April 29, 2023
Through the first six rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles have selected DT Jalen Carter, Edge Nolan Smith, OL Tyler Steen, S Sydney Brown, CB Kelee Ringo, and QB Tanner McKee. They have one more pick to make at 249 overall, which is the 32nd pick in the seventh round.
|1||9||From Bears||Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia|
|1||30||Eagles' own pick||Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia|
|3||65||From Texans||Tyler Steen, OG, Alabama|
|3||66||From Cardinals||Sydney Brown, S, Illinois|
|4||105||From Texans||Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia|
|6||188||From Texans||Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford|
Here are a dozen players who make sense for the Eagles with their final pick.
• Andre Carter, DE, Army: Carter could 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.
• 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 is why he has fallen to Day 3. But he can play.
• Jason Taylor II, S, Oklahoma State: Taylor had 6 INTs in 2022 and he's a good athlete. The Eagles had him for a pre-draft visit.
• Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia: Ford-Wheaton has a ways to go as a receiver, but he's 6'4, 221 and he runs a 4.38, so someone is going to draft him. He'll have immediate value as a core special teamer, which makes him something of a poor man's Mack Hollins, which may not sound appealing to Eagles fans, though Hollins has gone on to have a nice post-Eagles career.
• Ryan Hayes, OT, Michigan: 6'6 with 32 1/2" T-rex arms, but he played LT at RT at Michigan, and he has some appealing athletic traits.
• Kahlef Hailassie, CB, Western Kentucky: Hailassie originally enrolled at Oregon, but he transferred to Western Kentucky after mostly riding the bench. At WKU in 2022, Hailassie had 51 tackles (8 for loss), 2 INTs, 12 pass breakups, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Good size at 6'1, 200.
• Ali Gaye, DE, LSU: Gaye is a raw, but long (6'6), lean, and athletic edge rusher from The Gambia. He has durability concerns and is at least a year away from getting on the field in a meaningful game, but he should get drafted on his measurables.
• C.J. Johnson, WR, East Carolina: Johnson has a surprisingly high career 16.3 yards per catch average for a player his size (6'1, 224). In 2022, he had 67 catches for 1,016 yards and 10 TDs. He's a talented player with character concerns to sort out.
• Spencer Waege, DT, North Dakota State: 6'5, 295. 9 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles in 2022.
• Jaquan Amos, DB, Ball State: Amos was a standout at Villanova, where he had 149 tackles, 25 pass breakups, 8 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 defensive touchdowns in 3 seasons. He transferred to Iowa State, and then again to Ball State, where he had 95 tackles (6.5 for loss), an INT, and 5 pass breakups in 2022. Safety/corner hybrid.
• P.J. Mustipher, DT, Penn State: Mustipher is a 6'4, 320-pound run-stuffing DT who suffered an ACL tear in October of 2021. He returned to action for the start of Penn State's 2022 season, and played in every game. The Eagles could use another young, big body in the middle of the line, with some upside being further removed from his injury.
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