As the dust starts to settle in the Eagles war room with the 2022 NFL draft being a thing of the past, It’s easy to see that the impact of this draft will last for years to come. The football world witnessed a change in philosophy from Howie Roseman during last year’s draft as he focused on drafting players who were not only in championship programs but high-character guys who burst off the athletic charts. He doubled down in 2022.
A change of heart for Howie Roseman
It wasn’t too long ago when the Eagles shied away from those kinds of players. They didn’t want the stud receiver who lacked production but ticked all the boxes. Instead, they wanted the scholar who showed small glimpses of potential. Their theory didn’t work after that Super Bowl run. They continued to struggle in drafting impact players.
Last year changed it all. The Eagles traded up for DeVonta Smith then proceeded to draft Landon Dickerson in the second round. That was the first time the team ever drafted two players from Alabama in the same draft. They followed up by selecting Milton Williams, Zech McPherson, and Kenny Gainwell. All solid players in their own right with potential that could break through the ceiling of mediocrity.
Following the draft, the Eagles went on to have an up and down season that led to a playoff berth as the team went 7-2 in the final stretch of the season. Although they were supposed to win those final 9 games as they faced teams who weren’t as good as they were, the team still rode a high in their matchup with the Bucs which was undeniable.
Nick Sirianni continued to ride the strength of his running game as the questions surrounding Jalen Hurts continued to rise. The first-year head coach did all he could to mask the flaws of the second-year QB as they were blown out of Tampa Bay in their first playoff game together.
Starting the next chapter
As the offseason began, the team had to do their best to put out the flames of thoughts surrounding their QB position. Although they were rumored to be in on Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson to the very end, Roseman and Sirianni both continued to sell Jalen Hurts to the fan and media with no one believing them.
Would you expect any less from a fan base that witnessed you draft a QB after signing your starting QB to a record deal?
Fortunately, what you can expect is for Howie Roseman to strike while the iron is hot. Sure, the team isn’t a contender but they’re not far from it. Are they one player away? No, but they are several players away from finding their footing in what they want to accomplish.
Howie Roseman took that thought process and allowed it to led him to a historical draft for the Eagles. No one thought they would do better than they did in the last draft but they entered the weekend with two first-round picks and a goal in mind. The goal was to build in the trenches and sprinkle some flash on the side. Howie did just that. Enough flash for the entire world to witness.
The Eagles traded up to land the defensive tackle of their dreams in Jordan Davis. Davis was the rave all offseason leading up to the draft and the Eagles just couldn’t keep their claws off of him. While that draft pick was being celebrated, Howie was working tirelessly on the phone with A.J. Brown’s team on getting an extension done.
According to several reports, the Eagles and Titans had agreed upon the parameters of the trade on Wednesday, the day before the first round. Howie’s main stipulation in the trade was that an extension had to be agreed upon with A.J. Brown. It was in the final hour as the Eagles were on the clock. Right there and then, Howie set all of south Philadelphia on fire and he wouldn’t look back.
He made the kind of smart moves that winning organizations do. He drafted the heir to Jason Kelce’s throne, allowing the future Hall of Famer to pick his replacement. He then selected the steal of the draft. The smartest player in the draft according to multiple reports. The Eagles somehow came away from the draft with Jordan David, Cam Jurgens, and the number one linebacker in the nation, Nakobe Dean.
No one on God’s green earth believe this was possible. How could the Eagles land two of the anchors of the Georgia Championship team? Not only that but how could they do it back-to-back drafts with such ease. Roseman showed that he was three steps ahead of all of his counterparts and even his mentees. While Joe Douglas was celebrating an incredible draft, Howie Roseman poured water on it as he stole the show.
It seems as if last year was the beginning to the end of an era. To the end of poor drafts that left the Eagles with more questions than answers. The end of poor talent evaluation and false depictions of a team effort within the Novacare Complex. Quite possibly the end of Jeffrey Lurie keeping his hands in the cookie jar and allowing others to do their jobs.
It seems as if Howie Roseman has gone from a one-man-band to a dynamic trio with Andy Weidl and Nick Sirianni. The three have a chemistry and bond that can help take the Eagles to the next level. The Eagles have turned the corner as a franchise and have restructured their mindset and culture to one that was promised to be back in 2017. A new norm with teamwork taking center stage.
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