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Mock Draft 1.3 – Post-Conference Championship Weekend

2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.3

Conference championships are finished, and we all know what that means…BOWL SEASON! While bowl games don’t hold the same value as they have in the past, they’re still an excellent opportunity for players to raise their stock. Nevertheless, shifts have occurred since my last mock draft, what’s changed? 


How Michigan didn't let Marvin Harrison Jr. wreck “The Game” - Maize n Brew

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1) Chicago Bears (via Carolina) – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Team Needs: WR, OG, LT, C

No trades in this edition means no QB going first overall. While things haven’t been smooth sailing in Chicago, it’s far too early to give up on Justin Fields. The team made a splash at the trade deadline by bringing in Montez Sweat and signing him to an extension, and they can make a splash in the draft by taking Marvin Harrison. The Ohio State product is the best WR in this year’s draft and it isn’t even close. In fact, for a team with DJ Moore, the Buckeye could even be Chicago’s featured WR in his first season. 


Early 2024 NFL Draft offensive tackle rankings: Penn State's Olu Fashanu takes top spot | NFL Draft | PFF

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2) Arizona Cardinals – Olumuyiwa Fashanu, LT, Penn State

Team Needs: DT, CB IOL, OT, WR

While no trades in this edition may be good for the Bears, it’s unfortunate for the Cardinals. As I said, Harrison is the best WR by far; a position the Cardinals desperately need. Yet, with the best WR off the board, taking the best LT in the draft isn’t too bad. Early in the season rumors swirled about Kyler Murray’s future with the team. But as things went along it looks like he’ll remain as their QB1. With no other wideout worthy of number two overall, the Cardinals can begin to turn things around by selecting a franchise tackle. 


What Is Caleb Williams' Ethnicity? Tracing the USC Trojan QB's Background

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3) New England Patriots – Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Team Needs: OT, WR, QB, Edge, CB

The Patriots will go into the offseason with a decision to make. Bill Belichick is easily one of the best HCs of all time, but his time may be up. If he’s there next year, I’d expect NE to go with UNC’s Drake Maye, but I’m predicting Robert Kraft will bring in someone new which is why I have them going with Williams. He’s had a rough stretch of games as of late, but this shouldn’t blind teams from how good he actually is. Maye is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’d be criminal for the Patriots to pass on Williams. 


Notre Dame's Joe Alt is a Freshman All-American and it's mind-blowing - One Foot Down

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4) Chicago Bears – Joe Alt, LT, Notre Dame

Team Needs: WR, OG, LT, C

This would be a dream draft for the Bears. While Fashanu is widely regarded as the top LT in the draft, there’re those who believe Alt is better. Still, no matter who the Bears draft, whether it be Alt or Fashanu, taking the top WR and LT is a luxury most teams don’t enjoy on draft night. The Bears may have plenty of work to do, but Ryan Poles seems to have them trending in the right direction.


Drake Maye Player Profile | North Carolina Tar Heels QB | College Football Network

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5) New York Giants – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Team Needs: IOL, QB, RT, CB, Edge

The Giants are in a tough position. They extended Daniel Jones for a boatload of money last offseason and it seems to be going down the drain. However, after the 2024 NFL season, the Giants have a potential out if they’re willing to eat a bit of their losses. Enter Drake Maye. It may not be ideal for the New York franchise, but drafting Maye now could be beneficial a year later. Taking him now gives him time to learn the offense and get accustomed to the speed of the NFL. Additionally, it gives the Giants a more than capable backup should Daniel Jones continue to underwhelm. 


Rome Odunze, Washington, Wide Receiver

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6) Tennessee Titans – Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Team Needs: OT, Edge, WR, CB, S

The Titans appear to have a good thing going with Will Levis. Derrick Henry will always perform and it looks like they’ve found a perfect compliment in Tyjae Spears. Still, their offense is missing a WR1. Going back a couple of years, their offense worked when they had three things: a good run game, a great WR, and a reliable TE. While you could kill two birds with one stone by taking Brock Bowers, I still believe in Chigoziem Okonkwo. While he may have underwhelmed this year, I think it’s because of their lack of a balanced passing attack. Treylon Burks hasn’t been as advertised, but just as I think a great WR could open things up for Okonkwo, I think things could be the same for Burks. Enter Rome Odunze. A sure first-round pick, I still don’t think he’s getting the recognition he deserves. Bring him to Tennessee and maybe we’ll see the Titans in the playoffs sooner rather than later. 


