April 27, 2023
The day of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is finally here. In case you missed our final seven-round Eagles-only mock draft or my lone full first-round mock draft, be sure to check those out. Here's who some of the other local beats are projecting to the Eagles in Round 1, submitted without commentary of my own. We'll also include who each beat had the Eagles picking in 2021 and 2022, mostly for self-serving reasons (I got them right).
Other beats, if I missed yours, I just couldn't find it and I'm sorry.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: There are some questions about how Smith projects to the NFL considering his size. But he’s only an inch shorter and eight pounds lighter than Micah Parsons’ listed measurements from the NFL Combine. Smith’s actually an inch taller than Haason Reddick and just two pounds lighter. There’s reason to believe he can follow in their footsteps and utilize his elite athleticism to wreak havoc as both a pass rusher and run defender.
Pick 30: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State: Jones is one of the players the Eagles brought to Philly for an official pre-draft visit. The idea of Jeff Stoutland molding this 6’8”, 374 pound behemoth is tantalizing. I’m dreaming of unbalanced offensive line looks in the future where Jones is lining up next to the 6’8”, 365 pound Jordan Mailata. They’re going to pulverize people.
2022: Jameson Williams and George Karlaftis
2021: DeVonta Smith
Pick 7 (trade up with the Raiders): Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama: There’s a scenario where one of the three premier pass rushers (Anderson, Jalen Carter, and Tyree Wilson) fall into the Eagles trade-up range. It would require three quarterbacks to go off the board along with at least one cornerback, which seems plausible. The tricky part is determining which of the top rushers makes it to the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 7 overall and whether the Eagles are able to broker a deal if it’s a player they covet. In this scenario, the Cardinals take Wilson and the Seahawks select Carter, leaving Anderson within reach for the Eagles...
Pick 38 (trade back with the Raiders): Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: Another trade with the Raiders that results in an Alabama player.
Trading back eight spots nets the Eagles the 100th and 141st picks, filling out the middle-round picks they entered the draft wanting. Value charts say the Eagles come out just ahead in this deal, but the potential of Hendon Hooker being available and the Raiders’ motivation to draft him in the first round to get a fifth-year option on his rookie deal is worth a slight overpay here.
Gibbs is the consensus No. 2 running back in the class and the type that can impact the passing game enough to justify a premium pick on a non-premium position...
2022: Jordan Davis
2021: DeVonta Smith
Pick 10: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: Yes, Skoronski possesses sub-33-inch arms that aren’t ideal for NFL tackles. Let’s get that out of the way already. However, Skoronski is arguably the most intriguing offensive line prospect in the entire draft. Some teams might project him as an offensive guard, but he was extremely successful lining up on the outside in college. He allowed just six pressures over 474 pass-blocking snaps this past season. Under position coach Jeff Stoutland’s tutelage, Skoronski could blossom as a pro. Veteran Lane Johnson is still playing at an All-Pro level, but he has repeated that he intends on playing only two more seasons.
Pick 30: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh: For an All-American who’s widely considered to be a first-round prospect, it’s a bit surprising Kancey hasn’t gone on a single top-30 visit. If he slips to the bottom of the first round, the Eagles should have a pre-written envelope with “Calijah Kancey” sent ASAP to the commissioner. Kancey is an explosive defensive tackle with an impressive first step. He’s a tad undersized at 6-foot-1, but he makes up for the lack of height with his impressive footwork and ability to collapse the pocket. The ACC defensive player of the year recorded 14½ tackles for loss, including 7½ sacks in 2022. Fletcher Cox is back on a one-year deal, but the six-time Pro Bowler turns 33 in December, and the Eagles should be looking to add more depth in the trenches with Jordan Davis heading into Year 2.
2022: Garrett Wilson and Jermaine Johnson
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: If the Eagles stay at No. 10, Smith would be a selection I can see them making and would be a good direction for a premium pick. Howie Roseman is seeking unique players, and Smith fits that description. He had the best 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds), 10-yard split (1.52 seconds) and vertical jump (41.5) among any front seven player at the combine, and he was a versatile weapon in Georgia’s defense. Questions about his size will be calmed when seeing the way he plays and following the Eagles’ experience with Haason Reddick. Questions about pass-rush production require a conversation about scheme and game situations and can be helped with advanced data (Smith’s pressure rate of 19.4 percent shows he can make plays in the backfield). The medical reports must be satisfactory, but Smith checks boxes and has Pro Bowl upside.
Pick 41 (trade with Titans): Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: Gibbs might not last this long, although if he does, he’s the type of offensive weapon the Eagles would consider drafting this high — even with “RB” next to his name. The speed (4.36-second 40-yard dash), explosive play potential (16 percent of his rushes went for 10-plus yards last season and 13.6 percent of his receptions went for 20-plus yards) and pass-catching ability (team-leading 44 receptions and lined up as a receiver on 26.4 percent of passing downs) would intrigue the Eagles’ brain trust. His ability to fit within a committee and not require heavy volume should not be considered negatives when looking at how Philadelphia distributes the ball. The Eagles will lean toward players on the line of scrimmage if grades are similar, but Gibbs would be an intriguing option at this spot.
