PHILADELPHIA — Another day, another Dawg.
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to load up on players from the Georgia Bulldogs‘ dominant defense in the NFL draft. They selected defensive tackle Jalen Carter and edge rusher Nolan Smith in the first round, then traded into the top of the fourth round Saturday to land cornerback Kelee Ringo.
This comes after the Eagles selected a pair of Bulldogs — defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean — early in the 2022 draft.
“I’m super excited just to have the opportunity to go to the Eagles overall, but it definitely makes it better. Being with my teammates from the University of Georgia, definitely our bar is going to continue to grow,” Ringo said. “Of course, it would definitely be, even if we were on different teams, but just being in the same building as those guys and be able to hear the ropes from guys that have been there.
“… Honestly, just feel like it’s a great feeling. It’s definitely a great situation to be coming into as a rookie.”
The Eagles on Saturday also acquired running back D’Andre Swift in a trade with the Detroit Lions, sources told ESPN. Swift also played collegiately at Georgia.
It marks the first time in the common draft era that Philadelphia has selected three players from a single school, according to ESPN Stats & Information. With the three selections this year, the Eagles also tied the record for most defensive players drafted from a single school. It had been done six times, but most recently by the New England Patriots in 2013 when they took three defenders from Rutgers.
When Carter and Smith arrived in Philadelphia on Friday, general manager Howie Roseman said they lobbied him to select more Georgia players. Apparently it worked.
“I was worried they were going to relegate us to the SEC if we took more Georgia guys,” joked Roseman, who is an alum of the rival Florida Gators.
That didn’t stop him from sending a 2024 third-round pick to the Houston Texans to move into the fourth round Saturday and draft Ringo, who ran a blazing 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the combine — tied for fifth fastest among defensive backs — and recorded two interceptions and seven passes defensed last season.
“A lot of times, you go overnight and you sit there and you look at who’s standing out on your board — and Kelee stood out for us,” Roseman told ESPN. “We had him much higher than where he was and so we went and tried to get him.
“He’s in a situation here where we have phenomenal outside corners starting with [Darius] Slay and James Bradberry — Pro Bowl guys, Pro Bowl people — and he doesn’t have to come in and be Superman here. He can come in and he can learn and kind of bide his time and work on his skills.”
It’s no wonder the Eagles are targeting Georgia players. The back-to-back national champion Bulldogs have boasted one of the top defenses in the nation in recent years. The 2021 defense was one of the best in NCAA history, holding opponents to just 10.2 points and 268.5 yards per game.
“I’m sure I’m out of the Florida Alumni Association as we speak,” Roseman joked to ESPN on Saturday.
Now many of those Georgia players are reuniting on the Eagles, who led the league with 70 sacks last season en route to a Super Bowl appearance.
“I’d say it was amazing for me just because not only one of my favorite [teammates], not only one of my most athletic teammates [in Carter] here man, we have a lot of boys, a lot of Georgia Philly Dawgs,” said Smith, “and it’s going to be great.”