NFL Draft 2023: High Eagles wants heading into the draft – thqaftqlm

NFL Draft 2023: High Eagles wants heading into the draft

The NFL draft is simply two weeks away and the Eagles are hoping so as to add some extra items to assist them get again to a Tremendous Bowl.

Because it stands, the Eagles have six picks within the 2023 NFL Draft, together with 4 within the prime 100. They haven’t picked 4 gamers within the prime 100 since 2013.

Right here’s a reminder of their picks this yr:

1-10 (from Saints)

1-30 (personal choose)

2-62 (personal choose)

3-94 (personal choose)

7-219 (from vikings)

7-248 (personal choose)

The one positions we’ve faraway from the next listing are the specialists. Whereas the Eagles may need an improve at punter, it appears comparatively unlikely they’re going to make use of one in every of their six picks on one. So we’re sticking to non-specialists on this listing.

Right here’s my rating of Eagles’ draft wants from most to least urgent:

1. Defensive deal with

The Eagles are in a fairly great spot with Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis and Milton Williams in beginning roles in 2023. However Cox is 32 now and again on a one-year deal. And the depth behind the beginning group isn’t nice. The Eagles added veteran Kentavius Road on a veteran minimal deal, which was sensible. The thought is to fill obtrusive wants so that you don’t attain within the draft. However that is nonetheless an space the Eagles want to enhance and we all know it’s a place they actually worth.

Except for Road, the one different rotational defensive tackles on this roster are Marlon Tuipulotu, Marvin Wilson and Noah Elliss. Not solely did the Eagles lose Javon Hargrave in free company — he signed a four-year, million cope with the 49ers — however they’re additionally shedding Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph. Each older veterans stay unsigned and even when they’re candidates to return someday down the road, the Eagles actually can’t depend on that. On the very least, the Eagles must discover a backup nostril deal with. Davis returned from his excessive ankle sprain final yr and cut up reps with Joseph however now Joseph is gone. Is Tuipulotu that man? Perhaps. However the Eagles most likely don’t wish to depend on that both.

It wouldn’t shock anybody to see the Eagles use one in every of their two first spherical picks on an inside defensive lineman. Whether or not that’s Jalen Carter, Bryan Bresee or Calijah Kancey, there are actually intriguing choices within the first spherical. However there are many choices within the rounds after that too. And it might virtually be shocking if the Eagles didn’t add one in some unspecified time in the future.

2. Security

The Eagles went into free company hoping to maintain C.J. Gardner-Johnson, however that didn’t occur. The 2 sides weren’t shut sufficient initially of free company and CJGJ ended up in Detroit on a one-year deal, which left the Eagles very mild at security. And fellow starter Marcus Epps additionally left in free company on a two-year cope with the Raiders. So the Eagles had been tasked with changing each starters and it’s probably not clear that they’ve performed that efficiently.

The highest remaining safeties on the roster after shedding Gardner-Johnson and Epps had been Reed Blankenship, Ok’Von Wallace and Andre Chachere. Then the Eagles introduced in two “lottery ticket” safeties so as to add some depth: Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans. Edmunds is a former first-round choose who has began 75 video games within the NFL. It crammed the security must the purpose the place the Eagles gained’t really feel like they’ve to succeed in within the draft, but it surely additionally appears very doable they’re not performed at this place. Their starters proper now would probably be Edmunds and Blankenship, who performed properly as an undrafted rookie in 2022.

There are some choices within the draft to take a security however sadly for the Eagles, it doesn’t seem to be an awesome class. NFL Community’s Daniel Jeremiah had this to say in regards to the class: “It is a unhealthy yr to want a security within the NFL Draft. Paper skinny.” However even when a category is skinny, there are nonetheless choices. The highest one this yr is Alabama’s Brian Department, who’s a security/nickel hybrid. However guys like Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson, Alabama’s Jordan Battle and Illinois’ Sydney Brown ought to all be obtainable on Day 2.

3. Linebacker

Like security, the Eagles misplaced each of their beginning linebackers from the 2022 season. T.J. Edwards joined the Bears and Kyzir White went to the Cardinals. Whereas the Eagles have Blankenship at security to fill a kind of spots, the man at linebacker anticipated to ascend right into a beginning position is Nakobe Dean. The Eagles used a third-round choose on Dean final draft and he was largely relegated to particular groups responsibility as a rookie.

