Eagles Draft Buzz: Peter King says Philadelphia loves Georgia pass rusher Nolan Smith
The Philadelphia Eagles can go in a number of different directions once the NFL Draft gets underway Thursday night.
If Howie Roseman sticks to his general draft philosophy, taking a defensive or offensive lineman at tenth overall is the most likely scenario. They’ll have a handful of solid prospects to choose from if they go that route. One of the most popular names for the Eagles at No. 10 is Georgia pass rusher Nolan Smith.
He’s an athletic freak for the position, posting a 4.39 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine, and he would fit seamlessly into the Eagles pass rushing rotation.
Smith has been linked to the Eagles on-and-off throughout the draft process and the rumors are starting to pick back up again. NFL insider Peter King released his most recent mock draft Monday morning. While he almost went with an offensive lineman for the Birds at No. 10, he shared an interesting tidbit that persuaded him to go with Smith instead.
Peter King on why he thinks Smith will get drafted by the Eagles
“Came very close to giving the Eagles Peter Skoronski here, but two things happened Sunday,” King writes. “A GM who’s always smart when I do this exercise told me he knew the Eagles love Smith. And someone else told me Skoronski’s very likely to play guard, and check out where the Eagles have drafted starting guards, or guards-to-be. Okay. Cam Jurgens, Landon Dickerson, Isaac Seumalo went 51st, 37th and 79th overall, respectively. And then I looked at the ages of the Eagles’ four most prominent ends or edge players: Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat average 29 years, 7 months old as of September. Okay. I talked myself into a 238-pound edge player who runs a 4.39 40-yard dash.
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According to King’s sources, Philadelphia loves Smith. It’s not hard to see why.
The Eagles are obsessed with rushing the passer, Smith is built like an Haason Reddick clone, and above all else, the organization is never satisfied with what they have along their defensive line. Adding Smith may seem like a luxury pick for Philadelphia, but as King points out, they could use an injection of youth at the defensive end position. Brandon Graham probably has one good year left and Derek Barnett’s future is up in the air.
Philadelphia typically likes to roll four-deep at defensive end. Drafting Smith at ten ensures they’ll have four reliable pass rushers entering the season.
Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to predicting what the Eagles will do come draft night. I can’t wait to see it unfold on Thursday.
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Mandatory Credit: Tony Walsh