The Philadelphia Eagles are due to lose key free agents. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Issac Seumalo, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, James Bradberry, Miles Sanders, and T.J. Edwards may be elsewhere in 2023. Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and Kenneth Gainwell can carry the load for three of those players.
Having said that, the Eagles are in a dream scenario. Despite falling short in Super Bowl 57, they are set up to continue dominance. The Eagles hold picks 10 and 30 in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, six picks total, with Jalen Hurts on a rookie cap hit for at least another season. It’s possible that Howie Roseman could trade down pick 10 for more day two and three picks.
Currently, the Eagles do not have a 4th, 5th, or 6th-round pick. The Eagles have needs at cornerback, defensive line, linebacker, offensive line, and running back. Let’s look at the best draft prospects that would fit the 2023 Eagles, by position.
In an offseason where James Bradberry will chase a big free agency payday, the Eagles will benefit from a deep cornerback class. Howie isn’t known to draft cornerbacks early, but that will likely change this year. Teams in front of the Eagles have other needs, leaving Philadelphia with many cornerback options at 10. Thanks again for the pick, New Orleans Saints!
- Devon Witherspoon, Illinois: Witherspoon’s only knock is size, being smaller than an average cornerback. He’s known for man coverage, success in the slot, and racked up three interceptions and 14 pass breakups. He didn’t allow a touchdown in 2022. Witherspoon would be a dream at 10 for the Eagles, where many mock drafts have him going.
- Joey Porter Jr, Penn State: Porter Jr would be well received by Philadelphia fans, with a Penn State background. Porter has shown success defending elite talent in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. His only knock is inconsistent tackling but shows all the tools to be a successful starting cornerback in the NFL.
- Christian Gonzalez, Oregon: Gonzalez is projected to go mid-first, likely available for Philadelphia at 10. His 6’2 frame is an advantage and he excels in tackling. His versatility allows him to play man or zone, an excellent potential replacement for Bradberry.
Fletcher Cox will be replaced by Jordan Davis, but the Eagles may need to fill the shoes of Javon Hargrave and Brandon Graham on the defensive line. My gut says the defensive line need is filled late on day one.
- Jalen Carter, Georgia: It’s likely that Carter goes to Chicago at one overall unless they trade down for more picks. If he makes it past the Bears, he’d be an ideal replacement for Hargrave. He’s praised for his pass-rushing and run-stopping skills and is considered the best defensive tackle in the draft.
- Bryan Bresee, Clemson: Injury history and limited playing time are red flags with Bresee, but his dominance at pressuring the quarterback speaks for itself. He’s projected to go late first and could be available closer to 30.
- Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh: If Carter and Bresee are gone, Kancey would be a phenomenal pick for the Eagles on day two. He’s versatile and can play at interior and edge. Praised for being one of the purest pass rushers in the draft, he would wreak havoc next to Josh Sweat.
Unless Miles Sanders takes a discount in Philadelphia, the Eagles will need a running back to pair with Kenny Gainwell. This is likely done with pick 30 in the first round, or on day two.
- Bijan Robinson, Texas: What benefits the Eagles here is most teams refusing to take running backs early. Robinson is projected to go in the first, but most mocks have him falling after pick 15. I doubt the Eagles would go running back at 10, but he’ll likely be there if they want him. Robinson broke 105 tackles as a runner this season and would be the perfect compliment to Gainwell. Speed isn’t his best quality, but he’d excel in tough yardage situations, and at the goalline.
- Blake Corum, Michigan: Corum is likely to go on day two. The Eagles would likely miss out on him at 62, but he’d be there at 30 in the first round if they wanted him. He draws comparisons to Maurice Jones-Drew. He won’t bring much in the passing game, but his 200-pound build and downhill running would compliment Gainwell nicely.
- Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama: Drawing comparisons to Alvin Kamara, Gibbs is a threat in the running and passing game. He’s sure-handed, breaks tackles, and is considered a first-round talent but he likely falls to day two.
Nakobe Dean will fill a bigger role at playing linebacker in 2023, but with the Eagles potentially losing Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, or both, they’ll need another body. I predict that Edwards stays, and the Eagles grab another linebacker on day two or three.
- Demarvion Overshown, Texas: Mocks have Overshown going in rounds two and three, so he’s a possibility for the Eagles. He’s praised for his abilities as a pass-defending linebacker but needs work on tackling. Learning under Darius Slay would do wonders for him.
- Noah Sewell, Oregon: Sewell is likely to be available at pick 62. The younger brother of Penei Sewell has the speed to go sideline to sideline, filling gaps in run defense. His 250-pound body is very athletic, and he’s described as “disruptive.”
- Payton Wilson, North Carolina State: Wilson could potentially be available on day 3 for the Eagles. Previous ACL and shoulder injuries are concerns, but when healthy he’s made the most of his chances. He’s a strong blitzer and pure tackler and has a big frame to boot.
The Eagles are lucky to have Cam Jurgens at center in case Jason Kelce decides to retire, but they may need to replace Issac Seumalo at guard. I suspect the guard position will be one of their picks on day two or three.
- Nick Broeker, Ole Miss: Broeker is projected to be a solid guard in the NFL, and has plenty of experience starting at Ole Miss. Projected to go on day two, he’s praised for being a tough blocker and has experience starting at left guard and left tackle.
- Ryan Hayes, Michigan: Hayes’s only knock is his weight, which could be gained with proper strength training. He can play right tackle and guard and faced strong defensive talent during his time at Michigan.
- Broderick Jones, Georgia: Jones could be on the board for Philadelphia as their 2nd or 3rd round pick. He’d be a viable replacement for Seumalo and can play guard and left tackle. He appears to be better suited at guard and offers great athleticism.
The NFL draft cannot come fast enough. Go birds.