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April 27, 2023

8 players who make sense for the Eagles pick No. 30

Eagles NFL
042623NolanSmith Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Georgia edge Nolan Smith

We're halfway through the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and a few big-name prospects have fallen a little further than expected. Here are 10 players who make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles at pick No. 30, or with a trade up.

• Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Smith was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school (2nd in the nation, via Rivals), who had the best SPARQ rating in his recruiting class. That means that he's an incredible athlete, in case you're unfamiliar with SPARQ. He also crushed the Combine, running an absurd 4.39 40 and vertical jumping 41 1/2" at 238 pounds. But Smith isn't just an athlete. He is also a physical run defender willing to set the edge so that his teammates can collect tackles, and in viewing a number of his interviews it's pretty easy to see that he's going to be culture fit in any locker room. He had an immediate role in Georgia's defense as a true freshman, but his production has left something to be desired. 2021 was been his best year, when he had 53 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one INT, and three forced fumbles.

• Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State: Porter is the son of former Steelers great Joey Porter Sr., and he plays with a similar type of passion and edge as his dad. He has outstanding length at 6'3, with 34" arms, and in addition to his God-given size, he is also a good athlete. On the downside, Porter only has 1 career interception (20 pass breakups) and he is grabby (to put it mildly), but he is going to get drafted in the first round because they just don't make many corners with his size/athleticism.

• Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland: Banks had just 1 INT and 3 pass breakups over his first three seasons (16 games) at Maryland, but was thought of as a breakout player in 2022 with 8 pass breakups and a pick. At 6'0, 197, Banks has decent size with sticky man-to-man coverage abilities. He tore up the Combine, running a 4.35 40 and vertical jumping 42".

• Brian Branch, S, Alabama: Branch is just a really good, instinctive player with no obvious holes in his game who brings Chauncey Gardner-Johnson-like versatility as a safety / slot corner hybrid. 

• Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson: Murphy has good size (6'5, 268) and he ran a 4.53 40. He has some speed, length, and power, and will likely be a starter in the NFL, but he had "just OK" production (18.5 sacks in 35 games) at Clemson. Murphy will still be 21 years old when the 2023 NFL season begins.

• Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia: Ringo is 6'2 and he runs a 4.36, which is a good start. He is probably best known for his pick-six that sealed Georgia's National Championship win over Alabama in 2021. He uses his size to his advantage, both in press coverage, on contested catches, and as a tackler. He also has good awareness in zone coverage. While Ringo is gifted with size and athleticism, the knock on him is that he gives up too much separation at times. His route recognition will have to improve at the NFL level, but the tools are certainly there.

• Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee: Hyatt had a breakout season out of the slot for Tennessee in 2022, catching 67 passes for 1,267 yards (18.9 PYC) and 15 TDs. He is a speed receiver with deep ball tracking skills and run after catch ability. Hyatt would not require a ton of targets, but could be counted on to make the big plays when those opportunities present themselves. He would also theoretically help keep safeties from creeping up into the box to stop the run, fearing his deep speed to beat them over the top.

• Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State: Anudike-Uzomah had 11 sacks and 6 forced fumbles in 2021, and 8.5 sacks with 2 forced fumbles in 2022. He was 220 pounds when he got to Kansas State, and wasn't a highly sought after recruit. He put on weight and added power without losing his explosiveness, and turned into an intriguing, productive NFL prospect likely to go in the first or second round.

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