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Howie Roseman: Carson Wentz “fits our city”

Eagles GM discusses the trade on The MMQB podcast

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Howie Roseman went on The MMQB podcast with Albert Breer and discussed last year’s trades to get Carson Wentz, the pre-draft process and how it’s gone so far since drafting Wentz. Roseman appears at the 22:40 mark and talks for over 13 minutes.

Here’s the meaty parts of the interview:

Breer: This time last year did you know that you were taking a quarterback?

Roseman: We were picking 13th with no second-round pick. We knew we wanted to move up. It was clear to us, with the research we had done, the tape we watched, being able to go to the Senior Bowl and see him throw live and interview him, that we knew we wanted to move up. And the first step? This is like the winter meetings for us, getting us all together. This is where trades take shape. And we came here with the intent of trying to move up in the draft. And when we started to talk to teams that were picking 1 and 2, it was daunting to them to move back to 13 when we didn’t have a 2. So we kind of then went to this 5-10 range and said, “Maybe we can make two moves. Maybe we can get into that 5-10 range, and be appealing to the teams at 1 and 2.” And say, “Alright, now you don’t have to move back as far, let’s find a way to make this happen.”

Roseman didn't outright say yes to the question, but that's a yes.

Breer: Did you know that it was going to take that to get Carson or Goff at this point last year, did you know that it was going to be 1-2? Because it felt like to me that it was a little later in the process than say Mariota and Winston, where it was a feeling from the start they were going to be 1-2.

Roseman: Our concern was that if you wait, what are you waiting for if it doesn't work? It's just pushing it to next year and who knows where you're going to pick and who knows who are going to be the quarterbacks the following year? So here you have an opportunity where both 1 and 2 were willing to move out of the spots. Now you go back and look at the 2012 draft with Andrew Luck and 1 wasn't willing to move out and 2 moved from 2 to 4 for three 1s and a 2. So how do you know you're ever going to have an opportunity again where there's a guy who you think can be a franchise quarterback and then you have teams at the top who were actually willing to trade that pick?

Roseman then said they first talked to the Titans, who eventually traded with the Rams. He also went on to outline why he was fine with giving up picks in 2017 and 2018:

"It’s interesting, because one of the compelling things for us to make the trade, because it was so many picks, was looking at the teams that drafted quarterbacks in 2004. You may say, why are you looking at teams that drafted quarterbacks in 2004? What’s interesting is those teams—the Giants, the Steelers and the Chargers—are still drafting around those quarterbacks in 2017. So you may have to give up for the moment, but you know eventually that you'll be in a position where you have all your resources to build around that guy... That year away for me and gaining some perspective, talking to people, I said if I ever got an opportunity again, and Jeffrey said this from day one, there's nothing more important than a franchise quarterback for his organization, we were going to make sure we were aggressive about it and have no regrets. We had a couple of opportunities in the last few years where we liked a quarterback and maybe we could have been a little more aggressive.

A shot at Chip? Andy? Or himself? You be the judge.

Breer: Was there a point (in the pre-draft process) that you knew it was worth it?

Roseman: He was an incredibly impressive guy. When we went and saw him in his own environment, we had a moment where we were out to dinner in Fargo and I took a step back just to call my kids before they went to sleep and I walk back in the restaurant and I saw the GM of the restaurant and the hostess of the restaurant and they didn't know we were part of the Eagles and that we were there with Carson, and I heard the GM say to the hostess "you know, Carson is the same guy now that he was when he first came to campus. He's such a good person and such a good guy." And I think that's the thing about him, is that he's got incredible integrity and he's a really smart guy, he's got the intangibles and then the physical skill set. He fits our city. He's played in the cold weather, when it's 40 he thinks that's a warm winter day. It made sense. It made sense from our perspective.

Breer: Was there a moment when it clicked with Goff?

Roseman: Extremely impressive guy, and young. He had to overcome adversity going to Cal, the first year that they had and coming back and being in the position he was in. I know that that organization is extremely excited to have him.

That's not a ringing endorsement of Goff.

Breer: Was there a moment (after the draft) where you felt like "we got this right"?

Roseman: His physical skill set, he was our third string quarterback for a while, but every day he would make a throw that would make you go "wow" and then he would take off and run and you would go "oh yeah he can do that too." But his intangibles really add to the whole package. Valedictorian of his high school class, 41 on the Wonderlic, photographic memory, intense competitor... there are a lot of guys who have the physical skill set, this league is full of skill set guys, but it's having the total package, especially when you play in a big market.

Wentz reportedly scored a 40 on the Wonderlic, and now we know he actually did a little better than that, and that the Eagles valued it.

Breer: Do you remember when you knew you were getting him?

Roseman: We were extremely confident but I remember Jeffrey turning to Doug and I and saying right before [the Rams] were on the clock "are we prepared if they pick Carson?" *Laughs* I remember saying yes, I don't think that's happening. But it's interesting you have that moment and you kind of go "well, what if they do?" you know, but we felt really confident about what was going to happen.

Come on, the Eagles knew they were getting Wentz. Just say it, it won’t do anyone any harm.

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