Philadelphia Eagles 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

What are the most pressing Philadelphia Eagles draft needs? With the 2023 NFL Draft here, let's dive into the positional gaps they might fill.

As we approach Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles still have holes on the roster to fill. They have committed to quarterback Jalen Hurts for the long term, rewarding him with a record-setting contract this offseason after he led the team to a Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles came up short and undoubtedly have plans to get back there. They have lost some pieces from that roster that need replacing.

Philadelphia Eagles Team Needs Following Round 1

  • S
  • LB

The Eagles need to rebuild a bit of their defense after having many of its players poached in free agency. The defense certainly put up some gaudy numbers in 2022 but was largely overrated.

MORE: Philadelphia Eagles 2023 NFL Draft Picks

Against high-quality offenses, they simply were not all that good. They feasted on weaker teams but gave up points against proficient offenses. They need to rebuild at every level of that defense, especially having lost coordinator Jonathan Gannon to the Arizona Cardinals.

The offense does not need nearly as much help, especially with Jason Kelce coming back. They return most of last season’s assembly of characters. Still, they could stand to add depth at running back, wide receiver, and offensive line. Kelce has flirted with retirement a few times, and, to avoid drop-off, Philly may want to begin grooming his successor.

Results for Eagles 2023 Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 9 (From CHI via CAR): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Someone needs to stop Howie Roseman because what he is doing is unfair to the rest of the NFL. The Eagles sent the 10th overall pick and a 2024 fourth-rounder to the Bears for the No. 9 selection and drafted Georgia DT Jalen Carter.

This was the dream scenario for Philly as they paired Carter with former teammate Jordan Davis. The two of them on the interior of that defensive line is downright frightening. The Eagles set an NFL record for the most players with at least 10 sacks (four) last year and instantly were able to replace DT Javon Hargrave, who is the only one not returning.

The Eagles messed around and got a top-two talent all the way down at pick No. 9 despite playing in the Super Bowl last year. But they weren’t done.

Round 1, Pick 30: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

You have got to be kidding me at this point. Can we just call them “Georgia North” or the Philadelphia Bulldogs now? According to NFL Network’s James Palmer, “multiple teams were calling the Eagles when they were picking at 30 looking to get back up into the first round, per sources. The thought is it would have been for the 5th year option for a QB. Philly decided not to do a deal and picked Nolan Smith who they never thought would be there at 30.”

A 6’2″ and 238-pound rusher, Smith pops off the tape as an uber-athletic player with unbelievable acceleration, change of direction, and pursuit. He has a very high ceiling as a pass rusher and will learn from Haason Reddick, which is fantastic as both share many of the same traits.

Smith will mesh into the rotation while providing immediate production and giving the Eagles a future long-term option to replace the aging Brandon Graham. The Eagles walked out of Day 1 as the biggest team winner.

Predictions and Top Targets for Every Eagles Draft Pick

The trade between the Bears and the Panthers shook up the NFL Draft order. The Eagles were direct beneficiaries of that, as the earlier moves helped push better talent down to them to help fill their overall team needs since they had multiple picks in the first round. Using the PFN Mock Draft Simulator, here is how I would fill those needs for Philadelphia.

Round 2, Pick 62 | Zach Charbonnet, RB

This is a luxury pick based on how the board fell. But Zach Charbonnet would provide good depth and playmaking to an already explosive rushing attack — if he is available.

Round 3, Pick 66 | Luke Wypler, C

This is the perfect player to groom behind Jason Kelce if they prefer to use Cam Jergens at right guard.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Picks by Team

Luke Wypler has Day 1 starter potential but would be afforded the ability to learn and develop behind a future Hall of Famer who is on the verge of calling it a career but did return on a one-year, $14 million contract which still doesn’t seem like enough for the best center in the NFL.

Round 7, Pick 219 | Payne Durham, TE

A bit of a luxury pick, Payne Durham is not someone you’re going to rely on from Day 1 but could provide solid depth behind Dallas Goedert. He possesses good size to be a help in the run game as well.

Round 7, Pick 248 | Jordan Howden, S

Jordan Howden is not a guy who is going to come in and solve your safety problem but has developmental upside and can play special teams.

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