Dynasty fantasy football is a year-round affair. A sharp manager will always think about all aspects of the dynasty season. Managers keen enough to look ahead will be the ones who can grab themselves an edge. This article is about Philadelphia Eagles. They shocked many last year as they won their way to the Super Bowl. After a second-half collapse to the Chiefs, what do the Eagles need to do in the 2023 NFL Draft to get back to the Super Bowl? Especially after they lost nearly all their starters on defense in free agency and with a mega-extension for Jalen Hurts on tap.
Most of the dynasty off-season will be spent discussing incoming rookies and the related topic, the NFL draft. It is easy for us to fall in love with the next workhorse running back or prototypical alpha wide receiver, but a manager in tune with the entire draft class will find themselves ahead of the game. Whether it is the next road-paving interior offensive lineman or genetic freak edge rusher, we can find ourselves at quite the advantage in April by building an entire picture of how the 2023 class will play out. Those that prepare will not be surprised at the outcomes. Look at the Chiefs or Eagles. They have a ton of depth. This allowed them to outlast the rest of the competition and compensate for any injuries.
The draft order used in this article reflects the order following the Super Bowl. Credit for the mock draft simulation goes to The Draft Network. Team needs are generated from this site.
2022 Season Recap
The 2022 season couldn’t have gone better for the Philadelphia Eagles unless they won the Super Bowl. Still, second place for a team many pundits didn’t have even winning their division is a massive year. It turns out that acquiring AJ Brown for Jalen Hurts was a brilliant idea. Hurts completely broke out and established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL and dynasty. Brown re-established himself as an elite wideout while Devonta Smith continued his ascension into stardom. Dallas Goedert played great, and so did Miles Sanders.
Sanders had a career year, just as did big free agent signing Haason Reddick. The trade acquisition of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and the signing of James Bradberry helped the Eagles have the best defense in the NFL. They set multiple records, including the most sacks, with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, and Reddick all getting at least ten sacks. Basically, everything went right for the Eagles. They were healthy and saw all their players play up to or beyond what everyone expected.
Plus, their coaching staff broke out in a massive way as head coach Nick Sirianni showed the NFL he is one of the top head coaches. Although, he did see both his offensive and defensive coordinators leave to become head coaches of the Colts and Cardinals, respectively. Time will tell whether those coaching losses affect the team. It will also tell if Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are one of the new dominant teams for the next decade.
2023 Free Agents
The Philadelphia Eagles lost a ton of talent in free agency, as expected when a team reaches the Super Bowl. This created many holes that required them to get creative with the cap and contracts and choose who to bring in/back versus drafting someone. The team can still bring back Ndamukong Suh, Linval Joseph, Robert Quinn, and Brett Kern. However, they lost Left Tackle Andre Dillard, Left Guard Isaac Seumalo, quarterback Gardner Minshew, wide receiver Zach Pascal, and running back Sanders on offense to other teams in free agency. They planned for some of those losses by drafting Landon Dickerson to take over for Seumalo last year, signing Marcus Mariota to replace Minshew, and signing Rashaad Penny.
They brought back key veterans like Jason Kelce, Cox, Graham, Bradberry, Boston Scott, and extended Slay. However, on defense, they still lost a ton of talent. Gone are linebackers TJ Edwards and Kyzir White, safeties Marcus Epps and CGJ, and phenomenal interior defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. The Philadelphia Eagles did replace some of them. They signed corner Greedy Williams and linebacker Nicholas Morrow. They added safeties Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans. Yet, those guys don’t compare to the talent they lost. Hence, they will focus on the defense in the draft, especially if they trade down and acquire more picks. Don’t forget about the Jalen Hurts extension. That has to be accounted for. It will affect their free-agent moves and extensions.
2023 Draft Picks
The team needs cornerback depth as Slay and Bradberry are in their 30s, a new safety, a running back to replace Miles Sanders, a WR3 with Quez disappointing and about to be a free agent, linebacker depth, offensive line depth, and of course, a new EDGE rusher and defensive line youth. Ideally, they would trade down from 30 and gain some additional picks to acquire cheap talent and help out their defense more.
1.10 – Bijan Robinson, RB Texas
What is there to say about the generational running back prospect that hasn’t already been said? Robinson is the guaranteed 1.01 in nearly every dynasty rookie draft, deservedly so. He’s the best in the draft at almost every skill and attribute and possesses unlimited potential in the rushing and receiving game. With the Eagles taking him here, they get a guy that will make their offense the deadliest in the NFL. Robinson can take some of the rushing workload off of Jalen Hurts to keep him healthy. Plus, the team will have perhaps the best running back in their vaunted history.
