Howie Roseman, Andy Weidl and Nick Sirianni
Q. Obviously a new coaching staff for you, Howie and Andy. What are some specific differences as you scout for head coach Nick Sirianni’s offense and for defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s defense in terms of the players you’re looking for? (Dave Zangaro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: First of all, the draft process has been great between the scouts, the coaches, all the personnel that have been in the building, and just wanted to thank everyone who’s involved.
It’s really a total group effort inside the building to get this going for next week, and we’re really excited about that.
Andy, why don’t you talk specifically about the question.
ANDY WEIDL: Sure. When Coach Sirianni got here with his staff we got together with our scouts on a Zoom call, and they went over and laid out with great clarity their offense, their defense, what they’re about, and we got everybody in sync, got everybody on the same page.
A lot of the work we did in the fall, we’re bringing it over, and there’s some carryover on defense, but there’s also some nuances. The main thing is just getting on the same page, and I think we did that.
We had an excellent week of meetings last week where you saw the chemistry between the coaching staff and the scouts develop and really evolve, and I think we’re building on that, and I think what’s even more exciting is that we’re going to get all our scouts in here next week in person, and we’re going to have that connection, and that chemistry is going to continue to build.
It comes back to knowing what you’re looking at and knowing what you’re looking for. Coach Sirianni, Coach Gannon, Coach Steichen [offensive coordinator Shane Steichen] and their staff, they did a really good job of laying that out for us with clarity.
Q. I have a three-part question in regard to the guard position. I’ll ask all three and you can answer in whatever order you prefer. Do you view Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker as tackles or guards at the next level? Two, if you view either of those guys as guards, would they be legitimate options for you in the first round even if there isn’t an obvious starting spot waiting for them on day one? And thirdly, do you view OL Isaac Seumalo as possible heir apparent to C Jason Kelce at center, and how do you factor in his versatility when you make draft decisions? (Jimmy Kempski)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I’ll answer the third part and then Andy, hand off one and two to you if that works. In terms of Isaac, Isaac gives us tremendous flexibility to take the best player at either of those two spots, because he does have the ability to be a good starting center. Obviously, we’ve seen him play guard.
So, having a guy like that allows us to not force either of those two positions.
ANDY WEIDL: I think with Vera-Tucker and Slater, we’re aware of their talents. One thing in this business, the more versatility, the more you can do, the more hats you can wear, that adds to your value, obviously.
Where we see them, we’re going to keep that within our own discussions that we have with our staffs, but we’re well aware of their talents, and we’re well aware of their versatility.
Q. Howie and Andy, you’ve got 11 picks in this draft but five of them are in the sixth and seventh rounds, where the success rate kind of dramatically drops. Howie, you used to always say that you look for one trait in a guy when you’re drafting in those rounds and look for — whether it’s a special teams quality, something else. Is that still the approach? How are you approaching those picks in this draft? (Paul Domowitch)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We’re constantly trying to study the guys who have hit late and the guys who have hit as undrafted free agents and trying to replicate that as we get into the later rounds.
But the flexibility of having those picks also gives you opportunity if you wanted to move up in a particular round.
But when we’re looking for late guys, we are looking for guys who have traits. We’re still looking to try to find guys who can be role players or even develop into starters in those rounds. We’re not trying to draft backups.
Q. I’ve got a question for Howie and Andy. There’s been a lot of criticism about how your drafts have panned out over the last few years. What do you say to those concerned about your draft history going into this draft, and what have you learned or changed in your approach from the last few years? Andy, what have you learned since taking over the job last year that has kind of changed the way you handled building the board? (Mike Kaye)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think the first part about that is we’re proud of our group of scouts and our front office who have contributed to our team. It hasn’t always been perfect. The draft is an inexact science. When you look at hit rates throughout the draft and where you’re picking, whether it’s in the first round and going down less and you look at the rest of the league, it’s certainly an inexact science. We’re constantly striving to do better.
But at the same time, we have a lot of good players on this team who have been through those drafts and been part of the draft process.
But this process, this year with the coaches, with the scouts has allowed us to really sit down and talk about a lot of these things and figure out the best way to maximize our 11 picks in this draft.
Obviously even looking forward to next year and already having four picks in the first two rounds, that’s exciting. And we’re really excited about the opportunity to add to this football team next week.
