Eagles GM Howie Roseman Addresses ‘What If’ Bijan Robinson Decision

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AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 25: Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) scores a touchdown during the game against the Baylor Bears on November 25, 2022, at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX. (Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire)

There has been a lot of speculation about what the Philadelphia Eagles would have done had Bijan Robinson been on the board when they made their first pick. It’s kind of wasted breath at this point. Robinson wasn’t available and Jalen Carter — a player heavily linked to the Eagles for months — was there for the taking.

Done deal. Conversation over, right? Not quite.

Howie Roseman reflects on Bijan Robinson & Jalen Carter decision in the NFL Draft

SportsRadio 94WIP’s Jon Ritchie and Joe DeCamara posed the question to Eagles general manager Howie Roseman on May 2. They didn’t get a direct answer, with Roseman preferring to focus on what happened rather than what would have happened.

“I think at the end of the day, we got the right guys,” Roseman said, “and there is no what if here, there is what is. I just made that line up.”

Instead, the Eagles traded up one spot to grab Jalen Carter at No. 9. The 6-foot-3, 314-pounder had been high on their draft board from the jump despite all the character concerns stemming from legal troubles and reports of him clashing with coaches. Howie Roseman isn’t worried.

“We feel like we have a lot of good people in this building, on and off the field. That doesn’t guarantee anything but that doesn’t guarantee anything for anyone you are going to draft,” Howie Roseman told SportsRadio 94WIP.

“And we felt like throughout the process, getting to know Jalen, getting to know his family, getting to know our structure and the people we have around here, we thought that he’s got a chance for success. Obviously, incredibly talented guy who had a really, really rough spring and when you look at his total body of work at the University of Georgia. The on-field stuff is unbelievable and we gotta work with him to make sure he’s in a position to be the best version of himself that he possibly can be.”

Roseman Addresses Fans Wanting Him Fired in 2020

It wasn’t that long ago that the City of Brotherly Love wanted Roseman removed from his corner office and sent to a different zip code. Things were falling apart following a 4-11-1 season. Carson Wentz was benched, then Doug Pederson was fired. Roseman appeared to be the root of every problem … that is, until his decision to draft Jalen Hurts panned out.

Now he’s the envy of rival front-office executives around the league. Roseman tuned out the outside noise and went back to work. The whole experience fueled him to work smarter while serving as motivation to prove his doubters wrong. Two years later, the Eagles went back to the Super Bowl.

Howie roseman
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, center, stands with defensive end Brandon Graham (55) offensive tackle Lane Johnson (65), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and center Jason Kelce (62) after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Eagles won 31-7. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“All it does is continue to drive me. I want to continue to do all the right things for the people here. I want us to get back to the top of the mountain,” Roseman told SportsRadio 94WIP. “And I love being here and I understand this is an institution that’s going to be here for a long, long, long way after I’m gone. And I’m just going to try and do the best job I possibly can to make the people of this city happy and proud and when I make mistakes I wear them.

“And I think, for me, all I try to do is to learn from the things that I don’t do right and try and continue to make good decisions so we can have a lot of fun in the fall. I’m not going to be perfect, but I promise you I’m going to do the best I can.”

Georgia Bulldogs Reunited in Philadelphia thanks to Howie ROseman

The Eagles have been having fun with their new-found reputation as the preferred landing spot for Georgia football stars. They drafted Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean in 2022, then added Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Kelee Ringo in 2023. They also traded for D’Andre Swift. The Georgia connection is real. And the team quickly embraced it by posting a reunion photo on Twitter:

Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire