Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Four Good Drafts In a Row’

NFL: Combine

Howie Roseman was asked for a number.

The Eagles’ GM has said time and again that the organization is aiming for long-term success. The goal is to put together a product that can compete for a Super Bowl on an annual basis. It’s not about “going for it” one specific year. It’s about consistently having a shot and eventually bringing home the Lombardi trophy.


But how long might it take to build a roster that can get to that level?

"That’s a fair question," Roseman said last week. "I don’t know if we look at it like that. We look at it we’ve got to increase the talent level on our football team, and ideally, if you have four good drafts in a row, I don’t see how you’re not going to be a really good and talented football team. We need to build on the last two drafts and continue to get good players and try to get as many guys who can make a difference as possible. I think we’ve increased the depth on our football team the last couple of years and have had some good players. If we have an opportunity to build on top of that, I think that would be really promising for our future."

Jeffrey Lurie famously absolved Roseman from blame for the draft miscues in 2010 and 2011. Chip Kelly was not yet in the fold in 2012, but selections that year (Fletcher Cox, Mychal KendricksNick Foles, Brandon Boykin) played prominent roles on last year's squad that won the NFC East.

The 2013 class still has plenty to prove, but there's reason to believe Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Bennie Logan all have promising futures.

"If you look back at successful drafts, if you can come out of it with three starters, that is a really good draft," Roseman said. "There are not a lot of drafts that you can come out and do that. So we still have enough picks to do that [this year]."

Four good drafts in a row would put the Eagles into the 2015 season. Of course, that's not really how coaches, GMs (or fans) view things. And Kelly, particularly, doesn't strike me as a patient man.

Before the Eagles think about stringing four together, they have to hit on No. 3. And selections made later this week will go a long way in determining whether the team is in position to take another step forward in the fall.

WHAT YOU MISSED

I take a stab at identifying outside linebacker targets for the Eagles.

T-Mac and I pick the three most likeliest targets for the Birds at No. 22.

The Eagles have signed a 6-foot-9 Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan.

Peter King says the Eagles have talked to at least two teams about trading up in the first round.

McManus takes a look at how the QB market could affect trade options.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz weighs in on the King rumor:

I don’t doubt that Howie has called teams in the 10-20 range and talked to them about trades. I don’t doubt that he’s mentioned interest in a WR. But Beckham might not be the real target. It could be OLB Anthony Barr, ILB C.J. Mosley or one of the CBs. Beckham might in fact be the target, but don’t take that idea to the bank.

In his latest mock draft, Todd McShay of ESPN.com projects Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to the Eagles:

Wide receiver and cornerback are two other possibilities here, but Pryor also would fill a need at strong safety next to free-agent pickup Malcolm Jenkins, and he's a good value at this point in the draft. Pryor is an intimidating presence in the middle of the field with his willingness to deliver the big hit, and he also is capable of holding up in deep-half zone and deep-third coverage. He's a tone-setter.

COMING UP

T-Mac and I will debate whether the Birds will end up with a QB in this year's draft.

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  • NickS1

    I pray that they don’t keep the draft in May going forward. I can’t take anymore draft crap. I need real football.

    • Mike J

      Agreed! I get it’s all about the money…but Goodell has really screwed up a good thing that was an all day party when the first three rounds started on Saturday morning (CT). That was a fun day. Not a huge fan of stretching it out 2 nights and another day…and I read there’s talk of making it four days in the future…
      All this messing around with a good thing and yet there’s no talk from the NFL offices ever of moving the Super Bowl to Saturday Night.

    • G_WallyHunter

      But having an earlier draft doesn’t make football come any faster?

      • NickS1

        No, it doesn’t. But having the draft talk drag on for far too long is awful. I’d rather focus on more football related things.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Like draft results, how those players fit, less unknowns, better picture of up coming season/roster, etc.

          • NickS1

            You pretty much covered it.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya can’t agree with you more there I was just playin, it is a little ridiculous, and see what you mean with the whole 2 week spread there

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      Apparently there was another booking at radio city music hall the same week. so the NFL is aware of the problem and will not continue drafting into May.

      • UKEagle99

        You would think the NFL would have it booked out in April for as long as the contract runs. I can’t imagine Roger having to call Radio City’s booking hotline on the day those dates go on sale! :D

        • Brent E. Sulecki

          another reason for trying a may draft is because the NFL execs still very much want to get an 18 game schedule. so stretching the offseason out and pushing draft into may is kind of something they want to experiment with. after this try I don’t think it will continue

          • UKEagle99

            Yes, it’s painful from a fans point of view but by all accounts the teams have enjoyed the extra weeks for evaluating the lower round talent pool. Only time will tell if that was time well spent! Only 2 more days, long days, to go.

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            longest days ever. I agree with the other poster above. the old style draft was best. Saturday morning and sunday. I dislike primetime draft. and breaking the days up. but I guess it gives GMs and scouts time in between to create deals and evaluate during the process.

