The Philadelphia Eagles added former Georgia Bulldogs on both sides of the ball as the final day of the 2023 NFL Draft commenced Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
Before the start of the fourth round, the Eagles traded up into the third pick of the day, No. 105 overall, by dealing a 2024 third-rounder to the Houston Texans. The Eagles used that selection on cornerback Kelee Ringo, the fifth Georgia defender they’ve drafted in two years.
The NFC champions later agreed to a trade to acquire Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift, who projects as their new first-string running back after the departure of Miles Sanders in free agency. Swift is a Philadelphia native and also played collegiately at Georgia.
“He’s got big-play ability as a runner and receiver,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in an interview on the ESPN broadcast. “We saw it first-hand when we were in Detroit first game of the season. … We liked our running backs. We didn’t go into the draft feeling like this was a position we had to have. But we felt like this player was somebody who could really add to our culture and add to our team.
“And I’m sure I’m out of the Florida alumni association as we speak.”
On Thursday, the Eagles drafted Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter No. 9 overall and Bulldogs pass-rusher Nolan Smith at No. 30. Philadelphia also spent first- and third-round picks in the 2022 draft on Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean.
Ringo had four interceptions in 30 career games over two seasons at Georgia, which fielded a record-setting defense in 2021 and dominated on that side of the ball again in 2022 en route to two straight national titles. The Bulldogs led FBS with 77.1 rushing yards allowed per game and ranked fifth in scoring defense at 14.3 ppg.
Swift, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract after three seasons with the Lions. In 40 career games (16 starts), Swift rushed for 1,680 yards (4.6 per attempt) and 18 touchdowns. But the Lions used a first-round pick Thursday on Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, signaling their interest in moving on from Swift.
The Eagles dealt a seventh-round pick (No. 219) and a 2025 fourth-rounder to land Swift and Detroit’s seventh-rounder (No. 249), according to multiple reports.
Three quarterbacks went in the fourth round, bringing the total to eight quarterbacks over the first four rounds of the seven-round draft.
The New Orleans Saints traded up with the Jacksonville Jaguars to No. 127 overall and selected quarterback Jake Haener from Fresno State. Haener was the Senior Bowl MVP and is the first Fresno State quarterback to be drafted since Derek Carr — whom the Saints signed as a free agent in March to be their new starter.
With the very next pick, the Los Angeles Rams drafted Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who started for the Bulldogs in each of the past two seasons and helped them win back-to-back titles. Bennett threw for 4,128 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022, added 10 rushing touchdowns and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.
With the last pick in the fourth round, the Las Vegas Raiders chose Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell. The Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo as their presumptive starting quarterback this offseason after parting ways with Carr.
The New England Patriots used an early fourth-rounder on Troy center Jake Andrews, then traded up with their division rival New York Jets to No. 112 overall to pick Maryland kicker Chad Ryland. He was the second kicker picked in this draft after the San Francisco 49ers used a late third-rounder on Michigan’s Jake Moody.
–Field Level Media