The Eagles' safety position has been underwhelming at best since Malcolm Jenkins left after the 2020 season, and after striking out on the big names in free agency the Birds still need an answer at safety opposite Anthony Harris for 2022 - and they could use some larger answers for the position in the long-term as well.
Odds are good Howie Roseman will try to target a safety in April's 2022 NFL Draft, but the question is where. The Eagles pick thrice in the first round, but the best safety prospect in the draft class has long been expected to go in the Top 10 and out of the Eagles' range.
That, however, may be changing.
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Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton seems like a can't-miss prospect at the position, yet ESPN draft analyst and insider Matt Miller reported this week that, in conversations with teams around the league, he's heard Hamilton isn't as highly-regarded:
The draft's best safety prospect falling outside the Top 10, you say? Now we're cooking with gas.
It's curious to see a player like Hamilton, who many evaluators consider a guy with Week 1 impact ability, drop this late in the draft process. But Hamilton's 4.72 40-yard dash at his Pro Day is apparently making waves.
If that's all it takes to bump a monster like Hamilton out of the Top 10, it feels a little odd.
Here's a sampling of the way draft evaluators have sung Hamilton's praises during the pre-draft process:
- NFL.com's Lance Zierlein: "High-impact safety with unique blend of traits and characteristics that make him a bit of a unicorn at the position."
- The Draft Network's Kyle Crabbs: "Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton might just be the best NFL draft prospect I’ve personally studied since entering into the draft space in 2014."
- Pro Football Network's Oliver Hodgkinson: "I would go as far as to say he is one of the best players in the 2022 NFL Draft class regardless of position."
Sounds pretty good to me!
I can't see Howie Roseman surrendering the kind of draft capital it takes to move up in the first round in order to go land a safety; it's just not prudent in terms of positional value. But if someone like Hamilton falls into your lap - or within a few picks of your first selection at No. 15 overall - you have to think Roseman will try his best to nag the 21-year-old.
Using the most recent version of the NFL Trade Value Chart, if Hamilton makes it out of the Top 10 here's what it would take for the Eagles to trade up and get him:
- No. 11: 43 points (92nd overall pick, late third round)
- No. 12: 32 points (108th overall pick, early fourth round)
- No. 13: 21 points (129th overall pick, late fourth round)
- No. 14: 10 points (159th overall pick, mid fifth round)
A third-round pick is probably too rich for my blood, but any of the other options are fine. The Eagles have three first-round picks and they'll still have those three first-round picks; go get a guy who is more than likely a difference-maker and also solves a problem at a position for years to come.
Draft night is less than a month away now. Should be a good time.