May 20, 2023
Are power rankings completely dumb and meaningless? Yes. Yes, they are. However, personally speaking, whenever I see them, I click. And now that I've sucked you in with promises of many power rankings, you'll read it and like it.
Here's where people have the Birds ranked after the meaty part of free agency. Oh, and here's our version of these sellout rankings, too.
All hail Howie. The Eagles GM did it again, nabbing two hugely talented defenders in the first round in Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, before pulling the trigger on a logical, smart trade to acquire running back D'Andre Swift from the Lions on Saturday. The moves make Philadelphia better on both sides of the ball and further entrench the Eagles as the top dog in NFC. NFL Network's Peter Schrager reported on Saturday that GMs across the league are grumbling about the amount of praise Roseman receives from the football cognoscenti. On the playgrounds of my youth, these individuals would be labeled as sore losers.
#JimmySays: Is Howie Roseman the closest thing to a household name among non-owner general managers? He's now getting first name only treatment nationally.
Most improved: Cornerback
The big win was re-signing free agent James Bradberry and retaining Darius Slay when a trade or release seemed inevitable. They also signed former Cleveland Brown Greedy Williams to a one-year deal and then drafted Georgia standout Kelee Ringo in the fourth round of the draft to bolster the position further.
#JimmySays: ESPN's theme here was to pinpoint a position where each team is most improved. TMac had a tough assignment with the Eagles because it's kinda hard to find a spot where they definitively got better. I might have gone with running back. I think the sum of Rashaad Penny and D'Andre Swift will be better than Miles Sanders. A common theme of the Eagles' power ranking blurbs is whether or not the current iteration of the roster is better than their Super Bowl roster, or not.
Draft takeaway: The Eagles’ risk tolerance was greater than others in the top 10, as they became the rare team coming off a Super Bowl appearance to add arguably the most talented player in the draft after trading up one spot for Jalen Carter. Time will tell whether that bet pays off.
Hype man: Have you seen the rest of the conference? This might be even easier than last year.
DeVonta Downer: Aside from the stereotypical Super Bowl loser’s curse, we’re getting ahead of ourselves with the quality of the roster. With free-agent departures and regression for older players, we might be worse than 2022 at defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, safety and offensive line, to say nothing of injury luck.
#JimmySays: Bo makes a strong point that they could be worse at several spots:
We'll see if the players who fill into some of those roles are just as good or better, but the possibility that they'll be worse at each spot exists.
Tempting to elevate a team that appears to have actually improved, largely due to a draft bonanza that included a trade for RB D'Andre Swift, since narrowly losing the Super Bowl − especially given a dearth of competition in the NFC relative to what K.C. faces. Also, QB Jalen Hurts only is motivated by his (already eclipsed) landmark contract.
#JimmySays: Put USA Today down for an improved roster. I'm not there, though I agree that the rest of the NFC is trash compared to the AFC.
Their roster is even more loaded than it was after the Super Bowl loss. They killed the draft, which will make them even better. This team is clearly the best in the NFC.
#JimmySays: Another vote for "better than last year."
The Eagles, widely lauded for their draft, picked three defensive players out of Georgia, adding to the two Bulldogs they selected in last year’s draft. Jalen Carter will join the defensive line, shoring up their defense with another piece of one of the best defenses in college football history. Philadelphia also filled a hole at safety with Sydney Brown, who earned an 89.4 coverage grade in 2022.
#JimmySays: Time will tell if drafting so many guys from one college was a good idea or not.
The Philadelphia Eagles entered the NFL draft defending champions of the NFC. From No. 1 to No. 53, it can be argued the Eagles have the most balanced, talented roster in all of the NFL.
And on Thursday night, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman put on a master class as to how that roster was assembled.
- MORE EAGLES
- Ranking the best 2023 Eagles road trips
- Five Eagles breakout candidates in 2023
- NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Post-draft edition
First, Roseman slid up one slot to draft Georgia tackle Jalen Carter at No. 9. Carter's draft stock slipped after he pleaded no contest to reckless driving and racing on the night of a car crash that killed Georgia teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy, who was driving the vehicle that crashed. Prior to that situation, though, the 6'3", 314-pounder was considered the No. 1 prospect overall.
Roseman was only getting started.
Georgia edge-rusher Nolan Smith is a ridiculously athletic pass-rusher with sub-4.4 speed who was 13th on Bleacher Report's final NFL Draft Big Board.
The Eagles got him at No. 30.
"I can't," Davenport said. "I just can't. An Eagles line that piled up 70 sacks last year just added the best interior lineman in the class and a top-three edge-rusher. Losing Javon Hargrave in free agency officially matters not even a little. This right here is the difference between good front offices and bad ones. Bad ones flail around and reach for guys. Good ones just sit there patiently, slide up a spot or two if necessary and wait for value to fall into their laps."
Oh, and the Eagles also acquired running back D'Andre Swift in a trade with the Lions for peanuts because of course they did.
#JimmySays: Hargrave was a beast last season. His loss matters. Carter may very well turn out to be a great player, but that takes time at DT.
The Eagles had a great draft and appear to have recharged their defense enough that I’m not too worried about their off-season losses. Jalen Hurts is great, but he’s not Mahomes, which puts these few teams vying for second overall close together in my mind. The Eagles, 49ers, Bills and Bengals are all grouped together and I could see moving them around fairly interchangeably. But, the Eagles have a consistent roster throughout and will be hard to take down in a weak NFC.
#JimmySays: On the one hand, DraftKings says the Eagles, Bills, and 49ers could be moved interchangeably. On the other hand, they start the 49ers' entry like so:
"I don’t know how the 49ers can even be considered a Top 5 team with Brock Purdy as their starter, but here we are."
So I guess I'm confused there. Anyway, in all of the power rankings above, there wasn't a single media outlet that had the 49ers ahead of the Eagles, which is obviously correct but also surprised me.
Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader