Eagles in Position to Add ‘Franchise Cornerstone’: Analyst

Nick Sirianni

Getty Head coach Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles could add a “franchise cornerstone” to the roster.

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports predicts that the Eagles will draft University of Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Edwards notes that the Eagles’ first pick — via a 2022 NFL draft day trade with the New Orleans Saints — should be used on Anderson to add a dominant edge rusher on an already stacked team.

“New Orleans could be out of the No. 5 overall selection because it just had to give up two first-round picks to select a wide receiver and offensive tackle for a 4-9 team,” says Edwards. “The season has played out exactly the way many expected, and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has to be smiling ear to ear knowing they could be in a position to land a franchise cornerstone.”

Anderson is College’s Most Dominant Edge Rusher

Anderson — who is regarded as the top pass-rushing prospect in this year’s draft — has 34.5 sacks over the course of his three years with the Crimson Tide. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect racked up an NCAA-leading 17.5 sacks last season during his sophomore campaign with Alabama. Anderson’s 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season leads the SEC.

The Eagles possess capable pass-rushing players such as Haason Reddick (nine sacks) and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (eight sacks). But one thing that could separate the Eagles from the rest of the league’s best teams is a dominant edge rusher comparable to the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ T.J. Watt.

Edwards explained in his scouting report of Anderson back in August how he has “little weakness.”

“Anderson has little weakness,” says Edwards. “He has a strong lower body to hold his ground in the run game and great speed around the edge to apply pressure on the quarterback. When his rush does not get home, he shows the awareness to peel off and get his hands in passing lanes. There is room for him to expand his pass rush arsenal, but all of the traits are there.”

With the Eagles possessing two first-round draft picks and likely to possess a top-five pick due to the Saints’ underwhelming record (4-9), Philadelphia should aim for one of the top edge rusher prospects in the draft.

Rang Predicts Eagles to Draft Myles Murphy

As predicted by Rob Rang of Fox Sports in his own mock draft, he has Anderson going No. 2 to the Chicago Bears and the Eagles landing the University of Clemson’s Myles Murphy with the fifth overall pick.

“General manager Howie Roseman and the currently 11-1 Eagles are in the enviable position of supplementing the league’s deepest and most talented roster with a top-five pick,” says Rang. “Already sporting an NFL frame and game, Murphy is as gifted as any prospect in this class and the kind of talent who could turn Philadelphia from a Super Bowl contender into a potential dynasty.”

The Eagles already feature a franchise quarterback and wide receiver. It’s time for Philadelphia to add a true franchise edge rusher to field a potential dynasty squad.

Whether that’s by drafting Anderson or Murphy, the Eagles could feature arguably the league’s most talented squad next year.

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