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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2. Tuli Tuipulotu, linebacker, Los Angeles Chargers

We close with two young stars who play positions the Eagles don't value. They are having monster rookie seasons and are seemingly staring at bright futures.

2. Drafted 54th overall (24 spots after the Eagles selected Smith)

Tuli Tuipulotu, Los Angeles Chargers
Tuli Tuipulotu, Los Angeles Chargers / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Tuli Tuipulotu is the younger brother of Eagles defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu. He's a talented edge rusher who has already placed 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a pass breakup, and two forced fumbles on his resume.

Verdict:
As is the case with Nolan and B.J. Ojulari. it's hard to imagine that Tuli would earn significant playing time in Philly. Again, maybe the production of the guys on other rosters is evidence that another plan would work better.

1. Brian Branch, safety, Detroit Lions

Simply put, had the Eagles drafted Brian Branch, they wouldn't have had to trade for Kevin Byard. Then again, Sydney Brown wouldn't be on the roster. You tell us. Would you have take him over Nolan Smith?

1. Drafted 45th overall (15 spots after Eagles selected Nolan Smith)

Brian Branch, Detroit Lions
Brian Branch, Detroit Lions / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

It seems like a team that had Brian Dawkins on the roster for so long would appreciate the play of a good safety. The Philadelphia Eagles are seemingly another animal though.

They ignored Kyle Hamilton in 2022. They overlooked Brian Branch this season.

We aren't stating that Hamilton and Branch are the second coming of B-Dawk. No one knows that yet, but they are gifted. Branch has produced 73 tackles, three interceptions, 12 pass breakups, a sack, and a forced fumble in 14 games with nine starts.

Verdict:
Don't you think the Eagles could use that type of production on their roster? We sure as heck do! Long stories short, Brian Branch might be the lone guy on this list that we would have taken over Nolan Smith.

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