Eagles’ Top Rookie Sends Strong Message: ‘Dead A** Serious’

Nolan Smith Bears Lombardo Inside

Getty Nolan Smith says he has drawn the "most" interest from the Bears and Eagles ahead of the 2023 NFL draft.

The Philadelphia Eagles loaded up on defensive playmakers in the 2023 NFL draft. It’s a scary abundance of riches, filled with menacing pass-rushers ready to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

One of the scariest guys getting ready to step on the field is Nolan Smith. The first-round pick (30th overall) out of Georgia has been impressing his new teammates at spring workouts, with a desired goal to make an immediate impact in his rookie year. There is no wait-and-see approach.

Smith wants to see significant snaps from the jump, something he made perfectly clear to Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai on draft night.

“Coach Sean, I know you busy. I want that playbook,” Smith said. “I want it. I want that PDF. I wanna be on that f****** field. I wanna show y’all why should pick me No. 1. I’m being dead a** serious.”

Smith has been compared favorably to Pro Bowler Haason Reddick dating back to his freakish performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. Every ounce of his 6-foot-2, 238-pound frame drips athleticism. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds while posting a 41.5-inch vertical and a 10’8 broad jump. It was a historic showing. And Smith is itching to get on the field and mix it up at the professional level.

“The sky’s the limit always. I don’t want to set any goals or set anything, but just to be a group that works together and rushes as one unit,” Smith told reporters on draft night. “I never talked to the D-line coach ever, but I know that’s the D-line word amongst everyone, so rushing as one unit, and really I’d love to learn from Haason Reddick and all the veteran guys. I just can’t wait to follow and learn the different things that they do here in Philly.”

Sean Desai ‘Really Excited’ About Eagles Rookies

In addition to Smith, the Eagles drafted Jalen Carter at pick No. 9 as the team doubled down on its commitment to Georgia defenders. Carter — arguably the best overall player in the 2023 class — is a guy whom scouts viewed as a perennial Pro Bowler coming out of college, aside from some character concerns. He’s another guy chomping at the bit to play.

“Yeah, it feels good, that Philly is putting their trust in me to come in here and put in hard work and do what I can to help the team,” Carter said.

The duo of Smith and Carter should be problematic for opposing offensive coordinators this season. Luckily for Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai, he has them on his side.

Desai said: “Jalen is dynamic and fast and big and strong, and Nolan is those same things, but his leverages go a little bit different with his athleticism and his ability to move in space and rush the passer and do things in a different form. Really excited for both those guys, and really for all the guys obviously that we’ve acquired here, and really for me everybody is new, so all the guys that we’re learning on the defense.”

Eagles Release Full 2023 Football Schedule

The Eagles will open the 2023 season on the road with a tough matchup against the New England Patriots on September 10 at 4:25 p.m. It’s Tom Brady Night in Foxboro so all eyes will be on that game. Here is the full schedule for the reigning NFC champions:

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