Roseman On Safeties: ‘I Don’t Think It’s a Good Group’

Calvin Pryor

When it comes to safety, there’s a decent chance the players you see now on the Eagles’ roster are the same ones that are going to show up when the team opens its season in September against the Jaguars.

According to general manager Howie Roseman, the draft is unlikely to provide much of a boost.




"In terms of the safety class, I don’t think it’s a good group overall," Roseman said Thursday afternoon. "I think you’re talking about a dropoff certainly when you get into Saturday."

The Eagles signed Malcolm Jenkins in free agency. He, along with second-year player Earl Wolff, project as starters. Nate Allen signed a one-year deal to return and could also be in the mix.

"Earl and Nate, we’re excited about their ability to take a jump," Roseman said. "We talk about athletic tools and what’s in their body, and Nate is 6-2, he’s 215. He’s finally in the same system for the second year, and you gotta be able to play fast. You gotta not be able to think. It’s very hard on a safety going through all those system changes, especially a young player who didn’t really grow up playing the position - he was a quarterback in high school.

"And then Earl as a rookie, I thought did a really good job before he got hurt. Again, you’re talking about a guy who’s 215 pounds, who runs a 4.4. Unbelievable work ethic, off the charts. We’re excited about those guys, and bringing in [Chris] Maragos as well. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t add one if he was the best player, but at the same time we expect those guys to take a jump and be better players."

The top safeties on the board are Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Louisville's Calvin Pryor and Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward. Clinton-Dix would probably be the best fit for the Eagles, but he's pretty much a lock to be gone at No. 22. Pryor may not possess the versatility the team is looking for. Ward is intriguing, but is smaller (193 pounds) than they would probably prefer.

There will be other options. Washington State's Deone Bucannon (6-1/211/4.49) has intriguing measurables. The team has also done its homework on Florida's Jaylen Watkins and N.C. State's Dontae Johnson.

Depending on how the board plays out, they could end up adding a safety at some point. But Roseman doesn't appear to be counting on it.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Maggie

    Don’t know why anyone would be surprised. The Eagles signed 3 safeties in Free Agency for a reason.

    • Eagles1018

      Let’s hope they did their homework on the OLB position. If they don’t seriously have lock down players on the back end they desperately need to get light years better at the pass rush.

    • Eagles1018

      This is from PE.com:

      – The Eagles were 20th in the NFL with 37 quarterback sacks

      – They tied for 19th in the league with 14 sacks on third down

      – With 10 sacks in the fourth quarter, the Eagles ranked tied for 21st in the NFL

      – 3 sacks in the red zone tied for fourth in the NFL

      – In the 10 Eagles wins, the Eagles registered 24 sacks. In the six losses, they had 13 sacks

      – According to FootballOutsiders.com, the Eagles ranked 17th in the NFL with an adjusted sack rate of 6.8 percent

      • LostInChiTown

        “In the 10 Eagles wins, the Eagles registered 24 sacks. In the six losses, they had 13 sacks”

        so… 2.4 per win… and… 2.2 per loss… :?

        overall point is good though – we could use more pass rush.

        • Eagles1018

          My concern with those numbers is the league ranking. We’re clearly not gonna be identified as a defensive team but to win playoff games you need defense, where offense may have an off day. Our defense honestly IMO was very good last year. To hold Drew Brees to 1td and 2 INTs is impressive. But playoff games are won in many ways, no matter your teams identity. The Saints beat us with a good run game in the dance last year. We have to improve our pass rush if we plan on going further.

          • LostInChiTown

            Didn’t mean to diss your post. That one stat from PE.com though…

            Totally agree here. Our entire third down defense was terrible. I don’t know how many times we let a short pass go for 17 yards on third and long. Ugh!

        • Eagles1018

          Sorry I think long before I talk (most of the time). Looking deeper I really want them to address 4th quarter sack numbers. I bet a lot of those 4th quarter sacks were from teams losing to is that were in obvious pass situations and were putting QBs in 5 step drops for intermediate and deep routes. Also 14 sacks on third down out of their 37 is atrocious. 3rd down which is commonly everyone’s passing down, we should have 25 of our 37. Aka get off the field

  • ceedubya9

    Even if one of the top 2 fell to 22, I’m not so sure the Eagles take them there compared to an available WR, CB, OLB, or even MLB.

  • Eaglehaslanded

    Unfortunately none of which are play makers. There average safeties….at best!

  • PJ

    roseman has been proven completely inept at evaluating talent in the secondary. how can anyoen take this punk seriously?

    • EaglesTrolltheWorld

      Weren’t those drafts Andy Reid’s not Roseman’s?

