The Eagles certainly made the most of their two picks on Friday night, drafting Jason Kelce’s eventual replacement, center Cam Jurgens, at No. 51 and then a medically questionable but incredible Day 1 talent, linebacker Nakobe Dean, at No. 83. General manager Howie Roseman, flanked by Andy Weidl and Nick Sirianni, spoke to reporters about their picks and why they weren’t worried about Dean’s injury history.
Roseman admitted that they would love to have more picks on Day 3, but even given the chance to trade back in the third round, the value in taking Dean superseded adding picks later on.
Here’s what they had to say:
On the Cam Jurgens pick
Roseman talked about Jason Kelce and his involvement in the Jurgens pick, acknowledging that it’s a year-to-year thing with the veteran center, and that they value his insight. Kelce looked over some OL prospects and he saw the potential in Jurgens. Roseman likened this opportunity for Jurgens to learn under Kelce for a year (or more) to Aaron Rodgers learning from Brett Favre, giving the Packers over 20 years of consistency at the QB position.
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: We think Cam’s got a chance to be a very special player in this offense.”
He went on to talk about how they had both Jurgens and Nakobe Dean as their options in the second round, but they always build from the offensive and defensive lines, so they went with Jurgens.
VP of Player Personnel, Andy Weidl, talked a bit about what they saw in Jurgens that made him a second round pick.
“ANDY WEIDL: His athletic ability. The explosiveness, the range, and the mentality that he played with. And we got to know him, got to know the person and the leadership and the presence he had, and the fit — it was a comfort level with all that.
But, you see it. You see it on tape. Him get out and lead, and run, and work on the second level, displace people at the line of scrimmage in run blocking. And just the mentality and the finish, and all those things that we like that our offensive linemen do, we saw in Cam.”
Weidl also pointed out that Jurgens does have experience calling out plays at the line of scrimmage, and he’s a very intelligent guy, former tight end, three-year starter at center, so he is capable of making calls.
On the Nakobe Dean pick
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: Nakobe Dean’s going to be on the field this week when we have rookie minicamp.”
Roseman said that Dean doesn’t have an injury he can’t play through, and there’s no surgery scheduled for his pec issue. He later confirmed that Dean has a pec strain, but that there’s no concern about this being a lingering problem. The GM said he called the team doctors three or four times just to make sure he wasn’t missing something, but they got a lot of information about him and felt comfortable making the pick.
Howie acknowledged that Dean slid out of the first round because of the injury concerns, but also noted that if they didn’t pick him at No. 83 he was coming off the board shortly afterward.
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: He has a pec injury that does not require surgery from our doctors.”
Dean will take a physical when he gets to Philly, but they don’t anticipate him missing any time.
And, apparently Dean is fired up about how things played out
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: You’re gonna have to hold his ass back”
Nick Sirianni was equally fired up about the Dean pick, explaining that the linebacker checks every box for things they are looking for in players. He’s got great football IQ, he loves the game, he’s competitive, and he’s also a great football player.