Philadelphia Eagles ace Round 1 of NFL draft with surprise selections of Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith

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Friday, April 28, 2023
NFL Draft: Eagles ace 1st round with surprise picks
Howie Roseman had a big first round of the NFL Draft by stealing talents Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Well, it feels like every year on Draft Night the Philadelphia Eagles surprise us.

Nobody expected Jalen Carter to be there at 10 for the Birds' first selection. But he was sitting there at 9, so Howie Roseman got on the phone, and traded a 2024 4th-round pick to Chicago to jump over them and get the guy many consider the top player in the draft.

A 6-foot-3, 314-pound defensive tackle, he makes perfect sense given JaVon Hargrave moved on and Fletcher Cox is getting up there in age.

In fact, it's an intimidating thought.

Cowboys' linebacker Micah Parsons was doing a draft show when the pick was announced and he said it made him sick to his stomach.

RELATED: Eagles select UGA's Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith in 1st round

Carter joins his mentor from Georgia, Jordan Davis, on the defensive line.

So why did eight other teams pass on him?

Character questions for starters.

Back in January, Carter was at the scene of a crash that killed two people, including a teammate.

He ended up pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, and was sentenced to a year of probation.

Some experts have questioned his maturity.

Nobody has questioned his talent.

It was a risk the Eagles were not only willing to take, but able to take given their already deep roster.

Things only got sweeter when pass rusher Nolan Smith was sitting there with the Eagles back on the clock at 30.

The past two seasons, Georgia's defense has been beyond dominant in winning back-to-back National Championships.

RELATED: Best players in 2023 NFL Draft

The Eagles now have arguably the four best members of those squads in Davis, Carter, Smith and Nakobe Dean.

It almost doesn't seem fair. Let's just say, rival fans on social media don't like this one bit.