The Eagles were linked with various wide receivers in pre-draft chatter, but they didn’t wind up taking any of them in the first round of the draft.
They traded up to take defensive tackle Jordan Davis at No. 13 and then traded the 19th overall pick to the Titans for wide receiver A.J. Brown. Head coach Nick Sirianni explained the appeal of acquiring Brown by saying “there’s no projection” for a player who has already played at a high level in the NFL, but it wasn’t quite that simple.
Brown was available because extension talks with the Titans were not progressing, but Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman said the team would not have made the trade if they weren’t able to to come to agreement on a deal with Brown. That left the Eagles and Brown’s representatives with a lot to do as the draft was unfolding.
“The trade was contingent on us getting an extension, so something we were working on during the course of the draft,” Roseman said. “We were just kind of trying to balance finishing that and if we didn’t finish that, making sure we also got the right players. But it didn’t matter – the receivers on the board. For us, A.J. Brown was somebody that we had studied coming out and spent a lot of time on, and we had a lot of love for A.J. Brown in that draft. Obviously, things went a different way in that draft. But really excited to get him just in terms of how coach can use him and his vision for A.J. Brown in this offense and how he complements the other guys that we have here. As you guys may or may not know his relationship with our quarterback, all exciting things. Looking forward to getting him into Philadelphia.”
Brown agreed to a four-year, $100 million deal and the Eagles will now pivot from trying to land the receiver to making sure they maximize his contributions to the offense in 2022.