2023 NFL Combine: 7 Eagles related takeaways from Daniel Jeremiah’s conference call
With the Super Bowl and collegiate all-star games in the rear-view mirror, all attention now turns towards the NFL combine and the start of free agency.
Philadelphia has two first-round picks in April’s draft and plenty of room to make a splash in free agency, making the Eagles the one team to watch in the NFL this spring.
NFL Network’s senior draft analyst and former Eagles staffer, Daniel Jeremiah had his first conference call of the season, focusing on the upcoming scouting combine.
Jeremiah discussed Philadelphia potentially targeting a running back in the first round, along with the potential for other big named additions on both sides of the ball.
Daniel Jeremiah on top edge rusher prospect
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The Eagles have six defensive linemen set to hit free agency and they could lose two players on the edge with Brandon Graham and Robert Quinn set to hit the open market.
The team could also decide to move on from Derek Barnett, leaving Josh Sweat as the only player under contract with viable experience off the edge.
During his conference call, Jeremiah was asked a question by a Lions reporter about the top defensive ends in the draft.
With Philadelphia having two picks in the first round, Howie Roseman could look to retool along the edge.
I’m curious if you can maybe tell me the difference, the separators, between Myles Murphy, and Tyree Wilson, and I guess if you want to include him in that conversation, Van Ness.
DANIEL JEREMIAH: For me, it would be Tyree Wilson. You know, by a pretty significant margin. I think there’s a lot of buzz around him around the league. I think the league has it with him and (Will) Anderson a lot closer than people might think. He’s got just freakish wingspan and burst and the ability to kind of use those long levers to get home. I think he is a really talented rusher. I think he is a big-time athlete.
Daniel Jeremiah on Devon Witherspoon being the guy at cornerback
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An aggressive cornerback who could fit well with the Eagles’ new system, Devon Witherspoon has great feet and changes direction well in space.
Philadelphia could lose James Bradberry in free agency, and Darius Slay will be 33 at the end of the 2023 NFL season.
Jeremiah was asked about Witherspoon being the top guy at cornerback and how that’ll impact the Eagles at No. 10 overall.
The Eagles have spent so long without taking a cornerback in the first round. Just wondering if there were reasons why this year could buck that trend and why Witherspoon might be a good candidate for it?
Yeah, I just think Witherspoon is a stud. I think having been in that building and seen Asante Samuel there, I think you could make an easy comparison there with just the playmaking ability, take the ball away. We’ll see what Bradberry ends up doing in the offseason. I imagine he is probably going to get paid somewhere. So if they don’t resign him, there’s is going to be a need there as well. There are a zillion free agents they have to navigate around, but that’s one I would think would be hard to retain.
And I think, you know, if you are where the Eagles are right now, your thought process going into a draft is — it’s not the division anymore. It’s not even the conference. It’s what do we have to do to win a Super Bowl, and what do we have to do to get off the field when we’re going to have to go up against Patrick Mahomes or whoever else is coming out of the AFC, be it Joe Burrow, Josh Allen.
Jeremiah on Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis
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Jeremiah was asked about Jordan Davis’ adjustment to the NFL, and whether his lack of snaps at Georgia caused a lack of impact during his rookie year with Philadelphia.
Davis had shown moments of dominance as a rookie but was derailed by a midseason ankle injury.
Well, I think he went from a team with a crap ton of talent in college and went to a team in the NFL with a crap ton of talent, so they rolled all those guys through. They kind of divvied up those reps. Maybe that’s why you didn’t see as much pop or as much production from
him. But, I mean, golly, they have such a deep group there, and it’s one of the
reasons why they went to the Super Bowl. I’m still bullish on him. I think he is going to be really, really good.
Obviously, I think he is still learning how to use what’s in his body. It’s all there. He has all the ability in the world. I think he just needs to play. He gets out there and plays more, I think you’ll see that start to emerge.
Jeremiah on the Eagles potentially trading back in the first round.
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The Eagles have the No. 10 overall pick thanks to a trade with the Saints, but look to add more assets heading into the draft. Jeremiah was asked about a potential target at picks No. 14 or 15.
When I look at trading back to 14 or 15 and places that they could go, I mean, you kind of get out of that first group of edge rushers. I don’t think — Van Ness, that might be potential — you could see him there. I think there’s a chance he could be gone by then, but the Iowa edge rusher would be one, I would think. At that point in time I would feel good about turning in that card.
