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Feb 8, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman holds the Lombardi trophy during Super Bowl LII champions parade. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is Howie Do It: An Inside Look at the Rise of Roseman and His Draft Philosophies

23 April 2019 DRAFT Eagles News


Seventeen years ago, a recent college graduate had his eyes set for the NFL.  Like many others who came  before him, who shared the same dream, he spent his entire life envisioning stepping into an NFL building. The very thought of fulfilling this dream fueled years of tireless work and an ambitious drive that in itself garnered respect from his peers. According to Bleacher Report, “he sent over 1,000 letters to NFL teams before finally landing an opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles.” Little did the Eagles know then that this then 24 year old  intern would help deliver the franchises first Super Bowl ever. This man was Howie Roseman.

In 2000, Roseman was a young and hungry football fan who would stop at nothing to land on board an NFL staff. After numerous attempts of pursuing a position, Roseman was just finding rejection. Although he was landing flat on his face attempt after attempt, Roseman stayed diligent and stopped at nothing to achieve his dream. The Philadelphia Eagles were his saving grace. It has been Roseman’s dream since he was 13 years old to be an NFL GM. So when an offer for an unpaid internship was extended to Roseman, he jumped at the opportunity to prove his worth.

The Eagles  internship was just an entry-level role in 2000 but it he played a crucial role in salary cap management. This led to his director of football administration role in 2003 that as a result led to his vice president of football administration role in 2006. Next, that led to his vice president of player personnel role in 2008. Finally, this all led to his promotion to general manager in 2010. This promotion made Roseman the youngest GM in NFL history. As Roseman rose to the ranks, he accumulated priceless knowledge and experience while navigating NFL seasons. Now in the drivers seat in 2010, Roseman was ready to showcase his knowledge and scouting abilities at the draft.

In 2010, Roseman made an immediate impact. Here are the notable moves he made in year 1:

  • On March 16, wide receiver Reggie Brown was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 6th round draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, we later drafted  Jason Kelce with one of the three 6th round picks we acquired.
  • On March 16, defensive end Chris Clemons and a 2010 fourth-round draft pick were traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for defensive end Darryl Tapp.
  • On April 4, the Eagles traded quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round pick in 2010 and a conditional third- or fourth-round pick in 2011.
  • On April 19, the Eagles were involved in a three-team trade with the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions; the Lions sent linebacker Ernie Sims to the Eagles, the Eagles sent a 2010 fifth-round draft pick to the Broncos.
  • On July 30, the Eagles traded linebacker Joe Mays to the Broncos in exchange for running back J. J. Arrington.
  • On August 30, the Eagles traded sixth-round draft pick fullback Charles Scott to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for sixth-round draft pick cornerback Jorrick Calvin.
  •  On September 4, linebacker Tracy White was traded to the New England Patriots for a conditional 2012 pick, while offensive lineman Stacy Andrews was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2011 seventh-round pick.
  • On October 13, running back Mike Bell was traded to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for running back Jerome Harrison.

Yeah… at this point, you’re probably thinking, “who in the world are most of these people we traded for?” In truth, Howie mostly missed with all of these picks, but that is all apart of the process. The highs and lows of a GM are highlighted because we as the fans are on the outside looking in. We will never know how it feels to be under that amount of pressure. Howie’s decisions are met with heavy criticism or he is lauded for the boldness and hindsight he expressed. The growth from 2010 to now is unmatched. The free agents and draft picks he has brought in have paid off almost every time. Most importantly, Howie’s first year as GM resulted in an NFC East Championship. In this very same season, Howie drafted Brandon Graham. For years, fans expressed their disapproval of this pick. However, the majority of those fans were screaming his name at the top of their lungs when Graham strip sacked Tom Brady in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. As Jason Kelce said in his infamous Super Bowl parade speech,

“I’m going to take a second to talk to you about underdogs. Howie Roseman, a few years ago, was relinquished of all control pretty much in this organization. He was put in the side of the building where I didn’t see him for over a year. Two years ago, when they made a decision, he came out of there a different man. He came out of there with a purpose and a drive to make this possible. And I saw a different Howie Roseman. An underdog.”

Jason Kelce taking the time to acknowledge the man behind the madness shows how much respect Roseman has earned within the organization and even the locker room. Most players try to avoid their GM’s at all cost and GM’s try to do the same because you do not want to befriend someone who’s decision could completely alter your life for the worst. However, the players embrace Roseman. He is doing any and all things possible to position this team for greatness.

