You saw it. We all did. Philadelphia Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman came, saw, and conquered during the 2023 NFL Draft. Once three days had passed and we finally earned an opportunity to grab a bite on Saturday evening, it’s probably safe to assume that we were all making the same statements and/or asking ourselves the same questions.
Are the Eagles actually better than they were last season? How did Howie land Jalen Carter AND Nolan Smith? Wait! D’Andre Swift is an Eagle now? How did we spend so much time watching all of those Texas Longhorns games to see Bijan Robinson and manage to miss what Moro Ojomo was doing?
When it’s all said and done, it’s hard to deny that Howie Roseman got the job done. Now, it’s up to these new Birds to perform. No one knows what that will look like, but as always, that won’t stop any of us from guessing. We’re just saying out loud what most of you have already been thinking.
Here are some way-too-early predictions about statistical production by the seven players the Eagles selected during the 2023 NFL Draft.
We love numbers, don’t we? That’s why we hit the notification bells on NFL Next Gen Stats and subscribe to Pro Football Focus. Whether fair or unfair, we place a lot of importance on the stats we see next to our favorite players’ names. What can we expect from Philly’s seven draftees? Well, no one truly knows, but that won’t stop us from guessing now, will it?
Round 1, Ninth selection – Jalen Carter, defensive tackle, Georgia Bulldogs
Prediction: 34 tackles, ten sacks
The Eagles didn’t grab this guy with the ninth-overall selection for no reason. Expect to see Jalen Carter early. Expect to see him often. We’re going bold here. He’s the pass-rushing threat, not Jordan Davis. Would you call us crazy if we called for 34 tackles (roughly two per game) and somewhere in the area of a double-digit sack total? He won’t equal what Javon Hargrave did last season, but he’ll be very impressive.
Fingers are crossed. We have our sights set on a Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign.
Round 1, 30th selection – Nolan Smith, linebacker, Georgia
Prediction: 36 tackles and four sacks
We didn’t grab any calculators or make any calls to friends we have that cover Georgia for this one. Here’s a shout-out to the crew over at DawnoftheDawg.com though.
Nolan Smith is too special, but he’s also behind some other edge rushers on the depth chart, so we’re guessing he’ll play special teams and defense. Those 213 or so defensive snaps that Patrick Johnson got last year though? Yeah… They’re going to Smith now.
Nolan has been compared to his new teammate, Haason Reddick. The former Temple Owl notched 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a rookie. Let’s give 36 stops to Smith too as part of a rotation, but playing with better teammates leads to a higher sack total. We’re calling for four to six from the former Georgia Bulldog.
Round 3, 65th selection – Tyler Steen, offensive lineman, Alabama Crimson Tide
Well, there aren’t any real stats that we associate with reserve guards, are they? Then again, there are the run and pass-blocking grades we see on Pro Football Focus. We’re thinking Cam Jurgens gets the start at right guard, but are we sure about that?
We’re going to cheat. Let’s put a pin in this one and come back to it later.
Round 3, 66th selection – Sydney Brown, safety, Illinois Fighting Illini
Prediction: 30 tackles, four pass breakups, interception
For as good as Reed Blankenship is (and he is good), it’s hard to guarantee he’ll beat out Sydney Brown in camp and land ahead of him on the depth chart. Heck, it’s fair to say the same about Brown. Who’s to say he’ll impress and beat out Reed?
There’s something else we want you all to understand here. Many of you aren’t discussing Terrell Edmunds enough. The Pittsburgh Steelers were upset that they had to let that young man go. He’s going to prove to be one of the steals of the offseason.
As for Brown, he’ll make the team, and he’ll play. We won’t lie. We have some high hopes and expectations here. We’re calling for 30 tackles and an interception off of sheer determination alone.
Round 4, 105th selection – Kelee Ringo, defensive back, Bulldogs
Prediction: 17 tackles
Does anyone remember when Avonte Maddox was a rookie and the Eagles let him play a little safety? We even saw Avonte play a little safety in the base package this past season (watch the game in Chicago versus the Bears). A similar formula could be what the doctor ordered for Kelee Ringo, when he’s out there of course.
Kelee is behind both Darius Slay and James Bradberry, and if they stay healthy all season, depending on where Ringo lands on the depth chart, most of what we see from him may come on special teams.
We have no idea about what we’re going to see here, but just for the heck of it, let’s pull some numbers out of the tuchus. Just for the heck of it, we’re rolling with 17 tackles, an average of one per contest. Most of which will come on special teams. He’s earning a heck of an opportunity to learn behind Slay and Bradberry.
Round 6, 188th selection – Tanner McKee, quarterback, Stanford
Don’t expect to see any statistical production from Tanner McKee. The worst-case scenario is he’s beaten out by Ian Book during the preseason and lands on the practice squad. The ceiling is he winds up as Philly’s QB3 and he’s a healthy scratch on gameday.
Maybe the Eagles secure home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs early and Jalen Hurts and Marcus Mariota are both rested in the regular-season finale. If not, we see a ball cap, headset, and clipboard in this young man’s future.
Round 7, 249th selection – Moro Ojomo, defensive tackle, Georgia
Is it just us, or do these Eagles have a ton of bodies at the defensive tackle position? Hey, don’t let that worry you. Once Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph were added last season, we saw a similar scenario in 2022.
Moro Ojomo will make the roster, along with Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, and Milton Williams. We’ll see what Philly does about guys like Marlon Tuipulotu, but unless there’s an injury, much of Ojomo’s work will be found in garbage time.
Just for the heck of it, let’s argue for about 10-15 tackles and two sacks. What do you say?