5 possible steals Eagles could land during the 2023 NFL Draft

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, #91 Kansas State Wildcats (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Felix Anudike-Uzomah, #91 Kansas State Wildcats (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

If Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles haven’t taught us anything else, it has been this. Regardless of what you deem their most pressing needs to be, you can never rule out the theory that they’ll add another trench warrior, whether that be on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. We’ve seen them do so too many times to be shocked if that happened.

Much has been made about the theories that they’d never take a linebacker in Round 1. Truthfully, we all understand why. The last time they did so was in 1979 (Jerry Robinson).

The Eagles haven’t taken a defensive back in Round 1 since Lito Sheppard was the choice in 2002. They haven’t taken a tailback on day one since they added Keith Byars in 1986, but while that would figuratively rule guys like Bijan Robinson out, no one can state that definitively. All we can do is wait and watch.

We have discussed the popular prospects in great detail. How about a hand for the wildcards?

Here are a handful of potential Eagles prospects that could be surprise selections and eventually be seen as draft-day steals.

Here are five guys we haven’t dedicated much time to discussing that could wind up in midnight green. They’d be surprises, but if they were added, once you’ve seen them play, you won’t regret the decision to select them.

Calijah Kancey, Pitt

If you have been paying attention, Calijah Kancey is someone that you’ve heard a lot about. You have probably also seen the former Pitt star mocked to the Philadelphia Eagles at both the tenth and 30th selections.

Some view Kancey as the second-best interior defensive lineman in the 2023 draft class. Others are concerned that he’s undersized. Still, if those comparisons to Aaron Donald wind up being accurate, there are going to be a ton of teams that are going to be upset about overlooking him.

Following his final season at the collegiate level, he earned a Unanimous All-American nod and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein named Pro Football Hall of Famer John Randle as his pre-draft comparison. Who doesn’t believe Philly could use another John Randle on the roster?

Remember Randle went undrafted in 1990. Teams overlooked him too!

Will McDonald, Iowa State – An edge rusher who isn’t getting enough burn.

We have said this before, and it bears repeating. Had Will McDonald IV played his college ball in the SEC, we’d be talking about him as one of the top 15 prospects in this draft class. Instead, he played his college ball at Iowa State, and well, you know how that goes.

As far as edge rushers are concerned, Alabama’s Will Anderson, Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness, and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson are seen as elite prospects. McDonald could find himself available at the end of Round 1, and if the Eagles address another need early and add the former Cyclone as their pass rusher at 30, what they’ll find is a ten-year starter.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Every time we talk to someone about the best edge rushers in this class, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, more often than not, lands outside their top ten. That isn’t a knock on this former Kansas State star and 2022 First-team All-American. It’s more of a credit to the 2023 prospects and evidence of how deep this class is.

Let’s say all of these scouts are right. Let’s say Felix still finds himself on the board at the end of round two and the BIrds are still in search of an edge rusher. This young man gives them a nice building block for what might be the next ten seasons. He’s that good. He racked up 8.5 sacks in 2022.

O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida – The best true guard in the 2023 draft class

There’s a possibility that, if the Eagles go with one of the best offensive tackles early (Peter Skoronski or Paris Johnston perhaps), that young man will fill in at right guard during the coming season. Some believe that Skoronski grades as an NFL guard anyway, but there’s some theory that the Birds prefer Johnson and could see him as an eventual replacement for Lane Johnson when the legend calls it a career.

Let’s say the Eagles don’t go with Skoronski or Johnston. They could go with O’Cyrus Torrence sometime on Day 2. He’s viewed by many as the best true guard in the class. No one should be shocked if he hears his name called on the selection meeting’s first night, but he’s been given second-day grades.

Grabbing him at 62 might be out of the question, but if Philly packages some picks, namely one or two of those choices they have in 2024, who knows? This is a move that would benefit the franchise lately.

Mazi Smith, Michigan – An interior defensive lineman/stop-gap

Mazi Smith would be a huge addition to the Eagles’ defensive line (pun intended). At six-foot-three and 326 pounds, this young man isn’t someone that offensive linemen are going to enjoy pushing around for four quarters. There’s only one issue here.

Related Story. 5 teams who could steal Jalen Carter. light

Like Jordan Davis, he’s more of a run defender than a sack artist. If Philly is looking for QB takedowns from someone along the defensive line’s interior, this may not be the guy. Then again, he could occupy multiple blockers and create additional opportunities for his friends on the outside.