The NFL Draft is now over and done with but questions over whether the Eagles answered all the right questions should now be the topic of conversation. The franchise took a huge step forward in the right direction for the first time in a long time. There was a different vibe around the Eagles’, war room and it was evident. From the infamous pouting of Tom Donahoe to the exciting reaction of Defensive Coordinator John Gannon, an outburst of confusion was quickly reassured on day three thanks to a refreshing string of decisions from Howie Roseman.
Could it be a lesson learned from the Doug Pederson era? It was previously reported that last season, Howie chose Jalen Reagor in favor of the coaching staff while the scouts wanted Justin Jefferson. He also blindsided everyone by choosing Jalen Hurts, even though Doug Pederson’s reaction to the Hurts pick was like a boy getting a new puppy on Christmas morning. Roseman has always preached the theory of taking the best player available and “following their draft board”.
For the first time in what seems like forever, Roseman did just that. He followed the board that the team established and did everything necessary to get those players. DeVonta Smith was the player they wanted at 12 if Horn and Surtain weren’t there. Howie did the unpredictable by jumping the New York Giants in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys for the 10th overall pick and it only cost the team the 12th overall pick and the 84th overall. A unique move indeed.
Now the Eagles have a Heisman winner that had plenty of production at the collegiate level as opposed to drafting the wide receiver that flew under the radar such as what happened with JJAW. He followed that move by then drafting for players that overproduced in the trenches.
In the second round, he went with the injury-riddled offensive lineman out of Alabama, Landon Dickerson. Dickerson slowly became a fan favorite as a member of the Crimson Tide because of the efficiency he brings on the field and the laughs he brings off it. Dickerson has only allowed one sack in 825 pass-blocking snaps from 2018 to 2020.
Following Dickerson, the pick was the most controversial one due to the footage shown of Tom Donahoe pouting on national television. It’s weirdly understandable since the Eagles traded back and lost a possible corner selection in Aaron Robinson, who was drafted by the Giants. Even though Donahoe dampened the excitement of Milton Williams, Johnathan Gannon’s reaction was exactly what Eagles fans needed to feel for the selection. Williams is a monster in the trenches and shouldn’t be overlooked especially with the lack of consistent production from someone like Derek Barnett.
The next pick was the most telling one though. The Eagles had a very high grade on a specific corner that was still available as the team prepared for the fourth round. At the 123rd overall pick, the Eagles selected Texas Tech cornerback, Zech McPhearson. A player that according to Howie Roseman was very high on the team’s draft board. The front office and coaching staff alike seemed very excited about the selection, yes even Tom Donahoe.
From high fives to hugs to fist bumps and unfiltered celebrations it seems like the Eagles did exactly what they wanted to do heading into the draft. Howie Roseman has been underneath a tight microscope this offseason due to everything that has transpired. From the arguments with Doug Pederson on the practice field to the argument with Zach Ertz right before a game, Roseman was heavily scrutinized for also damaging the relationship between former Franchise QB Carson Wentz and the organization. Howie hasn’t been the scapegoat, instead, he’s been the villain for so many reasons but what if the issue with Howie has been the fact that he hasn’t been paired with a coaching staff that mirrors his vision?
He’s been paired with much older coaches such as Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and even Doug Pederson. All coaches who have been set in their visions due to the amount of experience they gained throughout the years and are above the age of 50 years old with much more experience in the game of football than the 45-year-old Howie Roseman. Fortunately for Howie Roseman, the franchise has chosen the likes of quite possibly the youngest staff in football. The head coach of the franchise is only 39 years old and the rest of the staff follows the same age pattern.
The excitement in Howie’s face and the look of a guy who’s happy to be “included with the guys”. Could be a good sign of things to come going forward. If Howie can manage to not overstep this young staff and do his job while allowing the coaches to do theirs, the Eagles could become a formidable franchise once again.
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