Ranking potential Eagles defensive tackle targets in 2023 NFL Draft

Gervon Dexter #9, Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Gervon Dexter #9, Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Mazi Smith, Michigan Wolverines (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

811. . . . Mazi Smith, Michigan. 8. player

Two of the Big Ten’s best players may find their way onto the Eagles’ draft board.

Michigan Wolverines standout Mazi Smith began his NCAA career with a redshirt. That career may end with a second consecutive College Football Playoff appearance and some individual acclaim if his team maintains its undefeated status and take care of business versus the hated Ohio State Buckeyes during The Game.

Oh, he’ll be drafted. That we’re certain of. The only questions are about how early he’ll hear his name will be called. Right now, he feels like a second-day prospect, but he’s a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2020-21). He’s also an All-Big Ten honorable mention for 2021 and a three-time letter winner (2019-20-21).

NFL scouts and coaches are going to love him. Might the Eagles be paying attention?

. . Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin. 7. player. 809.

Physically, Keeanu Benton kind of looks like Jordan Davis, but the Wisconsin Badgers star is two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. That’s okay though. He’s been a force who figures to have more than 15 career sacks on his resume by the time he’s done with his collegiate career.

In 2021, he earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors after being an Academic All-Big Ten nod in 2020. Keep an eye on him. With his size and skill set, he can play the nose tackle position in the 3-4 scheme or the defensive tackle position in a traditional 4-3 alignment.