Howie Roseman has had a lot of questions asked about him since that Super Bowl win. He’s had to deal with a plague of injuries, the Alshon Jeffery situation after guaranteeing him his whole contract, locker-room fractures, and questions over his drafting ability.
A lot has changed since the beginning of the offseason. Howie has traded for Darius Slay, invested significant money into the defensive line, and sought value across the board through free agency, letting his old habits slip away. So, what happens next?
Let’s start off by looking at the Eagles potentially drafting a wide receiver in the first round. There are 3 choices that will likely be on the table. Howie could choose to trade up to somewhere near the top 10 and grab a receiver like Lamb, Jeudy or Ruggs, he could choose to stick it at 21 and take someone like Justin Jefferson, or he could choose to trade back to somewhere in the region of 27 and take someone like Jalen Reagor or Denzel Mims. At this spot alone there are so many roads that the Eagles can choose to travel down and that’s just in the first round. I haven’t even mentioned taking a guy like Hamler in the 2nd, or guys like K.J. Hill and Van Jefferson in the 3rd. The possibilities Howie has at his disposal are endless..making this such a tricky landscape to navigate through.
A second path for the Eagles GM to go down is to draft a linebacker in the first. Prospects like Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray are both plausible prospects. Even moving to the later rounds, you could see the Eagles pick up guys like Akeem Davis-Gaither, Troy Dye, Logan Wilson, Jordyn Brooks, and Justin Strnad. Howie may finally put an end to the ‘Eagles don’t value linebackers’ narrative.
Then, there’s Safety. A guy like Xavier McKinney makes a lot of sense at 21, especially if they are looking for a prospect to come in a truly fill the hole Malcolm Jenkins has left behind. Other players like Grant Delpit, Ashtyn Davis, Jeremy Chinn, and Antoine Winfield Jr also make sense around the first and second round, and if they take a safety early on, then they can afford to address the receiver need in the second round, with depth still plentiful.
Another area that seems to be a favorite for Howie Roseman, is defensive end. Unfortunately for the mad scientist, Derek Barnett hasn’t truly worked out for the Eagles since they took him with the 14th overall pick of the 2017 draft, but that doesn’t mean lightning won’t strike twice. Chaisson, A.J. Epensa, Gross-Matos will, most likely, be available at 21 and people need to start realizing that this could be the way Howie goes after all the links with Yannick Ngakoue and now Clowney, taking a high-end prospect at EDGE makes a lot of sense.
Howie could even go one step further in the first and take a cornerback or try to draft Jason Kelce’s replacement by selecting Cesar Ruiz at 21. With the number of needs they have, there are so many picks that make a lot of sense. I know drafting a center or a defensive end may not be the flashiest of picks and will probably upset a fair few, but when you sit down and really think about it, they are areas that the Eagles can improve on.
I will mention that many will probably be thinking that I’m completely forgetting that the picks could turn out as busts, and that nothing is guaranteed. However, when I say this is the easiest draft of Howie’s life, I mean this by the fact that, at the end of the Eagles’ last pick, everyone should be able to sit down and go, “yes, that was a good draft, well done Howie and the Eagles.”
You also have to remember, this will be Howie’s first draft by himself. In every season so far, he’s always had someone with him, such Joe Douglas and Eric Berry who have since moved on to bigger things. With Howie now being the most dominant voice, it’s time to take all of that knowledge and see what he can cook up.
What I’m trying to get at is this – With the number of needs the Eagles have, the number of picks they have in this draft and then the number of different avenues they can go down with every pick, Howie would have to veer seriously off-course to make a hash of it. He has everything at his disposal to fully nail this draft and leave the three-day event with every area of concern covered up.
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