NFL Draft Betting: Will the Eagles Go Offensive Line With Their First Pick?

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
NFL Draft Betting: Will the Eagles Go Offensive Line With Their First Pick?

Transparently, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be the most recent victims of the dreaded Super Bowl hangover.

After being crowned as NFC champions in 2022-23, Philadelphia fell from grace through the back half of last season. A strong start to 2023 allowed the Eagles to make the postseason, but Philly was ultimately bounced on Wild Card Weekend by a 9-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.

In many ways, head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman are going back to the drawing board for the 2024 NFL Draft. From a statistical perspective, the Birds saw noticeable drop-off in rushing yardage (-12.7%) and a sizable uptick in passing yards allowed (+28.3%). Seemingly, position groups related to either of those areas would be a fantastic place to start for Philly in the coming draft.

Whether due to unreported ailments or lack of offensive play-calling synergy, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts decreased his efficiency through the air in 2023. He tossed a career-high 15 interceptions, which was third-most of all signal-callers in the NFL last season.

For the looming draft in Detroit (April 25-27), Philadelphia's most recent finish earned them the 22nd overall pick. With myriad on-field aspects to address, the Eagles could go a number of ways with their first selection -- but what do the odds say?

FanDuel Sportsbook has NFL Draft odds available for which position a wide range of teams will take with their first pick. Let's keep rolling with Philly in this market, diving into which positions seems like the best bet for the Birds.

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

NFL Draft Odds

Position of Philadelphia's First Pick
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Offensive Lineman+150
Defensive Lineman/EDGE+180
Wide Receiver+3000
Tight End+3000
View Full Table

Offensive Line (+150)

It should be stated that Philadelphia has not used their initial draft selection on an offensive player since taking Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith with the 10th overall pick in 2021. More precisely, they haven't gone for an offensive lineman in the first round since 2019 (Andre Dillard). Still, the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook list O-line as a +150 favorite for the Eagles.

Notably, future Hall-of-Fame center Jason Kelce retired after last season. With Kelce the leader of one of the NFL's top offensive lines, Philly now has a couple roles to fill in this unit. Additionally, Kelce had a strong rapport with Hurts, especially for their famed "Brotherly Shove."

Being that Philadelphia is set at both offensive tackle spots with studs Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, I find it far more likely that the Eagles address Kelce's void or another one of the other interior positions (with Cam Jurgens likely sliding over to center). Still, with Johnson encroaching upon a dozen years as a pro, perhaps Philly goes for a bookend successor.

In 2024, the top O-line prospects are Joe Alt (Notre Dame Fighting Irish), Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State Beavers), Olu Fashanu (Penn State Nittany Lions), J.C. Latham (Alabama Crimson Tide) and Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon Ducks). Other than Powers-Johnson, all of those names took a majority of their collegiate snaps at tackle. Either way, the Eagles would be lucky to land any one of them.

Defensive Line/EDGE (+180)

Philadelphia has displayed a recent intent on beefing up their defensive line in previous NFL Drafts. In each of the past two years, the Birds have spent their first draft picks on defensive tackles from the Georgia Bulldogs. In 2022, Philly selected Jordan Davis 13th overall before choosing Jalen Carter at No. 9 in 2023.

Listed with +180 odds, "Defensive Line/EDGE" is tied for the second-shortest label in this Eagles betting market. Back in 2022, the D-line in Philly was as fierce as any. However, since the narrow Super Bowl LVII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, game-wreckers Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox have each departed -- maybe there is a little more to address with this unit after all.

In 2024, defensive stars Jared Verse (Florida State Seminoles) and Byron Murphy (Texas Longhorns) would make sense for the Birds based on fit and availability. There's a fair chance that one of those two is the most talented player remaining when Philly is first on the clock at No. 22. The speed and physicality each play with would resonate greatly with the Eagles' rowdy fanbase.

Roseman has done a brilliant job with drafting and developing players in the recent era, especially so for positions in the trenches. The 22nd pick is a ways down the ladder, but depending how the cards are dealt, I would not be surprised if Philly stays on trend by taking a D-lineman.

Cornerback (+180)

The Eagles' need for assistance in the secondary is quite glaring. As noted, Philadelphia was stingy against the pass in 2022 only to allow 4,551 passing yards in 2023. That more recent total was a bottom-five figure in the NFL. From there, I don't imagine any Philly supporter would mind the team reaching for a shutdown corner.

Reflecting the same odds as D-Line/EDGE, cornerback is also listed at +180. When surveying opinions around the football community, this integral position on the outside certainly has value in the betting market.

According to Pro Football Focus' latest mock draft, the Birds will select Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold. Standing at 6-foot, Arnold paced the Tide with 12 passes defended in 2023. He also collected five interceptions en route to All-American honors.

Arnold would provide a jolt to an aging unit in Philadelphia, but there's always a shot that another franchise takes him before No. 22. If aspects shake out that way, speedy cornerback Nate Wiggins of the Clemson Tigers is another dynamic secondary player.

Per's Gennaro Filice, Wiggins -- who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds (second-best) at the recent combine -- will be selected by the Eagles with the 22nd overall pick. He presents a taller frame compared to Arnold, as Wiggins measures at 6-foot-2.

Only a fool would claim that Philadelphia's title window has closed (especially with the addition of running back Saquon Barkley), but buckling down against the pass has to be a top priority for the Birds. If they are able to land either Arnold or Wiggins, the Eagles will be making a clear step in the right direction back to title contention.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.