College Football Playoff 2021 - Georgia's Brock Bowers knows only one speed - fast - ESPN

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7) Washington Commanders – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Team Needs: Edge, LB, LG, TE, WR

The Commanders could go Edge or WR here. But the best TE in this draft is better than the best Edge and WR3. Considered to be one of the best overall prospects in the draft, Bowers can play anywhere; in line, out wide, and in the backfield. The Commanders will need to buff up their defense after trading Chase Young and Montez Sweat, but with Sam Howell and the offense performing at a decent level, Bowers could transform things for the better in Washington.


Why UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu is one of the 2024 NFL Draft's biggest early risers | College Football | PFF

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8) Atlanta Falcons – Laitu Latu, OLB, UCLA

Team Needs: QB, Edge, SS, OG, WR

Latu plays more as an Edge defender for UCLA, but he has the potential to be an OLB who has a multi-dimensional role. He’s an excellent pass rusher, who’s leading the NCAA in the statistic, but he can also drop in coverage. He does have a worrisome injury history which may cause some to favor Dallas Turner on draft night, but if Latu can stay healthy, which he has since returning to CFB, he’ll wreak havoc on the opposing NFC South QBs for years. 


JC Latham - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

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9) Green Bay Packers – JC Latham, RT, Alabama

Team Needs: OL, CB, S, WR

I’m torn here between Latham and Coleman. However, with how the Packers’ OL is currently faring, something needs to happen upfront. Don’t get me wrong, things haven’t been exactly smooth sailing for Green Bay’s skilled positions. But when they were dominant in the past, they had two things: a great QB and an outstanding OL. They already have the makings of one with Runyan, Myers, and Jenkins, so why not continue to trend up by taking the RT1? It may not be the most glamorous pick with Coleman on the board, but this is a move that’ll benefit them both short and long-term.


Denzel Burke eager for leadership role after up-and-down sophomore season - The Athletic

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10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

Team Needs: IOL, CB, TE, SS

A team with a very experienced secondary, the Bucs need to start getting younger. Burke didn’t start as this year’s CB1, and some may still give that distinction to Kalen King or Kool-Aid McKinstry, but there’s much to like about him. Having played against powerhouse Power-5 schools such as Notre Dame, Michigan, and Penn State, Burke has held his own in each matchup gaining him wide recognition. There’s still room for him to improve, but the potential is more than there for someone extremely experienced and lengthy at 6’1”. 


Taliese Fuaga - Football - Oregon State University Athletics

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11) New York Jets – Taliese Fuaga, RT, Oregon State

Team Needs: QB, OT, S, WR, IDL

This may be a reach at pick 11 but the Jets are in all-or-nothing mode. The team would benefit extremely from drafting FSU WR Keon Coleman, but the OL is the most of their worries right now. Things haven’t gone according to plan with Rodgers going down in Week 1, but how different would things be if the OL stayed the same? The Jets OL doesn’t block for Zach Wilson or Tim Boyle, so why would they block for Rodgers? I understand that McGovern, Vera-Tucker, and Becton aren’t exactly healthy, but they also haven’t been performing at a particularly high level when healthy. As I said, taking Fuaga here might be a stretch. But he’s more than capable of anchoring down the right side of an OL for years. 


Iowa Football: Pro Football Focus preaches Cooper DeJean's versatility

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12) Los Angeles Chargers – Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

Team Needs: CB, IDL, LB, RT, WR

This is another one of those picks that’s painful to pass on Keon Coleman. After all, it doesn’t seem to be an NFL season if the Chargers WR corps isn’t decimated by injuries. Still, it’s their offense that’s kept them in games, not their defense. After trading JC Jackson back to New England at the trade deadline, Tom Telesco apologized to his secondary for bringing him in. But with how they’ve performed recently, they have to expect some changes to be made. DeJean himself is one of the best athletes and prospects in the draft. He can play inside, outside, and high as a safety. Moreso, although it isn’t needed, he’s a terrific return man. Long story short, DeJean is the Swiss-army knife that not only DCs dream of, but also HCs. 


