Why the Eagles’ Georgia quartet gives them an advantage

Why the Eagles’ Georgia quartet gives them an advantage originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jalen Carter was at the draft in Kansas City on Thursday night when the Eagles traded up one spot to take him. And then everything happens so quickly.

He showed emotion as he crossed the stage to pull off an orchestrated handshake with Commissioner Roger Goodell before being whisked away for interviews, including a videoconference call with reporters in Philly.

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It was all so nonstop and he hadn’t even had a chance to check his phone.

But he already knew who a couple of those congratulatory messages would be from: His former and new teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.

“The relationship is very close,” Carter said on Thursday night. “I actually talked to Jordan Davis I think it was yesterday. Nakobe (Dean), we've been texting a little bit. I know they're probably texting my phone now, so when I get my phone, they're probably going to have a little message for me, or we might have a little FaceTime call real quick and just talk about what we're about to do.”

Where were Dean and Davis on Thursday night?


Well, they were with Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith when he got the call from the Eagles that he was the pick at 30. Pretty soon all four Bulldogs from the 2021 national championship team will be reunited in Philadelphia.

If you’re going to rebuild any defense, that’s not a bad one to choose. That 2021 Georgia defense gave up just 10.2 points and 268.5 yards per game.

And Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni sees real advantages to having four former teammates reunited in the NFL.

“Yeah, I think so,” Sirianni said late on Thursday night. “Again, like any time you're familiar with something, have that — there's a lot of things that they're going to come into this league that are unfamiliar to them. There's countless amount of things. So to have a little bit of sense of familiarity with some of the guys that you've gone to battle with and won a lot of games with, that's huge. I think that's a huge part for these guys to have each other.”


Before last year, the Eagles hadn’t taken a Georgia player in the draft since Brandon Boykin in the fourth round in 2012. And now they’ve taken four players in the top three rounds in a two-year span.

2022: 1-13: DT Jordan Davis
2022: 3-83: LB Nakobe Dean
2023: 1-9: DT Jalen Carter
2023: 1-30: Edge Nolan Smith

With the Eagles, all four former Bulldogs figure to have big roles in 2023 and beyond. While they might not all be starters, they’re all going to play.


And having a situation where they can all lean on each other early in their careers as they hope to become cornerstone pieces should really help.

“I think that's a really good thing for both of those guys to step into, because I know one thing about winning teams is that winning teams have that connection,” Sirianni said. “So they're coming from a program in Georgia that the same connection is the same, and then they're going to be stepping into this building, where we feel like the connection is strong with our team, as well.”

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