From 2010 to the 2017, 6 out of the 8 first round picks made by Howie Roseman played a crucial role in the 2017/2018 Super Bowl season or game itself. These players include Fletcher Cox (2012), Lane Johnson (2013), Nelson Agholor (2015), Carson Wentz (2016), and Derek Barnett (2017). Howie was named Pro Football Writers Association  2017 NFL Executive of the Year and for good reason. In the off season prior to the Super Bowl season, Howie added Jay Ajayi, Ronald DarbyNick Foles, Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, Rasul Douglas, LeGarrette Blount, Timmy Jernigan, Patrick Robinson and Chris Long via free agency or trade. Incredibly enough, all of these players were major contributors all season long and even more so in Super Bowl LII. Much like that 2017 offseason, Howie has been insanely active this offseason.

General manager Howie Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas truly did an amazing job creating a roster that could win and withstand the grind of a Super Bowl sized season. At the start of free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles were extremely active. The Eagles started off in the red as far as salary cap and now somehow  have over $25 million in space now even after adding or re-signing top tier talent. That is the magic of having a cap genius in Howie Roseman along with his salary cap team. Roseman created cap space by restructuring contracts for Rodney McLeod, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz. Players including Brandon GrahamJason KelceJason PetersIsaac SeumaloJake Elliott, Richard Rodgers, Nate Sudfeldand Ronald Darby are all re-signed with the team for the 2019 season or beyond. Roseman made noise by signing defensive end Malik Jackson and veteran safety Andrew Sandejo, bringing back Vinny Curry, and trading for former Eagle DeSean Jackson and elite running back Jordan Howard from the Chicago Bears. There is a very familiar feel to this off season to the 2017 off season where Howie loaded up in free agency and the trade block and just got added value in the draft. With the draft only days away, there is much excitement but even more curiosity on who we are considering taking.

The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles currently have 7 draft picks going to the draft Thursday. Knowing Howie, he’ll most likely move some of those picks to move throughout the draft or even move a few players. However, our first 5 picks are insanely valuable as they are now a first, two seconds, and two fourths. Hitting on most, if not all of these picks, is so crucial. As of now, we are primed for a big run, but if we add depth or possibly some starters, we can really make some noise this season. We arguably have the best defensive line in the league with Barnett, Graham, Jackson, and Cox. Additionally, we have one of the best offenses on paper; however, being good on paper does not always translate to success. In this case, we as fans should be confident that this team will live up to the hype. There are veterans all over the field and they are incredibly talented across the board. These veterans will be the key to grooming the rookies into pro’s immediately and setting them up for success this year and going forward.

At pick 25, there are several players that Howie could have his eyes on. To find some insight, we kept track of how much interest our organization has expressed toward each position and specific players. Here is a list of pre-draft visits that we compiled. Overall, it would be ideal if we secure a lineman on either side of the ball. On paper, this is a historic defensive lineman draft. However, we may have a bigger need on the offensive line because our defensive line has its starters; however, the Eagles pro-bowl right guard Brandon Brooks is recovering from a torn achilles and left tackle and future Hall of Famer Jason Peters was often injured last season. We will have our fingers crossed that as many quarterbacks, tight ends, and receivers are taken before our pick. Runs at these positions will allow players we are targeting to slide closer towards us. According to our draft tracker here are the main prospects at pick 25.

Names I am looking for at 25 on the offensive side of the ball are:

  • OT – Cody Ford, Oklahoma (Protected Heisman winner Kyler Murray and has elite hands and feet)
  • OT –  Tytus Howard, Alabama State (Crazy athletic, similar to a Lane Johnson as he to converted from QB)
  • OG – Chris Lindstrom, Boston College (Interior terror, commands the line of scrimmage and plays hard)
  • RB – Josh Jacobs, Alabama (Big time player who made big time plays, incredible character and blue collar guy)

Names I am looking for at 25 on the defensive side of the ball are:

  • DT – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (Force in the inside, high effort guy)
  • DT – Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame (Stabilizing force in a top rated defense, showed flashes of greatness)
  • DT – Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State (Top 5 talent; however, likely to miss half or all of the season due to ACL)
  • DT – Christian Wilkins, Clemson (Crazy athletic and can move around the line)
  • DT – Ed Oliver, Houston (Physical specimen, makes instinctive plays often)
  • DT – Rashan Gary, Michigan (Physically imposing but his stats are not impressive, ceiling is high)
  • DE – Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (Dominate in every game, has a heart condition that could hurt stock)
  • DE – Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech (NCAA All-Time Sack Leader, level of competition and character are main question marks)
  • S – Nasir Adderly, Deleware (Natural athlete who has great range and instincts)
  • S – Chauncey Gardner Johnson, Florida (Big impact player who is a jack-of-all-trades)

There very well may be a name not listed above that is called at 25, but as of now, these are the first round talents that we have met with and it would be hard to believe that we would not meet with a player then spend a first on them. Howie has so much confidence going into this draft and our scouting team is top notch. Most would question drafting Jacobs after we already acquired Howard at running back. Any one who has followed Jacobs, knows that he has the potential to be a top back in the league. Additionally, Howard is only signed for this season and injuries happen that could force a guy like Jacobs to step up if he were the pick.