FSU DE Jared Verse goes from virtual unknown to standout

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13) Los Angeles Rams – Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

Team Needs: CB, LT, Edge, S, LB

Verse is another player who hasn’t exactly fallen off, but has still slid down draft boards. Nonetheless, he’s still one of the best, if not the best edge defenders this year. Like Latu, he can rush the passer and is a strong presence on the boundary of the LOS. He may not be as good at dropping into coverage as Latu or Dallas Turner, but he still has experience doing so. After losing Von Miller and Leonard Floyd to free agency the past few offseasons, Verse could be the answer LA has been searching for. 


Dallas Turner - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

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14) Las Vegas Raiders – Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

Team Needs: RT, Edge, QB, CB, IDL

A team already with Tyree Wilson and Max Crosby, this selection would make their defense immensely more threatening. I’ve already touched on Turner a bit in previous picks in this mock draft, but long story short, he’s a phenomenal edge rusher and is rangy in coverage. A team already with solid Edge defenders and LBs, why not make the defense that much more unpredictable? Especially if the Raiders choose to retain Antonio Pierce, a defensive coach his whole career, look for them to remain on the defensive track. 


Keon Coleman Injury Update: Latest on Status of Seminoles Star Wideout

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15) Indianapolis Colts – Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Team Needs: CB, S, TE, WR, Edge

This would be a Colts fan’s dream draft pick. There may be other areas that could be of more concern, but with how well they’ve played this year, and with Anthony Richardson coming back healthy next year, Indy could be an offensive juggernaut with Coleman. Additionally, Michael Pittman Jr. is slated to be an FA after this season, and it doesn’t seem like to two sides are close to a deal. A team with Jonathan Taylor, Alec Pierce, and Josh Downs, the Colts could be better next year even if they lose Pittman at the season’s end. 


Kool-Aid McKinstry - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

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16) Denver Broncos – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Team Needs: CB, Edge, IDL, LB, TE

With Penn State’s Kalen King Still available, the Broncos have CB options at pick sixteen. Yet, I think they’ll elect to go a more familiar route by taking the player from Tuscaloosa. A physical CB at 6’1” 195lbs, McKinstry is excellent in both man and zone. He drops off well but can also run with receivers where he bodies them at the top of routes. The Broncos may have started off slow but this pick could lengthen their recently found success into next year. 


Ohio State Buckeyes Star Receiver Emeka Egbuka OUT vs. Purdue Boilermakers - Sports Illustrated Ohio State Buckeyes News, Analysis and More

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17) Cincinnati Bengals – Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

Team Needs: IDL, TE, WR, IOL, RB

Still in the playoff hunt, the Bengals are underperforming this year and it’s looking like they’re going to lose Tee Higgins in free agency this offseason. Still, if they draft Egbuka, they have the potential to make a deep playoff run next year. The offensive line remains to be a question along with Mixon’s future with the franchise. Nevertheless, they got the job done a few years ago and they are capable of doing it again. But, it’ll take an offseason to get healthy and good free agent and draft classes to do so. 


Malik Nabers: LSU's WR1 always pays attention and it is continuing to pay off for him | Tiger Rag

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18) Buffalo Bills – Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Team Needs: Edge, WR, CB, S, IDL

Malik Nabers has made enormous strides from last year to this year in his overall progress as a player. Laying a dud last year, performance-wise, Nabers has been phenomenal so far in Baton Rouge. A unique combination of agility and speed, Nabers is built a bit like a running back at 6’0” 200 lbs. He knows how to find the soft spots of zones and has what it takes to win versus man coverage. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s good after the catch and is difficult to bring down thanks to his agility and thickness. Buffalo thought the field would be opened up by having Kincaid and Harris alongside Diggs, but Nabers could do so even better. 


Penn State CB Kalen King is on the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

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19) New Orleans Saints – Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Team Needs: OG, CB, LT, TE, WR

Who would’ve thought a Buckeye and a Nittany Lion could become one of the best CB duos in the NFL? There are still many who regard King as better than a 19th overall pick, but others have put on performances that could force him to drop. Nonetheless, he’s still one of the best CBs in the draft. Not only is he a good player no matter who you ask him to guard, but he’s also got that dawg in him. The offense does need work, but beefing up the defense isn’t a bad way to start. 


