The Philadelphia Eagles have All-Pro Haason Reddick and “Mini Haason Reddick,” as left tackle Jordan Mailata called rookie Nolan Smith ahead of the 2023 season.
Smith entered the pre-draft process with analysts comparing him to the 2022 Eagles All-Pro. Now, the Georgia Bulldogs standout is set to unleash speed and a sack pileup opposite of Reddick. The NFC champ and now seven-year NFL veteran shared with Pro Football Network what he’s seen so far out of the prized first-round pick.
Haason Reddick Details Nolan Smith’s Maturity
Reddick, who is helping promote Campbell’s Soup’s “Chunky Sack Hunger Initiative” ahead of the 2023 season, was asked if he’s already seen growth out of the young defender who’s bringing his 4.39 speed in the 40-yard dash to an already fast defense.
“I would say maturity-wise, yes. He asks questions all day long,” Reddick revealed. “As a rookie, having the veteran leadership that he has, it makes nothing but sense to ask questions the way he does. Because there’s great guys to learn from — myself, B.G. (Brandon Graham), Sweaty (Josh Sweat) — there’s great guys to learn from.”
Smith already has shown the relentless energy the Eagles drafted him for.
Sheesh Nolan Smith. Insane athleticism to blow up the reverse pic.twitter.com/w4YMxlGG2H
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) August 18, 2023
Smith, though, isn’t just reliant on the speed that turned him into one of the most revered defenders on the national champions. He’s displayed a speed-to-power combination to evade blockers.
High level stuff from Eagles rookie Nolan Smith:
Pushes the OTs arms up before he can place his hands, swipes down immediately after to prevent hand replacement, rips and bends to get the edge.
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) August 22, 2023
And Smith has shown samples of his NFL potential while tapping into the brain cells of veterans like Reddick.
“So for him, the whole thing is, ‘let me pick these guys’ brain as much as I can and soak up all the information.’ And for me, I’ve just seen his willingness to get better,” Reddick said.
That includes Reddick himself witnessing a jump in production from Smith’s preseason game to his second.
“From his first preseason game to his second preseason game, just to see the amount of change in how he corrected his mistakes from his first preseason game lets me know that he knows what it means to be an NFL player and pro,” Reddick said.
Reddick Aiming To Hit Big Financial Mark With National Soup Company
Reddick is shooting for a target goal in his new partnership with Campbell’s.
“Campbell’s and myself have partnered to try to tackle the food insecurity across the nation with the Chunky Sack Hunger initiative,” Reddick said.
He adds there’s a target goal he and other NFL defenders taking part in the initiative are aiming to hit.
“Our goal is to give $2 million for meals across the nation,” Reddick said. “So for every Chunky bowl that is purchased during the season, we will be donating a meal to those in need.”
Reddick, who grew up near Campbell’s headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, is one of 10 NFL defenders assisting the soup company in sacking hunger across America. More information on the project can be found here.