After Dean, the Eagles had been particularly skinny at linebacker. The one different linebackers on the roster had been Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley and Christian Elliss. The Eagles did make a low-risk transfer to herald Nicholas Morrow, who began all 17 video games for the Bears final season. Once more, that’s a sensical transfer to keep away from reaching within the draft. However there’s most likely a cause the Bears moved on from Morrow and elected to herald two outdoors free brokers to play the place.

That is the place we remind you the Eagles haven’t taken a linebacker within the first spherical of the NFL draft since 1979 after they drafted Jerry Robinson out of UCLA. Each April, Robinson’s ears most likely begin ringing. The Eagles don’t worth the linebacker place like they do others. There have been just a few exceptions over the yr however not many. There are a pair linebackers who may go within the first spherical this yr however there are alternatives within the first few rounds to pick out gamers who might compete for a beginning gig on this roster.

4. Edge rusher

This may appear fairly excessive for a place that already has Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham. Between the three of them, that they had 38 sacks final season. That’s greater than 10 groups had in 2022. However Graham is 35 now and is again on only a one-year deal. And after that trio, Derek Barnett is getting back from an ACL tear and won’t even be within the Eagles’ plans for 2023.

Like defensive deal with, this can be a place the Eagles are very keen to spend money on and the good factor about deciding on an edge rusher is that he’ll play as a rookie. Certain, it is going to be a rotational position behind the starters however that’s an vital spot on this protection.

The Eagles have at all times valued getting after the passer and so they noticed once more in 2022 how vital that’s. Touchdown cross rushers within the early rounds is at all times going to be on the desk for the Eagles and there are many choices on this draft within the first spherical. Whereas Will Anderson will probably be out of the Eagles’ vary, there are different probably (or doable) first-rounders like Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness, Myles Murphy, Nolan Smith, B.J. Ojulari and Felix Anudike-Uzomah who ought to spark their curiosity with the No. 10 or 30 choose.

5. Offensive line

Even after shedding Isaac Seumalo, the Eagles nonetheless have an excellent beginning offensive line. From left to proper, the group of Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens and Lane Johnson ought to nonetheless be among the best models within the NFL, if not the greatest within the league. However along with shedding Seumalo, the Eagles additionally lose Andre Dillard to free company and that has left them a bit mild within the depth division. If we assume that Jurgens will take over at proper guard, which means the Eagles have misplaced their prime two backup offensive linemen. They nonetheless have Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta and Brett Toth, however they’re clearly not as deep as they as soon as had been.

On prime of all that, Kelce is 35 and again on a one-year deal and despite the fact that Johnson is beneath contract by way of 2026, he’ll be 33 when the 2023 season begins. Kelce and Johnson are nonetheless enjoying at extraordinarily excessive ranges however they gained’t be round ceaselessly.

And the Eagles have at all times proven a propensity for drafting offensive linemen earlier than the necessity is overwhelming. Even in recent times, they drafted Dickerson and Jurgens within the second spherical with out understanding how a lot they’d play of their rookie seasons. It shouldn’t be a shock if the Eagles use one other Day 1 or 2 choose similarly in 2023.

The rationale we lumped tackles and inside offensive linemen in the identical class is as a result of there are a number of gamers on this draft who provide that sort of versatility. Within the early rounds, there are gamers like Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson Jr. and Cody Mauch, who can do each. And if the Eagles draft any participant and put him in a backup position, they’ll anticipate some versatility.

6. Cornerback

There are some similarities with the cornerback place and offensive line. As a result of so far as the starters go, the Eagles are in an awesome place. They had been capable of convey again James Bradberry in free company after which labored out a deal to hold on to Darius Slay. Each are beneath contract for 3 extra seasons however each had been actually two-year offers. It’s additionally value noting that Slay is 32 and Bradberry will likely be 30 by the beginning of the season. Cornerback is a place that isn’t usually handled kindly by age.

After which there’s Avonte Maddox, who’s a extremely good nickel however has handled accidents in his profession. At 5-9, Maddox is a fearless participant however that helped restrict him to simply 9 video games in 2022.

The Eagles’ prime backup cornerbacks are Zech McPhearson, Grasping Williams, Josh Jobe and Josiah Scott. They could be OK there however we haven’t actually seen sufficient of any of them to essentially know. McPhearson and Jobe have largely performed particular groups in Philly and Williams joined the crew on a low-risk deal this offseason.