      • PJ

        wasn’t roseman still the GM? what was he doing for 40 hrs per week, shining lurie’s shoes? jaiquawn jarrett and curtis marsh were his picks. you think AR, in addition to coaching the team, was flying out to see temple play bowling green? or was howie there “evaluating” the talent?

        • EaglesTrolltheWorld

          Roseman took over executive decisions regarding the draft in ’12. AR, like Belichick has in NE, had personnel priority til then.

          • PJ

            welcome to the comments, howie

          • JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadoo

            I don’t know if you know this, but people can improve at their jobs as they gain experience. You can blame him for Jaiqwan Jarrett all you want, but Howie pulled the trigger on Boykin, Wolff, and Poyer. Earlier in his run, Howie was just bad at drafting, and Andy had full personnel control

          • anon

            Poyer? That was clearly a CK flyer. Wolff is tbd and might only have value b/c he was a 5th rounder. Secondary players are hard to pick think it’s more about coaching.

            Hard to totally blame draft considering what was happening in the FO at that time.

          • JAMIN67

            I actually think Wolff is going to be a good player….he’s got the size and speed. Just hope he played and learned enough last year that he can make that “Year 2″ leap in production.

          • PJ

            how many games did poyer start for the birds?

          • Ian Farley

            late round pick after 1 year…. what did you expect exactly?

          • PJ

            i don’t expect the pick to be trumpeted like JJJJ did

          • Adam

            How many teams started 7th round rookie corners last year? He was signed off our practice squad and saw game time in Cleveland.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            not really, howie and andy and lurie have all said as much.

            unless you think the illuminati are real, too

          • cliff henny

            last 2 drafts have been better. even if one still places some blame on Howie for ’10 and ’11, shown he’s gotten better. also, players that were under both reid and Kelly all of a sudden became better players in ’13, like Coop and Allen, so maybe ’10 and ’11 guy weren’t all hot garbage under different staff/different circumstances.

          • myeaglescantwin

            he’s regarding facts

          • EaglesTrolltheWorld

            Huh?

          • myeaglescantwin

            sorry i must have misspelled “disregarding”. had a long day yesterday haha.

        • cliff henny

          doesn’t matter what HR does when Reid’s writing name on card.

        • Maggie

          How stupid. The entire personnel department was out looking at prospects. Go back to philly.com where you belong. Stop and think along the way.

    • peteike

      ugh, not this again, youre way late to the party. Those discussions were eons ago. Howie, Andy, who cares, they were bad drafts and yup he had something to do with it as did all the scouts. You can only hope they improve which they did last year so lets move forward shall we.

    • knighn

      Welcome to the party, pal!

      • PJ

        thanks, sport

        • Amar

          Did you mean ‘Old sport’ ? *While we are still rehashing things*

    • Brandon Boykin, LOL

      Yes a rehash! While we’re at it, Vick should totally start over Foles this year. Chip needs a running QB for his offensive system that won’t work in the NFL.

      • knighn

        Vick will be so much better in Chip Kelly’s system than Foles. Foles only went 1-5 in his first 6 games with the Eagles and was a proven loser in college.

        • myeaglescantwin

          did you watch 2013??

          Vick had no idea where the WR’s were heading and could only make passes after he moved from the pocket.
          even in preseason the offense moved quicker with Foles in it.

          i believe that was more height than anything though.

          furthermore, if Chip really wanted that smaller running QB, why would he have went out and grabbed two pocket QB’s in Sanchez and Barkley?

          • Peter Patrick

            Prettttty sure that was “sarcasm”

          • Brandon Boykin, LOL

            I’m glad you said it. I had a response typed but I thought “nah. It’d be funny, but not good for Birds 24/7 camaraderie.”

          • myeaglescantwin

            one thing that doesn’t break through too well via text/reading. is sarcasm..

            and I apologize for not catching it, but there are so many mind-numbingly idiotic people that post,,,, you just never know.
            Unfortunately I must error of the side of lesser

          • knighn

            Sorry… I forget that we have new guys here. You missed out on some epic posts last season around this time.

        • NickS1

          I’m having flashbacks of Dutch

          • knighn

            Lol. Was hoping that would be obvious!

      • knighn

        Hey, while we’re rehashing things, let’s ask why the Eagles cut DeSean Jackson for the 12 millionth time.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        AND DJAX WAS NO GANGSTA

    • myeaglescantwin

      what evidence do you have on this??

      when he acquired two of the top man cover specialist in the league and had his head coach and defensive coordinator use them almost strictly in zone coverage with weak safeties?

      • PJ

        wth did he acquire player who didn’t fit the coach’s system???

        smh

        • myeaglescantwin

          i think he got any player / draft position that Andy wanted.

          • PJ

            so he’s a spineless yes-man? good guy to have as your GM

          • myeaglescantwin

            you’re so off base it’s hilarious.

            if you were an eagles fan, you would know that Andy Reid was 100% in control of who was drafted, and who was brought into the organization. That was Reid’s biggest fault, taking too much on. The GM’s job at the time was to get what Reid wanted. Especially since he was a green horn at the time.

            are you going to say that Howie was responsible for Juan too?

          • PJ

            there are 117 D-1 schools, each with 60 players. do you think reid personally scouted all 7,020 players (not to mention D-1AA, etc.)? or do you think he said to his GENERAL MANAGER, find me the best DBs out there, for example, and howie came back with dreck like jarrett, allen, etc., and whiffed on earl thomas

          • myeaglescantwin

            Exactly what i think happened. I think they gave him a board, and told him their top rated players. and andy did his digging and decided who he thought was best.

            he felt that the hard hitter from the local area was the second coming of brian dawkins.

            and yes, i think andy went back to his barrel of tricks and decided to take Jerome McDougal 2.0 instead of drafting the best young playmaker in the league.

            his arrogance was over flowing. towards the end of his career. He had too much on his plate, and was too stubborn to realize the league was passing him bye.

          • PJ

            how in God’s name does howie, the talent expert, even put jarrett on the board??

          • myeaglescantwin

            have you followed the past two dafts?
            the only drafts with Roseman manning the 1’s and 2’s,,,
            & by the full admittion of Lurie that the 2012 draft class was the first class that Howie Roseman was held fully accountable for??

            the same draft that brought us, Boykin, kendricks, Foles, Cox, Dennis Kelly and Bryce Brown??

          • PJ

            do you believe everything lurie tells you?

          • myeaglescantwin

            hahaha

            surely!!!
            Andy is the best HC!! and Banner is the best GM!!
            GOLD STANDARD

          • Clamdigger

            Do you actually follow the team? Because you seem kind of clueless about the FO.

          • Tom W

            No reason to disbelieve him dope

          • Johnny Domino

            Typo or not “daft” works.

          • PJ

            and btw, howie is responsible for the washburn/wide-9 fiasco. he told reid to hire him

          • myeaglescantwin

            you’re nuts. Howie was in no postion to tell the winningest coach in eagles history anything.

            Andy wanted Howard Mudd, Andy wanted Washbourn, and Juan was the clown he expected to swallow anything Reid threw at him.

          • PJ
          • myeaglescantwin

            try being realistic and not seeing past the fact that Mudd was here, and his best friend just so happened to join the squad the same season.

            it was more of a package deal with those two coordinators.

    • Clamdigger

      Boykin? Forget about him? 4th round Pro Bowl caliber player.

    • Tom W

      Earl Wolfe worked out well. U must be a troll trying to flame the Howie hate after two stellar drafts and statements by lurie that big red was running the player selections in 2010 and 2011 and big red forced the Watkins and Jarrett picks for need.

      • Maggie

        PJ is one of the haters from philly.com.

  • http://themoranimal.wordpress.com WilmingtonDan

    Ya know what was a good group of safeties? The free agent class of ’14

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya I think the ’10 class had good option(s) too right?

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      yea, and we signed probably the 3rd-best available.

      • Brandon Baltic

        others may not have been a scheme fit though

    • Brandon Baltic

      I don’t think mgmt viewed Byrd or Ward as a scheme fit. They liked Jenkins because he can man up on TEs that are split out wide at the line from his cb background, something the other guys have not been asked to do in their career.

  • Bird of Prey

    Move up to 14, and select Brandon Graham instead of Richard Sherman….. That had Reid and Banner all over it. SO far Roseman hasn’t given me reason to doubt him on his own. What’s more, he’s right. I can actually see him taking one of the undersized LB’s in the draft that can cover well as an SS in the later rounds instead.

    • Javi Echie

      You mean Graham over Earl Thomas, but yea man please don’t remind us about that dreaded trade up that Reid and Banner really f’d up. Thomas is the highest paid safety in the NFL now and Graham is worth a damn thing ughh.

      • cliff henny

        one’s worth 50m, other i’d give my left pinkie toe to get a 5th

        • Javi Echie

          haha touché sir

          • cliff henny

            running out of left body parts to sell to the devil. left nut is allocated to Evans left pinkie for Barr

          • Javi Echie

            So I am assuming the left side is more important then your right side so if that is the case I assume right nut is allocated to Attaochu, right pinkie to Latimer, and right pinkie toe to Buchanon lol

          • cliff henny

            easy now, i’ll sacrifice a lot for eagles, so far a lot of liver damage, not hocking both nadds in same draft…that’s crazy talk

          • Javi Echie

            lol gotcha gotta save at least one for the future

          • George

            not if youre will…

          • Johnny Domino

            Somebody gonna go all “Pope of Greenwich Village” on your azz..

      • Maggie

        Who else passed on Thomas??? And I highly doubt he would have been effective with Nnamdi, DRC, and the rotating cast of DCs.

    • Liam Mullen

      Actually they drafted Alex Henry over Richard Sherman. I am sure that makes you feel better about it……….

      • knighn

        That statement makes me feel like Donnie Jones punted my balls.

        • Joe from Easton

          haha I actually did laugh out loud from this.

    • Adam

      reset the clock

      • DEBO 215

        This is the greatest picture in the history if pictures that doesn’t involve naked women.

  • cliff henny

    Browns just signed VY, Thigpen and Diles (?). not sure a more obvious move could be made by a more qb desperate team. Hope they pass on qb w/ first 1st rd pick, be about 3 or 4 teams needing to get ahead of them. #22 to highest bidder, might as well get ahead of Reid, he cant think Smith is long term solution.

  • peteike

    This means they may snag one of those two if they should fall. That or its a smokescreen to get Ward at a certain spot. Damn Flyers, now this draft cant get here soon enough.

    • anon

      think it means what he says no safeties unless they take top 2 which i dont think they will (both are small). they’re clearly looking to coach up people with measurables. those are the types of people we should be looking for in the draft. Even LJ was the same type of player (great measurables not great technique / experience).

      • peteike

        ya agreed, kind of what I was saying minus guessing on Ward. If one of those 2 drops though, you wonder if they jump. Im starting to think Joffrey is right, comment above this, that they just may not value D so much, we’ll see if that trend continues.

  • JofreyRice

    yeah, it will be more of the same in the defensive backfield. Defense is never going to be this team’s identity under Chip. I expect them to add a versatile athlete with the measurables they covet from the latter parts of the draft. Hopefully they’ll step in it with one of these guys, because I don’t think they’re ever going to address the position seriously, in terms of draft picks or free agent $.

    • Reasonableeaglefan

      In a lot of ways this philosophy reminds me of the Reid years. Specifically, the way we were always told they value certain positions (CB&DE over S&LB). Now it’s shifted slightly the entire offense over the defense. Hopefully Chip really does have some insight into college prospects to find a real diamond in the rough in the later rounds.

    • Clamdigger

      Based on one draft?

      • JofreyRice

        based on Chip’s history, the things he’s said, the draft, and 2 free agency periods where they sat out on Byrd, Ward, Whitner, Goldson, Landry, Quinn, et. al. They can say what they want about Jenkins, but that deal says “show me”.

        • All In Eagles

          and Rhodes : )

        • Clamdigger

          That’s fair, but they have been the same way with offense in FA.

          • JofreyRice

            I guess, but his background and the Ertz pick, the Sproles trade, the way they were supposedly interested in Spiller, the re-ups and extensions on the O-Line leads me to believe they’re always going to invest in refreshing the offense and adding new dimensions. I could be totally wrong, but I just don’t think this is going to be a balanced squad. I think it’s going to be offense-heavy. Question will be, can they add enough decent defenders to win more than they lose.

  • Honest_T

    I take Howie’s comments to mean:
    1. We are trading back because we can still get a top WR in Round 2.
    2. We are loading up on Defense early, but it won’t be a safety unless Ha Ha or Pryor falls to us.

  • DEBO 215

    Howie is attempting to devalue the safety class in order to get one to drop to him.
    In large part he is right though. WR is very deep. Outside of Dix and Pryor, there isn’t much of anything.

    • Brandon Boykin, LOL

      Yeah this is all chess. I don’t know with who though. All the GMs are playing games with each other.

      • DEBO 215

        Exactly. I would imagine Howie is devaluing for the teams picking right in front of them…like, “You don’t want a Safety…they stink! What are you thinking? Take Benjamin!”…Then he takes Pryor and laughs.

        • Warhound

          I really doubt that other GMs will base their decisions on a Howie press snippet.

        • All In Eagles

          From my view he only devalued the bottom safeties, everyone knows the top 3 are dominant and it would be a shock for any other team to think differently. This isn’t a chess move for the 1st round, concerning the top 3 safeties.

