Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: Checking in on the 2022 Draft Class

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

Things are still moving really fast and one day blurs into another, and that's just the reality for the Eagles' 2022 Draft Class. They all knew it coming in, had heard it from friends who have been in the league, but to experience it firsthand is something entirely different.

"It's not just trying to get better on the field, it's working on improving yourself off the field every day," said linebacker and third-round draft choice Nakobe Dean. "You are constantly challenged and you have to respond to that challenge. I love it. Every bit of it is exactly what I wanted, because when you want to be your greatest, you embrace that challenge."

A valuable lesson he's learned as an NFL rookie?

"Taxes," Dean said. "Man, that's something that, no matter what anybody tells you, the first time you see it, you're like, 'What?' But, hey, that's part of the learning process."

It all goes hand in hand because this is uncharted territory for the Draft Class. They're contributing to the team's 4-0 success on the field and they're learning what life is like in the National Football League.

DT Jordan Davis, first round

"Be where your feet are," Jordan Davis said. "That's what I'm doing. Every day it's something new, so don't get ahead of anything and just keep pushing. It's all going to come together. I have that confidence."

The first-round draft pick has started two games and has played 84 defensive snaps, 33 percent of the defensive action. Davis admits he hasn't yet been "able to sit back and take a deep breath, but I will in the offseason. Then I'll take a deep breath and reflect and just enjoy it."

Between now and then, there is much work to do. Davis is part of a five-man tackle rotation, and it just works. For Davis. For the defensive tackle room. For the defense.

"I would say it's perfect. It's similar to Georgia," Davis said. "We rotated a lot at Georgia. I had my role there and I have my role here. I'm grateful for that role – plug up the middle, do what I can. But it's not about how many reps you get. It's about what you do with those reps. Whether I play one snap or 50 or 60, it's about what you do when you're out there and that's the mindset that we all have in our room."

He's improving every day, as we saw on Sunday when Davis had four tackles, including one for a loss. This is all working out exactly as the Eagles, and Davis, hoped it would.

"Right now, we're soaring and we have to keep at it, keep improving, and finding ways to win," he said. "For me, it's a dream come true, and I'm living it every day."

C Cam Jurgens, second round

"I think we just keep pushing on. That's the mentality in the O-line room," Cam Jurgens said. "Coach Stout (Jeff Stoutland), every day is a new day and a new opportunity to get better."

There was always a plan for Cam Jurgens when the Eagles used a second-round draft pick on him, and that plan was to give him as many reps as possible in the preseason and have him ready in the regular season, just in case. The Eagles' offensive line is stacked, as we know, and Jurgens is working at center and cross-training at guard. That's how the Eagles do it – they cross-train the offensive linemen to make sure that they are capable of helping at multiple positions.

After starring in the preseason, Jurgens has been active for all four games but hasn't played a single offensive snap. He has played 20 special teams snaps.

"The season, it's been good," Jurgens said. "I'm learning a ton every week. It's fun getting into the complexities of gameplanning and detailing everything out throughout the week. It's good learning the routine. At this level, defenses do a lot of different things, much more than in college. In the Big Ten, I feel we saw a lot of similar stuff from team to team. That's not the case at all here."

LB Nakobe Dean, third round

"I prepare every day as if I'm going to play every snap on defense," Dean said. "I watch film as if I'm playing every snap. I practice as if I'm playing every snap. I stretch, I do everything as if I'm playing every snap on defense, so that when it's my time, I'll be ready."

The Eagles have gotten great play from their linebackers this season within the defensive structure and on special teams. Dean has taken four snaps on defense and is getting most of his work on special teams, with 64 snaps under his belt. Philadelphia is deep and talented at linebacker, so Dean is preparing for when his number is called.

"Always learning, always learning as a player and as a man," Dean said. "We have so many great football minds in this building and being around them has been so fun for me. I'm one of those guys who likes to pick people's mind, so that's been very interesting to me. How they think about football? How they think about defense? How they think about offense? I love those kinds of conversations."

Dean continues to work hard, apply himself and be ready to play. In the process, he's having a whole lot of fun doing it.

"I love the game so much so this is exactly where I want to be," he said. "I'm having the time of my life, actually. You just have to keep going to work, keep pushing, keep getting better. It feels like a long time ago when I was in college. I'm a professional and I carry myself as one every day."

LB Kyron Johnson, sixth round

"My rookie season, I feel, is going pretty well," Johnson said. "As a young player just starting out, you just have to keep going. Chucking at it every day."

One of the Eagles' core special teams players, Johnson has impressed with his speed, his physical play, and his tenacity. He has seen action on four defensive snaps and, in general, has made excellent progress contributing to all four Philadelphia wins.

"We have a lot of great players here, so there is always something to learn," Johnson said. "You always have to move forward. Every day. That's one thing you learn. Be yourself. Don't try to be someone else, and just keep on working hard and being your best every day."

TE Grant Calcaterra, sixth round

"Rookie season so far has been really fun, to be honest," Calcaterra said. "We've been playing pretty well and winning games. I feel like we're getting better and better."

Calcaterra made his debut at Washington and hooked up with Jalen Hurts for a 40-yard catch and run. He has played in 28 snaps in two games as part of the Eagles' three-man tight end rotation.

"I've learned that you have to be ready every day," Calcaterra said. "I feel like what we do so well here is that, no matter what we do, if it's good or bad, we learn from it. Be ready to learn every day, being ready to play every day, there is never a day off. It's always about being ready when your time comes because you never know when that's going to happen. If you aren't ready, you might not get another chance. When you're on that field, it's fast and it's physical so you need to be at your best."

Related Content