Eagles GM Howie Roseman explains trading first-round picks with Saints, what it means for Jalen Hurts' future

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The Philadelphia Eagles once had three first-round draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, thanks to general manager Howie Roseman working deals last offseason with the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. Roseman has since traded away one of those first-round picks, and on Wednesday he broke down exactly why. 

The Eagles traded the No. 16 overall pick, No. 19 overall pick and a 2022 sixth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for the No. 18 overall pick, a 2022 third-round pick, a 2022 seventh-round pick, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick. Philadelphia has two first-round picks in each of the next two years — the balance Roseman wants on a draft board. 

“We were kind of looking at this year, next year, and the amount of picks that we had in this year’s draft and trying to kind of balance it a little bit for a variety of factors,” Roseman said in a pre-draft press conference Wednesday. “When you look at having first-round picks and the fifth-year option, having that many guys on the fifth-year option.

“Also, kind of balancing just scouting all the players in this draft and next year’s draft and having more options and more flexibility at all positions. We were kind of getting a head start on looking at next year’s draft too and seeing that it’s strong as well as this year’s draft. So, we thought it made sense.”

The Eagles have 10 draft picks in 2022, five of which are in the first three rounds. They have seven picks in the 2023 draft, including two in the first round. Philadelphia has eight picks in the 2024 draft, including two in the second round. 

Draft picks are at a premium for Philadelphia, considering the status of quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Eagles are giving Hurts this season to prove whether he can be a franchise quarterback, and helped their poker hand for next year’s draft by acquiring the Saints’ first-round pick. A poor season from New Orleans puts the Eagles in prime position to draft one of the top quarterbacks in 2023, projected as a much stronger quarterback class than this year. 

If Hurts has a poor season, the Eagles could use that 2023 draft to find their franchise quarterback. As has been the case all offseason, Philadelphia is committed to Hurts and want him to be that franchise quarterback. 

“We’re excited about Jalen Hurts and we’re going to support Jalen and want him to have a great career in Philly,” Roseman said. “This was about flexibility for our team and about making sure that we had resources to improve our team for not only this year’s draft, but next year’s draft going forward. We thought it made a lot of sense.”