Jer'Zhan Newton - 2023 - Football - University of Illinois Athletics

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20) Minnesota Vikings – Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Team Needs: RB, Pass Rushers, CB, QB

Jer’Zhan Newton has been all over the place in my mock drafts so far. While he’s been consistent throughout the season, there’s still a fairly wide range where he could be drafted. The buck stops here with Minnesota. Dannielle Hunter’s future with the organization is up in the air still after he was only brought in on a one year deal, but he’s been awesome this season which could prompt them to bring him back. Still, the Vikings need depth at the position. One of the highest blitzing teams in the League, bringing on the Illinois product could allow Brian Flores to be more diverse in his playcalling. 


Georgia Football Cornerback Kamari Lassiter Listed Among NFL First Round Mock Draft - Sports Illustrated Georgia Bulldogs News, Analysis and More

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21) Arizona Cardinals (via Houston) – Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

Team Needs: DT, CB, IOL, OT, WR

Over the years, Georgia has lost several great talents on both sides of the ball. Yet, year after year, they’re able to replace these losses with more fantastic talent. Kamari Lassiter is one of those talents. The Georgia offense may be great, but their defense is what’s made them national champs the past two years. Lassiter is one of the focal points of their defense which opposing teams scheme against. A fantastic CB, Lassiter has gained a great deal of steam as the season’s prolonged. He’s locked down WR1s and has been excellent in coverage. Moreso, he’s a fine tackler as he’s logged 36 total tackles so far on the season. 


Kamren Kinchens, Miami, Safety

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22) Seattle Seahawks – Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami

Team Needs: IOL, S, NCB, OT

The Seahawks defense is on the upswing and fans are beginning to reminisce about the good ol’ days of the Legion of Boom. They seem to have the backers, CBs, and rush, but how about their safeties? Jamal Adams has finally been healthy this year, but he isn’t necessarily reliable with his injury history. Enter Kamren Kinchens and Seattle gets a safety who can play both high and in the box. He’s an enforcer coming downhill and is rangy in pass coverage. There’ll be other areas Seattle will need to look to if they wish to overtake San Francisco in the NFC West, but Kinchens would be a good first step. 


Nate Wiggins Draft Profile | Clemson, CB Scouting Report

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23) Pittsburgh Steelers – Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Team Needs: CB, OT, WR, IDL, RB

Nate Wiggins is another who’s gained a great amount of publicity throughout the season. Joey Porter has played well throughout the year but there’s still something missing from the defense. With Baltimore having invested in their WR room, and Cincinnati being an offensive juggernaut, the Steelers need to beef up their secondary as well. Wiggins displays a terrific blend of length and quickness that frustrates opposing WRs and OCs. It may be an overstatement, but Wiggins and Porter could make for one of the best young CB duos. 


Jaden Hicks, Washington State, Safety

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24) Houston Texans (via Cleveland) – Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State

Team Needs: Edge, IDL, WR, CB, S

For the first time in a long time, Houston does NOT have a problem. The Texans are in the hunt for a playoff spot and are enjoying DeMeco Ryan’s first year as HC. CJ Stroud is playing phenomenally and the rest of the team is stepping up as well. Still, in a division that’s surrounded by offensive talent, their defense will need to remain stout. Taking Hicks here may be a reach, but he’d provide Ryans with the versatility to play multiple coverages and disguise his defense. Hicks plays excellent up high, but he’s been a swiss-army knife for the Cougars playing in the box, slot corner, and blitzing off the edge. In Houston, Pitre and Hicks could be an iconic duo for years to come. 


Amarius Mims injury update: UGA tackle questionable to return to SEC championship game

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25) Miami Dolphins – Amarius Mims, RT, Georgia

Team Needs: RT, Edge, LG, IDL, TE

The Dolphin’s experiment along the offensive line hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Between failed draft picks and unhealthy veterans, they’ll look to stop this trend with Mims. Amarius Mims is a mountain of a human being at an imposing 6’7” and 240 lbs. Yet, despite his enormous frame, he offers the movement needed to be a good NFL tackle. He’s powerful and lengthy and has the intangibles that make a decent NFL lineman. 


