Ranking 5 emerging stars Eagles could have drafted over Nolan Smith

Look, we haven't given up on Nolan Smith, but have you looked around the NFL landscape?

Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Two young NFL stars are shining at positions the Eagles didn't view as priority needs this offseason.

Then again, arguments could be made that some of these guys would be failing if they were in Philly because the Eagles' coaching staff would have failed them. Oh well... Let's talk about them anyway.

4. Joey Porter Jr, cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers

The son of a Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Super Bowl champion, some might say Joey Porter Jr. landed in the city he was born to play in. What if though? What if?

4. Drafted 32nd overall (two spots after the Eagles selected Smith)

Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers
Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Porter Jr. wasn't going to start for the Eagles, so it makes sense that they wouldn't have used the 30th-overall selection on him. He's special though.

Verdict:
Ten starts in his first 16 games have produced 43 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and an interception. The Birds may be in good shape with Kelee Ringo waiting in the wings, so we can live with the former Penn State star playing elsewhere.

3. B.J. Ojulari, linebacker, Arizona Cardinals

3. Drafted 41st overall (11 spots after Eagles selected Nolan Smith)

B.J. Ojulari, Arizona Cardinals
B.J. Ojulari, Arizona Cardinals / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

Honestly, had B.J. Ojulari come to Philly, he'd be in the same spot Nolan Smith is in, playing on special teams and waiting on his opportunity.

Verdict:
As good as B.J. has been, we truly believe Nolan is just as talented. Maybe seeing Ojulari's production with the Arizona Cardinals gives us something to hope for.