Dawg Mentality: Eagles draft Georgia edge-rusher Nolan Smith at No. 30 overall
THE PHILADELPHIA BULLDOGS HAVE ARRIVED.
After surrendering just a 2024 4th-round pick to trade up for Jalen Carter, the Eagles have selected Georgia edge-rusher Nolan Smith at No. 30 overall.
With the No. 30 overall pick in the 2023 @NFLDraft, the @Eagles select Nolan Smith!@neweracap | #FlyEaglesFly— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2023
📺: 2023 #NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
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Smith joins Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and Carter as Georgia players drafted by Philadelphia in the first three rounds over the last two years. Many mock drafts had Smith landing with the Eagles as a No. 10 selection; it seemed inconceivable that he could fall to #30.
Often drawing comparisons to Haason Reddick (who he’ll likely be playing opposite of), Smith is an undersized but relentless pass-rusher off the edge, running a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Smith was a machine during his collegiate career at Georgia, racking up 110 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 20 tackles for loss in 38 games.
“Due to his stellar run defense, Smith projects as a potential three-down defender in year one. He will make his impact felt as a run defender and earn his keep, as he develops in the pass-rush department. Smith has an explosive first step to threaten offensive tackles outside shoulders.
A fully-developed Smith can be a dangerous weapon to deploy off the edge versus opposing offenses. Smith’s ability to work well in tight quarters or in a wide-nine alignment can put offensive tackles in conflict. Having an edge defender that can drop into coverage, stuff the run, and get after the passer cannot be undervalued.” — via The Draft Network
With exceptional athletic traits and leadership, why did he slide so far? A season-ending pectoral injury in 2022 could be a reason, but according to Howie Roseman, Smith is fully healthy with no expected setbacks.
Either Roseman is paying Georgia doctors to leak false medical reports (i.e. Nakobe Dean last year), or teams are just foolish enough to pass over these guys. Regardless, the Eagles have now added four of the best players from a defense that won two straight National titles. Hungry Dawgs run faster.
I’m dumbfounded at the fact that the Eagles are leaving this first round with both Jalen Carter & Nolan Smith.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 28, 2023
Mandatory Credit: USATSI