With the 2018 NFL Draft only one week away, the Philadelphia Eagles made executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas available to the media on Thursday. Here are some takeaways from what was said. [Listen to the entire interview by CLICKING HERE thanks to BGN Radio’s John Barchard.]
The Eagles are willing to trade down from pick No. 32
“We’re open for business in every round” - Roseman on trade activity— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) April 19, 2018
Hardly a shocker.
Howie Roseman is one of the most active traders in the league and the Eagles only have six draft picks this year, with none on Day 2.
Depending on the specific deal, trading down from No. 32 could net the Eagles a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick.
The Eagles shouldn’t just trade out of No. 32 by default. If there’s a guy there they REALLY love, they should just take him. But if they don’t feel strongly about any one prospect, they should move back and recoup some value. Draft picks are more valuable than ever to an Eagles team that’s tight up against the cap and needs to take advantage of inexpensive rookie contracts.
The Eagles aren’t going to draft for need
“We’re never gonna be a team that draft’s for need. We will always take the best player available. I think I said that a lot last year.” - Joe Douglas— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) April 19, 2018
Another surprising takeaway, I know.
The reason why I included this here, though, is to remind everyone that the Eagles don’t have any truly pressing needs. Slot corner would arguably be the biggest one. And even then, maybe Jalen Mills could be the answer there. There’s no roster spot where there just isn’t a remotely viable starter. There are depth needs, yes, but those are obviously less dire.
Philadelphia’s lack of desperation, then, should truly lend to the concept of taking the best player available. The concept of need should always be considered in context, but not to the extent where it’s entirely dictating the pick.
The Eagles are counting on finding some diamonds in the rough
Joe Douglas said #Eagles have 5 third day picks and that 14 SBLII starters were third day draft choices.— Bob Grotz (@BobGrotz) April 19, 2018
Day 3 draft choices who started for the Eagles in the Super Bowl include: Jay Ajayi, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce, Nigel Bradham, Jalen Mills, and Rodney McLeod. Then you have to consider key role players, such as Corey Clement (undrafted) and Corey Graham. All these guys played important roles during the run ultimately leading up to winning the big game.
The Eagles are really going to need a strong performance on Day 3, especially if they’re not going to get much out of Day 2. There are depth roles to fill such as tight end, running back, offensive tackle, slot cornerback, etc. And while finding depth on Day 3 is most likely, the Eagles could really benefit from finding at least one gem who can contribute like the guys mentioned above.
The Eagles don’t regret having no Day 2 picks
Howie Roseman on trading Day 2 picks: "The discussions we had during the season were the pains of potentially sitting out Friday [of the draft] versus the pains of potentially having some disappointing Sundays."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) April 19, 2018
The Eagles traded their 2018 second-round pick in order to get Carson Wentz. They traded Jordan Matthews and their 2018 third-round pick to acquire Ronald Darby at a time when their corners were majorly struggling in training camp. Both deals were worthwhile ... to different degrees. They ultimately both resulted in a Super Bowl win, so.
The Eagles are drafting Derrius Guice, confirmed
Ha, just kidding (maybe). But the Eagles did not rule out drafting a first-round running back!
Joe Douglas on taking an RB in the first round: “If it is the right player, we aren’t opposed” #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 19, 2018
Of course, it’s been since 1876 since the Eagles last drafted a running back on Day 1.
That could change, though, if Guice is on the board. Jon Ledyard told BGN Radio that Roseman has a first-round grade on the LSU running back. We’ll see.
The Eagles do really value college production
A common theme from last year’s Eagles draft class is that the players put up big time stats in college. Douglas specifically said that’s important with small school players.
Joe Douglas says one thing he looks for from a player coming from a smaller school: “Does he dominate?” #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 19, 2018
Something to keep in mind when considering Eagles draft targets. Dallas Goedert was very productive for South Dakota State, for example.
The Eagles still like what they have at safety
“We feel really good about the safety position on this team. We feel like we have the best tandem in the league” - Joe Douglas— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) April 19, 2018
Joe Douglas mentions Tre Sullivan when talking about the safety position. Points out how well he played last preseason #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 19, 2018
Sullivan is an interesting player to watch when it comes to the No. 3 safety job. I still think the Eagles would really like to address the position in the draft. It really wouldn’t hurt to have a No. 3 safety who also projects as a long-term replacement for Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod. It’d be cool if Sullivan can be that guy but the Eagles should look to add more competition.
The Eagles felt like releasing Daryl Worley was the best move for the team
This isn’t draft related, but this was the first time Roseman was made available since Worley was released after being arrested on Sunday.
H. Roseman on doing background work on D. Worley: "We did a lot of legwork on it. It's hard to predict incidents like this. But we did do a lot of background on him and we had background from 2016. We just felt like, going forward, this was best interest of our football team."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) April 19, 2018