Ranking the Eagles’ rookies by potential impact in 2023
We’re about seven days from the start of OTAs, and it’ll offer 17 rookies the opportunity to compete for a limited number of starting opportunities and roster spots.
The Eagles came away with seven talented players after the 2023 NFL draft, in which the team received glowing grades from experts and analysts.
Philadelphia landed five total defenders and four real players in the trenches, landing Tyler Steen from Alabama in the third round.
The Eagles also added plenty of undrafted talent.
Howie Roseman has raved about previous UDFA classes, with several big-named stars holding second-day draft grades.
Philadelphia then officially welcomed 9 undrafted rookies ahead of the minicamp.
With the young guys fully entrenched into the offseason workout program, here is an early ranking of the rookies by potential impact.
A productive and versatile player at Illinois, Brown brings five years of starting experience and a hybrid skill set that Sean Desai will love. With C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps moving on in free agency, playing time is available. The Eagles signed Terrell Edmunds, a five-year starter with the Steelers, and Justin Evans, who fought back from a severe knee injury. Reed Blankenship played well in his rookie season. K’Von Wallace provided some quality depth.
How quickly Brown can learn the defense will determine when he’s a starter.
An explosive and disruptive player at multiple positions, Carter will compete with Fletcher Cox, Kentavious Street, second-year man Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, and Noah Elliss, who spent last season rehabbing from injury.
Smith certainly will have a chance to earn time on special teams with his speed and his tenacity, and he’s joining a team that values pass rushing off the edge – Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, among them.
Smith will likely play the SAM linebacker spot as well as a more natural defensive end position at times. He’s among a talented group of pass rushers, but should see quality snaps from the onset.
Ty Zentner, Punter/Kicker, Kansas State
The Kansas State punter/kicker didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. Zentner spent time at Butler Community College before joining Kansas State University. He was a punter/kicker, making 11 field goals and recording a season-long 72-yard punt.
Zentner will compete with Arryn Siposs for the Eagles’ punter spot and could start the regular season opener.
Four of the five offensive line positions in Philadelphia return starters and only at right guard is there a starting position open. Steen will battle Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta and others.
The 20-year-old, athletic cornerback has a lot of developing to do, and he’ll have veterans like Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox around give Ringo a great group of players to learn from.
Ojomo has said all the right things about competing, but he plays one of the deepest positions on the Eagles roster.
Garner played at Navarro College for one season, then Louisiana for three seasons before transferring to LSU in 2022.
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound corner started every game in his lone season at LSU, leading the Tigers with eight pass breakups. He has elite size for a cornerback and could be a candidate for a switch to the STAR position or a more hybrid role.
Haselwood is the one player to watch. A former Georgia prep legend once compared to A.J. Green. Haselwood played at Oklahoma for three seasons until transferring to Arkansas following Head Coach Lincoln Riley’s departure to USC. During his time at Oklahoma and Arkansas, he compiled 1,438 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, the Georgia native led Arkansas with 59 receptions in 2022 and could be a potential fourth or fifth wide receiver for Brian Johnson’s explosive offense. Haselwood offers elite size and pedigree.
The Michigan State linebacker offers dynamic size and athletic ability.
A super athletic linebacker who has spent time on both sides of the football, last season was his best after finishing third on the team with 81 tackles while making ten starts with the Spartans.
VanSumeren can claim a roster spot at the Eagles’ weakest position group.