The Eagles’ roster is unlikely to undergo any major changes between now and the Week 1 opener against the Jaguars in September.
There will be depth moves throughout the summer, but the 22 guys who will win starting jobs are likely already here.
Keeping that in mind, a five-man crew over at ESPN.com (Insider) handed out offseason grades for every NFL team. Overall, the Eagles received a B. An anonymous GM was consulted for the piece:
“They wanted [safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix] at [No. 22], but it didn’t work out for them, so they took Marcus Smith, who was closer to a second-round talent and not a great scheme fit,” the GM said, in reference to Clinton-Dix coming off the board at No. 21 and Philly then trading back with Cleveland to No. 26, where the Eagles took Smith.
If forced to hand out a grade, mine would be less generous, but for different reasons. Below is a quick review of what I liked and didn’t like, now that we have a chance to see how it all pieces together. Read more »
Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) prepares to throw the ball as Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole (58) and Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox (91) chase in the first quarter during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo | Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Always follow the money, Nick. Read more »
Neither Chip Kelly nor Howie Roseman wants to answer the question directly.
Who has final say on decisions during the draft?
Really, all it would take is one or two words. But the head coach and general manager prefer to leave some wiggle room with their responses.
“We haven’t really gotten there,” Kelly said. “I think everybody wants to know that, like really what happens in there. But it never gets to that point. I think we look at it, analyze it and kind of come to the same conclusion. But I haven’t yet sat there and I want him and he wants him and then, you know, are we going to box for it? You know what I mean? It just hasn’t gotten there.” Read more »
The Eagles had a third-round grade on Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart and were eager to land him as Day 3 of the draft commenced. They held the first pick of the fourth round and had to decide whether to pull the trigger immediately or go in a different direction and take the chance that Hart would still be on the board the next time they were on the clock.
“I think Howie [Roseman] did a great job of how we ordered it,” said Chip Kelly. “The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”
How could Roseman be confident enough to offer a guarantee? Teams don’t make it a habit of disclosing their draft boards to the rest of the league. How could he know that Hart would fall to them in the fifth? Read more »
Back in February, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News wrote about how former Cowboys coach Jimmie Johnson had a draft advantage when he made the switch from college to the NFL:
So Johnson had a mental file of the top college players in the country. He either coached, recruited or played against them on Saturdays. His knowledge of the college game and its players gave him an edge at the draft table over his NFL rivals.
For his first five years in Dallas, Johnson would be studying and drafting many of the same players he had already studied and recruited at Miami. Those five years would cover his five-year recruiting cycle at Miami. He knew the achievers, overachievers and underachievers.
It’s no secret that Kelly’s role over the weekend was significant. During the season, he watches college film on Saturday afternoons. He attends the Senior Bowl, combine and as many Pro Days as possible. Read more »
Dagger. Dagger in the heart.
Those were the words of Howie Roseman when, moments after the 2014 NFL Draft concluded, a reporter brought up the fact that the Eagles came away with no offensive linemen.
“I firmly believe in building on the line of scrimmage. That’s kind of how I was raised in the National Football League,” the general manager said. “I thought we’d have some opportunities to get some o‑linemen, but there was a run in the third round that was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like ‑‑ I don’t know, if someone gave me the numbers, it was like player after player after player, and it was like ‑‑ all of a sudden we looked back up and our board was depleted, and we weren’t going to reach. That hurt because we went in thinking that we’d get some guys.” Read more »
The three-day draft process was a blur.
As the Eagles made their selections, we heard from the new players and general manager Howie Roseman. Chip Kelly made himself available after every pick as well and was generous with his time. We’ve brought you many of his thoughts already in this space, but now that we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, here are five more Kelly quotes from the draft weekend. Read more »
Howie Roseman provided Chip Kelly with a guarantee.
The Eagles had identified Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart as a player they wanted to bring on board. They had a third-round grade on the 6-6, 281-pound defensive end. But the draft is about maximizing resources and properly assessing value. So the team’s decision-makers had to decide when to pull the trigger.
“We had him rated a lot higher,” Kelly said. “I know I say that a lot, but that’s true for us. We would have taken him in the third. We’re fortunate. I think Howie did a great job of how we ordered it today. The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”
The selection of two Oregon players is representative of a greater philosophy the Eagles have adopted. As one reporter phrased it in a question to Roseman: Limit the variables. Read more »
It was a chaotic three days at the NovaCare Complex. In the end, the Eagles made four trades and ended up with seven new players (not counting undrafted free agents).
Below is a pick-by-pick review, along with links you might have missed and projections for how each guy fits. Read more »
It’s been less than 24 hours since the Eagles selected Louisville outside linebacker Marcus Smith with the 26th overall pick.
All day, there’s been some confusion about what the team’s plan was and how things played out. Today, GM Howie Roseman tried to provide some clarification. Below is a point-by-point rundown, along with some of my own thoughts. Read more »