Robinson fits this team perfectly with their loss of Sanders. Regardless, the Eagles will take a running back in this draft. They know Penny isn’t going to start the whole year. Snagging a three-down back will allow Penny to stay healthy. It can give him a few carries a game to use his electric speed in tandem with Bijan’s thunder (lightning speed). Plus, it offers Hurts a valuable weapon in the passing game that will give opposing defenses nightmares about it.
The Eagles might not have taken a first-round running back in 30 or so years, but Robinson is the guy you spend a first on. This is especially true when you’re a rushing-prone team with a big hole at that spot. Imagine if the Eagles had Robinson in the Super Bowl. He could’ve run down the clock far more efficiently than they did. This will give the Eagles their best shot at returning to the Super Bowl in 2023/4.
1.30 – Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE Northwestern
The Eagles must get a new pass-rusher to work opposite Haason Reddick. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are getting older and can’t be relied upon to do all the heavy lifting besides Reddick. In comes the versatile and toolsy Anudike-Uzomah, who has all the makings of becoming a player just as talented as Reddick. He’s a high-intensity defender with a tool bag of moves to tap into to get around the edge. Anudike-Uzomah sees plays before they happen and has an excellent burst. He’s a powerful player who will only improve with more coaching and NFL training.
Don’t be shocked if Anudike-Uzomah makes a few Pro Bowls by the time his rookie deal is up. Adding him to the Eagles’ defense feels unfair to the rest of the NFC teams. The sky is the limit if he can better defend the run and stay engaged mentally longer. Right now, Anudike-Uzomah is already very talented. Learning behind three great rushers will elevate his play to the next level and help the Philadelphia Eagles back to the Super Bowl.
2.62 – Antonio Johnson, S Texas A&M
The Philadelphia Eagles lost both of their starting safeties and don’t have great depth, even after their free-agent signings. Don’t be shocked if they take a safety in the draft. Here, they get a talented one that should be getting talked about more. Johnson is a versatile safety with the size and speed of a linebacker. He’s not afraid to line up in the slot or box and provide excellent coverage or rush defense. Johnson flies around the field and is seemingly near the line of scrimmage or where the ball is. After the Philadelphia Eagles got burned by the Chiefs’ tight ends in the Super Bowl, they add a safety capable of covering them pretty well.
Plus, Johnson is already a great tackler and has NFL size/speed. He’s got great acceleration but does need to learn when to play at full throttle. He can sometimes be too hot or aggressive. The Philadelphia Eagles will use that high-intensity play on the field as Johnson racks up tackles and can help fill in for the lost depth at linebacker. Overall, the Eagles get a day-one starter at one of their safety positions in the second round.
3.94 – Jonathan Mingo, WR Ole Miss
The Eagles could use another cornerback or perhaps more depth at the defensive line, but they can’t afford to pass up an opportunity to give their offense an actual WR3. Plus, this move would make AJ Brown happy since Mingo went to Ole Miss. Of course, he’s very talented in his own right. Mingo has excellent size and speed with a good burst off the line of scrimmage. He’s a strong route runner that plays big slot great. That’s the spot the Eagles need the most help at, as Quez Watkins has disappointed and is a free agent after this year.
Working with a rush-happy offense, Mingo is an above-average blocker with a team-first mentality. He’s got all the attributes you want in a receiver and would elevate this Eagles offense to the top in the NFL. Mingo is a yards-after-catch monster with excellent tracking ability and knows how to help his quarterback. This guy isn’t being discussed nearly enough. He’s a quality, high-second-round rookie draft pick in dynasty. Go, scout Mingo. He’s the real deal and the latest Ole Miss wide receiver to receive little fanfare before he blows up. Mingo, AJB, Bijan, Goedert, Smith, and Hurts would be impossible to stop.
7.219 – Connor Galvin, T Baylor
The Eagles have an aging offensive line and need to continue to replenish their ranks with younger guys that they can develop. Galvin is a decent enough tackle to handle zone schemes and run-heavy plays. He’s got decent agility and movement but needs to improve his strength, as athleticism will only get a tackle so far. Overall, Galvin can play either guard spot or tackle spot. That will increase his value and allow the Eagles to have a guy that can take over at any spot due to injury. If he can improve his strength and power without losing athleticism, he could be a starter.
7.248 – Ventrell Miller, LB Florida
Miller is a two-down linebacker that isn’t great in coverage. He’s a strong box linebacker that can recognize runs and punish ball carriers. However, he isn’t about to be a great pass rusher or cover specialist. He will be an excellent special teams player to start his career and provide valuable depth to a linebacker room that just lost both starters to free agency. Miller isn’t exciting, but he’ll get the job done and help provide more talent for the Eagles’ defense.
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As always, May the Force be with you…