Eagles receive high grades for their NFL draft

by Marc Narducci | May 1, 2023
Eagles receive high grades for their NFL draft
The Eagles were hailed by virtually all NFL draft pundits as winning the draft, which is impressive for a team that just played in the Super Bowl.

Of course, the Eagles benefited from having the No. 10 pick in the draft, courtesy of a trade last year with the New Orleans Saints. 

The reason the Eagles won the mythical draft award was mainly the work they did in the first round, taking two more players from two-time defending NCAA champion the University of Georgia.

This year they drafted Georgia DT Jalen Carter and edge rusher Nolan Smith in the first round with picks 9 and 30 respectively. They also drafted Georgia CB Kelee Ringo in the fourth round.

That, coupled with last year’s first round pick, DT Jordan Davis and third round LB Nakobe Dean, makes it five players drafted from Georgia the past two years. 

And that doesn’t count trading for running back D’Andre Swift from the Detroit Lions, who was originally a second round pick out of – Georgia. Swift is a local product who attended high school at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph Prep. He is in the last year of his contract but could be a major contributor for the Eagles. 

Here is a look at this years selections: (Heights and weight are from the NFL Combine).

1 (9) Jalen Carter 6-3, 314 lbs, DT Georgia

Considered among the most talented players in the draft, Carter’s stock took a hit following a tragic incident that resulted in the death of Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock.

LeCroy, according to police reports via ESPN.com, was allegedly racing a vehicle driven by Carter. LeCroy was driving at roughly 104 miles per hour and according to the report, her blood-alcohol concentration was 0.197 percent. 

Carter pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing and was sentenced to 12 months of probation, a $1,000 fine, 80 hours of community service and completion of a state-approved defensive driving course.

This event took place on Jan. 15, hours after the team celebrated its second national championship win with a parade and ceremony in Athens, Georgia, home of the university. 

There is no question that certain NFL teams dropped Carter from their draft board, because on talent alone he wouldn’t have lasted until the ninth pick. The Eagles moved from No. 10 to No. 9 in the draft, swapping picks with Chicago and also sending the Bears a 2024 fourth round pick. 

So Carter will be judged closely, both for his on the field play and what occurs off the field. He has Pro Bowl talent and the Eagles will try to bring that out of him.

1 (30) Nolan Smith, 6-2, 239 lbs, Edge Georgia

Smith is considered undersized for an edge rusher, but he has according to all reports, great leadership tendencies and an incredible athlete. At the NFL Combine, he ran a blistering 4.39 40-yard dash. He also had a vertical leap of 41.5’. The player that Smith is often compared to is Eagles edge rusher Haason Reddick, the former Haddon Heights High player who had 16 sacks and earned Pro Bowl honors in his first season with the Eagles. That’s not a bad comparison. 

3 (65) Tyler Steen, 6-6, 321 lbs, G Alabama

Steen played tackle in his one season at Alabama after spending four years at Vanderbilt. He is looked on as supplying immediate depth and could eventually challenge for a starting spot at guard. 

3 (66) Sydney Brown, 5-10, 211 lbs, S Illinois

This is looked on as a great value pick. Brown should be an immediate special teams contributor who could challenge for a starting spot as early as this season. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the Combine, more than enough speed for a safety. 

4 (105) Kelee Ringo, 6-2, 207 lbs, CB Georgia

Ringo had first-round talent, but often gambled too much. This is another value pick and somebody who adds great depth to the Eagles secondary. 

6 (188) Tanner McKee, 6-6, 231 lbs, QB Stanford

He is a developmental player, with a great arm, but doesn’t quite fit in the Eagles offense that has mobile QBs in Jalen Hurts and backup Marcus Mariota. Still, he has an NFL arm and the Eagles will see how well he can develop.

7 (249) Moro Ojomo, 6-3, 292 lbs, DT Texas

 This is considered a good value pick. Ojomo has great quickness and now will attempt to become part of the defensive tackle rotation. 

 

Photo Courtesy: Eagles Twitter 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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