Philadelphia Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman is in Indianapolis for the 2022 NFL Combine, and took some time on Wednesday to speak to reporters. The GM talked about the QB position — and throwing his support, again, behind Jalen Hurts —, and also spoke about different position groups, and how their number of draft picks and ample cap space during free agency gives them some flexibility.
Here’s what Roseman had to say:
On Jalen Hurts
The most relevant exchange:
Q: The last time we talked to you at the end of the season, you and Nick were very confident in saying Jalen is going to be your guy. After a month of more evaluation and researching, do you still feel that way?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. I think when you talk about the things that we talked about at the end of the season, nothing’s changed. I think what really has changed for us is the opportunity to add. This is a great time of year for the Philadelphia Eagles, for us, for our staff. And being here and really getting everyone involved in the draft process. Start of free agency is up and coming. We’ve got to continue to add good players. We’ve got to continue to make sure that we’re doing everything to maximize our players’ abilities to be successful. And certainly that starts with the quarterback position with Jalen.
The GM was also asked about Hurts’ ankle surgery he had following the season, and while he didn’t want to get into a lot of specifics — mostly because he didn’t want to have to talk about injuries to other players, as well — he did say that they are really optimistic for the QB’s readiness for the offseason program.
Roseman was later asked about evaluating QB talent ahead of the draft and he mentioned that they are in the middle of doing that now. He emphasized the importance of seeing the prospects throw live.
He also wouldn’t talk about potentially trading for players — from any position — from around the league, when specifically asked about Deshaun Watson. Roseman reiterated that they are excited about Hurts, who is a 23-year-old quarterback who has shown improvement and led the team to the playoffs in the his first year as the starter.
On the linebacker group
Roseman talked about how the role of the linebackers changed with Jonathan Gannon as defensive coordinator, and they need to find players that fit their coach’s scheme. That’s the most important thing. He did note that T.J. Edwards had a really good year and they have a lot of young players at the position, and they’ll see what happens in free agency and in the draft.
On Coach Stoutland
Roseman was asked about how they weigh Stoutland’s ability to develop linemen with how early they need to draft a player. He pointed out that they think Stout is the best OL coach in the NFL, but they still need to give him talented guys with special traits for him to develop. So, there might still be guys on Day 3 that they’ll be interested in, but they have to be really special.
On finding players that fit their schemes
The GM talked about how Nick Sirianni handled things in his first year and having to utilize the players that were on the roster, but now they have tape on those guys and a better idea of the players who might fit into the head coach’s scheme. He also said it’s not just finding guys who fit that scheme through the draft, but also in free agency and via trade.
Roseman also talked about over-fitting for scheme when you have coaches like Jonathan Gannon interviewing for head coaching jobs. He admitted that they are probably “renting” Gannon because he’s that good of a coach, but with the way that he manages the defense — utilizing player talent vs. running a specific scheme — they think drafting guys for his defense will still be sustainable if he gets another opportunity down the road.
- Howie admitted that some of the front office guys leaving for other opportunities wasn’t ideal, especially in the timing right before free agency and the draft. While the Eagles will have their notes on players, they’ll similarly know Roseman’s thoughts on some of those guys as they begin working with their new teams. He noted that addressing the timing of front office moves is something they’ll probably need to look at down the road.
- The GM said that the order of operations matter this year in terms of free agency coming ahead of the draft, particularly how it relates to the Eagles having more money to play around with this offseason compared to recent years. Still, Roseman said they still want to take the best player available in the draft, but free agency gives them more opportunities to makes moves so they don’t feel pressured to take certain positions in the draft.
- Roseman talked about the number of draft picks the Eagles have this year and it does give them more shots at talented played and more opportunity to move up and down the draft boards, and also gives them more chances to trade picks for players as needed, as well.