Philadelphia Eagles Draft Picks 2023 – Is Carter the steal of the Draft?

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The Philadelphia Eagles fell just short of winning the Super Bowl last season. The recovery process begins with the 2023 NFL Draft and if we judge based on the first round, it seems like the Eagles did a great job. They were one of few teams to have two selections in the first round and they used both Eagles draft picks to strengthen the defense.

Eagles Draft Picks 2023

Two of the six Eagles picks were in the first round of the draft.

First-round pick (9th): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

The Eagles swapped draft selections with the Bears in order to get to No. 9 on the board. They used their pick to select Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia. Carter is a 6-foot-3, 314 lbs senior who plays a defensive tackle. He was a unanimous 2022 First-Team All-American and a Lombardi Award finalist. Carter had a major role on the Bulldogs team that won back-to-back CFP National championships.

Carter would have probably been selected much higher but his off-the-court history has made some teams pass on him. The 22-year-old arrived at the NFL Combine but left early after an arrest warrant was issued on him. He received misdemeanor charges of reckless driving racing in connection with a crash that killed a teammate and recruiting staff member in January, in Athens.

Later, at Georgia’s Pro Day, Carter showed up with extra weight and failed to finish position drills due to apparent cramping and breathing issues.

It is a fact that the Eagles made a big gamble with Carter but it may prove to be the steal of the Draft. Carter will join the Eagles where two former Bulldogs teammates, Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis, will be his mentors.

First-round pick (30th): Nolan Smith, LB, Georgia

The Eagles added another Georgia Bulldog to the roster by selecting linebacker Nolan Smith with the 30th pick in the Draft. Smith is a 6-foot-3, 325 lbs senior who played alongside Carter in the defensive line of the Bulldogs. He is another one who could have been drafted much earlier but he suffered a season-ending pectoral tear in October. However, he will be ready for the training camp with the Eagles and is expected to earn some playing time early in his pro career.

Third-round pick (65th from Houston): Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama

Steen is an offensive tackle who may be another steal for the Eagles in this draft. The main reason why he fell to the third round of the draft is the fact that he changed a lot of positions throughout his college career. He started at Vanderbilt as an defensive tackle in 2018 and then moved to offensive tackle. The following season he was a right tackle before moving to the left side in 2020. He started 34 of 38 games at Vanderbilt receiving All-SEC honors twice before transferring to Alabama where he started in all 13 games last season. Steen has a huge NFL-ready body as he stands at 6-foot-6 with 321 pounds. He is coming off a school with a winning mentality and that is what the Eagles need on their roster.

Third-round pick (66th from Arizona): Sydney Brown, S, Illinois

The Eagles strengthen their defense with another selection in the third round. They drafted Sydney Brown from University of Illinois. The Fighting Illini were the best defense in the country. They allowed only 12.3 points per game and were tied for the fewest allowed touchdowns in the country with 8. They were second in yards allowed per game with 263.8. Those numbers are pretty impressive, and Sydney Brown was one of the key players in that defensive line. Originally from Canada, Brown transferred to a school in Florida in his junior high school year. What makes him stand out is the fact that he was also a track and field sprinter in school being a state finalist in 400m, 4x400m, and 4x100m during his senior year.

Fourth-round pick (105th from Houston): Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Ringo is the third player from Georgia the Eagles drafted this year. Just like Carter and Smith, Ringo has two CFP National Championship rings. He started in all 15 games for the Bulldogs last season and earned second-team All-SEC honors after leading Georgia with 7 pass interceptions and also posting 42 tackles. He made a name for himself after his pick-six against Alabama in the title game basically clinched the win. Ringo is an excellent athlete who had great results in high school in track and field winning multiple titles on 100 and 200 meters. His straight-line speed was one of the fastest at the Draft combine and the Eagles got themselves a real prospect that can become a regular starter in the years to come.

Sixth-round pick (188th from Houston): Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford

McKee has a quite unusual story getting to the NFL. While he was playing high school ball at the Centennial High School in Corona, California, he was diagnosed with melanoma and had a mole on his head and two lymph nodes removed as a precautionary measure. He played in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and 2018 Polynesian Bowl, where he was named MVP. McKee committed to Stanford but before getting there, McKee served a two years on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once he got there, things didn’t start well. He played in only one game in 2020 before getting the starting QB spot the following season. He started all 12 games in 2022, throwing for 2,947 yards (264-426-62%, 13 TDs, eight INTs; two rushing TDs).

Seventh-round pick (249th from Detroit): Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas

Ojomo is a 6-foot-1, 284 pounds defensive tackle from the University of Texas. He was born in Nigeria and his parents moved to the USA when he was 7 years old. He was voted Big 12 honorable mention all-conference in 2021 and 2022 after he had 29 tackles in 2021 and 32 the following year starting in 24 games for the Longhorns within that span.

Eagles Draft Grade: A-

The Eagles did a great job in the first round of the Draft adding two former Georgia defenders to the roster. As Javon Hargrave left for the 49ers and Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are not getting any younger, the addition of Carter and Smith may prove to be the right move even as early as the following season. Carter is ready to contribute right away while Smith may need some time to adapt after missing most of the season. They took advantage of the second day of the drafted as they added two valuable players in the third round. Steen and Brown will not be starters anytime soon but definitely have the potential to become valuable for the Eagles. The three picks from Day 3 are players that can have a bright future in the NFL.

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