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April 29, 2023

20 players who make sense for the Eagles on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft

The Eagles have four picks on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Here are 20 targets for the Birds.

Eagles NFL
042823RoschonJohnson Briana Sanchez/USA TODAY NETWORK

Texas RB Roschon Johnson

We're through the first two days of the 2023 NFL Draft, and so far the Philadelphia Eagles have made four selections. They are scheduled to make four picks on the final day of the draft on Saturday, but won't be picking until the sixth round, barring a trade up. Their picks:

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 
 188 From Texans  
 219 From Vikings (via Texans)  
 230 From Texans  
 248 Eagles' own pick  

Here are 20 players who make sense for the Eagles on Day 3.

• Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati: Scott averaged 16.9 yards per catch the last two seasons at Cincinnati. He had a season high of just 899 yards (in 2022), but he is a game breaker. Scott played inside and outside at Cincinnati. He also played running back in high school, and you can see that translate to wide receiver with his run after catch ability. Ran a 4.37 40.

• 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. Chase Brown is the twin brother of Sydney Brown, who the Eagles selected in the third round.

 Daniel Scott, S, California: Scott has good size at 6'1, 208, and he's an impressive athlete. He also had good production the last 2 seasons. 82 tackles, 3 INTs, 5 pass breakups, and a forced fumble in 2021. 85 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles in 2022. 

• Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas: Johnson had an interesting college career. He was originally recruited as a quarterback, but moved to running back after Texas suffered a number of injuries there prior to the 2019 season. He had a good freshman season, but lost carries in 2020 and beyond after Bijan Robinson arrived at Texas and became the clear lead back. Johnson is thought of as a smart, unselfish player who might have put up bigtime rushing numbers at another program. He does a lot of little things well and could give the Eagles valuable snaps immediately in a rotational role.

• Jaren Hall, QB, BYU: Hall had 51 TDs vs. 11 INTs for BYU the last two seasons. 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.

• Jay Ward, CB/S, LSU: Ward is a converted cornerback to safety, who I believe is being overlooked for some reason by the draft community, but who is a good player. You'll see him attack WR screens on the other side of the line of scrimmage, he can knife through the line and make negative plays in the run game, and he's a good cover guy both from the slot and on the back end. He had 158 tackles, 6 INTs, 17 PBUs 2 FFs in 32 games the last three seasons.

• 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.

• Payne Durham, TE, Purdue: Durham's biggest appeal is as a blocker, where he is effective both inline against defensive ends in the run game, as well as on the perimeter out in front of receivers on screens. As a receiver, Payne won't remind anyone of Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, but he has good receiving numbers and is a legitimate threat in the red zone because of his size. He has 21 career TD receptions in 36 games. He also doesn't go down very willingly after the catch. He is a Day 3 guy with limited upside, but could last in the league for a long time as a steady blocking tight end who will make the plays as a receiver that come to him.

• Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama: Ricks was a playmaker out of the gate as a true freshman for LSU in 2020, when he had 4 INTs, including 2 pick-sixes. He has great length, and uses it to his advantage in press coverage. He is also always on the lookout for opportunities to make big plays on the ball. Ricks transferred to Bama after the 2021 season, and it did not go as he had hoped. He was a backup under Nick Saban, and was unhappy with his role, posting a picture of himself in his old LSU uniform on Instagram. He would eventually get into the starting lineup and play well enough. Ricks has talent, but his personality will be under the microscope during the draft process.

• Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA: Thompson-Robinson makes sense for the Eagles for a lot of the same reasons that Marcus Mariota made sense in free agency. Like Jalen Hurts, he can threaten opposing defenses with his legs. Should Hurts go down, the Eagles wouldn't have to throw out huge chunks of their playbook, particularly in their RPO attack, like they did with Gardner Minshew. Thompson-Robinson was a five-year starter at UCLA, throwing for 88 TDs vs. 36 INTs, and completing 63.3 percent of his passes on 7.9 yards per attempt over his college career. In 2022, he completed 69.6 percent of his passes on 8.3 yards per attempt, while throwing 27 TDs vs. 10 INTs. He showed significant improvement each year, as did Hurts during his college and professional careers.

• 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.

• Dylan Horton, DE, TCU: Horton entered the 2022 season without much production through his first four seasons with New Mexico and TCU, but he had a breakout season in 2022, notching 10.5 sacks and four batted passes. He had a monster game against Michigan in the college football playoff, with four sacks, as well as two sacks in the Big 12 Championship Game. He has an explosive first step, which at a minimum makes him appealing as a late Day 3 pick, but he has a ways to go as a run defender, and will probably be unplayable for a while until he improves in that area.

• 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.

• 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? 

• Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse: Tucker rushed 246 times for 1496 yards (6.1 YPC) and 12 TDs in 2021, breaking Syracuse's single-season rushing record. He added 20 receptions for 255 yards and 2 TDs. In 2022, he wasn't as effective, rushing 206 times for 1060 yards (5.1 YPC) and 11 TDs. He has a track background and good initial acceleration, but he missed the Combine and Syracuse's pro day with an undisclosed medical issue, making his draft projection difficult.

• Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma: Gray had a big senior season, carrying 213 times for 1366 yards (6.4 YPC) and 11 TDs, while also chipping in 33 receptions for 229 yards. He has good vision and can make defenders miss, but he does not possess great top speed (4.62 at OU's pro day).

• Chris Rodriguez, RB, Kentucky: Rodriguez is a banger who averaged 6.2 yards per carry over his career at Kentucky. He is a one-cut, north-south runner who will move piles and gain yards through contact. The downside is that he's not much of a receiver, as he only has 20 career catches, and he probably won't be a threat to break off long runs in the NFL. Great late round fit, in my opinion.

• 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.

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