As the 2014 NFL Draft approaches, Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman addressed the media yesterday on an assortment of topics including the team’s lack of picks (six in 2014), trading up, and drafting a wide receiver.
With just six picks, one would think it will be a challenge for the Eagles to fill roster voids. Roseman, however, feels comfortable with the number of picks and explained his position saying,
“I’d like to have 15 picks, but we have to get the right guys and that’s the most important thing. The encouraging thing for us is when you talk about it, I think I looked yesterday and we have 17 guys from the last two draft classes, which is a lot of players,” Roseman said. “I think when we look at how many starters at that, it’s a high number, and then you factor in some of the pre-existing guys here and some of the guys that we’ve brought in with free agency. I think if we found a guy that we thought could be a long-term, high-level starter and he was the highest guy on our board, whatever round that was, I still think we would be aggressive about that, even though there would be a little knot in my stomach.”
In fact, the fascinating thing is that no other team has drafted as many players (41) as Roseman and the Eagles since 2010. Roseman acknowledged that it is challenging for him going through rounds without a draft pick. He gave a personal anecdote from last year’s draft regarding the pain he feels during draft rounds without a pick,
“I’ll tell you a story. Last year, we didn’t have a sixth-round pick, and it’s not easy to sit in the draft and not have a pick in a round. There’s no question about it. I was worried about the future damage that I would do by sitting in there and going “I like that player, I like that player.” Roseman continued, “I actually left the building and I started walking around the field for an hour and just kind of looking at my phone because I thought it was the right thing to do. If you can get past the moment, in that round, so maybe I’ll come hang out with you guys, then it’s still a good decision but it hurts. It hurts when you’re sitting around for a round without a pick. There’s no doubt about it.”
With so few picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, I would be surprised if Philadelphia makes any draft day trades to move up, but not so said Roseman.
“We wouldn’t be concerned with that if we felt like the value of the player was right,” he said. “We’re not going to make any move unless it’s based on our board. To sit here and know that we’re going to move up or down – If we have a guy that is top five in our draft and he’s falling, would we look into that? No question.
Last week I wrote this article regarding my belief that the Eagles would likely draft a wide receiver in the first round. I stick to that belief because I think the biggest need the Eagles have is a dynamic, pass rushing defensive lineman, but my gut says the caliber of lineman will not be available to Philadelphia with the 22nd pick. However, I do feel like there will be outstanding first round WR talent available at 22, and Roseman addressed the notion of drafting a receiver saying,
“When you look at the talent in this draft and when we look at our board about how good the receivers are in this draft, I think there will be a point in this draft, and that could be in the seventh round when we have a guy in the fourth round, that there is going to be a really talented receiver,” said Roseman. “I just feel like when you look back at the history of the draft, the wide receiver position always goes later to begin with, and now with the influx of the underclassmen at the wide receiver position, I just think that’s how it’s going to turn out now. It may not, but I think I said it’s likely that we’ll come out with at least one; I don’t think I said more than one. There are no guarantees.”
Although Roseman talks about the hypothetical scenario of drafting a fourth round WR in the seventh round, I believe he covets a receiver more than that. I think his statement was classic GM smoke screen to throw other teams off. He spent almost 50 minutes of the press conference addressing the receiver position. I am still of the opinion that the Eagles will draft a DeSean Jackson replacement high, and because of the depth at that position in this year’s draft, the club will get a very good player.
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