Sometimes it’s all about opportunity and being in the right place at the right time. With off-the-field concerns mounting over arguably the best player in the 2023 NFL draft, get ready for the chance of a lifetime to potentially fall into Howie Roseman’s lap.
The Philadelphia Eagles own two first-round picks, including the No. 10 overall pick. Georgia stud Jalen Carter was once thought to be beyond their reach there, but his legal troubles have many teams shifting their boards around. There is no clear consensus on how far he’ll drop on April 27 — ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum had him slip down to No. 18; CBS Sports’ Will Brinson had him pegged at No. 5 — but it stands to reason that Carter could be in play for the Eagles.
They have a lot of flexibility, in terms of future assets (see: compensatory picks) if they wanted to move up or down the board. Or maybe they just wait and see how the dominoes fall.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine put Carter in midnight green during a column examining “hypothetical trades” on draft day. He has the Eagles sending the No. 10 overall pick, plus a 2024 second-round pick, to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the rights to Jalen Carter at No. 6 overall, plus a 2023 fifth-rounder (No. 152 overall).
It’s an interesting table to set for a team looking to replace Javon Hargrave along the defensive line. Carter, who has been compared to Warren Sapp, was teammates with current Eagles players Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean at Georgia. Ballentine wrote the following:
The Philadelphia Eagles are in the rare position of being one of the best teams in the league and owning a top-10 pick in the draft. While it’s a nice opportunity to grab a good player, they could wind up snagging one of the elite talents in the draft if the board falls right and they are willing to get aggressive.
If the draft were based on talent alone, Jalen Carter would have a good case to be the No. 1 pick … Moving up to draft Carter is aggressive, but it could give them a dominant duo on the inside after drafting Carter’s teammate Jordan Davis last year.
Previous Mock Drafts Had Carter Headed to Philly
Carter has been linked to Philly in other mock drafts, too, like this one from Philly Sports Network that had him landing in the nest at No. 10. One important nugget not to be overlooked is the relationship between Carter and Davis.
The former teammates at Georgia pushed each other on the field, with Davis going so far as to refer to Carter as his “little brother.” If the Eagles have any fear about his character, Davis could add some much-needed perspective.
“Love him. He’s like a little brother to me,” Davis told reporters in 2021. “As all freshman goes, as I did myself, we have little walls where we hit the humps but just trying to figure out ways to push through and help him so he can help us in the defense.”
Howie Roseman Prioritizes D-Line, Cornerbacks
For those looking for clues into what Howie Roseman might be thinking heading into the draft, there is plenty of meat to chew off the bone from his latest media availability at the NFL Annual Meeting. The savvy front-office executive didn’t mince words when describing his offseason moves to date.
“For us, it’s going to start on the defensive line and the cornerback position,” Roseman said, via The Inquirer’s EJ Smith. “Priorities are the defensive line and cornerback position. Those two spots are probably better (at this point) than I would have anticipated going into free agency.”