The Philadelphia Eagles had themselves another incredible draft which would've been A+ even if they didn't make any picks after Round 1. The run on Georgia products continued throughout the draft, as they drafted three former Bulldogs in defensive tackle Jalen Carter, edge rusher Nolan Smith, and cornerback Kelee Ringo in the first four rounds. On top of that, they also traded for running back D'Andre Swift, who the Lions drafted out of Georgia in 2020. Check out my instant reaction to the trade of Swift during Day 3 of the draft, here.
Philadelphia added solid players at every position of need, through the draft and the trade for Swift, while getting some depth pieces as well. Without further ado, let's go through every pick the Eagles made during the 2023 NFL Draft and give a grade for each.
Round 1, Pick 9: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
The top player in the entire draft per my rankings, Carter kept falling and the Eagles pounced on it. Trading up one spot with the Chicago Bears to 9th overall, the Eagles gave up a 2024 4th-round pick. After taking Carter's former Bulldog teammate Jordan Davis in the first round last year, Philadelphia now reunites the pair on the interior defensive line.
Carter will be able to learn from 11-year veteran Fletcher Cox and play alongside Davis for years to come after Cox hangs it up. The Eagles defensive front was already stacked with dawgs and now it's even more unstoppable. Carter easily could've gone top 3 in the draft, and the Eagles get him at 9.
Round 1, Pick 30: Nolan Smith, EDGE,
The Eagles stayed pat with their second first-round pick and watched as another former Bulldog fell right into their laps. Smith had a pectoral injury that was likely the reason teams were swaying away, but he is a monster when he's on the field. Philadelphia can now plug-and-play Smith anywhere on the defensive line alongside the likes of Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Cox, Brandon Graham, Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean.
There's nothing to not like about this pick, as the Eagles could've selected him at 10 and it wouldn't have been a reach. Smith has impressive athleticism on top of being a very physical run defender who can set the edge well. Roseman said that the pec is healthy and wasn't sure what other teams were thinking as he fell. He is a bit undersized but his speed as an edge rusher is unlike any other - he ran a 4.39 40. The Eagles' GM even resisted the urge to trade up to grab him and let him fall right to them.
Round 3, Pick 65: Tyler Steen, iOL, Alabama
The Eagles traded back with the Houston Texans from pick 62 for picks 65, 188, and 230. With the new pick, they worked at the trenches, jumping into the Crimson Tide pool. One of the best offensive liens in football gets another strong depth piece. Steen played tackle for Nick Saban, but the Eagles drafted him as a guard. He joins other former Tide lineman Landon Dickerson on the offensive front and can push Cam Jurgens to start at the right guard spot. Either way, he adds depth and can likely slide anywhere along the line.
Round 3, Pick 66: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
With the Eagles second straight pick in the third round, they transitioned to focusing on the secondary. After C.J. Gardner-Johnson left for the Lions in the offseason, the Eagles needed to bring in some depth for the safety position. Favorites to start at safety as of now are Reed Blakenship and newcomer Terrell Edmunds, who signed to a one-year deal. Neither of them have a lock on the starting spot, though, and Brown will certainly compete.
The former Illinois defensive back was a Swiss army knife for the Fighting Illini and earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors in a hybrid role. With Sean Desai taking over as defensive coordinator for the departed Jonathan Gannon, who knows how the secondary will play out. If anything, Brown will certainly play a role on special teams and be in the mix for the third safety spot in year 1. On top of the skillset, he is also a exemplary teammate and leader, fitting the Eagles' mold.
Round 4, Pick 105: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
A bunch of trades rattled off before Day 3 even started, an unprecedented sight for the NFL Draft, including the Eagles trading up into the fourth round while sending a 2024 third-rounder to Houston. They wanted a guy that had been falling hard and this time didn't want to risk someone else taking him since they didn't have a pick for two rounds. Ringo was once viewed as the top corner in the draft class, but fell off a bit. He still could have easily gone in the early second round and his real value was as a third round selection which was what the Eagles really got him for.
The former Bulldog is an athletic and polished corner who could factor in at safety as well. This is much more a depth pick than anything, with Darius Slay and James Bradberry returning. But this is a great situation for Ringo, as he has high-upside and can develop very well behind those two veteran cornerbacks.
Round 6, Pick 188: Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
The quarterback factory strikes again. Even after giving Jalen Hurts a five-year, $255 million extension earlier in April, the Eagles didn't shy away from investing in the quarterback room. There will be a competition for the second string behind Hurts. McKee fell just short of 3,000 yards passing last season and will compete with Marcus Mariota and Ian Book for second and third string. He was the victim of a poor offensive line and has the arm strength to develop well.
Although, he is not mobile by any means, so not exactly fitting the Jalen Hurts' backup mold. Nonetheless, the sixth and seventh rounds are about depth and there's really no hating on it.
Round 6, Pick 191: *Traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2024 5th-rounder
The Eagles traded both of their 7th-round picks to the Texans to move back into the 6th round at pick 191. After taking McKee with pick 188, they flipped pick 191 to Tampa Bay for a 5th-round pick next year. With how bad Tampa Bay might be next year, that 5th-rounder very well may end up being an early selection in the round.
Round 7, Pick 249: Moro Ojomo, DT/EDGE, Texas
The Eagles add some depth to their defensive line with another interior pass rusher with a strong toolset. Ojomo appeared in 12 games last season for the Longhorns and is known for his powerful push. Despite that, he wasn't an efficient pass rusher but will have a chance to learn and from the loaded defensive line in camp while trying to make the 53-man roster. Ojomo could have gone much sooner than late in the 7th-round which makes this another steal for the Birds. He has the potential that with proper development will create another monster to deal with for offenses.
Overall Draft Grade: A