The Indianapolis Colts' first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is firmly in the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.
That became abundantly clear on Saturday when Carson Wentz took all 63 offensive snaps in the Colts' 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Per the terms of the trade that sent Wentz from Philly to Indy this past offseason, the Eagles received a conditional second-rounder that would become a first-rounder if Wentz played 75 percent of the Colts' snaps in 2021. The trade also stipulated that the second-rounder would become a first-rounder if the Colts make the playoffs and Wentz took 70 percent of the snaps. But while the Colts have yet to clinch a playoff berth, Wentz has clinched the 75-percent threshold.
Wentz has now played 97.7 percent of the Colts' snaps (923 of 945), per Next Gen Stats. Through Week 16, the Colts have averaged 63 snaps per game and are on pace for 1,071 for the season. For Wentz to fall below the 75 percent benchmark, he would have to miss Indy's final two games and the Colts would have to average 143 snaps per game over that span -- clearly not a possible outcome.
In Philadelphia, Wentz endured injuries, including torn knee ligaments (2017) and a back problem (2018), as well as a benching (2020) over five seasons. The Eagles spent a second-round pick on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in 2020, and eventually turned to Hurts as their starter, which made Wentz more expendable.
Back in August, with Wentz hobbled by a preseason foot injury that required surgery before he'd even taken his first snap for Indianapolis, the chances that he would meet the 75-percent requirement looked far more bleak. However, Wentz's speedy recovery allowed him to start the team's opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Since then, the Wentz-Colts marriage has been a healthy and smooth one under coach Frank Reich, who worked with Wentz for two seasons as the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Wentz and budding-star running back Jonathan Taylor have invigorated the offense and helped the team to an 8-6 record heading into Saturday.
The Eagles hold three first-round selections for the 2022 draft: their own, plus that of the Dolphins and Colts. The extra picks put the club in an enviable draft position, with heavy needs on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles also acquired a 2021 third-round pick from the Colts in the Wentz trade, which they later dealt to the Dallas Cowboys in order to trade up in the first round and select wide receiver DeVonta Smith.