Top Eagles EDGE options during 2023 NFL Draft after Anderson, Wilson
Football is a much more sophisticated game than it once was. The ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’ days are long gone. It takes quarterbacks 15 seconds to call plays. Coverages and blitz schemes are more elaborate. It’s going to be fun to see what the Philadelphia Eagles‘ new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and Sean Desai, the defensive coordinator, come up with on gamedays.
Here’s something else we love about our favorite sport. Despite all of the innovation and intricacies, there are certain aspects of the game that will always be true. You use the screen pass to beat the blitz. You use the running game to set up play-action passing. A great passing game sets up the ability to run draw plays.
Then, there’s the roster. They say, in order to compete in pro football on a consistent basis, teams must find their quarterback, They also say games are won and lost in the trenches. In short, you want to find you’re franchise signal-caller. Then you want to find five guys to protect him and a few guys on the defensive side of the ball to chase the other team’s quarterback around.
Here are the top ten EDGE prospects that will be available to the Eagles in the NFL Draft after Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson are off of the board.
No one has to tell Eagles Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman that it’s of the utmost importance that teams invest in their defensive pass rush. Philly has struck oil with the selection of Josh Sweat and the Haason Reddick acquisition. The veteran Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett will be a part of the Birds’ rotation as well.
Despite picking in the top ten, the Eagles figure to miss out on both Will Anderson out of Alabama and former Texas Tech star Tyree Wilson. Here’s a list of the top ten guys who will be available after they’re off of the board.
1. Nolan Smith, Georgia
The Eagles absolutely LOVE Nolan Smith. No one should be shocked if he winds up being the first player added to Philadelphia’s 2023 NFL Draft class, and if the comparison to Haason Reddick winds up panning out, no one will complain one iota.
2. Myles Murphy, Clemson
Myles Murphy is one of those guys that did whatever he wanted at the collegiate level. He seemed to take his foot off of the gas at the end of last season, but it’s possible he was being careful to avoid an injury that might jeopardize his draft status. Still, he’s one of the top five edge rushers on most big boards heading into the coming NFL Draft.
3. Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
Lukas Van Ness has both bend and power. He has the speed and athleticism to get around guys. He possesses the strength to win at the point of contact and overpower guys as well.
This is a freakish athlete. He’s going to have a long and prosperous NFL career.
4. Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
We have said this constantly, and we’re going to continue to say this until it sinks in. There isn’t much of a drop-off in talent when we compare Will McDonald IV to everyone we grade higher. He deserves to be treated like he’s among the cream of this class’s crop, and he’s going to make the team that drafts him very happy.
5. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
Occasionally, we find a defensive stud in a Big 12 Conference where most of its elite programs seem allergic to playing any. He’s going to rack up the pressures at the professional level, but more importantly, those pressures will be conver
6. Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
Isaiah Foskey is a six-foot-five, 264-pound athletic freak. If he gets his hands on the quarterback, the play is over. Just ask any of the opposing signal-callers who were on the wrong end of more than 20 sacks he accumulated over the course of the past two seasons at Notre Dame.
7. Keion White, Georgia Tech
Keion White is the owner of one of those physical frames that make opposing offensive linemen feel like they’re going to have a long day as soon as they see him take the field for warmups. He stands at six-foot-five and tips the scales at 285 pounds. Sadly, for those opposing linemen, their days didn’t get any easier when the referee blew the opening whistle to begin play.
After two seasons at Old Dominion (they didn’t play football in 2020), he transferred to Georgia Tech for two more. 54 tackles and 7.5 sacks were the results of his efforts during his final run in Atlanta.
8. Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
Adetomiwa Adebawore figures to be a Day 2 draftee, but he’s one of the most athletically gifted prospects in this entire class. During his final three seasons at the NCAA level, he shined, posting an impressive 91 tackles, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and an interception.
9. B.J. Ojulari, LSU
As far as defensive ends/edge rushers go in the NFL, B.J. Ojulari is small by NFL standards. He’s six-foot-three and weighs in at 244 pounds, which has probably led to the difficulty he has in getting off blocks at times.
His best bet for success at the pro level is probably to play standing up, but he’s a nice athlete that pursues well. With proper coaching, he could be special.
10. Mike Morris, Michigan
Mike Morris isn’t getting mentioned enough, and frankly, that may be because of his own doing. He finished his career at Michigan with a bang (11 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and one interception), but it’s fair to ask if that was representative of the guy NFL teams will wind up with after he only tallied 16 tackles and .5 sacks in 2021.
Something else that he has going for him is many believe he’ll succeed both inside and outside at the pro level.