And just like that, the NFL Draft is over. The Philadelphia Eagles leave with a simply staggering haul of young talent, much of it coming from a vaunted Georgia defense. In case you’ve missed any of the action this weekend, here’s a comprehensive look back.
Round 1, pick 9: Jalen Carter
Jalen Carter is an exceptional talent and on paper is a great fit on the field in Philadelphia. He’s a former teammate of both Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis, completing a trinity of dominant Georgia players to be wearing midnight green.
He dominated in both 2021 and 2022, ending his career with 83 tackles, 18.5 TFL, and 6 total sacks. His explosiveness is unmatched in this draft class and he’s the perfect complement to Jordan Davis, whom the Eagles drafted last year.
It is worth noting that there are some viable off-field concerns which is why he was available in this range to begin with. Carter was involved in a car crash that resulted in the death of a teammate, and his work ethic has been questioned on occasion. A spotty pro-day video also failed to do his incredible talent justice, leaving his standing in the top-10 uncertain. It’s not anymore.
Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni both dispelled the concerns, stating that they did their firm due diligence and essentially wouldn’t have drafted him had they believed that they’d impact his future.
Round 1, Pick 30, Nolan Smith:
Nolan Smith becomes the fourth member of that incredible 2021 Georgia Bulldogs defense to have been drafted by the Eagles in the last 2 years.
Smith is a physical specimen who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. His numbers were off the charts: 41.50″ vertical jump, 10’8″ broad jump, 1.52 10-yard split, all while weighing at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds. His 40 time compared favorably to NFL receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs. And his freak athleticism drew comparisons to Haason Reddick.
Smith racked up 7 TFL and 3 sacks in 2022 before suffering a heartbreaking season-ending injury. That clearly didn’t derail his NFL plans, with Smith returning to blow the NFL Combine out of the water. Perhaps it was the injury that scared off teams in the first round. Whatever the case, the Eagles now have FOUR championship-winning Bulldogs on their defense.
The Houston Texans traded up with the Eagles for a center, acquiring pick 62 in exchange for 65, 188, and 230. This meant that the Eagles would be picking back-to-back a few moments later. Howie Roseman would not disappoint.
Round 2, pick 65: Tyler Steen
yler Steen was Howie’s first of two picks, a monstrous 6’6, 321 lbs tackle out of Alabama. He’s an athletic tackle that thrives as a run blocker. He started 13 games for Bama last year and was named to the All-SEC second team. Prior to his arrival in Alabama, he played for Vanderbilt, which means he’s spent his entire college career working against SEC edge rushers.
Steen drew plenty of comparisons to one of the prized tackles in this class – Peter Skoronski. He’s a versatile and athletic lineman who can play both tackle and guard spots, but he did struggle against the pass at times, which was in part due to a shorter wingspan, just like Skoronski.
Round 2, pick 66: Sydney Brown
He’s a ball-hawking safety who had 6 picks in 2022 and will complement the skillset of Reed Blankenship brilliantly. He’s a great box defender who loves getting down and dirty in the run, but his tackling could use some work. With that said, he’s highly instinctive which can lead to some explosive plays where he swarms the ball-carrier. His tackling could use some refining, but there’s a lot to like here if he’s still on the board.
This is exactly the kind of pick the Eagles needed to make. Brian Branch was likely just out of reach, but Sydney Brown is one hell of a consolation prize. He’s an aggressive safety who does lack in fluidity when covering in ‘man’ situations, but that doesn’t stop him from showcasing an impressive football IQ.
Round 4, pick 105: Kelee Ringo
Philadelphia traded a 2024 third-round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 105th overall selection and the right to draft Georgia’s top cornerback Kelee Ringo.
Ringo has been the top corner for the Georgia Bulldogs over the last two seasons. Pro Football Focus graded Ringo’s 2022 season at an elite 71.4. He recorded two picks last season. Ringo was considered a potential first-round selection by many scouts throughout the pre-draft process.
*TRADE* Eagles trade for Lions RB De’Andre Swift
Philadelphia acquired Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift in a trade that sends a 2025 fourth-round pick and one of the Eagles seventh-round selections this year.
Swift, a Philadelphia native, is coming off a disappointing season in Detroit. Considered by many to be a fantasy darling, the former Georgia standout battles injuries and played in just eight games. In those eight games, the Lions back averaged over five yards a carry and 542 yards on the ground. When the two teams met in Week One last season, Swift tallied over 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 15 carries.
For Philly, the Swift trade now adds one of the more complete backs to a group already filled with plenty of talent. Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell will join Swift and the league’s top rushing attack last season.
Round 6, pick 188: Tanner McKee, QB
For McKee, many draft analysts had McKee going as high as the second round thanks to throwing for over 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. At 6’6″ McKee has the right size to be a big pocket passer quarterback. His velocity is solid and is a smart player but will need some seasoning before he sees an NFL field.
Round 7, pick 245: Moro Ojomo
Ojomo made 30 career starts for Texas and ended 2022 with 32 tackles, 5.5 TFL, and 3 sacks. He’s a versatile lineman who displays an explosive get-off and enough power to execute rushes and swallow up double teams. His RAS score came in at 9.28, and we all know the Eagles love their hyper-athletes. At 6’2, 293 lbs, he’s a little lighter which does aid his agility, although he made some added mass to dominate NFL tackles.
AP Photo/Ashley Landis