The Philadelphia Eagles somehow managed to grab another incredible defender from Georgia, adding LB/edge rusher Nolan Smith with the No. 30 overall pick. It was a little surprising that Howie Roseman and Co. ended up making both of their first-round picks on Thursday, instead of trading back, but it certainly seems to have worked out.
Everyone seems to have caught on that the Eagles were looking to recreate the 2021 Georgia defense, and now have four players from the historic group. Most people can’t believe Smith fell to No. 30 in the first place, and then for Philly to make the no-brainer move, was a win-win. Now, Smith joins Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean, and a lot of his new teammates are excited about the addition.
Analysts pretty unanimously agree that this was a great move by the Eagles, and are giving the team a good grade for their work on Thursday night.
Howie was hooping tonight— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) April 28, 2023
YOINK— Jordan Davis (Parody Account) (@jordanxdavis99) April 28, 2023
Man ts surreal ‼️‼️ Got another brudda with me— Nakobe Dean (@NakobeDean) April 28, 2023
Nolan Smith is a MF dog. Eagles fans gonna love him.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 28, 2023
#Eagles had Nolan Smith as a potential target at No. 10, per a team source. That he would last 20 spots and fall into their laps at No. 30 may seem like revisionist history, but that has apparently been the case.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) April 28, 2023
Thought Smith was a possibility for the Eagles at No. 10. They get him at No. 30.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) April 28, 2023
Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, two-time national champs, join the Eagles defense.
#Eagles DL— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) April 28, 2023
If you are new and haven't seen this, this is why Nolan Smith is a ridiculously good pick. He has one of the best pressure and run stop rates of any edge over the past 5 years.— Greg - PhillyCoverCorner (@greghartpa) April 28, 2023
Fly Eagles fly! pic.twitter.com/eCmyl5qLOS
Only concern for the Eagles now is the nagging possibility that Jalen Carter didn't try hard during practice because he didn't like his teammates very much.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) April 28, 2023
The Eagles have drafted my first and seventh overall players in Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, respectively.— Ben Natan (@thebennatan) April 28, 2023
Third straight year Howie drafts two reigning National Champions.
Nolan Smith is baby Haason Reddick and now he is his teammate.
I am speechless. Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith? How in the heck did they pull that off? What an amazing first round.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 28, 2023
30. #Eagles - Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia. Freaky explosion/bend/athleticism. Power run defender. Stacks and sheds. Has to add pass-rush moves but was super-productive without them in college. Grade: A+— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) April 28, 2023
Jalen Carter AND Nolan Smith?!? For real???— James Seltzer (@JamesSeltzer) April 28, 2023
The Eagles have drafted 4/11ths of this defense (not really Nolan Smith didn't start don't worry about it) pic.twitter.com/fcazruEr1R— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) April 28, 2023
The #Eagles are selecting Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith at No. 30. Eagles are just bringing the Georgia defense to Philly. My goodness..— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 28, 2023
The #Eagles like Nolan Smith because he wins quickly on the pass rush. That's important with QBs being taught to get the football out so quickly now. Have to believe he fell a bit due to the pec injury— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) April 28, 2023
Before last year, the Eagles hadn't drafted a Georgia player since Brandon Boykin in 2012. They've now drafted four Bulldogs -- Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith -- early in the last two drafts.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) April 28, 2023
This is an amazing #Eagles haul. I will say, though, that there is always a reason why a guy drops. Sometimes that reason turns out to be silly and erroneous. Sometimes not.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 28, 2023
The Eagles finished 2022 with the third-most sacks in NFL history.— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) April 28, 2023
With their two first-round picks, they draft Georgia DT Jalen Carter and EDGE Nolan Smith.
Eagles are hyped and hopeful the coaching staff can tap into the duo's pass-rush skills at the pro level.
Howie Roseman, looking on every time another GM *doesn't* draft a defender from Georgia pic.twitter.com/iYQrCm4vrz— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) April 28, 2023
Nolan Smith's relative lack of size for an edge rusher -- he's listed as 6-2, 238 -- may have been one deterrent to other NFL teams. He had a season-ending pectoral injury last season, too.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) April 28, 2023
But he has freakish athletic traits and no apparent character concerns. https://t.co/XoVgVK83sY