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March 23, 2023

Eagles 2023 draft prospect visit tracker

A list and analysis of every prospect visiting the Eagles ahead of the draft.

Eagles NFL
030823ParisJohnson Adam Cairns/USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State OL Paris Johnson

Over the next month or so, we'll be tracking the Eagles' 30 allotted pre-draft private visits to the NovaCare Complex, as they are pretty good indicators of who the Eagles might select. As reports of visits trickle in, we'll add analysis of each player. Bookmark, please. Most recent reports first.

Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa (6'5, 272)

Van Ness (nicknamed "Hercules") is a traits-based prospect with great size and good athleticism who had 13 sacks over the last two seasons for Iowa, but oddly wasn't a full-time starter. If I'm being honest, I haven't yet watched enough of Van Ness to have any strong opinions of his worthiness at pick No. 10, but as you'll see in the below highlight reel, he has the capability of being disruptive either on the edge or on the interior.

The Eagles will value that versatility, and Van Ness is becoming a more popular player to be projected to Philly in mock drafts.

Report via the great Josh Norris of Underdog Fantasy.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (5'11, 215)

Robinson kind of reported his own visit:

Robinson is a big, powerful back who gets tough yards between the tackles, but who also has speed and explosiveness to be a home run hitter. He is a complete, three-down type of back who can run inside, outside, and catch passes out of the backfield. He is widely regarded as the best running back prospect in the country.

Many of Robinson's highlight reel plays look effortless. On inside runs, he executes subtle, but shifty moves that do not slow down his forward movement. On outside runs, he runs patiently until a hole opens up, and then he hits it with sudden acceleration. His cuts in the open field have little wasted motion and often leave defenders with "broken ankles." Even his stiff arm seems almost nonchalant, but puts defenders on the ground. And he's a hands catcher.

So, uh, yeah, he's good. Over a three-year career at Texas, Robinson had 539 carries for 3410 yards (6.3 YPC) and 33 TDs. He had 60 catches for 805 yards (an outstanding 13.4 YPC for a RB), and 8 TDs.

I don't think he's as good of a prospect as Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott were when their respective teams stupidly drafted them No. 2 and No. 4 overall, respectively, but he is a player who is certain to be drafted in the first round, barring any unknown character concerns.

Howie Roseman's aversion to draft running backs in the first round is not a secret, and the Eagles will almost certainly not be taking a running back with the 10th overall pick. It's also highly likely that Robinson will probably be gone by the time the Eagles are on the clock once again at 30th overall.

That said, I do not think this is a smokescreen. It is wise for the Eagles to do their homework on Robinson. If, say, they trade back from the 10th overall pick into the 20's and Robinson is still available, he would not be an egregiously bad selection, and he would make an already potent Eagles offense even more dangerous. And if he is somehow still available at pick 30 (again, don't count on it), he would be a home run pick.

Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State (6'8, 374)

Jones was Ohio State's starting RT, and he is a massive human being as you can see above at 6'8, 374 pounds. He also has a super wide wingspan a set of mammoth paws on him.

In the NFL, whoever drafts Jones will want him to drop some of that weight.

If you read enough scouting reports on Jones, you'll come across the phrase "grip strength," which is an attribute that Jeff Stoutland has consistently said he looks for in his linemen. For years, if you asked him anything about Matt Pryor, he'd go right to Pryor's "grip strength." He likes grip strength like former defensive line coach Chris Wilson liked "ankle flexion." 

Anyway, once Jones gets his hands on you, you're done, as he has plenty of highlight reel blocks in which he'll simply overpower and dominate guys in the run game. However, earlier in his career, he also had other moments where he'd completely whiff on blocks, as shown here:

In 2022, he cleaned up some of that inconsistency.

Jones is a fascinating possibility for the Eagles. He has something that can't be taught in his sheer size, however, he's still a little raw. In Philly, he'd have time to grow under Stoutland and eventually take over for Lane Johnson in, sayyyy, 2025, whereas he might be thrown to the wolves as a rookie with another team and have some ugly struggles early in his career.

He's probably a decent enough value late in Round 2.

Report via Ryan Fowler of TheDraftNetwork.

Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State (6'6, 313)

Johnson is being projected by some a possible top 10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is athletic with great length (36" arms), and he excelled at LT for Ohio State after playing RG in 2021. Here he is against Notre Dame, winning in a variety of ways (reach blocks, second level blocks, pro pass vs. speed and power, etc.):

The Eagles are set for now at OT with Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, but their M.O. is to always continue loading up on the offensive line. Should Isaac Seumalo land with another team next week, Paris Johnson is a player who could play at RG in the short-term, and eventually take over for Lane Johnson at RT (or for Mailata at LT, with Mailata flipping to the right side) whenever Lane retires.

That would be something of an unsatisfying but on-brand use of the 10th overall pick by the Eagles.

Report via Jared Tokarz.

Brodric Martin, DT, Western Kentucky (6'5, 337)

Martin is a rather large nose tackle at 6'5, 337 who had 62 tackles and 4 sacks over the last two seasons (26 games) at WKU after transferring from North Alabama. He accepted an invite to the Shrine Bowl and reportedly was a standout there. There isn't much in the way of readily available game tape of Martin, but here he is two-gapping against Auburn: 

The Eagles hosting a mammoth nose tackle for a top-30 visit is interesting, given that they already employ Jordan Davis and Marlon Tuipulotu. Day 3 guy, most likely.

Report via Ryan Fowler of TheDraftNetwork.

MORE: Eagles-only 2023 mock draft, version 2.0

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