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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Glenn Erby

Ranking prospects the Eagles hosted on pre-draft visits by potential impact in 2023

The NFL draft is fast approaching, and the 2023 influx of talent comes at a reasonable time after a mass exodus of free agents on defense.

Only a tiny percentage of this incoming class will make their mark on the league as a rookie.

With Philadelphia signing Jalen Hurts to a massive deal, GM Howie Roseman needs all his picks to deliver the goods immediately.

With the draft just 24 hours out, we’re taking a closer look at the Eagles’ predraft visits and ranking them best on the potential impact this season.

Each NFL team met with the Top 30 prospects on their draft boards.

The players you see visiting respective team facilities can help outline organizational needs or serious interests.

Philadelphia has two first-round picks, and they’ve embraced the process, bringing in a host of top names that’ll be selected up and down the draft board.

1. Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas

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Robinson’s visit shook up the city, with some wondering if Howie Roseman would make such a move.

Robinson logged 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground last season while breaking 91 tackles, and he’d bring a Marshall Faulk-style smoothness to the running back position alongside Jalen Hurts.

The Longhorns star is a dynamic three-down running back that would make the Eagles much more explosive, and he’d complement Rashaad Penny thanks to his abilities as a pass catcher.

Philadelphia wouldn’t usually take a running back at No. 10 overall.

Still, Robinson is dynamic; he wants to be with the Eagles and the extra first-round pick for a team with Super Bowl aspirations wouldn’t be the worst move a general manager could make.

2. Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia

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Carter played alongside 2022 first-round picks Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt on the defensive line for the national champions Bulldogs in 2021 and was the best player.

Carter was a 2021 second-team All-SEC selection after logging 37 tackles, 8.5 for loss with three sacks, two blocked kicks, and two starts in 15 games.

In 2022, Carter led a Bulldogs defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (77.1), garnering first-team Associated Press All-American and all-conference honors despite missing time during Georgia’s title run with knee and ankle injuries.

Carter finished the season with 32 tackles, seven for loss with three sacks, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles in 13 games and nine starts.

3. Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

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The other half of Ohio State’s dominant bookend of tackles, Johnson is a potential top-10 pick with the versatility to play guard.

4. Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A dominant left tackle who’s athletic enough to slide down to guard, Skoronski is considered by many to be the top offensive lineman available in the draft.

A star at Northwestern, Skoronski would chart a similar path to that of Cam Jurgens in 2022, and he’d likely see time at guard and tackle while developing under Jeff Stoutland.

Skoronski could be a better fit at guard than tackle, even though he started 33 games at left tackle in college.

5. Brian Branch, S, Alabama

Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Swiss army knife should be higher on draft boards.

A free safety that can flourish in the slot, Branch plays a role perfect for modern NFL defenses.

After watching the defense suffer without Avonte Maddox, Branch would give Philadelphia the versatility they had with C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the lineup.

Branch saw over 1,100 snaps in the slot over his career and is an exceptional tackler who brings elite run defense to the table in addition to his coverage skills.

6. Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is an undersized edge rusher with an elite change of direction and burst.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Smith was on his way to a dominant Senior season before suffering a mid-season pectoral injury that cost him the rest of the year.

Smith plays with power, quickness, and explosiveness off the edge and would mesh well with former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis (DT) and Nakobe Dean (LB).

7. Lukas Van Ness, Defensive End, Iowa

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles hosted the edge rusher days after Bijan Robinson was in the building.

Van Ness logged 38 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks during the 2022 season with Iowa without starting a game.

Throughout 27 games played during the past two years with the Hawkeyes, Van Ness recorded 71 career tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks.

8. Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland:

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport reported that the Eagles are one of several teams to bring in Banks for a visit. Banks will likely be a late Day 1 or early Day 2 pick. Banks (6-0, 197) ran a 4.35 at the combine and started 21 games at Maryland in his career.

9. Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State star Jones was dominant in Mobile before suffering a concussion.

10. Emmanuel Forbes, DB, Mississippi State

Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes patterns his game after Darius Slay, and he’s a big-play cornerback in his own right.

Forbes owns the FBS record with six career pick-sixes and is a three-year starter for the Bulldogs.

11. Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

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The son of the former Steelers’ pass rusher, Porter Jr. was named third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media in 2021.

That season he made 13 starts at cornerback, finishing with 51 tackles (40 solo), one forced fumble, one interception, and four pass breakups.

In 2022, the cornerback earned second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team all-conference status, winning the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award (27 tackles, 11 pass breakups in 10 starts) despite missing two games.

Porter Jr. earned a 9.63 out of 10 grade on RAS (Relative Athletic Score), an analytics-based outlet that evaluates NFL prospects.

12. Brian Bresee, DT, Clemson

Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Bresee had eight sacks in 21 career starts at Clemson.

13. Kelee Ringo,Cornerback, Georgia

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Ringo started as a redshirt freshman on Georgia’s dominant National Championship defense, sealing the Bulldogs’ title win with a pick-six late in the fourth quarter.

Ringo allowed just a 40.7% completion percentage in coverage during the 2021 season, as a 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds with 4.3-4.4 speed.

That size-speed combination won’t make it out of the top 15.

14. Julius Brents, Cornerback, Kansas State

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Brents is an All-Big-12 cornerback who started all 27 games in his two years at K-State after transferring from Iowa and had 45 tackles and four interceptions with eight passes defended as a senior.

15. LSU pass rusher BJ Ojulari

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ojulari is a freak athlete out of LSU and finished second to Will Anderson in pressure rate this season among SEC pass rushers.

The brother of New York Giants defensive end Azeez Ojulari, a former second-round draft pick, B.J. Ojulari, was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection last season after he recorded 58 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses, and 5.5 sacks.

That came after a 2021 season in which he led the Tigers with seven sacks and finished with 55 tackles, 11.5 tackles for losses in 12 starts.

16. Jaquelin Roy, Defensive Tackle, LSU

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Standing 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Roy had 97 tackles, 4.0 sacks, and one forced fumble during his time in Baton Rouge.

In 2022, the massive defensive tackle had 49 tackles and 0.5 sacks as a space eater.

17. Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are interested in defensive tackles, and Ika (6-3, 335) fits the recipe. The massive defensive tackle began his career at LSU but played his final two seasons at Baylor.

18. Gervon Dexter, Defensive Tackle, Florida

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A mid-round prospect out of the University of Florida, Dexter ran a 4.93 40-yard dash while standing 6’6 300 pounds at the NFL scouting combine.

19. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA

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Thompson-Robinson completed nearly 70% of his passes in 2022 for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns but also ran for 646 yards and 12 touchdowns.

20. Brodric Martin, DT, Western Kentucky

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A colossal nose tackle standing 6’5, 337; Martin logged 62 tackles and four sacks over the last two seasons (26 games) at Western Kentucky after transferring from North Alabama.

21. Kahlef Hailassie, CB, Western Kentucky

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The former Oregon commit started all 12 games at cornerback, making 65 tackles, with eight being for loss.

Hailassie recorded a sack in each of WKU’s first three games of the year, and he recorded two interceptions on the year, both in wins over FIU and UAB.

In addition to his two interceptions, Hailassie broke up ten passes. He also forced two fumbles and recorded one. For his efforts, he was named to the All-C-USA Second Team.

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