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Looking back at the Philadelphia Eagles' 2023 draft picks ahead of the 2024 NFL draft

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce announces NFL retirement after 13 seasons
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce announces NFL retirement after 13 seasons 41:55

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Philadelphia Eagles have eight picks in the 2024 NFL draft, beginning with No. 22 in Thursday night's first round and two more in the second round Friday.

The Eagles spiraled in 2023 after starting the season 10-1. The Birds lost six of their final seven games and lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card Round.

The collapse brought Nick Sirianni's job security into question. Sirianni will return for his fourth season but with new coordinators — Vic Fangio on defense and Kellen Moore on offense.

Philadelphia lost both Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox to retirement and traded Haason Reddick to the New York Jets, but executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman made waves in free agency.

The Eagles signed running back Saquon Barkley and edge rusher Bryce Huff and brought defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson back. The Birds also traded for quarterback Kenny Pickett to back up Jalen Hurts.

Before the next phase of the offseason begins Thursday with the draft in Detroit, Michigan, let's take a look back at last year's class - the Birds came away from the 2023 draft with seven players.

Round 1, Pick 9: Jalen Carter, DT, University of Georgia

Jalen Carter was arguably the best non-quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL draft, but he began to fall in the first round because of his involvement in a car crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy.

The Eagles, who entered the draft with the 10th pick, jumped at the opportunity to move up one spot in a trade with the Chicago Bears to select Carter. Philadelphia traded the 10th pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick to Chicago. The Bears drafted offensive lineman Darnell Wright out of the University of Tennessee at No. 10.

Carter had an impactful rookie season with the Eagles, compiling six sacks, eight tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown. He was the runner-up for the 2023 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, won by Houston Texans edge rusher Will Anderson.

Round 1, Pick 30: Nolan Smith, OLB, University of Georgia

With their second first-round pick, the Eagles had Georgia on their minds again. Roseman selected edge rusher Nolan Smith Jr. with the 30th overall pick in 2023.

Smith didn't see much action in his rookie season, playing only 202 snaps with 18 tackles and one sack.

The edge rusher did see an increase in playing time near the end of the season, playing 12%, 19%, 26%, 15%, 27%, 22%, 61% and 23% in the Birds' final eight games. He had four tackles and a QB hit and was credited with a half-sack in the Eagles' playoff loss.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine, Roseman said in retrospect, the Birds should have played Smith.

"Just seeing him certainly in the playoff game, one of the guys who played well in the playoff game, maybe giving him a little bit more time during the year and experience," Roseman said. "We talked about that. He's got all the right tools in his body. He's got the right mentality. And at the same time, he's got to go out and show it."

Round 3, Pick 65: Tyler Steen, OL, University of Alabama

The Eagles used the first of two third-round picks to give legendary offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland another project to work on. Philly drafted Tyler Steen out of Alabama with the 65th overall pick.

Steen played 11 games in his rookie season, starting the Birds' 28-23 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9. He allowed five pressures and one quarterback hit in 32 pass-blocking snaps.

With Kelce retiring, the Eagles will likely move either right guard Cam Jurgens or left guard Landon Dickerson - both drafted as centers - to anchor the O-line. Jurgens might be the favorite, which would open up right guard. There's a possibility Steen enters training camp with a chance to earn a starting spot in 2024.

Round 3, Pick 66: Sydney Brown, S, University of Illinois

Philadelphia used its second third-round pick on safety Sydney Brown out of the University of Illinois.

Brown made six starts and played in 14 games as a rookie before tearing his ACL on Jan. 7 against the New York Giants.

"As frustrating as injuries may be, these moments are all about how you respond," he wrote on Instagram. "I am more motivated than I have ever been in my life. This has just added gas to [the] fire within me. The comeback begins now."  

The highlight of Brown's season came in the Eagles' 35-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals when he intercepted Kyler Murray and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown.

Round 5, Pick 105: Kelee Ringo, CB, University of Georgia

Roseman drafted another UGA defensive player in the fifth round last year, adding cornerback Kelee Ringo with the 105th pick.

Ringo started four games and played in 17 during his rookie season - he played 234 snaps last season. He had one interception and was credited with two pass deflections, one fumble recovery and a quarterback hit.

The Eagles drafted Carter, Smith and Ringo in 2023 and Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean in 2022, all former Georgia Bulldogs. Could they add yet another in 2024? Safety Javon Bullard could be an option in the second round.

Round 6, Pick 188: Tanner McKee, QB, University of Stanford

Tanner McKee was the only Eagles draft pick from 2023 not to play or even suit up. The Eagles drafted McKee out of Stanford in the sixth round. The Eagles signed Will Grier this offseason to compete with McKee for their third QB spot behind Hurts and Pickett.

Round 7, Pick 249: Moro Ojomo, DT, University of Texas

The Eagles drafted Moro Ojomo out of Texas with their final pick last year. Ojomo made the Birds with a solid training camp and played 68 snaps in eight games during his rookie season with three tackles.

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