          • Amar

            You know, I wouldn’t mind an 18 game schedule. Let teams have 65 men rosters and I’m OK with the 18 games.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          That was my assumption. You’d think they would’ve settled on dates well ahead of schedule. Sounds a little irresponsible for a multi-billion dollar business.

      • NickS1

        I knew this, however, there’s the possibility that the league likes the added anticipation for its fans. Never know, which is why I wrote my post.

        • Brent E. Sulecki

          owners and coaches are complaining about it. I don’t think the league likes that. they will go back next year

          • Maggie

            At least 2 GMs have gone on record stating that they like the later draft date as it gives them even more time to prepare. They felt like they had lost some prep time while working through the 2013 playoffs.

    • brza

      While I’m not a fan of the draft being moved back two weeks, my biggest gripe is that they have stretched the draft out to 3 days, and are even considering 4 days in the future. It was perfect when the draft was on Saturday and Sunday. I would spend the whole weekend watching the draft. Now with it on Thursday and Friday I end up watching for maybe a half hour at most those days and then just checking the results the next day.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I don’t so much mind it being 3 days. I would be ok with a primetime first rd Friday, followed up by rds 2-4 on Saturday & 5-7 on Sunday.

        This Thursday crap is just drab. With the scenario above it’s still a weekend event and no late nighters (hangovers for those that drink it up) into Friday workdays (which we already get during season with Thursday, Sunday & Monday night games). Much more family friendly schedule as younger kids that would want to watch with dad, don’t have school the following day and can stay up if parents allow it. Easier for group gatherings to get together and enjoy it, stay up late, then sleep in for a noon Saturday start.

        Just a more cohesive schedule that appeals to a larger mass.

    • Chip Kelly

      Undoubtedly, one of these good players will be on the board for the Eagles to pick. My board would be:

      1) Barr

      2) ODB

      3) Cooks

      4) Mosley

      5) Fuller

      6) Lee

      7) Pryor

      8) Denard

  • NickS1

    So apparently Mettenberger, Jernigan, LSU’s Anthony Johnson, Christian Jones, Telvin Smith, and Seantrel Henderson all failed drug tests at the combine. Wonder how/if that affects some of these guys. I’m hoping it pushes C-Jones down to the 4th.

    • Dominik

      Even if it pushes C-Jones down to the 4th, you need to hope that he’s still on our board. It depends on the drug and the context (and the interview), I guess.

      • Richard Colton

        Agree. Next to illadelph, I think I’m the biggest Christian Jones fan out there. I’m not convinced he’s still on our board.

        Wonder if Telvin will consider a move to Safety now?

        • cliff henny

          been right there with you. maybe my irrational love of mike evans overshadowed jones some, but like to think I had plenty of crazy left over for him

          • Richard Colton

            someone will still take him in the third. too much talent and potential. we held on to the same pipe-dream with Honey Badger – where did he go? I think the only way we land C.Jones in the third is if we trade down in the first.

        • NickS1

          I thought about the Smith move to safety when I was typing.

        • Amar

          I love me some Christian Jones ! 2nd round wouldn’t be too high for me.

          • Richard Colton

            that’s bold. I wouldn’t be upset, but a lot of people would call it an over draft.

      • anon

        Totally agree, I would view it as an opportunity, but CK seems really big on the intangibles / off the field stuff so hard to tell. My drug test would have looked crazy back then.

      • NickS1

        That hope was kind of built in to my post. Obviously I’m not hoping that it pushes him into the fourth for someone else to get him.

    • cliff henny

      weed? good…sent Evans 500 poppy seed bagels, guess that didn’t work.

      • oreofestar

        yeah would have loved for him to have been caught with some

      • NickS1

        If he ate 500 poppy seed bagels, or any other kind of bagel in that quantity, I’m thinking the 4.53 doesn’t happen. Turns more into 4.8.

    • Amar

      I’m glad, we can now get Jones in the 4th round.

  • Eagles1018

    I’m looking at Thursday and hoping a guy like Mosley falls to us. I know Barr and Evans (and probably ODB) are unrealistic. But anyone just mentioned I don’t mind at that first pick. Or a trade back into the early 2nd for a Latimer. Still high on that guy

    • ohitsdom

      I’m actually hopeful Barr could fall, he is so raw. Then again, pass rushers are sparse so that’s probably being overly optimistic…

  • cliff henny

    4 good drafts are certainly better than 4 average or bad drafts, but still all comes down to Foles. really the only flaw in the NFL, just too dependent on QB. hopefully this is where Kelly’s genius is a reality.

    • aub32

      Is it though? Your last 3 SB champ QBs were Eli, Flaaco, ad Wilson. None of those guys are really in the top 10, maybe Wilson. So I don’t see how the league is too QB dependent when guys like Rodgers get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

      • Adam G

        Think you are just arguing to argue. Pretty standard that its a QB dependent league. Seattle had one of the greatest defenses of all time and an above average QB. Flacco had an ABSURD run in the playoffs and Eli’s wasn’t bad either(averaging 300 yards a game with 9 TDs and 1 interception).