Overall, our team is pretty set, but a few solid additions could get us over the hump and back into the big game. The most important thing is that at this point, we just need to trust that Howie, as well as the rest of the front office will make the best decisions possible for this team. Howie’s story is one that we should admire. Here is a guy who just stay persistent and never gave up until he found an opportunity. Even when he found himself back to square one, he just doubled down on his own stock and came back with a vengence. It is an absolute fact that without Howie Roseman, we would have never hoisted the Lombardi trophy that season. Now, I believe that he has positioned us to dance on Broad Street once again.

Myself, and the rest of the 4th and Jawn crew will be in the Linc for the Eagles Draft Party. We are excited to see who we decide to roll with at 25 as well as the rest of the draft. Remember to always Trust the Process, In Howie We Trust, and as always, Go Birds!

For those of you who are trying to catch up on some of the draft prospects, check out the content below!

Players who I am high on with the remaining 6 draft picks (53, 57, 127, 138, 163, and 197):

  • RB – Devin Singletary, FAU (1,348 rushing yards, 22 rushing TDs, explosive, elusive, and a perfect compliment to Jordan Howards style)
  • RB – Justice Hill, Oklahoma State (930 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games this season, including a season-high 189 at Kansas. Hill is a homerun threat and one of the most electric players in the draft)
  • RB – Miles Sanders, Penn State (1,274 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs, he certainly ran his way from under Saquon Barkley’s shadow last year. He would be a right at home in midnight green)
  • WR – Deebo Samuel, South Carolina (He is the prototypical slot guy but so much more. Elite quickness, route running, and can make the clutch catch. 62 catches for 882 yeards and 11 TDs in 2018)
  • WR – Parris Campbell, Ohio Sate (Pressure in Carson’s face? No problem, when you have a guy like Campbell. His quick release gets in open often and once he’s in space, defenses better have practiced pursuit drills. 90 catches, 1,063 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 2018)
  • WR – David Sills V, West Virginia (Fromer QB converted to WR, Sill understands the QB mind and is always on page with his guys. In my eyes, he is the closest thing to Mike Evans to enter the league in years. 65 catches for 986 yards and 15 touchdowns wiht a 15.2 yard per catch average in 2018)
  • OL – Michael Dieter, Wisconsin (Big 10 offensive lineman of the year is the best player you have not heard about. He would a 10 year starter for the Birds. With coach Stoutland and our vets to mentor him, all of these years might be Pro Bowl worthy)
  • OT – Dalton Risner, Kansas State (Brawler in the trenches, next to a guy like Kelce and Johnson, they’d be happy to go to war every Sunday with him by their sides)
  • DE – L.J. Collier, TCU (Is not projected to be a day 1 starter but that is perfect for us because we need a rotational guy who can grow into the role. Collier has a high ceiling if he can find that second gear)
  • DE – Joe Jackson, Miami (At 6’5″ 260, Jackson is physically empossing and many believe that he will be even more dominate at the next level after he changes his dietary and training routines to go back to being a speed rusher with power moves rather than a bull rusher who can use speed at times)
  • DT – Chris Slayton, Syracuse (Personally, I think he is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He was a 4 year starter at Cuse and put up numbers every year. If you put him in a rotation with Fletch and Jackson, you are looking at a future star)
  • DT – Daylon Mack, Texas A & M (Shined in the senior bowl and really is just a road block on the defensive line. He has sneaky quickness and will dominate 1 v 1 matchups with Cox being doubled)
  • S – Darnell Savage, Maryland (He is the swiss army knife on the defensive side of the ball. Savage lives up to the name, he flashes across the screen and makes big hits often)
  • S – Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State (If you need a momentum play or a big run stop on 3rd/4th and short, look for Abrams to fly from the secondary and knock somone back 5 yards. He is a good fit for a defensive team like us because we often use 5 defensive backs rather than a third linebacker)
  • LB – Cameron Smith, USC (The Eagles have two dynamic LBs in Bradham and Grugier-Hill so we can grab an old school bruiser like Smith. He was the heart and soul of the Trojan defense and inspires his teammates with huge effort players and constantly calling out impending plays)

These are only a few names I would like to see us attack. For additional names, check out my other two mock drafts!


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