NFL Draft: How much do the Philadelphia Eagles value pre-draft visits?

Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

As a handful of 2019 NFL Draft prospects visit the Philadelphia Eagles, we looked into just how many of their selections in the past met with the team beforehand.

Around this time every year, the Philadelphia Eagles fan base gets excited with the NFL Draft approaching. You may follow your favorite college athlete who declared a few months back and see that they updated their location on Instagram. One former NCAA superstar might be entering the Nova Care Complex, while another might be on the streets of Philly grabbing a cheesesteak.

It happens every year as the Eagles do their due diligence by hosting a handful of college prospects before the draft. Every team does it, but it never changes the outlook. If a likable player visits the Eagles, it automatically means something to the outsiders. However, does it say much to the Philadelphia Eagles as they prepare their draft boards for a few weeks from now?

Often times, the meaning of pre-draft visits gets mixed up. While yes, the Eagles could have some interest in who they are meeting with, the sit-down, and workout could just as well be due to the fact the Eagles are questioning a certain players personality or skillset.

A lot of pre-draft visits could mean that a team wants to see further a skilled player show off what they’ve got. But it could also unknowingly mean this player is being evaluated for some sort of second-chance of redemption just in case they screwed up at the NFL Combine or their Pro Day. We’ll never know what each specific player’s purpose is on their draft visit, which is unfortunate. But we can take a look at who did visit and get drafted to the Eagles in the past as a way to see just how much the pre-draft visits mean to the Eagles.

What has happened in the past?

To avoid any useless information, we will only look back to the 2016 NFL offseason for this piece. That’s the same offseason where the Eagles re-hired Howie Roseman after the dreadful stint with Chip Kelly running his dictatorship in the teams’ front office. Since Roseman took over once again, the Eagles have made 21 draft selections in three years.

The 2016 Draft was a critical one as the Eagles were focusing on re-building their team. That’s the same draft where they were able to move up to the second-overall pick to draft quarterback, Carson Wentz. Obviously, Wentz had a pre-draft visit with the Eagles that year along with Wendell Smallwood, and Alex McAlister. The rest of the eight picks? They didn’t have a pre-draft visit with the Birds, which means only three out of eight were selected. That’s actually the most out of any other draft for Howie Roseman so far.

In 2017, the Eagles had another eight draft selections. Once again, their first-rounder did spend time in Philly before the draft as the Eagles hosted Derek Barnett before taking him with the 14th pick. Out of the seven other selections, only wide receiver Shelton Gibson made an appearance in the City of Brotherly Love. That year, two of the Eagles eight picks had visited.

Next. Eagles will face Nick Foles in the Preseason. dark

Recently, the Eagles brought on five new rookies via the draft last season. Out of those five prospects, the Eagles had a visit with one guy, and it just so happened to be their seventh-rounder, Jordan Mailata. As Mailata never played football a day in his life before last year’s preseason, a pre-draft visit was crucial.

The other four guys, however, they didn’t get to Philly until they were taken late in April. So six out of the Eagles last 16 selections were hosted in Philly before the draft. Not exactly a number that would convince anybody that pre-draft visits mean a ton. It’s alright to get excited, but a lot of these meetings don’t precisely guarantee much.