    • Tom W

      Nah this safety class really stinks. Haha is only first rounder and I bet eagles like Buchanan better than Pryor. After those three things drop off very fast. I could see dontae or exum in rd 4 or marquestion huff really late. If they pass, the Oregon kid who is 5 10 is likely

      • myeaglescantwin

        Vereen is a top level athlete
        he could be a later round option, talkin 6 -7

    • southy

      You guys are thinking too hard about this. He’s being honest. He didn’t say there were no good safeties, he said it was a shallow class. Technically that’s a signal to other GMs to take safeties earlier if anything, except I’m sure Howie isn’t saying anything they don’t already have a view on.

  • Eagles1018

    This is disappointing. I like Pryor and think he will be good in this league and could be for the Eagles. I also like Buchannon A LOT. Please, tell me this is a smokescreen……

    • Ian Farley

      Bucannon is the best fit, but i would think he would need to be a 3rd rounder for them to pick him. He checks all the boxes. and i would say even with his limitations in coverage, he has to be better than nate allen….

    • Joe L

      He said “There’s a dropoff certainly when you get to saturday”. He didn’t say he didn’t like any of the safeties, just said it’s not a deep group. We all knew that.

  • Corey Dawson

    Translation: We’ll be picking a safety in the first 3 rounds.

  • jon h

    Didn’t Howie say at one point that Safeties were the most difficult position for him to evaluate as a GM? If that’s the case, how do we know he’s correct with this statement?

    • PJ

      please don’t bring logic into this discussion. every bad move howie makes is reid’s fault, every good one is due to his “learning on the job.”

      the chief accounting officer can’t lose

    • Maggie

      Because he has Tom Gamble and a whole personnel department. Plus Chip.

  • Tom W

    Makes sense this safety class is pretty weak compared to last year … After haha and Buchanan eagles may not have another safety on their board till the 4th or 5th w dontae Johnson and antone exum and Brock vereen. Fine w me. I bet they don’t even have Pryor on their board or a second rounder at best behind Buchanan. Kid is short and slow

  • myeaglescantwin

    I still think Bucannon would be the best pick out of that litter. We can definitely have him in rd 2.

  • Glenn

    It is tough to read what Howie was trying to accomplish with what he said today. He succeeded in trying to get everyone to believe that he will not be looking at safety or wide receiver in the first round. Is he saying the truth? Or is he trying to get other teams to believe there is no need to trade above them to take a WR of safety.

    • anon

      We thought his comments about safeties were smoke screens. I’m just taking him for face value now. It’ll be interesting to see where the put priorities, OL, DL, LB, etc.

      • RC5000

        Because this is a great draft for safeties? If anything it is the exact opposite of a smokescreen. It says they like the top guys not the ones later.

        • anon

          Sorry i meant regarding FA safeties. I agree they either like the top two a lot or they don’t like anyone. From now on i’m taking howie at face.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I don’t know what to believe with this guy anymore. I’ll just play the wait and see, then weigh their selections against all that’s been said leading up to the draft.

  • Joe L

    I think if you don’t get one of the top 4 (Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Bucannon, Ward) in the first two rounds, you might as well just wait until late and take a shot on a guy like Terrence Brooks, Ahmad Dixon and Dion Bailey much later in the draft.

    • anon

      not even sure i’d waste a pick at this point unless they are ST aces.

      • oreofestar

        I like Exum and Johnson but I agree if you do not take one of the top tier ones you might as well dig through the trash and see if you hit big

    • Tom W

      Huh brooks is slated to go in the second and dion and Dixon in the third or fourth. I doubt eagles even have ward on their board and most likely have Buchanan rated higher than Pryor in the second rd

      • Joe L

        I doubt Brooks goes in the the first 2.

  • Eaglehaslanded

    Since when does Howie Roseman and the Eagles know how to effectively judge safety talent?

    • DoctorRick

      LOL

  • Pennguino

    I’ll take Johnathan Dowling in the 5th or 6th. Big fast safety that likes to hit. Needs some discipline and wrap up takling help but could be a tempo setter in the secondary

  • DoctorRick

    OK,OK, OK, I’m finally getting used to the idea that we may not actually take a top tier safety in the first round. OK, I get it. So if we grab a big and fast WR with great hands in the first, then Bucannon makes sense in the second. Or maybe we grab a DE who can play OLB in the first and a WR in the second. Geez, I’m so confused…

    8^)

    One more week, boys and girls. One. More. Week.

  • ChandlerMc

    Calvin Pryor is possibly sorta kinda like a Dawk 2.0 if there’s ever gonna be such a thing. The dude hits like a Mack truck. It takes me back a few years when we traded up in 1st Rd and everyone hoped it was for Earl Thomas… Nope. Brandon Graham.