The Eagles haven’t drafted a cornerback within the first spherical since 2002, after they took Lito Sheppard at No. 26 out of Florida. Nonetheless, in the event that they’re sitting there at No. 10 and have their alternative of the highest participant on the place (Devon Witherspoon? Christian Gonzalez?) it could be tempting. In the event that they don’t pull the set off there, some good choices on Day 2.

7. Huge receiver

The Eagles are clearly fairly set with their prime two receivers. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith type among the best duos within the NFL. Third receiver Quez Watkins had a down season in 2022. Whereas he had fewer alternatives, which explains the statistical drop-off, he didn’t benefit from the alternatives he did get. He had too many destructive performs, together with an enormous drop in Tremendous Bowl LVII.

I’m truly nonetheless larger on Watkins than most. I like his pure velocity and he’s proven a capability in his profession to catch the deep ball. His velocity nonetheless must be revered by defenses and I’m unsure it is going to be simple to discover a third receiver who will make that large of an affect while not having a correlating chunk of the goal share.

However no matter what you consider Watkins, the Eagles are nonetheless mild at receiver after Zach Pascal left for Arizona in free company. As a result of after Brown, Smith and Watkins, the Eagles have Britain Covey, Greg Ward, Devon Allen and Tyrie Cleveland. They’re going to want to a minimum of add extra our bodies at this place earlier than coaching camp. A draft choose is actually in play and anticipate them to signal just a few after the draft as properly.

8. Working again

This may appear low at a place the place the Eagles misplaced their Professional Bowl operating again in free company. Miles Sanders had an enormous season in 2022 and earned a four-year, million contract with the Panthers. It’s not the Eagles’ fashion to overpay for operating backs and so they resisted the temptation, letting Sanders stroll.

It’s truthful to marvel if that call had one thing to do with the emergence of Kenny Gainwell late within the season and within the playoffs. Now getting into his third NFL season, Gainwell will presumably have an excellent larger position within the offense.

Along with Gainwell, the Eagles introduced again Boston Scott in free company, nonetheless have Trey Sermon and added Rashaad Penny. Whereas it’s unimaginable to depend on Penny due to his damage historical past, there’s no questioning Penny’s manufacturing when he has been wholesome. If that transfer works out, Howie Roseman will appear like a genius.

The Bijan Robinson query has change into an enormous water cooler matter in Philly but it surely appears unlikely the Eagles will use the No. 10 choose to draft the stud out of Texas. Once more, simply not their fashion. However at 30 or on Day 2? Can’t utterly rule it out.

9. Tight finish

The Eagles have suffered free agent losses at each receiver and operating again, which is why these positions are larger on this listing. The Eagles proper now are ready to run it again with Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra. The Eagles simply used a sixth-round choose on Calcaterra final yr.

The intrigue on this draft is how good of a good finish class that is thought-about to be. There are some actually good prospects anticipated to be chosen within the first few rounds.

Whereas it won’t appear logical to make use of an early choose on a good finish with Goedert in his prime, it’s value noting that Goedert is older now than Zach Ertz was when the Eagles drafted Goedert in 2018. And that’s when Ertz was coming off the game-winning catch within the Tremendous Bowl. Ertz was 5 seasons into his profession when the Eagles chosen Goedert and Goedert is 5 seasons into his profession proper now.

10. Quarterback

The Eagles have one of the best beginning quarterback within the NFC in Jalen Hurts, who will likely be simply 25 when the 2023 season begins. The Eagles hope they’ll have a long-term deal in tempo with Hurts by that time as a result of after his MVP-caliber season final yr, they think about him to be the face of the franchise. After Hurts, the Eagles introduced in Marcus Mariota as their veteran backup. Mariota is a former first-round choose with beginning expertise and, like Gardner Minshew earlier than him, is a prime stage backup within the NFL. Mariota makes much more sense as a result of his twin menace capability as a runner means the Eagles gained’t must drastically change the playbook if he must play.

The Eagles’ third-string quarterback is Ian Guide. They might merely run this again in 2023 however you can make a case for drafting a quarterback on Day 3 this yr so as to add to the QB manufacturing facility. The Eagles reportedly have a go to scheduled with UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. A participant like that may make sense to convey aboard as a developmental prospect who might develop into the backup position. Given his dashing capability in school, Thompson-Robinson might be developed in 2023 and might be the No. 2 in 2024. The Eagles have paid their backup QBs prior to now however with Hurts more likely to get a mega deal, having a less expensive backup — form of like after they drafted Hurts to backup Carson Wentz — might be in play.

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