The Philadelphia Eagles hold plenty of ammunition heading into the 2023 NFL draft. They’ll go into it with two first-rounders, including what could be a very high pick if the New Orleans Saints flounder as badly as many think they will without Sean Payton.
Speculation was running rampant that the team might be loading up for a quarterback. Their offseason moves seem to indicate otherwise. Jalen Hurts is the guy. That could change, of course. But the early mock drafters are expecting the Eagles to invest in defense.
ESPN’s Matt Miller released his first-round predictions for all 32 NFL teams. He has the Eagles picking at No. 16 and No. 19, highlighted by the selection of a “game-wrecking” defensive end out of Clemson. Myles Murphy could be the successor to Brandon Graham.
Take a quick look at the Eagles’ defensive end depth chart and it’s easy to see the position becoming the top need next offseason. Murphy anchored the Clemson defensive line in 2021 with seven sacks while bouncing between end and tackle. With Bryan Bresee returning from injury, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Murphy should see more action at end this season. He has a chance to dominate with his quickness off the edge.
Cornerback is the next area of need for the Eagles, according to Miller. He has Philadelphia grabbing Cam Smith at No. 19, a player who might be the “most well-rounded cornerback in the nation.” The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder recorded 11 pass breakups and three interceptions at South Carolina in 2021.
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Early Scouting Report on Myles Murphy
Clemson should boast one of the fiercest defensive lines in college football, anchored by Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee. Murphy has been rising up draft boards after a stellar 2021 campaign where he racked up 43 tackles, including a team-high 14 tackles for loss. Murphy also tallied a team-best seven sacks, plus two forced fumbles and two pass breakups in 549 snaps over 13 games (10 starts).
Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network thinks Murphy can be a potential “game-wrecker” in the NFL with his ability to play defensive end and defensive tackle. His quickness off the edge is off the charts.
“Murphy’s all-encompassing profile grants him some projected scheme versatility,” Cummings wrote. “At the end of the day, he’s an elite physical talent with a phenomenal combination of burst, power, and play strength. At his maximum projection, he can be a game-wrecker — not just on the edge but on the entire defensive line.”
Howie Roseman Confident in Jalen Hurts
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has backed Jalen Hurts as the starter for this year and beyond throughout the offseason. The decision to swap picks with New Orleans wasn’t necessarily made to draft a new quarterback in 2023.
“We’re excited about Jalen Hurts and we’re going to support Jalen and want him to have a great career in Philly,” Roseman said on April 20. “This was about flexibility for our team and about making sure that we had resources to improve our team for not only this year’s draft, but next year’s draft going forward. We thought it made a lot of sense.”