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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s draft was “impossibly good”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/1/23.

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2023 NFL Draft - Portraits Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

The entire NFL screwed up by letting the Eagles win the draft so easily - SB Nation
The Eagles made seven picks across the entire draft. Every single player was on our big board of the top 200 prospects in this class. That just shouldn’t happen — but it gets even more ludicrous from there. If you compare the Eagles’ class against the board, the team’s average pick was 75. Not only did they get seven of the best 200 players, but they actually fell inside the top 75. This is absolutely unheard of. It’s impossibly good. Yes, we’re comparing to our big board metric here — but we trust our talent evaluation. Sure, you can argue that Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith helped wreck the curve, but by comparison the Texans who took C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. in the first round (No. 8 and No. 1 on our board, respectively), took two players who weren’t in the top 200 at all, and if we intentionally break the math and count those players at a value of 200, the Texans still averaged 103 on the board — and they had one of the next best classes after Philadelphia.

Mike Mayock looks behind the curtain at how the Eagles evaluated Jalen Carter - BGN
Bleeding Green Nation went and sought input from former NFL general manager and NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock and asked what goes into an NFL team’s character evaluation. “I think Howie is operating at a really high level, and the entire team is operating at a really high level right now,” Mayock said. “They got the guy they wanted. They moved up a pick to ensure they got him, and they gave up a fourth-round pick, which won’t matter in the overall scheme. At the other end, they were patient and a guy fell to them (Smith) who is a carbon copy of Haason Reddick.” When you are in the position of weighing character against ability, what does go into the debate, how is the criteria evaluated?

Grading the Eagles’ 2023 NFL Draft - BGN Radio
Jalen Carter! Nolan Smith! D’Andre Swift! The 2023 NFL Draft was a pretty exciting one for the Philadelphia Eagles. But how should it be graded, exactly? Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski get together to talk about all of the news, from the Jonathan Gannon tampering trade settlement to the UDFA signings. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Use discount code BGN15 at for 15% off your order! Same promotion applies at Check out Kristin Roach at

Howie Roseman is winning another NFL offseason - PhillyVoice
A splashy 2022 offseason that saw Roseman bring Pro Bowlers A.J. Brown and James Bradberry to Philly may have conjured up images of the dreaded 2011 “Dream Team” for some fans, but those Eagles reached the Super Bowl and almost won the whole damn thing. There were inevitable departures in free agency this spring, like Javon Hargrave heading to San Francisco on a monster contract, but over a three-day span last week, Roseman fortified a team that should be the favorite to represent the NFC in the Big Game once more. “Winning the offseason” and “winning the draft” don’t equate to automatically hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but Roseman is doing everything in his power to make sure the Eagles add to their trophy case next February. After a buzzworthy draft, Roseman is the clear-cut choice for who “won the week” in Philly sports, my regular Monday feature here at PhillyVoice.

NFL draft 2023: Biggest post-draft questions for all 32 teams - ESPN
Did the Eagles find the cure to the Super Bowl hangover? The last NFC team to lose the Super Bowl and make it back to the game the following year was the 1974 Vikings. But that won’t dampen the optimism in Philly after the Eagles grabbed Georgia standouts Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith in the first round and traded for D’Andre Swift to close out the weekend. There are a couple positions that could use further bolstering, including linebacker, but it’s not hard to picture Philly being the class of the NFC once more given the moves they’ve made so far this offseason.

Some UDFA Talk - Iggles Blitz
So how does a guy with solid size and special athletic ability go undrafted? Went to Michigan as a RB/FB. After two years, moved to LB. Then he transferred to MSU in 2021. He was a backup LB and STer. Finally became a starting LB in 2022. Started 10 games and played well. Finished third on the team with 81 tackles. Limited playmaker, though. Had 3 TFLs, 2 sacks and 2 PDs. No FF or INTs. Put on the tape and you see VanSumeren’s athleticism. He can fly from sideline to sideline. He has excellent agility and movement skills. The problem is that he’s not a natural LB. He’s still learning to diagnose plays and read offenses. He doesn’t finish plays as well as you’d like. He closes to the ball in a hurry, but is a sloppy tackler.

