NFL Draft Prospects Eagles Must Target After 2023 Shrine, Senior BowlsFebruary 6, 2023
NFL Draft Prospects Eagles Must Target After 2023 Shrine, Senior Bowls
Because the Philadelphia Eagles' 2022 season was so successful, their pick in the 2023 NFL draft is going to come late in the first round.
They will be selecting at either No. 31 or No. 32, depending on what happens in their Super Bowl LVII matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
However, the Eagles also own the No. 10 pick, as they have the New Orleans Saints' first-round selection, which was acquired in a trade that occurred prior to the 2022 NFL draft that featured eight total selections being swapped.
Overall, Philadelphia has six picks in this year's draft, four of which are in the first three rounds. So, it could come away with quite an impressive draft class.
Since Thursday, the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Senior Bowl have taken place, giving NFL teams an opportunity to look at draft prospects in a game setting.
Here's a look at several players who stood out and could be targets for the Eagles.
Xazavian Valladay, RB, Arizona State
Philadelphia could be looking to add running backs in the 2023 NFL draft, as both Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are set to hit free agency. That leaves Kenneth Gainwell, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks as the RBs under contract for next season.
With the Eagles in win-now mode, Xazavian Valladay could be a great fit in their backfield. He has a ton of college experience after playing four seasons at Wyoming before spending last year at Arizona State.
On Thursday, he had a strong showing in the East-West Shrine Bowl, rushing for a game-high 76 yards on 13 carries and adding a 4-yard reception. That came after an impressive season for the Sun Devils in which he ran for 1,192 yards and scored 18 total touchdowns.
According to Nate Tice of The Athletic, Valladay "doesn't have exceptional size or long speed, but he does a lot of things well." And even though he had only one catch in the East-West Shrine Bowl, he should be a contributor in the passing game in the NFL. So, he's the type of player who could go well with quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia's offense.
Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
Another running back who could end up fairly high on the Eagles' draft board is Northwestern's Evan Hull. He is also an experienced player after spending the past four seasons in the Wildcats' backfield.
The 22-year-old's rushing numbers were a bit down in 2022, as he had 913 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. But he became more of a factor in Northwestern's passing attack, finishing with 55 catches for 546 yards and two scores (all career highs).
On Saturday, Hull was a standout performer in the Senior Bowl, rushing for a game-high 74 yards on 10 carries. He also had two catches for 11 yards while helping to lead the National team to victory.
Like Valladay, Hull is a do-it-all back who could be a strong fit in Philadelphia. And if the Eagles end up losing both Sanders and Scott in free agency, they could be looking to add more than one RB in this year's draft.
Anthony Johnson, CB, Virginia
If the Eagles lose James Bradberry in free agency, they could look to add a replacement cornerback in the draft. Or they could take one even if the 29-year-old returns in order to make their secondary even deeper and stronger.
Anthony Johnson could be a top defensive back for Philadelphia to target from this year's draft class. He made a huge impact in Saturday's Senior Bowl, as he notched a 37-yard interception return touchdown in the fourth quarter that marked the only time the American team got into the end zone all game.
The former Virginia standout played five college seasons, with three years at Louisville before transferring to the Cavaliers for his final two.
Although he was a solid player for the Cardinals, he took his game to another level at Scott Stadium, as he recorded 95 tackles and five interceptions in 21 games between the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
While his draft stock was on the rise throughout his time at Virginia, Johnson boosted it even further with his big-time play in the Senior Bowl. His defensive playmaking ability could be a great addition for the Eagles' defense in 2023.