Bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2023 NFL Draft

Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

There’s nothing like Christmas. For as long as many of us have been alive, we have circled December 25th on the calendar. Here’s what is great though. Philadelphia Eagles fans and every other sports fan on the planet get that feeling twice annually. We might be in the minority here. Maybe we aren’t, but this might be one of the best times of the year.

Beginning at the end of February, we begin discussing Spring Training in Major League Baseball and the NFL Scouting Combine. March brings the ‘madness’ that college basketball delivers every year. That is followed by April, the start of the MLB season, and the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Then, there’s the NFL Draft.

Held every year at the end of our great nation’s fourth month, pro football’s annual selection meeting doesn’t involve any referees or a scoreboard, but it’s, without question, one of the biggest sporting events known to man. The entire football world stops what it’s doing to tune in.

If only we knew a fortune teller that could tell us what will occur six months down the road. That would be ideal, but since we don’t, we’re left to our own vices and guessing.

The draft is a crapshoot. No one truly knows what the Eagles will do or who their new class will include just yet. Right now, all we have are assumptions… And, you know we have no issues with making a few.

We dusted off the crystal ball and traveled back to the future. Let’s have some fun friends, shall we?

Here are five bold Eagles predictions during the 2023 NFL Draft.

What a unique situation the Eagles are in. Never have they owned a top-ten selection just two months after representing the National Football Conference in the Super Bowl. As a result, opinions are all over the place about what they should do with it.

Nine teams will add to their wheelhouse before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the Eagles are on the clock. Their decisions will, no doubt influence the one made by Philly’s leadership team.

1. Let’s start with a guess on the first eight picks (we have a theory about Chicago at nine).

The Bears select immediately before the Philadelphia Eagles, and something tells us they’re going to take someone that Philly is high on. Before we get into that, here’s a theory on how things might wind up shaking out.

  1. Carolina Panthers – QB Bryce Young (Alabama)
  2. Houston Texans – Will Anderson (Alabama)
  3. Arizona Cardinals – Paris Johnston Jr. (Ohio State)
  4. Indianapolis Colts – QB C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)
  5. Seattle Seahawks – Jalen Carter (Georgia)
  6. Detroit Lions – Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
  7. Las Vegas Raiders – Devon Witherspoon (Illinois)
  8. Atlanta Falcons – Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

The Bears are on the clock now. What do they do? Well… we’re glad you asked.

2. The Bears remove any Peter Skoronski temptation from the Eagles as they select him ninth overall.

The Bears are a difficult organization to understand. Last year, they entered the offseason with draft capital and money to spend. They elected to blow up the roster.

Entering the coming NFL Draft, they need offensive linemen, defensive linemen, cornerbacks, and pass rushers, and you could argue that they could use a running back (Justin Fields led the team in rushing last season).

Goal number one is to keep Justin Fields vertical and healthy. The Bears take Peter Skoronski at the tenth overall selection and remove any temptation the Eagles have to take him (if they have any).

3. Howie Roseman does it. Bijan Robinson is the selection at ten (but, Nolan Smith is the choice if he doesn’t).

We’ve said this for much of the pre-draft process. We think Bijan Robinson is going to be a great pro, but there’s a reason why franchises don’t value the running back position like they used to. We don’t have to explore that here. We’ve discussed them ad naueam. Still, it feels like Philly will throw us a curveball.

If you’re hesitant about taking a prospect that plays the game’s most punished position, we get it. Trust us. We do. Still, with that being said, Howie Roseman’s statements about ‘special players’ and ‘zigging’ when other teams are ‘zagging’ have been on our minds since he first said them. We have also heard Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie discuss his preference for a high-powered offense.

We’d love it if Jalen Carter fell to the tenth pick, but we don’t see it happening. We know the Eagles are infatuated with Nolan Smith and Lukas Van Ness, but we feel like there’s no bigger ‘zig’ than adding Bijan Robinson as the selection at ten. We feel like this is going to wind up happening. If it doesn’t, our money is on Nolan Smith, the Haason Reddick clone, as the choice.

Don’t blame us. We have argued all of the reasons why adding someone else would be wise, and yes, we’d rather the pick be a difference-maker on defense. Then again, all of the debates and discussions have swayed us. The draft’s top-rated running back might be the choice.

Saying the Eagles might take Bijan at ten may not qualify as a bold prediction, but it’s definitely a bold move, one we can really see this team making.

4. Howie Roseman trades out of Round 1 and adds more picks.

If we haven’t learned anything else about Howie Roseman, it has been this. Staying put with six picks and sitting idly while making two first-round selections doesn’t sound like our favorite G.M. at all.

There’s been some discussion about the Eagles possibly trading back from ten or 30 and adding picks. The beauty about doing that at the end of Round 1 is they still have the option of adding someone early in the second round that they would have taken earlier. They’d also be paying him the salary of a second-round choice.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams,
and Seattle Seahawks all pick at the top of Round 2, They all make sense as trade partners. Let’s just throw one out for the sake of argument.

Hypothetical: Eagles and Rams swap the 30th and 36th selections. The Rams throw in the 69th choice at the top of Round 3 to sweeten the deal.  

Exhausting every resource and mortgaging their future helped win the championship the Los Angeles Rams were seeking, but it also left the cupboard bare. Gosh, this team got bad in a hurry.

L.A. doesn’t own a first-round selection currently. Here, in this scenario/proposal, they catapult themselves into Round 1 to allow themselves the opportunity to land a potential starter. They lose a third-round selection in the process, but come on. What in the heck does this team know about valuing draft capital?

Being the generous parties that we are, however, we’ll throw them a bone anyway. Howie Roseman helps them improve their late-round position in next year’s selection meeting by swapping the highest fifth-round choice the Eagles have for the Rams’ highest sixth-rounder (we’re assuming both teams earn compensatory picks).

It’s a little outlandish, and no, this probably won’t happen, but an offer like this might influence a trade-down.

5. Eagles add Jahmyr Gibbs as a Bijan Robinson consolation prize, OR they strengthen the trenches at 36 and add three future starters on Day 2.

Sue us. We cheated. We’re giving you a few options here on Day 2 of the selection meeting. Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs is obviously the consolation prize for those of you that wanted Bijan Robinson at the tenth overall selection. If the Birds don’t take the former Texas Longhorns star first, many hope the next selection is used on the Alabama tailback.

Let’s just say that, as we stated earlier, Bijan Robinson is the selection at ten. If that worked out, we’d go the route of adding more young talent to the roster at positions of need with the selection of edge rusher Will McDonald IV in our scenario here at 36, interior defensive lineman Keeanu Benton (Wisconsin) at 62, offensive tackle/guard hybrid Matthew Bergeron (Syracuse) at 69, and safety Jammie Robinson (Florida State) at 94.

If that doesn’t work out, we still have another theory. Hear us out. We think you may like this.

Here’s the backup plan. The Birds take Nolan Smith at ten, and that means Jahmyr Gibbs is the choice at 36 (we still feel Philly can land him if they trade back). We then solidify the defensive line by adding the athletic defensive tackle Gervon Dexter Sr. (Florida) at 62, offensive lineman Chandler Zavala at 69, and safety Anthony Johnson Jr. (Iowa State) at 94.

We’re also going to assume the Eagles double-dip and add another edge rusher or interior defensive lineman on the final day. We could be right about this. We could be wrong about all of this, but either way, the past few months have taught us that we have even more respect than the job Howie Roseman is doing.