Six Takeaways From the 2023 NFL Draft - The Ringer
The award for the best draft goes to the Philadelphia Eagles. Arguably the top prospect in the entire field fell to them at no. 9—Jalen Carter, defensive tackle from Georgia. The steal of the first round may have been fellow Georgia defender Nolan Smith, who was a projected top-10 pick but landed with the Eagles at no. 30. And then, at the top of Round 4, they got one of the best remaining players overall, cornerback Kelee Ringo, out of … wait, this can’t be right. Georgia? The Eagles’ successful draft puts another feather in the now-crowded cap of general manager Howie Roseman, who turned a team that went 4-11-1 in 2020 into a Super Bowl competitor in just two short years. Roseman’s success this week has had plenty of NFL fans asking the question: How does he keep getting away with this? And I want to actually answer that. There are a few contributing factors. First: The Eagles do not have size constraints for their positions that are as rigid as other teams’. Look at some of the running backs they’ve acquired in recent years: Donnel Pumphrey, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott. Each is 5-foot-9 or shorter and weighs less than 205 pounds. Those backs are simply too small for other teams. Then there’s defensive back: the Eagles have drafted Zech McPhearson, K’von Wallace, and Avonte Maddox all in recent years—each with an arm length that’s in the 30th percentile or lower for their position group. (Ringo is 42nd percentile for arm length, but 24th for overall wingspan). Pass rusher: Haason Reddick and Smith are two of the lightest pass rushers in combine history.

NFL Draft 2023 (Non) Grades - Football Outsiders
I led my New York Times draft summary with the Eagles and do not want to repeat myself or belabor any common talking points. The worst thing that can be said about the Eagles draft is that Jalen Carter might become a character-issue bust, Nolan Smith may just be a workout warrior, Kelee Ringo might have fallen to the fourth round for a reason, D’Andre Swift could be just a non-factor with a recognizable name, and the whole Georgia meme merely a sign of Howie Roseman getting too cutesy-poo. Indeed, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean did not do much last year. Fine, the worst-case scenario is possible, maybe a little plausible. But the Eagles did exactly what a Super Bowl contender should do in the draft: they aggressively pursued maximum-upside talent, because the “safe” picks likely to fall to them in most spots are unlikely to be talented enough to make a difference. Also, Eagles fans are going to love Sydney Brown, and I wish the Eagles had drafted Chase Brown too.

Who Won, and Who Lost, in the 2023 N.F.L. Draft - New York Times
The Eagles should not be able to do the things they do. A team that won 14 games and reached the Super Bowl last season should not have a top 10 pick in the next draft. That team should not have the opportunity to draft both Jalen Carter, possibly the most talented player in his class, and his Georgia defensive linemate Nolan Smith, who produced astounding workout results at the scouting combine. That team should not have later been able to add four more potential starters: offensive lineman Tyler Steen, a steady performer for Vanderbilt and Alabama; Illinois safety Sydney Brown, who intercepted six passes for one of the nation’s best defenses in 2022; cornerback Kelee Ringo, yet another member of Georgia’s back-to-back national championship teams; and, through a trade, the veteran running back D’Andre Swift (Georgia, again), who scored eight touchdowns last year for the Detroit Lions. Finally, a team nursing a Super Bowl hangover should not have been able to lock its star quarterback, Jalen Hurts, into a reported five-year, $255 million contract extension before the draft. Such a team would normally be salary-cap strapped, and such contracts are supposed to be preceded by months of melodrama.