2022: Jordan Davis and Chris Olave
2021: DeVonta Smith
Pick 10: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon: I think the Eagles enter draft night with a Plan A of hoping to trade up for Will Anderson or, if he’s cleared on their board, Carter. I think Plan B is hoping that either Paris Johnson or Gonzalez falls to No. 10. Plan C is a trade down and, barring any offers, Plan D is Smith.
If we stipulate that at least two quarterbacks, Anderson, Tyree Wilson and Carter will all go in the top nine, you’re hoping for a few interlopers to ensure one of Johnson or Gonzalez falls. Right now, I’m guessing Anthony Richardson, Johnson and Peter Skoronski will go early, too. So when the Falcons draft Bijan Robinson at No. 8, that will mean the Eagles can land Gonzalez, one of the cleanest projections in the draft.
Pick 45 (trade with Packers): Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern: Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, who nailed the Eagles’ love of Cam Jurgens a year ago, reported last week that Roseman supposedly “loves” Adebawore. You can understand why from the testing results, which include a wild 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 6-2, 282 pounds, and jumping results both above the 88th percentile. Primarily an edge rusher at Northwestern, Adebawore would give the Eagles a similarly talented athlete as Williams to grow with the defensive tackle group in an eventual post-Cox era. For practice sake, it’s pronounced: add-E-TOMMY-wah add-E-BAR-eh.
2022: Kyle Hamilton and Travis Jones
2021: Jaycee Horn
Pick 10: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: I think there’s a very good chance the Eagles make an attempt to trade up for Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. He’s a special player at a premium position but that would take a team willing to trade out of taking him. Not sure that’s there. If that trade isn’t available and the Eagles stick at 10, Johnson makes a ton of sense — the most sense of any offensive lineman who could be available with this pick.
Johnson (6-6, 313 pounds) was a full-time starter at left tackle in 2022 and a full-time starter at right guard in 2021. Drafting Johnson could give the Eagles a plug-and-play guard with a ton of upside in 2023 and a guy who could grow into the long-term replacement for Lane Johnson in the future.
Pick 37 (trade back with Raiders): Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern: When Roseman was talking about players with special traits in their bodies last week, all I could think about was Adebawore. He’s an absolute freak. While he’s undersized if you consider him a defensive tackle (6-1, 282), he’s an absolute freak athlete. He became the first player over 270 pounds to ever run a sub 4.50 in the 40-yard dash, he jumped out of the building and he put up 27 reps on the bench press.
2021: Patrick Surtain
Pick 10: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: Eliot's entire article is about Bijan, so we're not going to copy and paste the whole thing. I texted Eliot, telling him he is lazy for not saying who the Eagles will pick at 30, so he responded with the following (below).
Pick 30: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh: According to a report from Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice the Eagles have interest in adding a defensive tackle and they do just that here after missing out on one of the top pass rushers earlier in the first round. The good news? Kancey might be just as good, as he comes to the team with a good set of pass rush moves and an ability to impact the passer right away — something this team needs after taking Jordan Davis last year.
2022: Jordan Davis and Jameson Williams
2021: DeVonta Smith
Pick 10: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: The Eagles' approach to roster construction is straightforward: build from the inside out. In Johnson (6-foot-6, 313 pounds), they get a player with rare size and physical traits who would provide needed tackle depth in the short term and a succession plan for when Lane Johnson calls it a career. Johnson also played guard at Ohio State and could potentially slide inside while he waits to secure a starting tackle spot.
Pick 30: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE/DT, Northwestern: The Eagles lost Javon Hargrave in free agency, and with Brandon Graham (35) and Fletcher Cox (32) in the back end of their careers, the defensive front needs some attention. Adebawore played both inside and out at Northwestern. He has the kind of position versatility and physical traits (his 4.49 40-yard dash was the fastest among players over 275 pounds since 2003, per Next Gen Stats) this organization is drawn toward.
2022: Jameson Williams and Trent McDuffie
2021: Patrick Surtain
Pick 7 (trade up with Raiders): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: Eagles GM Howie Roseman sees Carter slipping and can’t help himself. In three of the past four drafts, he has traded up in the first round, and he wants to do so again. Roseman calls Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and offers up a second-rounder (no. 62 overall), along with a 2024 fourth, to move up from 10 to seven.
McDaniels talks it over with Raiders GM Dave Ziegler. Ziegler wonders whether the Raiders should just stay put and take Carter. But the thought of actually having to coach a player who might not buy into everything he says terrifies McDaniels. “It’s not the Patriot—I mean Raider—way,” McDaniels explains.
The two teams agree to the deal. The Eagles get a player they hope can be a foundational piece for their defense, and the Raiders move back three spots while pocketing a couple of extra picks.
Pick 30: Eagles trade out (no pick given in Round 2)
2022: Chris Olave and Travis Jones
2021: Kwity Paye
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Smith, who had a visit with the team, 6-foot, 2-inch, 238-pound edge rusher, had 11 career sacks while at Georgia, and in the 2022 campaign, he tallied 18 tackles, three sacks, seven tackles for loss, and a pass breakup in eight games. Smith will not be relied on heavily early in the season because the team still has Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat starting, with Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett working on the second unit. Smith will have time to learn from the four and could see time in special rush packages before being worked more in the pass rush rotation.
