More Sports:

April 26, 2023

Mailbag: Placing percentages on who the Eagles will select with their first draft pick

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

Georgia edge Nolan Smith

On Wednesday, we solicited questions for an Eagles mailbag via Twitter. Thank you as always for doing half the work for me. This is Part II of a two-part mailbag. Part I here.

Question from Mike (via email): What percentage chance would you put on the Eagles drafting Jalen Carter, Peter Skoronski, Nolan Smith, and whoever else you think has a greater than one percent chance of getting drafted with the Eagles' first pick?

In my final Eagles-only mock draft, I have the Birds trading up to 7 for Georgia DT Jalen Carter. Of course, two things have to happen for that to even be possible:

  1. Carter has to make it to pick 7 (duh).
  2. The Eagles have to feel comfortable enough with Carter's personality.

But I have no doubt whatsoever that they covet his abilities as a player, and will aggressively pursue him if the two above boxes get checked. Put me down for 37% on Carter. 

The other players the Eagles could conceivably trade up for are Alabama edge Will Anderson and Texas Tech edge Tyree Wilson, but they are much more likely to get picked in the top 5 than Carter. I'll say 5% for Anderson, 3% for Wilson.

The rest of the field is made up of guys like Georgia edge Nolan Smith, Iowa edge Lukas Van Ness, Ohio State OT Paris Johnson, Northwestern OL Peter Skoronski, Georgia OT Broderick Jones, Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez, and Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon, who are all reasonably close as prospects.

I think Gonzalez, Witherspoon, and Johnson will all be gone by 10. Give me like 3% on Gonzalez, 1% on Witherspoon, and 4% on Johnson. There's a dark timeline where the Eagles actually trade up for Johnson, and fans riot in the streets. 

If the Eagles stick and pick at 10, I believe that Smith is the player who checks the most boxes for the Eagles, in terms of need, ceiling, positional importance, and character. In my opinion, he is an easy player to turn in a card for. Put me down for 30% on Smith. Van Ness is a possibility, too, but in my opinion doesn't check as many boxes. Give me 8% on him.

I can only see the Eagles drafting Skoronski or Jones after a move back. Put me down for 3% on Skoronski, and 1% on Jones.

And finally, there's Bijan Robinson. Give me 1% on him at 10, and 4% on the rest of the field with some trade back from 10 into like the 20s or something.

• Jalen Carter: 37%
• Nolan Smith: 30%
• Lukas Van Ness: 8%
• Will Anderson: 5%
• Paris Johnson: 4%
• Tyree Wilson: 3%
• Peter Skoronski: 3%
• Christian Gonzalez: 2%
• Broderick Jones: 2%
• Devon Witherspoon: 1%
• Bijan Robinson: 1%
• The field: 4%

Predicting the Eagles' outcome is hard this year. Lots of possibilities.

Question from @ThrustDaProcess: What player/players need to come off the board before pick 10 for the Eagles to say, “Okay let’s move back.”

Jalen Carter and Will Anderson. Maybe also Nolan Smith and Paris Johnson if the best offer to move back isn't that strong.

Question from phillyphoebe: What do you think is a “realistic” worst case scenario for the first round?

I think it's if they want to move up for someone they have identified as an elite prospect, but the cost is too high, so they stay put. Then, when they're on the clock, they want to move back, but they don't have a good enough offer so they're forced to just make a pick, and they take a guy who has no business getting picked at 10th overall, sayyyy, like, Lukas Van Ness, for example.

Question from @bbrewerstandup: I’d be curious of the Eagles All-Boom team, AKA the best picks at each position relative to where they were drafted.

In Part I of this mailbag, we did the All-Bust team. Here's the All-Boom team (since the start of the Andy Reid era).

QB: Jalen Hurts
RB: Brian Westbrook
WR: DeVonta Smith
WR: Jason Avant
WR: DeSean Jackson
TE: Brent Celek
OT: Jordan Mailata
OG: Isaac Seumalo
C: Jason Kelce
OG: Todd Herremans
OT: Lane Johnson

EDGE: Josh Sweat
DT: Beau Allen
DT: Fletcher Cox
EDGE: Trent Cole
LB: Jamar Chaney
LB: Jordan Hicks
LB: I dunno, Omar Gaither?
CB: Jalen Mills
S: Jordan Poyer
S: Kurt Coleman
CB: Avonte Maddox

Slim pickings at linebacker.

Question from @JonPatouhas: How much will the player the Eagles draft with their first pick inform the player they draft with their second? Is there any possibility that the first two (or two of the first three) picks are spent on players in the same position group?

I think it's extremely unlikely that they double-dip at any position with their two first-round picks, unless one (or both) of them are versatile pass rushers who can do other things, such as kick inside on passing downs, or like in Nolan Smith's case, you could make an argument that he could probably also play some off-ball linebacker.

I do think a little bit about the time they selected Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown when they already had Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor, which turned out to be a great draft, but those picks were much later, at 26th (Sheppard) and 59th (Brown). I think it's safe to say that it wouldn't make much sense to draft a couple of defensive tackles or a couple of offensive linemen.

Question from @Moldy92: Without a Hurts breakout season, how do you think Howie would've approached this QB class with the 10th (and presumably not 30th) picks?

The two first-round picks in this draft were always earmarked for a quarterback until such a time came that they weren't. That time probably came somewhere around Week 2 last season. If Hurts had another season in 2022 like he had in 2021, you'd have all read a bunch of articles on Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis this offseason. Instead we're back to debating whether or not they should draft (fill in a player at a position they never draft in the first round), which of course this year is Bijan Robinson. Personally, I'm thankful not to have done a bunch of deep dives on all the top quarterback prospects in this draft, not to mention other veteran quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson. 

Question @House_Dietz: Why do many believe the Eagles need to replace a 3rd round guard with the 10th overall pick?

I'm fascinated by the phrasing of this question. Should teams only replace outgoing players with new players who were drafted in a similar or later round? Is that what I'm to infer here? Should the Patriots have only used a sixth-round pick or worse to replace Tom Brady?

Anyway, I don't think anyone is suggesting that the Eagles take a guard with the 10th overall pick. The only prospect that might apply to is Peter Skoronski. Personally, I think Skoronski is going to be a guard long-term in the NFL, but the people who have suggested him as a fit for the Eagles at 10 think he can be a eventual replacement for Lane Johnson at RT.

Question from @Jeff_Rice_: Please list your three favorite punters in this draft class.

Bryce Baringer (Michigan State) is my guy, but I think he'll get drafted, and I think the Eagles would rather sign an undrafted free agent than draft one. Adam Korsak (Rutgers) and Michael Turk (Oklahoma) are my next two. If they go undrafted, the Eagles should throw either of them a nice signing bonus to come compete with Arryn Siposs.

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader