Roseman: There Are 10 Top-Tier WRs In Draft

NFL: Combine
Howie Roseman
explained a facet of the Eagles’ grading system during his hour-long pre-draft sitdown with reporters Thursday. The Eagles take a longer-view approach to prospects, he said, projecting what they will be a couple years down the road as opposed to what they are now. With that in mind, they label the players as potential Pro Bowlers, really good starters, solid starters, etc.

In this draft class, the general manager says there are double-digit wide receivers that they consider top-tier.

“When you look at that first tier group of guys — and there is some variation in that first tier — I think you’re probably going to look at 10 guys who will end up being drafted at least in the first two rounds,” said Roseman. “And then there is that next level group of solid starters where I think you can be sitting there in the fourth round and get a guy who is going to be, by our pro definition, a red starter in this league, and usually that’s hard to find in the fourth and fifth round.”

Ten is a pretty large number. There is an excellent chance that at least one is available when the Eagles select at 22, and perhaps when they pick again at 54.

“When you look back at the history of the drafts, 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 will turn out,” said Roseman.

We don’t know which 10 the Eagles have in that first group, or the level of “variation” from one to the next. To give us something to work off, here’s CBS Sports‘ rankings of the top 10 receivers in this draft:

1) Sammy Watkins (6-1, 211), Clemson
2) Mike Evans (6-5, 231), Texas A&M
3) Odell Beckham, Jr. (5-11, 198), LSU
4) Brandin Cooks (5-10, 189), Oregon State
5) Marqise Lee (6-0, 192), USC
6) Allen Robinson (6-3, 220), Penn State
7) Donte Moncrief (6-2, 221), Ole Miss
8) Jordan Matthews (6-3, 212), Vanderbilt
9) Cody Latimer (6-3, 215), Indiana
10) Martavis Bryant (6-4, 211), Clemson

Each of these players were given first or second round grades. Kelvin Benjamin (6-5, 240), their 11th-ranked player, also had a second-round grade. Including Benjamin, nine of the 11 players are 6-foot or taller, and eight weigh 200 pounds or more. Measurables are important to keep in mind when trying to decipher who the Eagles are interested in. That, of course, isn’t the only factor. Roseman pointed to Jeremy Maclin when discussing the kinds of traits this team is looking for.

“He’s a really good route-runner, he’s got really good hands, he’s got really good quickness, he’s got good size. Those are all factors that we think fits in what we’re doing out there,” said Roseman.

How many of the receivers in this class fit that description and check off the boxes for character and versatility as well? Now you’re talking about a smaller number. Still,  the Eagles seem to feel confident that even if they don’t strike early, they can find a wideout that can develop into a starter — and potentially an elite starter — in this draft.


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  • Dante Inked UP Lovings

    Dnt draft Benjamin or Lee please, both seem to have the biggest bust potential

    • JBShakes

      This being the internet, I want to preface this by saying that I’m not trying to be a jerk or a contrarian, but legitimately asking because I’m interested.

      I get why Benjamin could be considered a bust risk, because you don’t know if his lack of timed speed is going to be more of a detriment at the pro level than it was in college.

      BUT: Why Lee? He was an incredibly productive player in a “power conference” who had a bad year last season while the QB and OL positions on his team were in a bit of a shambles (and badly coached). It’s not the whole “USC receivers don’t pan out” thing, is it?

      • JofreyRice

        it’s hard to imagine Lee totally busting out. Watch the kid throw blocks and you see he loves the game, and is at least going to try his best to help the team. I think the worst case scenario would be something like what Maclin is. Best case is maybe Chad Johnson (without all the baloney).

      • Dominik

        What scares me is the speed. 4.52 is ok if you are 6’3+, but not so okay for 6’0/192. I guess that’s one reason I don’t really like him as our pick at #22. Maybe in another draft class, but with that much talent around – I don’t know.

        On the other hand, if Chip thinks he’s worth #22, then so be it. The man knows offense. We can talk defense about him, but offense, they guy will know what he’s looking for and what he needs.

        • peteike

          I thought he ran a 4.4? Just saw it on TV the other night, his first attempt was 4.5 then he upped it. All that stuff is so overblown when youre talking a second vs playing against defenders in pads. He makes tough grabs and has quickness and can jump. Love it, I dont get the ODB hype myself.

        • JBShakes

          I can see where you’re coming from on that. At the same time, watching his film he seems to play a bit faster than 4.5, plus he’s very good with the ball in his hands. He’s got a bit of “running back playing wide receiver” in him. That, along with the overall polish he shows (knowing how to get past press coverage, blocking, playing both inside and out), put him pretty close to the top of my list of receivers.

          I’m not much of a fan of them taking ANY receiver at 22 – I’d just as soon they go defense first if there’s a defensive player they think can be an impact starter on the board, or failing that, trade down for extra picks. But I think Lee’s a guy to keep an eye on, especially if they do trade down.

          • Dominik

            Ironically, I don’t like his polishness, to be honest. It gives me a feeling of “you get what you see” – and I don’t want another Maclin with #22 in this loaded draft.

            Maybe it’s dumb to look only at the potential of a player (because he doesn’t have to life up to it), but it feels better, to me, knowing that Chip Kelly has to teach a 6’3 4.4 WR how to play the position in this league than to have a WR who is ready, but will (probably) never be a top 10 in this league.

            Kelly said it himself: you can’t be really special without height AND speed. I hope he stays with that mantra.

  • knighn

    It’s interesting that Roseman is talking soooo much about the WR position.
    A) He’s trying to prepare the fans (who want defense) for a pick at WR.
    B) He’s trying to throw off opposing teams… since the Eagles are really interested in another position but are trying to get the WRs to move up.
    C) He’s just stating what is already pretty clear to everyone.

    • JofreyRice

      he’s been pretty transparent during this offseason, so far.

    • ceedubya9

      I choose A & C

    • travis papa

      The Maclin example makes me think Lee. I’d love for the 1st 10 wrs taken to go like they have in the rankings. That could put Benjamin into 54 for us or the 3rd rd. If we got a combo of say Buchannon Trent Murphy and Benjamin I’d be happy or Barr Benjamin and jean Baptist

      • peteike

        yup, great point about Lee I agree. Im also a big fan of Lee recently. His measurables everyone brings up as a knock are not that big of a difference considering he did well in high/broad jump. Love his toughness as a WR so Id love that pick. Also like Arob or prefer trade back and get him with 2nd pick.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Funny, I thought the same. My mind went right to Lee. But I think a case could also be made for ARob & Latimer both also having those same characteristics that Roseman listed.

    • Dominik

      You always have to take those things with a grain of salt, but Chip and Howie have been pretty honest when they say something so far. And they can be honest (most of the time), because other teams will never know when it’s a smokescreen and when it’s the truth.

    • Scott J

      He wasnt standing there talking about wide receivers, he was answering questions about the wide receivers in this years draft. You can see the press conference on the Eagles website. He doesn’t say anything that any other GM doesn’t already know.

  • Rick H

    Okay great list! Makes me realize it is getting close to the REAL DRAFT! YES! As a fan (without trading draft picks up or down) I will be excited for Cooks,Beckham or Lee (anyone of them) in Rd 1 and M. Bryant in Rd 3. That is using the list.Wishful thinking but that is what fans do.

  • G_WallyHunter

    Hopefully this reveals that they’ll be passing on WR in the first for defense

    • Eagles1018

      Agree. Fingers crossed

    • Brandon Baltic

      and second

    • southy

      Sammy will go really high. Evans might last until the middle of the first. At that point I don’t think there’s really a guy a team falls in love with over the rest of that group.

      Game theory would lead you to believe nearly all of the rest of these guys fall close to or out of the 1st rd as teams target shallower draft positions. That’s right. I just went all John Nash all up in this blog. Here’s guessing Howie has a Beautiful Mind.

  • Javi Echie

    Please let Cody Latimer be available in the 2nd or just available for us period, the kid would be a stud in this offense.

    • cliff henny

      that’d be nice. step 1, have Barr fall to #22, Lat in 2nd, Tre Mason in 3rd, Christian Jones in 4th…step 2, get out of Kelly’s way…step 3, try to get sober and un-hungover in time to get re-hammer for SB parade

      • Javi Echie

        I couldn’t of said it any better myself, I agree with every facet of your statement well almost. I think mason would be a great pick and I like the kid a lot but a rb in the third seems like a luxury pick to me but I wouldn’t be opposed to it. Jones would be great if he fell to the fourth damn that’d be awesome

        • cliff henny

          would allow Brown to be traded for 6th rd, can take some trench guy. or, more weapons! need some serious slippage to get all 4 of those guys.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Mason would be an insurance pick and an excellent number two for a run first offense that runs inside zone read, which he’s PERFECT for. He doesn’t waste time. He finds the hole, squares it up and takes off. Very good in between the tackles runner. He’s actually a better fit as the premier ground attack back in this offense than Shady and could take over when Shady loses a step and becomes more of a pass catching back.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Think about how heavily we relied on Shady last year, how many games he basically won single handedly or sealed the victory and how we looked when he was either taken out of the game. What if he’s injured? Brown is too inconsistent & Polk has lingering shoulder issues.

          • Javi Echie

            I would tend to argue at the fact that Mason is a better fit for this offense then Shady. Since we run a lot of the inside zone read and don’t have a mobile qb it is very hard to find a hole. Did you not remember seeing how many times Shady had to elude a tackle in the backfield before he even got into his run. If that were Mason all those times he might have looked worst then Ray Rice or Trent Richardson. I do like the kid as a runner but to say something soo outlandish as he is a better fit then Shady with Foles running the offense is absurd. This is no knock of Mason again like I said I like him. Now I do like the idea of getting him to be a compliment but that’s it. Also Polk looked pretty good towards the end of the year but I agree with the shoulder injuries as a problem. I do want to add a rb but I just feel as adding a rb before the 4th or 5th is a luxury especially after just shipping away a 5th for sproles.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            That’s not a knock on Shady brother, it’s a fact that Mason doesn’t waste time finding a hole. He finds it and hits it. Shady shakes and bakes and there have numerous times that Kelly has stated to him that he needs to make his mind up more quickly in the backfield. Plus that was supposed to read arguably, not actually. But let’s not get ignorant either with calling it absurd. You can disagree, that’s fine, but no need to attack.

          • Guest

            No brotha I wasn’t attacking you or trying to be ignorant that’s now I do, I’m sorry if you took it that way. But like I said I like Tre Mason a lot but I am just in the thinking that any rb drafted is a luxury unless we unload Brown.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            All good. I’m sure they can move Brown. Yeah, I just think of it more of a better insurance policy than the one in place, than a luxury. Too many times last year do I remember Chip yelling in to Brown from the sidelines to just square it up. Heck, I’d be ok with carrying 3 RBs in Shady, Mason & Sproles if we snagged up Mason. We could carry an extra WR that can play STs.

          • Javi Echie

            Yea man I remember seeing and yelling myself at the tv to turn it upfield. Like damn the kid has sooo much potential yet runs like a bi*ch lol. Whaaattt I’d be loving it if our three backs were Shady, Sproles, and Mason. Then we can have a run/pass ratio of 70/30 lol but really tho that would help our def out big time.

          • Javi Echie

            Noo brotha I wasn’t attacking you or trying to be ignorant that’s not how I do, sorry if you took it that way I was just stating my opinion big dog. But like I was saying I do like Mason a lot but I am just in the thinking that any rb drafted is a luxury unless we can move Brown.

      • Maggie

        Mason? He’s only an inch taller than me, probably weighs less, although I have been reducing, ;~), and how long could that little guy take the pounding? Yes, there have been successful smaller RBs, but not many. Finally, Howie said they are looking ahead several years.

        • Javi Echie

          Mason has a little Ray Rice skillset (and not the skill of beating his gf, sorry I couldn’t help myself) of being a downhill, hard nosed, north/south runner

        • Tom W

          Chip likes mason, the rb from wv and Jerrold McKinnon. All on our board. Doesn’t like Bryce brown. Could easily be looking for your rb2 or 150 carry guy

      • Joe L

        Barr first would be nice.

      • peteike

        minus Tre I like it but Jones aint making it to 4th either.

      • Tom W

        Works for me cliff. I will even give you colt or dat or dri archer

    • Maggie

      Hope so, but San Francisco is allegedly hot on this guy. Showed him their sacred playbook!

      • Javi Echie

        The sacred San Fran playbook that only consist of 15 total plays that they run lol but no really though Maggie I think San Fran is sending out more smoke screens than any other team, last week I heard they covet Mike Evans enough to trade up for him, now you’re saying they really like Latimer. They are all b.s. and with the way they have drafted the last two years (which is terrible by the way) it would scare me if they have that much interest ina guy.

      • Will

        I also hear they are hot on ODB, I won’t be surprised if they trade up for a top WR. They have the picks and need.

  • JofreyRice

    Depends what they want. It’s hard to compare guys like Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks. Just a totally different element they’re bringing to the offense. If I split it up into Big, Mid, and Small, this really looks like a year where you can grab a big receiver, if that’s what you’re looking for. I’d like to see them add someone that can stretch the D, now that Jackson is gone. If that’s in the form of a guy who also has size–like Bryant, that’s great, but if they add a receiver like Jordan Matthews, I’ll be hoping they add one of the smaller speed guys later.


    Mike Evans
    Allen Robinson
    Cody Latimer
    Kelvin Benjamin
    Martavis Bryant
    Jordan Matthews
    Jeff Janis
    Devin Street
    L’Damian Washington
    Brandon Coleman
    Cody Hoffman

    Mid Size – mix of physicality/speed

    Davante Adams
    Jarvis Landry
    Kevin Norwood
    Josh Huff

    Small – mostly speed

    Paul Richardson
    Robert Herron
    Tevin Reese
    Jeremy Gallon
    John Brown
    Jalen Saunders

    • Tom W

      Don’t think they group by size but fair enough. I doubt we even have Richardson or Matthews on our board bc of scheme fit. Abberderis too.

      1) Watkins, Evans, odb, cooks
      2) latimer, lee, Arob, Adams, Benjamin, Bryant
      3) moncrief Ellington Herron
      4) Landry Norwood huff
      5) Janis Coleman. Dri archer
      6-7. Gallon Washington Hoffman

  • ACViking

    At the rate Roseman’s going, he’s either blowing enough smoke to cover North America . . . or he might as well share the Eagles’ board with us.

    • NickS1

      I was thinking something similar when I read the headline. He may need the draft to get here more than we do, because all of sudden the usually tight-lipped Roseman can’t shut his mouth.

    • Septhinox

      That is the best cover story though right? It makes them viable trade partners nearly everywhere.

    • Brazilnut

      He hasn’t said anything that gives any real information, besides maybe the bit about the safety class not being that good. Its not like everyone didn’t already know that the WR class was amazing.

  • Chapat

    Tim seems to know so much more than the coach, scouts and GM, maybe he should put in his resume to a NFL team?

  • jmkrav

    If the eagles evaluations are weighted towards potential, and they feel they can coach up technique, then Barr might be high up on their list. No amount of sports science can give Barrs athleticism and size to another player. Maybe they figure if they can teach Trent Cole to play LB after a decade with his hand on the ground, then they can develop a raw athlete like Barr.

    Perhaps Tim or Sheil could do an article on players similar to Barr? Good NCAA production, high character, raw athletic ability, unrefined technique. Guys that the eagles probably have higher on their board than other teams do to the projection?

    Love this site!