How’s He Doing?

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: | 10 Comments »

For my new SB Nation Philly column I took a look at the first two drafts of Howie Roseman.

The point wasn’t to focus on how much I liked/disliked the individual players so much as to review how Roseman handled the drafts.  Too often we judge teams based on what we like and that’s not fair.  You should try to understand what the team is doing and whether they do it well.  I learned this lesson from Bill Polian.  The Colts used to make picks every year that were so far off in value that it was ridiculous.  At some point it hit me that Polian doesn’t care about the other 31 teams.  He’s focused on the players he wants.  He goes and gets them and that’s that.  Polian has had his share of misses, but has also had plenty of hits.  I learned to judge the Colts based on how they think and not how I see their drafts.


* Roseman has taken 13 and 11 players in the two drafts.  Last year we needed a big class.  This year we didn’t need as big a group, but may have gone big due to the questions regarding the signing of UDFAs.  I don’t think taking 10 or more players will be an annual trend, but that’s just a guess on my part.

* Roseman has focused on high character players.  Most of his 24 picks were team captains.  This seems like a trend that will continue.  I’m all for this trend.  Roseman will take a character risk at some point.

* Someone made an interesting point to me about the drafts.  The person told me that Roseman took a lot of players who had real good seasons the year before we drafted them.  I analyzed this notion and there is some truth.  Early in the draft we take players coming off strong seasons.  In the middle and late rounds Roseman has taken players that he feel slipped due to an off final season or a medical concern.

Trevard Lindley – fell to the 4th round after so-so Senior year.  Some thought could have gone as early as 2nd round after Junior year.

Ricky Sapp – fell to the 5th round due to medical concerns about his knee.

Charles Scott – fell to the 6th round after up and down Senior season.  Ran for 1174 yards and 18 TDs the previous year.

Jamar Chaney – fell to the 7th round due to concerns about whether his ankle was damaged or not.

Greg Lloyd – fell to the 7th round after knee injury ruined his Senior year.

There is definite logic to doing this.  All of these players have NFL ability.  They all can play in the NFL.  The question is whether they have come all the way back from their injuries or have the durability to hold up.  We’ll see how these players do this year before we get a feel for how the strategy worked.

* Roseman has also spent mid and late round picks on smaller players.

Kurt Coleman – fell to the 7th round because teams weren’t sure he was big enough for Safety in the NFL.

Dion Lewis – fell to the 5th round because he is only 5’6, 196.

Julian Vandervelde – fell to the 5th round because he’s just under 6’2 (6017).   Small frame for an O-lineman.

Jason Kelce – fell to the 6th round because he was only 280 pounds.

Brian Rolle – fell to the 6th round becasue he was a MLB at 5’9, 218.  Bulked up to 229, but still short.

I don’t think anyone would question the skills of these players or their overall talent level.  If they were a few inches taller, all might have gone in the middle of the draft.  Instead, they fell toward the bottom.  I loved a lot of these players when I studied their game tape so I’m definitely curious to see how they pan out.  Coleman got this trend off to a good start with his play in 2010.

With a couple of drafts under his belt, we can at least figure out what Howie is thinking.  We can’t judge him as an overall GM until we have an offseason this year.  Even then, I’m not sure it’s fair to judge him yet.  The man hasn’t had one normal offseason of full free agency.  Fair or not, we’ll do it so let’s hope Howie makes the right moves.

10 Comments on “How’s He Doing?”

  1. 1 izzylangfan said at 10:23 AM on May 17th, 2011:

    Just read your article in SB Nation. I think it was a good approach to evaluating Roseman so far. But I guess I need to nitpick a bit.

    My recollection of the Winston Justice draft was that he probably fell because of character issues. I forget all the details but the Eagles apparently did their research and while Justice had done something pretty foolish it seemed that it was well in the past and that he had since matured. This judgment seems to have been correct. However, the prevailing opinion at the time that he was first round talent (save the character issue) seems to have been incorrect. Normally you would expect a first round offensive lineman to be a quality starter in his second year.

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:35 AM on May 17th, 2011:

    I think the big issue with Winston in regard to character was maturity. His worst incident at USC involved a prank with a BB gun where he tried to scare someone. Violent? No. Incredibly dumb? Yes.

    He also played to his reputation. He looked immature on the field. I had Justice listed as one of my Top 10 most overrated prospects in 2006. He had tons of talent, but was an inconsistent player.

    That inconsistency followed Justice to the NFL. He was all over the place from 2006-2008.

    Justice got married and became religious prior to the 2009 season and that stuff seemed to mature him, on and off the field. He played well at RT and looked to be a player on the rise.

    2010 was back to his inconsistent ways, but the RG situation and a knee injury didn’t help matters. 2011 will be the season that defines Justice’s career.

  3. 3 Stephen said at 1:55 PM on May 17th, 2011:

    I guess we’ll know a few years down the road what to make of Roseman’s ability to pick good players, but the early returns have to be encouraging.

    It’s a real shame that BG had that injury, considering it generally takes time for pass rushers to emerge its going to be frustrating to wait that extra time to see if he’s a good player or not.

    He’s already matched Jerome Mcdougle’s career sack total so at least he probably has no chance of busting out as badly as that trade up did.

  4. 4 Thunderlips said at 2:48 PM on May 17th, 2011:


    Since the courts have decided that we don’t need any football for awhile, do you have any take on Spud’s article about Vince Young coming to Philly? Makes some sense, although I think there will be other teams willing to make him the starter. I wouldn’t mind grabbing him after he tanks in Washington for a year or two.

  5. 5 netherman said at 3:33 PM on May 17th, 2011:

    Your article brings me to a question I have had a while. “Value” vs. “value to me”. All the talking heads seem to have a value in mind for a player in general when really it comes down to the player and the fit in a scheme. How many guys are there really who are “x” grade to any team…top 10? Top 20? Even within that, there are tandems like AJ Green vs. Julio Jones where it comes down to which flavor of ice cream you prefer. Add into that that it is hard to predict how others see people’s values relative to their own systems, people changing systems, the uncertainty of this particular off season and acquiring guys forcing people to maybe grab their targets a little early, all the smoke screens, and the smoke screens within the smoke screens, and you have a perfect storm of uncertainty about where guys could be taken, especially beyond the first 15-30 guys. While there were some choices that seemed like reaches, I am glad they targeted guys and grabbed them. It would be really interesting down the line to see an interview of some of these personnel guys saying “man I really thought this player would be there and when that team snapped them up, it threw us for a bit of a loop.” Hey, who am I kidding…these guys’ egos would probably never allow for such an honest assessment, but I bet we would be surprised.

  6. 6 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:39 PM on May 17th, 2011:

    RE: Vince Young

    He would have to embrace a backup role here in 2011. I’m not sure if he’ll do that. Also, he’s had coachability issues for a while. Vick had those issues, but prison took his ego away. VY still seems to think he’s the bees knees.

    I don’t think Vince is a likely target, but if he said the right things to Big Red and Howie, that might make them want to take a chance on him. Vince doesn’t lack talent.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:44 PM on May 17th, 2011:

    RE: Draft value

    I’m going to write something on this for ScoutsNotebook. It is a tricky subject because we just don’t know the truth from everyone. We know our value and we have some guesses, but who saw DeAndre McDaniel going undrafted? Crazy. Who thought Oregon State DE Gabe Miller would be picked ahead of RB Jacquizz Rodgers? Insane.

    As long as the pick seems reasonable and can be argued, I think it is okay. Had we taken Alex Henery at 23…bad pick. No 2 ways about it. Had we taken Temple LB Elijah Joseph at pick 54, that would have been a bad move.

    Go get your guy, but keep the picks reasonable. Jarrett was a good college player. Went to Senior Bowl. Went to Combine. Multiple teams were interested. Taking him early is reasonable.

  8. 8 netherman said at 4:07 PM on May 17th, 2011:

    One other question…how much effort do you think teams put into predicting other team’s ratings? Like, do you think an equal amount is spent rating a player vs. your own needs compared to a player vs. another team (or 31 other teams)? I know they have said they do lots of what-if scenarios, but I wonder how they decide who slots where…general concensus on grade + perceived needs of the team?

  9. 9 Dan in Philly said at 12:24 PM on May 18th, 2011:

    I’ve often thought of the following excercise to easily tell what teams draft well vs. poorly, but I don’t have the time and resources to do it.

    First, using the draft trading chart, assign every team total points for their draft positions.
    Second, find a resource which ranks the players drafted after 3 to 5 years. I’ve seen periodic excercises where they play the “if the 2007 draft were held again, knowing what we know now” game, and I suppose such has been done for almost every draft. Once the “true” draft order has been recognized in retrospect, assign every team points based on the same trade chart.
    Third, compare the two results for each year and over the years.

    Though this method has flaws, it seems to me to be a fine relatively objective way to evaluate every single team’s drafting results. I’m quite sure other paterns would emerge, such as Pittsburgh getting most of the plus value from defensive players, the Eagles’ doing the same with running backs, etc. I think it would make for an interesting article or three.

  10. 10 Wellhelloitsdan said at 4:30 PM on May 19th, 2011:

    From what I understand, Roseman’s reasoning for taking so many players is that the prevalence of injuries throughout the season makes it vital for a team to have good depth. It occurred to me that both of last year’s top draft picks ended the season on injured reserve.

    Does anyone know if certain teams, through the systems they use or the way they utilize their players, are more injury prone than others? Injuries are going to happen on every team, but are some teams more risky to play for than others?