Eagles Interested in Moving Up for ‘Built in a Lab’ Future Starter

Getty Marvin Harrison Jr. will catch passes from C.J. Stroud at Ohio State's pro day on Wednesday, March 22.

Building the roster in between the trenches has been Howie Roseman’s calling card since taking the front office back from Chip Kelly. Offensive line depth is always valued and top of mind for the Philadelphia Eagles.

With starting right tackle Lane Johnson getting up there in years – he’ll turn 33 on May 8 – it’s safe to assume they are thinking about drafting his replacement. This year’s class is ripe with moldable talent, perhaps none more impressive than Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. The 6-foot-6, 313-pounder is thought to be high on Roseman’s wish list but the Eagles would likely need to jump up a few spots from No. 10 to get him.

According to NFL Network’s James Palmer, they are prepared to do that. The Eagles “really like” Johnson, per Palmer, and Roseman has been “making calls” to move up. Whether they want to take Johnson there — or, say, Jalen Carter — remains unclear. Philadelphia owns the No. 10 and No. 30 picks in the first round so everything is on the table.

Johnson is considered one of the best offensive line prospects in the draft. He’s raw. He’s athletic. He has flexibility at either left or right tackle (along with some guard play early in his career). He’s fast and fluid, plus he blocked for a mobile quarterback (C.J. Stroud) in college. He’s the complete package.

Pro Football Network’s Oliver Hodgkinson called out his “built-in-a-lab physique” in his scouting report. He’s also a stud off the field, a guy who knows multiple languages and runs a charity foundation. He gave up only two sacks on 800 snaps last season.

At 6’6″ and 313 pounds, Johnson has a “built-in-a-lab” physique for the offensive tackle position. There’s no excess or bad weight on the 2023 NFL Draft prospect, enabling the athletic ability that is one of the hallmarks of his game.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State OT has impressive measurable length with 36 1/8″ arms that are noticeable from the minute that you switch on the tape. On Johnson’s 2021 tape, while playing guard, you can routinely see examples of him using his length and athleticism to execute on reach blocks to an extremely high level.

Bears, Eagles ‘Showing Interest’ in Nolan Smith

Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith has been heavily linked to the Eagles for weeks, most notably pegged to them at No. 10 by NBC Sports’ Peter King. Well, those rumors have only ratcheted up after Smith revealed to Heavy’s Matt Lombardo that the Eagles and Bears are the two teams showing the most interest in him.

“My goal 100 percent is getting eight or more sacks, getting a lot of tackles for loss, a lot of pressure, and really affecting the quarterback,” Smith told Lombardo one day before the start of the first round. “It’s not really about sacks, it’s about getting pressure on the quarterback. That’s my job as a pass-rusher. That’s how I look at it, my goal every year.”

Eagles Own Six Total Picks in NFL Draft

The Eagles own six total picks in the 2023 NFL draft, including the No. 10 and No. 30 overall selections. They also have a second-rounder, a third-rounder, and a pair of seventh-rounders. ESPN’s live coverage of Round 1 begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 27.

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