Eagles Draft Grades: Is the 2023 class their best haul yet?

Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith
Newly drafted Philadelphia Eagles’ Nolan Smith, right, and Jalen Carter speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Eagles had an incredible draft weekend this year. To say that they didn’t own the weekend would be an absolute lie with a mix of hate by any other fan base. Philadelphia was efficient and stuck to the draft board. They also made a huge trade for a premium player on the offensive side of the ball. For now, let’s focus on their draft selections and give them their deserving grades.

9th pick – DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

FILE – Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) is sacked by Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) and linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 in Athens, Ga. Considered the best interior defensive lineman in the draft, Carter has the talent to be selected among the top five. If he drops, it’ll be because of character concerns. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

After Jalen Carter fell from the top-5, it seemed as if he and the Eagles were meant to be. Philadelphia has been linked to him throughout the entire draft process and it made too much sense to not happen. The Eagles added Carter to a defense that already had two of his former college teammates on it.

He was the best defensive player in the draft and will be a game-wrecker for years to come. Although he was some off-the-field baggage, it seems that the Eagles believe that much in their culture to not be phased by the risks.

Grade: A

30th pick – Edge Nolan Smith, Georgia

Newly drafted Philadelphia Eagles’ Nolan Smith speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Nolan Smith’s fall was a weird one. His medical were clean and there was no concern of character issues or off-the-field baggage. He is one of the premier defenders coming out of the draft and could be the steal of a lifetime for the Eagles. 

He’s bought into a culture that was set in Georgia and looks to bring some of that Bulldog mindset to South Philly. Smith can be a huge weapon for this defense as he has a similar skill set as Haason Reddick. Reddick flourished in Philly last season, just imagine what two “Reddicks” will do this season.

Grade: A+

65th pick – G Tyler Steen, Alabama

The Eagles had a huge need at not only guard but also needed some depth for their offensive line. Drafting Steen is a big plus because of his natural ability at the position. He switched to guard at the Senior Bowl and impressed a ton of scouts.

Steen will have to battle it out for the right guard role with Cam Jurgens. But he’ll likely be the guy going forward next season if Jason Kelce retires and Jurgens moves over.

Grade: B+

66th pick – S Sydney Brown, Illinois

This is a big win. Philadelphia drafted a premium safety at the right time. Sydney Brown is everything that the Eagles want at the safety position. He’s versatile, instinctive, and is a natural-born leader.

Brown is expected to fill in for the role that C.J. Gardner-Johnson left behind. He can play as a deep safety and line up in the box when needed. He’s a Swiss Army knife for a defense that’s set to be disruptive. Brown could be the best safety out of this draft when it’s all said and done.

Grade: A+

105th pick – CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia

It looks like Howie loves his Bulldogs just a bit too much but this was a great pick. While the Eagles had to trade up to make it, the team went after another premium player that can be a huge playmaker for them.

The team hasn’t had much success in recent history when drafting cornerbacks and Ringo will help end that streak. He’ll have the opportunity of being groomed by two of the best in the game in Darius Slay and James Bradberry while also finding his footing in the NFL.

Grade: A+

188th pick – QB Tanner McKee, Stanford

The Quarterback factory is still alive and thriving! Tanner McKee is a great pick for the Eagles to continue their development for QBs behind their top 2 QBs. But don’t get any crazy ideas, Jalen Hurts is not losing his job and I’m sure that thought hasn’t even crossed his mind. 

He played 12 games in 2022 where he threw for 2,947 passing yards with a completing percentage of 62%. He also had 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

Grade: B-

249th pick – DT Moro Ojomo, Texas

The former Texas DT is not going to be a huge steal but could be a good rotational piece. Last season the Eagles struggled against the run at times and plugging in a player like Ojomo could help. He would be a nice fit in this rotation but to do so he’ll have to take Milton Williams’s role which is unlikely to happen. 

Grade: C

AP Photo/Matt Slocum