Merry Christmas to the geeks and nerds of the football world.

The NFL Draft is a spectacle all to its own. With winners and losers somehow assigned just hours following the selections. Who’s a surefire bust? Who reached? Why is this player falling?

It’s a sports media phenomenon and, frankly, allows for too much time before it. The week leading up to it was filled with reports that confirm just about every single possibility known to man. By the time the draft begins, some analysts and scouts are leaking reports suggest that this isn’t even a good draft and you should just see next year’s!

It all happens like clockwork.

Nevertheless, there are two selections to be made by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday evening (for now) and 31 selections total to be made. Here’s six thoughts about this draft.

  • The Eagles NEED to trade up for DL Jalen Carter

    No one can know for certain just how far Jalen Carter will drop. There are well-documented issues with both his legal troubles and his subsequent workouts after the reckless driving incident and misdemeanor charges.

    Talking strictly football, he is a top-3 talent in this draft with the potential to be the best player in this draft. The only reason that a team like the Eagles could get their hands on a player like Carter would be due to these outside concerns about him.

    If Carter is to drop past the Seahawks at 5, the Eagles must begin to work the phones to get up and trade for him. There is a reason for just about every team ahead of the Eagles to take Carter, but teams may be fearful of actually committing to picking him due to their own situation.

    The Eagles boast a culture that he can thrive in (rostering his former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean) and have a locker room that seems locked in on the task at hand.

    Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice believes that the Eagles could get him at pick 7 with this year’s first and second round pick. Mike Mulhern of NBC Sports Philadelphia believes that the Eagles could get him at pick 8 by giving up this year’s first and a pair of mid-round picks next year.

    In either scenario, the Eagles should absolutely do it. This is a player that can thrive with talent around him at defensive tackle in his first year and really take a leap into stardom in years to come.

  • If Carter is gone & the Eagles are stuck at 10: OL Peter Skoronski or EDGE Nolan Smith

    In football, there is no such thing as having too many capable offensive lineman or too many edge rushers.

    The more, the merrier.

    Skoronski is the most Eagles-esque pick. The idea of just building through the trenches and putting together a plan for long term competition by solidifying the line. This draft will likely be telling of who the Eagles believe will be here beyond next season given how they attack a few positions.

    Center Jason Kelce has already seen a pair of his replacements selected in the most recent two drafts and it would be telling to see the Eagles target a more obvious offensive tackle early on (Paris Johnson) instead of Skoronski. Seeing them bring in a tackle early would give credence to the idea that Lane Johnson may not be around much longer and they want to ensure that offensive line has its security blanket in place.

    Skoronski feels like more of a guard in the NFL and likely would slide into Isaac Seumalo’s old spot at right guard. Cam Jurgens has been kicked around as a name for that spot, but creating competition isn’t a bad thing and Jurgens still profiles as the team’s future center.

    Truthfully, Nolan Smith feels a little bit like a reach at 10, which probably tells you all you need to know about where the Eagles sit. There’s the possibility of a cornerback but doesn’t feel entirely likely. Smith is a solid pass rusher for the Eagles to reload their defense with and would likely do well in a rotation with the players already here.

  • Trade back for RB Bijan Robinson? Maybe

    There is one scenario in which it feels somewhat acceptable to draft a running back.

    That’s the world where you get an additional draft pick, in a year where you are light on them, and are able to still able to pick an incredibly talented player.

    There isn’t a world where drafting Bijan Robinson at 10th overall makes sense to me*. Picking a running back in the first round is picking a player that will not be here beyond their first contract and looking at the current climate of running backs in the NFL, there is likely a top-tier talent available for cheap post-draft.

    *In fact, I have made a bet with my producer on Sundays, Matt Minarik, that I will eat an entire bottle of Robinson’s mustard brand during the duration of one of our shows if the Eagles take him at 10.

  • Trade out of 30th overall

    The potential extra year of control on first-round picks with the fifth-year option makes them all the more valuable to teams who want secure a piece of their long-term future. A team picking at the beginning of the second round may want to take the leap into the late first round for that exact reason.

    The Eagles, short on draft picks, should take advantage of that and pick up an extra pick in the later rounds in exchange for that luxury.

  • Most Interesting Prospect in the Draft? QB Anthony Richardson

    Thankfully, Jalen Hurts balled out in 2022 and avoided the conversation of the Eagles taking a quarterback.

    If he hadn’t, Anthony Richardson would have given Philadelphia a lot to think about. His unique set of physical tools and his ability to sling the football is impressive. Given the right coaching, he had the makings of a future star.

    Him with Shane Steichen in Indianapolis? Might be worth buying NFL Sunday Ticket to watch that (in 2024).

  • Potential Steal of the First Round? S Brian Branch

    He may not end up being a starter in his first season, but a team with a little depth and time to develop him late in the first round would be sure lucky to have him.

    An incredibly productive player while at Alabama, Branch can fill a bit of that hybrid between a safety and nickel cornerback that is so coveted by NFL teams. He has a very safe floor as a prospect, which might stop a team from drafting him for his potential upside, and that sets up a later team to cash in on a solid pick.

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