        • PJ

          yep…and manning won two super bowls…at the time he was an very good/elite QB in the NFL

          • travis papa

            I hate the word elite. It’s thrown around so much anymore because people got tired of using franchise qb. Soon elite will be overused then the acronym Ultimate Super Awesome qb will take it’s place. 3-5yrs from now everyone will say nick Foles is the #1 U.S.A. qb in the nfl.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I don’t mind elite. I hate when people confuse elite for great. Elite says your top 5 at your position. Great says your destined for Canton.

          • travis papa

            It’s just annoying when someone like john Clayton has 12-15 elite qbs. Pretty much there’s 2 elite qbs Brady and manning. Brees is close and so is Rodgers everyone else has a long way to go. There is probably 12-15 franchise qbs and those are all qbs that could or have won a sb and a team can plan it’s future around

        • aub32

          I didn’t say you could win the SB with your QB playing like trash. Yes if the guy who touches the ball more than any other player stinks it up, you will likely lose. I am saying that you don’t need a top 10 QB to win. Eli won his first SB due to the strength of his D line. Some would argue the same about the 2nd, though he played much better than the first time. Flaaco had an amazing playoff performance, but what about the regular season. He was average if not below. I am not arguing the QB isn’t important. That’s jus silly. However, scheme, coaching, health, defenses, weather and momentum play a huge role as well.

          • Adam G

            The Ravens won because Flacco had the run in the playoffs. And as an above average regular season QB they were a wildcard team. The only way you can win without a top ten QB is to have a lights out defense. Again, Eli was great during the playoffs and really really good during the regulars season. Might want to check up on Eli’s stats in 2011 before you say it was just the Dline. Bottom line, barring a great Defense you absolutely NEED a top 10 QB if not top 7 or 8.

      • cliff henny

        not winning w/ backup or bottom 1/3 of league type qb. take any of the other 50 players on those teams and replace them, pretty sure outcome is same. are correct, Rodgers Brady Manning Brees aren’t winning every year, but we know about 10-12 teams that have no F’n chance with current starter and 30 if they end up playing backup.
        .
        really all ’14 is about for me, does Foles show ’13 is for real, and put Eagles on pretty clear path as super bowl contenders for 10 yrs, or not. see no reason he cant get to Flacco level, who is top10 disagree with you there, and then allow Eagles to field team around him.

        • aub32

          We definitely disagree on Shane Falco. I think we will see more of what we saw in 2013 from him now that the team is trying to depend on the offense.

          • NickS1

            Yup, agreed. Dude has never been a top 10 QB in my opinion.

        • NickS1

          You do understand that Foles threw more TDs last year in his 10+ games than Flacco has thrown in any 16 game season he’s played? Flacco isn’t top 10…. I agree that everything is about Foles proving he can do it for more than a year, but the Flacco comparisons kill me.

      • PJ

        rodgers won a super bowl. and the years they won, or were in their prime, manning, flacco and wilson were all at least top-10 QBs. no, you don’t need joe montana to win it all, but in the past 20 yrs, the only truly average (or worse) QBs to win it all were trent dilfer and brad johnson

        • aub32

          Having a single top 10 season doesn’t make a guy a top 10 QB. And neither Flaaco or Wilson even achieved that.

          • PJ

            actually, it does. in such season that QB would have been a top 10 QB.

            and regarding flacco at least, he was #14 in his SB winning season, was #6 in 2013 and was #10 in 2011, so it’s unclear how you can argue he’s not a top 10 QB if you understand football

          • NickS1

            What was Flacco #6 in last season?

          • PJ

            Ha good question. Looking at 2013 passing stats on pro football reference com, he’s #6, but unclear how they’re ranked

  • ochospantalones

    I think this pretty much explains the Eagles off-season. They think they’re two years away from being a real contender. Thus they made only one mid-tier free agent signing (Jenkins), one mid-tier trade (Sproles) and dumped their second best offensive weapon for 2015 cap room. It’s not an unreasonable long term plan, but I wonder if the fans will really have that much patience if they end up 9-7 and missing the playoffs by a game.

    • PJ

      lurie will be content so long as howie keeps the payroll 20mm under the cap for a 4th year in a row

      • ochospantalones

        Sure seems like it. The weird thing is that Lurie will allow them to go on a free agent binge periodically (2004, 2011). I guess they only get that leeway for one year at a time, and have to sell him that they are one or two moves away from a championship. In that context, I guess it makes sense to wait a couple years to go “all in” again, and save the boss some money in the meantime.

      • Amar

        I don’t have a problem at Eagles being under the cap consistently and have a winning record. That gives them great flexibility to redo a contract or add a high profile FA. What I find idiotic is them getting rid of a top performer who’s been with the team for many years and still take a cap hit, just to save a few $$s.

      • Scott J

        Who should they have spent money on? Byrd or Ward? It was written about extensively that those player don’t fit Davis’s scheme. Anyone else you wanted them to sign?

  • Amar

    I see a new warning at the beginning of comments. Did Geagle violate any of these ?

    • reb

      4 out of 5, by my count