The NFL Combine is ramping up in Indianapolis this week. Players are arriving and beginning the interviews and measurement processes before doing the much anticipated on-field drills and tests. Hundreds of players will be there, but here are five names for Eagles fans to keep a close eye on.
Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
In a class filled with impressive pass rushers, Nolan Smith might have the most to gain in Indianapolis. Smith was a crucial part of the Georgia defense early in their 2022 season, but was lost to injury for the second half and their playoff run. Smith is healthy and gets to put on a show this week. For a player that never had great production as a pass rusher, blowing the doors off athletic testing will be important to assuage concerns about his translation to the NFL. Smith is a great target for the Eagles in the second part of the first round.
Kelee Ringo, Cornerback, Georgia
One bad game in the playoffs and everyone forgot that Kelee Ringo was the best cornerback in college football for most of the 2022 season. Ringo has great size at 6’2” and over 200 pounds and what he’ll have to show in Indy this week is that he is among the best athletes in the class. Ringo should vault himself back into the CB1 conversation with strong testing and should entice the cornerback-hungry Eagles. Also worth mentioning that Ringo is the youngest cornerback prospect in the class.
Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas
There has been much talk about how great of a landing spot Philadelphia would be for Bijan Robinson. The Texas running back is the among the best players in the class and would no doubt thrive in the Eagles backfield. A big question is whether the Eagles would break trends and draft a running back high. Since 2009, they have drafted eight running backs, but only two of them were drafted higher than the fourth round (Lesean McCoy and Miles Sanders). Robinson is a first round prospect, so the Eagles drafting him would really mean they were head over heels in love with him. Robinson’s tape is already as good as tape could be for a running back prospect, but a great combine could really change some minds in the Eagles front office.
Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
The Eagles have a sneaky wide receiver need. If the Eagles want Jalen Hurts to build on an MVP-worthy season, putting more weapons around him will be in their best interest. A first round pick is a bit rich for a WR3, but Jaxson Smith-Njigba feels like a great fit in the Eagles passing game. He is a tough, sure-handed receiver who wins in the middle of the field and can get YAC. He would be a great complement to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. After missing most of the 2022 season, Smith-Njigba has been dutifully preparing for the NFL draft process. He will surprise people with his athleticism this week.
Peter Skoronski, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
The Eagles are highly likely to draft offensive line, defensive line or both in the first round. That is their MO and this is a good year for it. Peter Skoronski is one of the better blockers in the class this year, with some buzz as the class’ top tackle. Measured athleticism is very important for the modern offensive tackle. The Eagles have thrived recently due to their bookend blockers both being elite athletes. It makes sense. NFL edge rushers are some of the best athletes in sports, so the guys tasked with stopping them should be too. Skoronski is a good athlete, but this week will show just how good he is. A strong week of testing will likely secure him a spot in the top 15 of the draft, if not higher.