Pick 33 (trade with Seahawks): Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: The Eagles move down a couple of spots and execute a pick swap, falling back a few spots and picking up a selection that can allow them to get a player with second-round talent in the third round. With the pick itself, the Eagles get Gibbs, who could be listed as an offensive weapon instead of a running back based on his skill set. Gibbs rushed for 926 yards on 151 attempts (6.1 yards per carry average) and seven touchdowns while adding another 44 catches for 444 yards and three touchdowns to go along with a 19.8 yards kickoff return average on 13 kickoffs.
Pick 10: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: Robinson is just too enticing to pass up. In fact, the Eagles might be able to trade back a few spots to get him. And if you read the tea leaves on Roseman's declaration that the Eagles want a "unique player" at No. 10, Robinson fits the bill. Look at it this way: Miles Sanders had by far his best season in 2022 with 1,269 yards rushing. Much of that was because Hurts' running and passing ability prevented defenses from focusing on Sanders...
Pick 30: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern: It's conceivable that the Eagles would trade back into the early part of the second round to get Adebawore, an athletic defensive lineman who can play both inside and outside. He has a bend similar to Derek Barnett, who's on the final year of his contract after missing the entire 2022 season with a torn ACL.
2022: Kyle Hamilton and Devonte Wyatt
2021: DeVonta Smith
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Barring a targeted trade-up for Smith’s teammate with the Bulldogs, defensive tackle Jalen Carter, the bet is that the Eagles jump for Smith over Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness in a very close call.
Philadelphia not only values winning on the pass rush, but it also wants players who can win quickly to better combat modern quarterbacks who are taught to get the football out as fast as possible, something that defines Smith...
Pick 37 (trade back with the Titans): Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia: In 2021 it was DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson from Alabama for the Eagles. Last year it was Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean from Georgia so why not keep it going with a high-profile duo from the national champions yet again? Ringo is a lengthy, extremely fast cornerback who can take a redshirt season (barring injury) behind two of the savviest outside corners in the NFL, Darius Slay and James Bradberry.
2022: Garrett Wilson and Trent McDuffie
2021: Rashawn Slater
Pick 10: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: Unable to find a partner that would allow the Eagles to move up far enough to take Jalen Carter, they surprise everyone and take the best running back...
He's too good to bypass and will take the Eagles' offense to an elite level, something that will please owner Jeffrey Lurie very much. Lurie loves offense, and Robinson will make it one of the best in the league.
There is a lot of love in many Eagles mock drafts for defensive linemen Nolan Smith and Lukas Van Ness, but Roseman’s comments during his pre-draft process keep ringing in my ears – “nobody has any idea what we’re going to do.” Also, he said there will be several times when a pick is made that you will go, “Whoa.” This is one.
Pick 37 (trade back with the Raiders): Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern: The Eagles are drawn to players like Adebawore, who is 6-2 and 282 pounds. He ran a 4.49 in the 40 and registered 27 reps on the bench press. That’s speed and power. His 40 time was the fastest among players over 275 pounds since 2003, per Next Gen Stats.
As if that doesn’t make him unique enough, he can also play inside and out on the line, and with the Eagles having lost Javon Hargrave and age creeping up on Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, Adebawore would help greatly.
2022: Jameson Williams and Lewis Cine
Pick 10: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: We’ve talked a lot about Carter, both on the field (good) and off the field (not so good). If there were no character issues, the Bears wouldn’t have traded the top pick and Carter would be headed to the Windy City. But there are issues and Carter isn’t likely to go in the Top 5. There is a lot of speculation about him going to other teams in the Top 10. The problem is that those teams all need a lot of help. The Lions and Seahawks both went 9-8, but they have a lot of holes to fill. I just don’t know if any other team can afford to take the risk on Carter.
The Eagles can take that risk because of the quality of the roster. They also have Big Dom and you can bet he’ll do a ton of digging to find out anything and everything about Carter. It also helps that the Eagles have veteran leaders like Cox, Graham, Kelce and Johnson. Those guys can help Carter stay focused and show him how to succeed in the NFL, on and off the field.
Pick 30: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern: Howie has talked about unique talents and players with “tools in their body”. Adebawore has tools. He ran 4.49 at the Combine, which is beyond freaky for his size. He has long arms and big hands. He did 27 reps, which shows strength. He had a VJ of 37.5 inches and that shows explosion. This dude is a special athlete.
The game tape isn’t consistently special and that’s why we’re talking about him at this point and not higher. He played DE and DT. He had 17.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks and 4 FF over the past two seasons. Watch the Ohio State game and you’ll see Adebawore at his best.
And just for the record, I have the Eagles trading up and selecting Jalen Carter, and then trading back from 30 and selecting Trenton Simpson in Round 2.
2022: Jordan Davis and Treylon Burks
2021: DeVonta Smith
• Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: 4
• Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: 3
• Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: 3
• Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: 2
• Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama: 1
• Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: 1
• Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon: 1
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