The Philadelphia Eagles did the unthinkable with the No. 30 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, they drafted a linebacker in the first round.
For the second time in the evening, the Eagles drafted a member of the University of Georgia defense. Lineback Nolan Smith is the newest member of the Eagles defense. He joins No. 9 overall pick Jalen Carter, and 2022 draft picks DL Jordan Davis and LB Nakobe Dean in the Athens to South Philly contingent.
Smith won two College Football Playoff National Championships with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The Savannah, Georgia native started for Georgia as a true freshman in 2019 and became a key cog in the Dawgs defense by his sophomore year. Smith totaled 113 tackles with 11.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and interception during his time in Athens.
A torn pectoral limited Smith to just eight games during the 2022 season.
The 6 ‘2, 238 LBs Smith ran a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine making him the second fastest DE/LB of the past 20-years. He brings another element of speed and tenacity to an Eagles defense that was ranked near the top of the NFL for the 2022-23 regular season.