The Eagles’ trade for D’Andre Swift shows how the Bijan Robinson truthers need cognitive restructuring - Inquirer
Perhaps that is why the old-school beliefs about running backs still exist. There are certainly plenty who are informed enough to understand the new paradigm for offensive success in the NFL, especially here in Philadelphia. But it doesn’t help that talk radio and click baiters disingenuously push a narrative all for the sake of ratings or hide behind a faux defense in the name of “entertainment.” It’s time to break the cycle and end the irrationality for the sake of actual truth.

Philadelphia Eagles Shadow Draft: Consensus at the top before the paths diverge - The Athletic
Sydney Brown also elucidates another disparity between the two processes. Roseman spoke Friday night about him being a “passion player” for the organization, with several members of the front office falling hard for him in the pre-draft process. He was given a “red-star” designation by one scout as a player who checked every box for the team, and it was obvious how much excitement there must have been in the room when the Eagles drafted him. Roseman’s job is to ultimately be responsible for picking the best player, but he also has a soft responsibility to the people involved in the year-round draft process. Even if Sydney Brown doesn’t turn out to have been the precise best selection at No. 66, maybe the knowledge that Roseman values the input of those around him is enough to keep the scouts, analytics staff and everyone else from becoming disenchanted with the process and continue pulling in the same direction.

NFC East draft roundup: The rich get richer - Big Blue View
The crown jewel of the Eagles’ draft is Jalen Carter, whom they moved up one spot from No. 10 to No. 9 to select. Carter was a consensus top-three pick in the draft before an alleged car racing accident that led to an arrest back in March. Many consider him to be the best interior defensive line prospect since Aaron Donald himself. For a team that nearly broke the NFL record in sacks but lost Javon Hargrave to the 49ers, this is an even more dominant replacement. The Eagles gave teams fits last year and are set to continue doing just that with Carter upfront. Philadelphia doubled down on their terrific first night by selecting Nolan Smith with the 30th pick. Smith was the 16th-ranked prospect on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board. Despite his 6-foot-1, 238-pound frame, he was a stout run defender as well as a productive edge rusher in college. Smith vaulted up draft boards when he posted a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, the best by an edge prospect since 2003.

10 thoughts on the Cowboys 2023 draft - Blogging The Boys
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention what went down with Philadelphia over the weekend. Obviously, it’s early and we can’t be handing out any awards in April, but it sure feels like the Eagles orchestrated yet another amazing draft. Not only did they get “draft steals” by plucking every sliding Georgia player in this draft, but they also acquired a talented running back by trading with the Detroit Lions to get D’Andre Swift (also a former Bulldog). The former Lions running back only has one year left on his rookie contract, so this could be just a one-year rental, but this is a nice way to make up for the recently departed Miles Sanders.

It looks like the Eagles had a great draft, but have they gotten better? - Hogs Haven
I’m certain there’s more that I’m missing, but this is a glimpse in the sort of multi-year thinking that is currently happening in the Eagles front office, and that should terrify the rest of the NFC East. I long for a day when we can do a similar sort of evaluation for Washington’s front office, and arrive at similar conclusions. I’d like to think we can get there soon. In the meantime, as much as it pains me to say it, kudos to Roseman and the Eagles.

Jonathan Gannon declines to meet with reporters during the 2023 draft - PFT
As noted by Josh Weinfuss of, Gannon didn’t speak to reporters a single time during any of the three days of the draft. It’s not required by the league, but it’s commonplace. Even Bill Belichick does it. The goal is to parlay the plausible hope that comes from the use of draft picks into hype and excitement and other things that generate revenue for a team. So why didn’t Gannon speak to reporters? Maybe he didn’t want to have to answer questions about his factually-inaccurate claim that the media in Philly wanted him fired for not blitzing enough. Or maybe he didn’t want to have to address his decision to take a call from Cardinals G.M. Monti Ossenfort at a time when such calls were prohibited by tampering rules. Ossenfort has owned up to the blunder. But it takes two to telephone tango. Gannon knew or should have known he shouldn’t be talking to Ossenfort, but Gannon did anyway. [BLG Note: Loser and a fraud.]


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