Clemson Tigers star Jeremiah Trotter Jr. declares for 2024 NFL draft

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26) Dallas Cowboys – Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson

Team Needs: DT, LB, SS, OL

Leighton Vander Esch is an amazing linebacker. Unfortunately, his injury history is worrisome and should prompt the Cowboys to find more depth. Jeremiah Trotter isn’t exactly the thumper Vander Esch is at six feet tall, but his range will be an excellent complement. With Vander Esch healthy next year, Diggs and Bland on the backend, and Parsons rushing the passer, offenses will be in shambles if the defense also features Trotter. 


Quinyon Mitchell - Football - University of Toledo Athletics

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27) San Francisco 49ers – Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Team Needs: OG, OT, CB, OC, S

The Niner’s offense needs improvement along their offensive line, but as long as Shanahan’s at the helm, they’ll figure things out. However, their defense has partly been saved by their elite front. Deommodore Lenoir has played well recently but Chavarius Ward has been hit or miss throughout the year. I’m not saying SF will release Ward before his contract expires, but Mitchell would provide options for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations. Mitchell has been great in man coverage particularly thanks to his length and speed. At Toledo, Mitchell has set the school record for pass breakups. 


Ohio State's J.T. Tuimoloau Exceeding Personal Expectations - Sports Illustrated Ohio State Buckeyes News, Analysis and More

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28) Jacksonville Jaguars – JT Tuimoloau, Edge, Ohio State

Team Needs: S, Edge, IDL, CB, WR

Josh Allen is going to be a top commodity this offseason leaving his future with Jacksonville in question. Entering this season as one of the premier edge talents, Tuimoloau has fallen off a bit but is still a good player. He may not be putting up the numbers everyone expected him to this season. But this doesn’t mean he can’t be great in the NFL; especially on a defense that also features Travon Walker and Tyson Campbell. 


Texas Tech football: Why is Tahj Brooks being underutilized?

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29) Baltimore Ravens – Tahj Brooks, RB, Texas Tech

Team Needs: CB, OG, WR, IDL, RB

JK Dobbins’ career as a Raven might be over. It’s a sad sight to see given the talent he had coming out of Ohio State, but injuries decided to write his story for him. Nevertheless, business is business and the Ravens need an RB. Brooks has broken out this season as one of the best RBs in football. Throughout the season he’s displayed his prowess as a runner being one of the nation’s leaders in broken tackles. He has the size of an NFL back at 5’10” and 235 lbs which could result in him being a featured player in Baltimore’s offense. 


Ohio State's Freshman Class "Going To Be Scary" In Future - Sports Illustrated Ohio State Buckeyes News, Analysis and More

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30) Detroit Lions – Jack Sawyer, Edge, Ohio State

Team Needs: CB, S, LB, Edge, DT

On a defense also featuring Tuimoloau and Burke, Sawyer’s been the forgotten one. However, he hasn’t played according to this role. In some respects, Sawyer has been even more important to Ohio State’s success than Tuimoloau. He shows an excellent ability to rush the passer but is also more than capable of setting the edge. Additionally, he can also drop in coverage to confuse opposing quarterbacks. A team that is currently at the top of their division, Sawyer could help Dan Campbell’s squad stay there. 


BYU OL Kingsley Suamataia Cracks Top 3 on Bruce's Feldman's Freaks List - Vanquish The Foe

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31) Kansas City Chiefs – Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

Team Needs: WR, IDL, OT, Edge, CB

The Chiefs have been needing WRs for the past few years. Yet, Andy Reid has always been able to get the job done with Mahomes, a good OL, and whoever he has out wide. Kelce also may be getting up in age, but it doesn’t look like his play will decline anytime soon. This season, their offensive line play hasn’t been spectacular, specifically with their OTs. They brought in Jawaan Taylor last offseason but Donovan Smith has been a weak spot. Suamataia has been a lone bright spot in BYU’s rather unremarkable season. He has plenty to work on, but with Taylor as a mentor, he should be able to iron things out. 


Barrett Carter – Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site

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32) Philadelphia Eagles – Barrett Carter, LB, Clemson

Team Needs: TE, LB, CB, WR

Entering the season, Carter was widely regarded as the nation’s top linebacker. While he may have lost that recognition among some, he’s still a terrific talent who’ll be playing on Sundays. I know the Eagles have a recent draft history of going with Georgia products, but at this point, Carter’s abilities are too good to pass up. He has the ideal side, speed, range, and physicality that could keep Philadelphia in SB contention for years. 


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