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April 29, 2023

12 players who make sense for the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft

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042923BryceBaringer Nick King/USA TODAY Sports

If Howie drafts Bryce Baringer, it will officially be the best Eagles draft ever.

The Eagles entered the 2023 Draft with six picks. They've already selected DT Jalen Carter, Edge Nolan Smith, OL Tyler Steen, S Sydney Brown, and CB Kelee Ringo, and they still have four picks to make, the first of which will be the 11th in the sixth round.

Round Overall How acquired Pick 
 9 From Saints Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia 
 30 Eagles' own pick Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia 
 65 From Texans Tyler Steen, OG, Alabama 
 66 From CardinalsSydney Brown, S, Illinois 
 105 From Texans Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia 
 188 From Texans  
 230 From Texans  
 248 Eagles' own pick  
 249 From Lions  

Here are a dozen players who make sense for the Eagles in the sixth round.

• Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M: Johnson is a versatile defensive back who plays slot corner, safety, and some linebacker. He lined up all over the field as sort of chess piece in Texas A&M's defense. He's a physical tackler who can match up against bigger slot receivers as well as tight ends on obvious passing downs. He also has some value as a blitzer from the slot. Johnson does a lot of the same types of things as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and he is just always around the football.

• A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest: Perry had 71 catches for 1,293 yards (18.2 YPC) and 15 TDs (third in the nation) in 2021. In 2022, he had 81 catches for 1096 yards and 11 TDs. Perry is tall, lanky receiver who can win down the field, or as a possession receiver against man coverage. He reminds me a little of Tyrell Williams, who Nick Sirianni coached (and loved) when he was with the Chargers.

• JL Skinner, S, Boise State: Skinner is a big safety at 6'4, 209, and yes he's a thumper. But beyond his highlight reel hits, Skinner also has some range and athleticism to play on the back end in the NFL, but he's probably more of a box safety. Skinner is the type of player that the Eagles have typically tried to convert to linebacker.

• Tre'vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU: Hodges-Tomlinson is the nephew of LaDainian Tomlinson, and like his uncle he's a good football player. You can see his polish when playing a wide variety of techniques, and he has the speed and athleticism to stick to receivers like glue. He'll also hit. If he were four inches taller, he'd be a first-round pick, but at 5'8" most teams will view him as a slot corner only, and an undersized one at that.

• Jammie Robinson, DB, Florida State: Robinson is a versatile playmaking safety / slot CB hybrid who led the Seminoles with 99 tackles. In 2021, Robinson had 84 tackles, 4 INTs, and a pair of forced fumbles.

• Andre Carter, DE, Army: Carter will almost certainly be the first drafted Army player since 2008. He had a monster season in 2021, when he racked up 14.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and an INT in 12 games. However, his production fell off sharply in 2022, as he had just 3.5 sacks and no forced fumbles. Carter has a rare combination of length and athleticism. However, as a converted wide receiver / tight end in high school, he is a work in progress as a pass rusher, and he has a long way to go as a run defender. He also had an alarmingly poor showing on the bench press at the Combine, as he only put up 11 reps. A lot of teams will be turned off by Carter's unreadiness to play immediately. However, the Eagles have a trio of edge rushers in Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham who combined for 38 sacks last season, which means that they have time to get a guy like Carter in the weight room and groom him to become a more complete edge defender.

• Chase Brown, RB, Illinois: Brown topped 1000 yards in each of the last two seasons. In 2022, he finished fourth in the nation with 1643 rushing yards, though he had an insane workload to get there, carrying 328 (!) times in 12 games, or 27.3 times per game. He also had 27 receptions for 240 yards and 3 TDs.

• Jaren Hall, QB, BYU: One of the lesser-known quarterback prospects in this upcoming draft is Hall, who had 51 TDs vs. 11 INTs for BYU the last two seasons. But he can play. He has just OK velocity, but he can feather throws in with impressive touch. He can also throw on the run and make plays with his legs. He reminds me a little of Russell Wilson, with a weaker arm. The downside is that Hall will be 25 years of age when he is drafted in April, and he's short. Teams looking for "the answer" at quarterback will be turned off by both of those facts, but for the Eagles' purposes, Hall makes sense as a No. 3 behind Jalen Hurts and Marcus Mariota who can grow into a cheap No. 2, who oh by the way has some similar traits as Hurts.

• Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC: Vorhees is an older interior offensive line prospect who has experience at both guard spots, and has been available in a pinch for USC at LT. He gives me some Landon Dickerson vibes (minus the center experience), with his hulking size, positional versatility, and nastiness, but limited athletic upside. Vorhees played six years at USC (medical redshirt in 2019, but played two games that season), and he's already 24 years old. That will no doubt hurt his value, as will the ACL tear he suffered at the NFL Combine. Otherwise, he might have gotten Day 2 consideration. Whatever team drafts Vorhees should only do so knowing that he could miss his entire rookie season. At a minimum, he'll miss all of training camp, and is certain to start the season on the NFI list.

• Ivan Pace, Jr., LB, Cincinnati: Pace originally enrolled at Miami Ohio as a lightly recruited high school prospect. He played well there, earning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honors in 2021. He transferred to Cincinnati, where he had a monster 2022 season, collecting 136 tackles (20.5 for loss), 9 sacks, 4 PBUs, and 2 forced fumbles, earning AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors, as well as being named the first unanimous All-American in Cincinnati history. Pace is an attacking, instinctive linebacker who makes plays in the backfield both in the run game and as a blitzer. He played in the middle of the Bearcat defense, but in the Eagles' defense he might make more sense as a SAM who can put his pass rushing chops to use and attack up the field. Unfortunately for Pace, he's 5'11 and doesn't have good athletic measurables, which means he'll probably be a Day 3 guy. But he can play.

• Elijah Higgins, WR, Stanford: Higgins is a hefty receiver at 6'3, 235 with huge 10 1/2" hands who could find work in the NFL as a receiver / tight end hybrid. He is thought of as a good blocker. Maybe a Zach Pascal replacement? 

• Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State: Baringer averaged 48.4 yards per punt in 2021, and 49.0 yards per punt in 2022 at an outdoor, cold weather school. He also wears goggles, which improves his value immeasurably.

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