Can Howie Roseman Return to his Pre-Chip Kelly Draft Success?
I have broken down Howie Roseman's tenure in Philadelphia into two different eras. The Pre-Chip Kelly era and the Post-Chip Kelly era. Roseman started his career in Philadelphia in 2000 as a Salary Cap Staff Counsel. He progressed throughout the franchise all the way up to General Manager in 2010. In 2015 he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Football Operations while Chip Kelly took over as the General Manager. When Kelly was fired in 2016, Roseman resumed General Manager responsibilities.
In his first tenure as General Manager, Howie Roseman had much success with 1st round draft picks. Since taking back over, he has lost his touch for draft success. This draft is one of the deepest in recent memory. The Eagles are about to set off on a very long and hard rebuild and the draft is always the most important event for a rebuilding team. Could this be the draft that Howie Roseman gets his act together or will this be his last draft as GM for the Eagles?
Eagles 1st round Draft Results
2010- Brandon Graham- 1xPro Bowl
2011- Danny Watkins
2012- Fletcher Cox- 6x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro
2013- Lane Johnson- 3x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro
2014- Marcus Smith
GM Chip Kelly
2015- Nelson Agholor
2016- Carson Wentz- 1x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro
2017- Derek Barnett
2018- No pick (traded to Baltimore, used to select Lamar Jackson)
2019- Andre Dillard
2020- Jalon Reagor
As you can see, Howie had HUGE success in the first round from 2010-2014! A total of 10 pro bowls, and 3 of those players played big parts in the Eagles 2017 Super Bowl run. Since he took back over as the GM, he has drafted 1 pro bowler and that player is no longer on the roster. If Howie can get back to his old ways, we could build another Super Bowl caliber roster. I understand every 1st round pick will not work out, but 3/5 played huge parts in a Super Bowl, I see that as a perfect scenario.
Howie Roseman's Draft Statistics
Here is where Howie Roseman ranks amongst other NFL teams in Draft Capital, Return, and Efficiency since taking back over in 2016.
Draft Capital- 32nd
Draft Return- 31st
Draft Efficiency- 24th
Before the Chip Kelly era, Howie racked up 24 draft picks in a two year window and drafted future Hall of Famer Fletcher Cox, long time defensive leader Brandon Graham, and long timer RT Lane Johnson. He racked up a lot of capital and was very efficient with it. However, it has been a different story once 2016 occurred.
The Eagles have ranked towards the bottom of the NFL in draft return, efficiency, and capital since Howie has took back over as the GM. Howie traded 5 picks for Carson Wentz in 2016 and Howie loves trading day 2 picks to get deadline players such as Jay Ajayi and Golden Tate. Since 2016, Howie's draft picks have not returned their value. How many players can you count that never worked out? I am still counting.
Remember the 2017 NFL Draft RB class? Eagles passed over players such as Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, and Aaron Jones. Eagles ended up taking Donnel Pumphrey. Is it just me or does anyone remember him taking a snap? I personally could not remember a single play from his career.
Howie has already done excellent work to improve all 3 areas for the future. Even though the Eagles moved back from 6 to 12, they received a 1st round pick in 2022 and another 1st round pick from the Carson Wentz trade. There is so much added capital with 3 1st round picks in 2022. He can use those to trade up and increase their efficiency and maybe get a top tier elite player. Now that he has improved capital, who can he pick to improve return and efficiency?
Who can Howie draft at 12 to end the back luck?
There is one position that Howie Roseman and the Eagles have never valued, and that is the Linebacker (LB) position. The Eagles have no had an elite LB since 2009 with Jeremiah Trotter. The Eagles have drafted a LB in the first round only twice. In 1970 they drafted Steve Zabel from Oklahoma and in 1979 they drafted Jerry Robinson from UCLA.
There are two incredible LB prospects who are projected to go in the first round in this years draft. Penn State's Micah Parsons and Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah are two elite LB's who can step in day 1 and be an instant impact.
The Eagles need to start valuing the linebacker position. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV because of their linebackers. The Eagles have an opportunity to get one of two elite LB's and get a big boost to their defense. If there is ever a draft to start valuing the LB position, it is this year.
There are character and maturity issues surrounding Micah Parsons, and that has resulted in his draft stock falling. Howie loves taking risks. Why not take a risk on the top defensive player in the draft? Carson Wentz was run out of town because he could not handle the pressure of playing in this city. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah already knows what it takes to play here. Check this out from his pro day!
That response right there should put him on top of the Eagles draft board!
If Howie decides to continue not valuing the LB position, there are still other players that he can target that can help this team out. The next big hole in this team is at the CB position. Darius Slay is an elite CB, but we need another CB to play the opposite side of the field! The NFC East is loaded with WR talent such as Kenny Golladay, Ceedee Lamb, and Curtis Samuel. Eagles better address this in the draft or you can pencil us in for an 0-6 record against the NFC East. There are three CB's that come to mind that should be on the Eagles radar.
Patrick Surtain II from Alabama is the clear top CB in this draft. He makes the game look easy and will easily be a top CB in this league. South Carolina's Jaycee Horn is best known for shutting down WR1 Kyle Pitts. The extreme physicality Horn plays with will make him a fan favorite. The final player is Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley. Recent injury news has seen his draft stock fall. The Eagles are about to start a rebuild, and in a rebuild we need to acquire assets. Even if Farley does not play year 1, we may look back and realize we got a steal longterm.
The final area of concern is WR. There are only two receivers that may be available to the Eagles at 12. Alabama's DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Even though Smith is extremely undersized, bringing in the Heisman Trophy winner could help ignite the Eagles fan base. Waddle is being compared to Tyreek Hill because of his elite speed. Roseman has always valued speed, so either of these players will be on their radar. If for some reason LSU's Ja'Marr Chase or Florida's Kyle Pitts fall to 12, they should become top priority.
If the Eagles come away with an OT like Rashawn Slater of Northwestern or Virginia Tech's Christian Darrisaw, that is still a success. Lane Johnson is getting old and seems to be hurt every other week. Andre Dilliard has had injury concerns since entering the league. Getting a top end OT could look to continue the long success of the Eagles offensive line.
I have just listed out 9 players that could be available to the Eagles at 12. I do not think all these players will be available, but the odds of at least 1 are very high. The Eagles are not going to solve every single roster issue with the 12th pick. Like I said earlier, this is the start of a long rebuild! Take the best player available and fill a hole in the roster. If the Eagles draft any of these 9 players, they will be an instant upgrade and fill a hole in our roster.
I have already been on record saying this is the most important draft in Eagles history! Rebuilds are super important for a franchise. We are not building a Super Bowl contender this year, but acquire the assets now that in 5 years we can compete for a Super Bowl again. Howie Roseman's time in Philadelphia may be coming to the end very soon. If he can change his horrible ways, he may be able to save his job. If he can go back to incredible draft success, then the rebuild will be quick and we will be back in the Super Bowl conversation.
It is going to be very hard for the Eagles to mess up the 12th pick. Unless they take Mac Jones or draft a player we can get in the 3rd round, I truly can not think of a scenario in which I will be upset (Howie Roseman just said "hold my beer." )The Eagles have a lot of holes and with a very deep draft, I am hopeful our 1st round pick will be an day 1 impact player. I am sure I just jinxed myself and Howie will mess this up, but I am trying to be more hopeful this year!
If you want to discuss your opinions on Howie Roseman or the Eagles draft strategy follow me on Twitter @AAmack1234 and we can discuss our similar disappointments for Howie or difference of opinions. Either way I am always happy to exchange Eagles banter!