Eagles Outlook: PFF’s latest mock draft sees Howie Roseman finding a franchise cornerback
As we all know by now, the Eagles will be quite busy come draft night 2023.
With two first-round picks at their disposal, the Eagles will have an opportunity to bolster their already standout roster with bigtime talent.
Looking ahead to the offseason, Howie Roseman will have his work cut out for him. A number of starters are set to hit free agency and QB Jalen Hurts will more than likely get a hefty payday. Hitting on draft picks is always important, but it’s even more imperative once the franchise quarterback is locked up long-term.
Philly can go in a number of different directions come April. ESPN draft analyst Todd Mcshay suggested that the Eagles could take Texas RB Bijan Robinson in round one of his first mock draft. Almost every position is on the table here.
Pro Football Focus dropped their most recent mock draft earlier this week, and they envision the Eagles bolstering the defensive side of the ball.
With their first pick (currently 10th overall), PFF has Howie taking Georgia corner Kelee Ringo. Their reasoning:
“This is a total luxury pick for the Eagles. Cornerback James Bradberry is thriving this season opposite Darius Slay, but Bradberry is only on a one-year deal. If the Eagles let him walk, they’ll have the chance to replace him with a top cornerback in this draft. Ringo is 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.”
Personally, cornerback is atop my wishlist heading into draft night.
The Eagles haven’t taken a corner in the first-round since 2002, when they selected Lito Sheppard with the 26th overall pick. Entering 2023, Philly’s cornerback room is going to need a jolt of youthful talent.
As PFF points out, James Bradberry may not resign here in the offseason. Darius Slay will be 32 entering 2023. While Avonte Maddox will still be in the prime of his career at 27 years old, his injury history is concerning. He’s missed six games this season and it seems like he may miss the rest of the season after sustaining a serious toe injury against Dallas in Week 16.
Behind the starting trio, the Eagles have a lot of question marks. Zech McPhearson could be in line for a starting position next year, but the former fourth-round pick hasn’t seen much playing time at all since entering the league in 2021. He’s played a total of 281 defensive snaps over the past two seasons.
Rookies Josh Jobe and Mario Goodrich certainly have potential, but they were both signed as undrafted free agents last offseason. They’ll likely need a bit more time to develop before they get consideration for a starting role.
Kelee Ringo is currently PFF’s second-highest rated corner on their 2023 Big Board. He’s earned a 70.2 defensive grade this season, while tallying 36 combined tackles and two interceptions.
Ringo’s primary calling card is his athleticism. Standing at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds with legit 4.3 speed, you’d be hard pressed to find a more prototypical cornerback build in this upcoming draft class.
The Athletic’s NFL Draft insider Bruce Feldman compared Ringo to Patrick Peterson, writing, “Ringo’s combination of size and freakish explosiveness is reminiscent of another SEC Freak DB, Patrick Peterson. The 6-2, 215-pound Ringo, a World Class junior sprinter from Arizona who ran a 10.43 100- and 21.18 200-meter time, is a legitimate 4.3 40 guy and consistently clocks in the high-22 mph range on the GPS.”
Ringo has played primarily on the outside during his college tenure, but his build lends itself to shifting inside to cover tight ends or bigger slot receivers. Whether he’s in press-man or off the line, Ringo mirrors wideouts better than nearly every corner in the country.
Ringo would solidify the Eagles cornerback group for years to come. If he’s available when the Eagles get on the clock, Howie should seriously consider taking the Georgia product.
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