If any of those three corners were there I would feel great about it with Gonzalez, Porter, or Witherspoon somehow made it there. Those would be home run picks. Those are some of the guys that I would think in a trade-back scenario could make some sense there.
Daniel Jeremiah on Bijan Robinson to the Eagles
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Robinson logged 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground this season while breaking 91 tackles.
The Texas star is a dynamic three-down running back that would make the Eagles that much more explosive.
Jeremiah was asked about Robinson’s value and a potential pick at No. 10 overall.
He is impossible to peg where — you know, where he could end up going. I think he is one of the four, or five best players in the whole draft.
I know the Eagles’ history and they don’t take linebackers and running backs in the first round, but I’m looking at a team — it’s hard to find a team that’s put together a better roster than the Eagles. I don’t think there is one. I think that San Francisco has done a really, really good job, and I think they’re right there with them.
Jeremiah hinted at a loaded team with Super Bowl aspirations (Philadelphia) taking a running back over an obvious need.
I look at them as a team that traded resources and obviously dedicated a lot of money towards Christian McCaffrey, and I saw what Christian McCaffrey did in that offense where they already had a bunch of good players and how he took it to a whole other level. I think, man, I know, I know, I know Howie doesn’t take running backs. I know Howie doesn’t take linebackers. But when
you look at that offense with Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown, Davante Smith, and Dallas Goedert, and all of a sudden you drop in Bijan Robinson into that mix, holy moly. That would be fun to watch.
Jeremiah on Pick No. 30 and potential for a trade
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Jeremiah was asked about Philadelphia potentially trading down out of the back of the first round, and the players that could be available.
Yeah, I mean, I think if you are not going to take a running back there at 30 and you want a running back, you can trade back. Again, we’re under the assumption that you are going to lose your running back in free agency in Myles Sanders. If we want to play that game, you trade back on that one. If you collect an extra third-round pick in this draft, I think you are going to get a starting running back. You get a really good player.
Tyjae Spears from Tulane. You have Kendre Miller from TCU. Israel Abanikanda from Pitt has big-time juice. Those are just a few names. If we want to put a number on it. The running back group is really deep. I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. I have got 13 running backs that I gave top three-round grades. Those are starter-level
players, which means not all those guys because of the value of the position are going to go in the third round. Some of these guys are going to go in the fourth and fifth rounds this year. You are going to get good players. The other back from Texas, Roschon Johnson is a go-ahead player. 225 pounds. He has speed. Gosh, you can use him in a kickoff game as well.
Jeremiah on how teams should navigate the draft
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Philadelphia had all five 2022 NFL draft picks make the 53-man roster, but they essentially redshirted while playing behind experience veterans.
Jeremiah was asked about how teams should navigate the draft based on the Chiefs and Eagles model.
I think most teams are going to start quarterback and then the foundation pieces up front on the offense and defensive line, and that’s where you are. Man, you look at teams like the Chiefs, look at teams like the 49ers, look at teams like the Eagles. The Eagles basically redshirted a draft class last year. They had so much roster depth, and they’re going to lose a bunch of free agents and have guys ready and waiting in the wings to come right in there. Then you look at some other teams and kind of like where the Bears are right now. Gosh, you are just trying to get a competent group out there. So you have to kind of crawl before you walk there.
Jeremiah on Philadelphia potentially trading Pick No. 10 to a QB need team
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The draft scout was asked about Howie Roseman and the trading pick No. 10 overall to a team in need of a quarterback.
Yeah, that’s a good question. When you look at the draft order, I mean, it all comes down to quarterbacks usually. That’s where the trades take place. If one of those top four quarterbacks makes it to 10 and then I guess you could always call the Saints back and see if they want to dance again if you would be interested in that. I don’t know. Try and see a team that might want to come up for a quarterback there. Maybe it’s — shoot, who knows? There’s always a sneaky team that you have to keep an eye on quarterback-wise. Maybe it’s the Vikings who want to have somebody develop and be ready to go. Who knows? Yeah, I mean, I think you would be open to listening there if you are the Eagles, but if there’s an edge rusher there that you have highly rated as much as they value that position, you know, I would think they probably would stick and pick if that were the case.