selecting Devin Lloyd, a former safety who became a linebacker at Utah.
Nakobe Dean, who helped Georgia defeat Alabama in the national championship game, is considered a longshot possibility behind Lloyd. Devonte Wyatt is a lineman who gets more attention than his defensive teammates at Georgia and may go higher than expected.
It the defensive options is bypassed, the Eagles could seek a dynamite wide receiver to complement Smith and make Quez Watkins an explosive third option.
There will be some sentiment for Jameson Williams, the Alabama star who suffered a torn ACL in the national championship game.
He could drop this low.
Is he good?
Is he worth waiting for, maybe until the second half of the season to be fully healed?
As a No. 1 pick?
In any case, the chatter is getting louder amongst New Jersey sports gamblers. The draft is drawing near.