INDIANAPOLIS — Editor's note: The above video is from March 4.
The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up on-field workouts in Indianapolis over the weekend.
The event showcased all the defensive prospects, with lineman and linebackers participating on Saturday, and defensive backs finishing up the event on Sunday.
Considering the amount of both short and long term needs the Philadelphia Eagles have on defense, it is safe to say the organization was watching the workouts unfold closely.
General Manager Howie Roseman has prioritized building the offensive core through the draft since 2017, which was the last time he selected a defensive player in the top 64 picks.
However, with a young offensive core almost completely established, Roseman could look to replace aging defensive starters, and recover from band-aid signings with four picks in the first two rounds of this year's NFL Draft.
After the combine, these are a few of the potential takeaways the Eagles could have as they head back to the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia:
It is a great year to need defensive lineman
For the first time in a long time, the Eagles need help getting to the quarterback.
Luckily for Philadelphia, it is a great year to need defensive lineman and the combine put that on full display as these prospects looked like skill position players the way they tested on the field.
Georgia DT Jordan Davis dominated the headlines over the weekend as he ran the fastest 40-yard dash for a player over 300 pounds in NFL history, with a 4.78 at 341 pounds. But, if the Eagles are looking more for defensive ends, the combine showed how deep and talented this group is.
Six different edge prospects ran a 4.5 40-yard-dash or faster, including first round prospects in Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, Michigan’s David Ojabo, and Georgia’s Trayvon Walker. There was even a receiver-like 4.36 time from Virginia Tech’s Amare Barno.
Roseman wouldn’t openly admit it, but this is a special year for defensive lineman. It is a safe bet that he will get his hands on at least one of them early in the draft.
The Eagles could afford to take a risk on upside at CB with one particular prospect
A popular pick for the Eagles in mock drafts has been the selection of a cornerback with one of the team's three picks in the first round.
While popular matches such as Cincinnati's Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and Washington’s Trent McDuffie impressed with their on-field workouts, there is another name many are hearing about for the first time because of the combine that you might want to start thinking about for the Eagles:
UTSA CB Tariq Woolen
Woolen turned heads Sunday after he ran the second fastest 40-yard-dash in history for a defensive back, finishing with an official time of 4.26. That is good enough for fourth best ever among all prospects.
Why is this so significant?
Woolen is also 6’4 with the ball skills of a wide receiver, considering he is a former wideout that transitioned to defensive back in his final year of college.
It may seem like a stretch to consider someone as raw as Woolen for the Eagles on Day 1 of the draft, but the upside might be worth it.
The Eagles have the flexibility to take a risk with as much draft capital as they have, not to mention Woolen wouldn’t need to come in right away and take on the toughest receivers. Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox are established as the top two corners for 2022, and Philadelphia could even bring back Steven Nelson for another year while Woolen continues to develop and learn the position.
It might be something for the franchise to consider.
There is a lot of variety in the 2022 safety class
If the Eagles want to invest a high draft pick at the safety position for the first time since the early 2010s, they will have plenty of options of all different styles.
Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton showed off his incredible length and versatility at the combine, but he will likely go in the top five, and end up not being available close to where the Eagles select.
After Hamilton, there isn’t a safety prospect likely worth a first round pick, however, there were multiple prospects that had strong workouts on Sunday that could be options in the second round.
After Hamilton, Penn State S Jaquan Brisker showed he might be the next best safety with the most upside in this class.
Georgia’s Lewis Cine ran an impressive 4.37 40-yard-dash that confirmed his strength as a down-hill safety.
The Baylor duo of Jalen Pitre and JT Woods were probably the most impressive athletes on the field yesterday showcasing their natural ball-skills, continuing their strong off-season's that started at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
When the Eagles are on the clock with the 51st overall pick, these prospects will certainly be options atop their board.
The NFL Draft will begin on Thurs., April 28.