Why NFL insider thinks Eagles won’t pick a CB

Why NFL insider doesn’t see Eagles going CB at No. 10 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles hold the No. 10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft thanks to Howie Roseman’s deft trading skills, and now the Birds have to figure out how best to use that valuable draft capital.

With the Draft a month and a half away, many fans are zeroing in on ideal targets with the No. 10 picks. A popular chorus: go cornerback. There are a pair of corners in Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez who would make a lot of sense for the Birds at that pick, with James Bradberry likely departing in free agency and 32-year-old Darius Slay on the final year of his deal.

But don’t pencil in the corner just yet.

MORE: 10 leftover Eagles nuggets from the 2023 NFL Combine

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined 97.5 The Fanatic this week to talk all things Eagles and the NFL Combine, and Schefter was asked for his thoughts on the Eagles’ plan for the No. 10 picks.

He qualified his answer by saying it’s more based on the team’s history, but he’s also the foremost NFL insider and often has clear insight into the Eagles’ thought process, so it’s always worth listening when he speaks about the Birds.

Here’s what Schefter had to say:

“My prediction for the Eagles – and we’re two months out right now? My prediction, you can put me down right now just on the basis of their history, knowing nothing right now, on the basis of their history: that’ll be an edge rusher. I don’t know which one, I don’t know how, but it’ll be an edge rusher.

“[…]

“In the end, there seems to be a high number of effective pass rushers, which marries up to what I think they usually look at. So to me, edge rusher at 10, put it down. I don’t know which one yet , but I’m saying edge rusher.”

Interesting! I can’t imagine Eagles fans would be disappointed with adding an elite edge rusher, despite their current clamoring for a cornerback.

Brandon Graham isn’t getting any younger, if he even returns at all next season. The Robert Quinn trade didn’t pan out and he comes off the books this offseason. Derek Barnett is under contract, but he’s coming off an injury-wrecked season and had just 2.0 sacks in 15 games in 2021.

If Sean Desai wants to replicate the havoc-wreaking success of last year’s defense, he’ll need legit weapons on the edge and this year’s draft is expected to be stocked with real-deal edge rushing talent.

So… who could be available at No. 10? It’s pretty variable, depending on how many teams make the quarterback dive. There are a ton of QB-needy teams in this year’s draft, the Bears appear open for business at No. 1, and guys like Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are potential studs. The board could break the Eagles’ way, for sure.

It would take a staggering upset for Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. to still be on the board when the Eagles are on the clock, so I won’t include him here. But let’s look at four edge rusher names who could potentially be available at No. 10:

Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

This would be a utopian scenario for Howie Roseman, and frankly it seems near-impossible. But if there’s a run on QBs and four (hello, Anthony Richardson!) go in the Top 9, there’s a non-zero chance Wilson is available. Wilson is huge (6-6, 275), productive (27.5 sacks in his last two seasons at Texas Tech), and interviewing well. He would be an absolute home run.

Myles Murphy, Clemson

If the Eagles stay at No. 10 and decide to go edge rusher instead of CB or OL, I think Murphy is their most likely pick. An incredible high-motor athlete with size (6-5, 275) and speed, Murphy recorded 18.5 sacks and 36.0 tackles for loss in his 35 games as a Clemson Tiger. He would slot perfectly into the Eagles’ DL rotation.

Keion White, Georgia Tech

Now we’re into the players whom the Eagles likely aren’t targeting at No. 10, but could be intriguing options if they trade down a few spots or if they really, really want to pick an edge rusher. White isn’t as big as Wilson or Murphy, nor as productive, but he’s a relatively raw prospect with absurd athletic traits who could be molded into a deadly weapon on the edge with the right coaching.

Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

Another reach at No. 10 or trade-down target, Van Ness was a huge piece of the second-best defense in college football last year. He produced at Iowa (13.0 sacks, 19.0 tackles for loss) in two seasons, but could stand to show a little more versatility in his pass rush skillset. Still, the potential is there.

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