ANDY WEIDL: I’d say what I’ve learned is that — what I’ve touched on earlier is adjusting with the new coaching staff, and our staff is, as well, and finding players that fit the program that Nick is establishing here and Howie. We’re an extension of the coaching staff ultimately, the scouts, and we want to go out and find the players that best fit this program that are going to come in and hit the ground and go.
I think when you have alignment between that and like we had last week, you had a bunch of people talking about players, how they saw them, their viewpoint, and there’s no ego involved, you’re just trying to get the player right, and ultimately that’s what we’re trying to do is get the player right for the Philadelphia Eagles.
When you have that alignment and everybody is in sync, great things are possible.
Q. How have you overcome the challenge of not having the scouting combine this year? (Nick Fierro)
ANDY WEIDL: Well, what we were able to do this year is, first of all, our scouts, they deserve to be commended. They went above and beyond this spring going to pro days. COVID — scouts and their families are not immune to COVID. I think it’s touched all of us in one way or another, and our scouts, we had great coverage. They went on the road; they got the job done. Those guys should be commended.
There were a ton of us that went down to the Senior Bowl this year. We did have the Senior Bowl. We got a lot of work done there. Typical years we interview 15 to 16 guys. This year we interviewed every player down there, so that was about 128 interviews, and we got to know those players and we got a feel for them.
Then we brought that information home, we relayed it to Howie and Nick, and we had Zoom interviews, follow-ups, and it was their chance to get to know them after we had the initial experience down in Mobile, Alabama.
We’re building with that. It’s a challenge every team has to face, but there’s no doubt we have the people here that are up to it, and we’re excited for next week.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Andy gave the opportunity for all the scouts, whether at the Senior Bowl or pro days, to say they weren’t comfortable doing that. And every single one of them said, ‘I want to do whatever I can to help this football team.’ Just re-emphasizing how appreciative we are of them.
And then what we decided is because we didn’t have the combine like we normally do, we were going to bring the combine to Philly. Our coaches did an unbelievable job of taking all the guys that we would have interviewed at the combine in Indianapolis and would have had here in Philadelphia and interviewing all of those guys.
So just really appreciative to Coach and his staff to take all the time to do that, and we continue to do the other things that we do, the psychological reports, and put ourselves in the best possible situation for next week.
NICK SIRIANNI: I thought that was a fantastic idea by Howie to have those meetings on Zoom. And really what we felt like is we got a lot of work done there. At the combine you’re limited to how many times you can talk to them, how long you can talk to them for, and we were able to — every player that they gave us, that Andy and his staff, and Howie and his staff gave us, we were able to get meaningful conversations, not under a time limit.
It was just great work by the scouts and by the assistant coaches to get that work done on the players and really get to know the players.
In a lot of aspects, I think we got way more out of those meetings than we do out of Indy.
Q. Howie, it’s pretty well documented at this point that the first two picks last year weren’t true to the scouting board that you guys had. Wondering what we should expect this year, and have there been any tweaks to the process? (Tim McManus)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think when you talk about how you arrive at a final grade, you’re trying to get obviously what the guys who have been on the road and done all the work done, and also get what Andy talked about, the perspective of the fit and the vision from the coaching staff.
Because at the end of the day, when they’re on the field, they’re the coaches, and the vision has to fit what they’re looking for at each position.
And so for us going through that last week and being able to do that and having these guys in person next week, which we haven’t had the scouts in the building since last February, I think that it’s been a really good process. We’re really excited about the conversations we’ve had, the difficult conversations that we’ve had, and having open dialogue about some of the disagreements and how the fit is.
After that we get back together and we talk about where those guys go on our board.
I think we’re all on the same page here. We’re all really excited for the opportunity next week.
Q. To follow up on that, the fact that you guys weren’t able to get together last year because of the pandemic, do you think that affected the collaborative process? And also Nick, just the second part of this, this is your sort of first time as a head coach. You’ve obviously been through this process before with other organizations, but how have things changed for you? (John McMullen)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We learned a lot about the process last year. Obviously unique the first time that we’re doing all of these on Zoom and there are a lot of lessons learned. I think where we are right now is just excited about the teamwork that we had throughout this process with the coaches, with the scouts, with our front office.
We’ll move from there to make sure we have a tremendous draft this year. The book hasn’t been written on last year’s draft, either, so excited for those guys to get with Coach and his staff.
NICK SIRIANNI: As far as being able to watch the entire draft class, that’s the biggest difference, obviously, for me. Last year and the previous years as a position coach or as a coordinator, obviously I was spending most of my time on the offensive side.
What was really great for me is when I was watching these defensive players, it kind of — for me it was giving the perspective as an offensive coach on what I thought of the defensive player.
That’s really what Howie had asked me to do when I was looking at defensive players [is ask questions like], ‘As an offensive coach, how would you game plan against this guy?’ I’m not trying to be an expert on something that I’m not, but I’d spend a lot of time watching defensive ends. I spend a lot of time watching corners in my career as a coach.
So it was more about like, ‘Hey, here’s how we would game plan against them,’ and as a result I think it kind of opened Jonathan’s eyes about what I was seeing and how I would attack these players.
And as a result of that, I actually got an idea of what I felt about offensive players, even a bigger view of my thoughts of offensive players. As I’m watching corners, receivers are sticking out or not sticking out. As I’m watching defensive ends, O-linemen are sticking out or not sticking out.
I love the process of being able to watch everybody. Shoot, I wish I would have been doing that for a long time as an offensive coach, because it really did help me not only give the perspective to the defense but also of what I thought further on the offensive players.
Q. Howie, why did you trade back from No. 6 and what does it have to do with the quarterback situation there, and are we to take this as QB Jalen Hurts is now the starter of this team? (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: The reason we traded back from 6 to 12 was because flexibility creates opportunity. And for us, having an extra first-round pick, when you go back and look at things that are hard to acquire, that is one of the hardest things to acquire is a team’s first-round pick in the following year and to move back six spots.
But what we really had to do is sit there and go, ‘Who are the 12 players in this draft we would feel really good about? Are there 12 players in this draft that we feel really good about?’ And I think that’s what we’re going to do throughout this draft.
If you move back, it’s because you feel like you have a bunch of guys that are the same value, and you’d be really happy getting one and getting the extra volume from that pick. If you move up, it’s because your board kind of drops off at that point. And if you select it’s because you feel like it’s the last player in that sort of range.
When we discussed this, I think those were really the things we were discussing about moving back, and when you’re moving back early, you have to feel like you’re getting a premium, and we felt like we were getting a premium to do that.
What was the second part of the question?
Q. Yeah, how it relates to the quarterbacks in that maybe you wouldn’t have gotten one at No. 6, and are we to take this as an endorsement of Jalen Hurts as the starter for next season? (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I’d say that when we get the call and we’re having the discussions with Miami and we’ve got to figure out who they’re trading with to be able to answer their question whether we would move back. So once we found out that it was San Francisco, we knew that three quarterbacks were going to be off the board in the first three picks.
So it allowed us to lock in even more on who the guys would be that would be available at 12. Like we talked about when we had our last media opportunity, we’re going to evaluate every player, and nothing is off the table.
Q. And Hurts? We didn’t get an answer on Hurts. Or maybe Nick can answer that. (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: To name any starters at this particular time, we’ve been working with these guys for two days, right? We’ve been working with these guys for two days. My biggest thing is competition. Again, we’ve talked a little bit about my core values. It’s my second core value. It’s this team’s second core value. Competition is a huge thing.
We’re going to have competition at every position.
Q. If you look at the stats, wide receiver and defensive back seem to be the lowest percentage of draft picks. I was wondering why you guys feel that might be the case and what you can do to overcome it as far as picking them this year because they seem to be two of your biggest needs? (Martin Frank)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I’ll talk a little bit about wide receivers. The wide receiver transition in the National Football League has historically been tough. Over the last couple years, the hit rates have been a little bit more improved, and that’s because when you’re talking about the kind of coverages, they’re facing in college football, it’s different than what’s going on in the National Football League.
There may be a matchup in college football where the fourth corner who is never going to have an opportunity to play in the National Football League is guarding them in college because that’s kind of a matchup, where here, the third and fourth corners are really good players.
Andy, do you want to talk a little bit about defensive backs?
ANDY WEIDL: Sure, I think with the defensive backs this year, you’re going to find these guys’ history shown at all levels. We’re going to find guys that come in and fit with Coach Gannon [Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon] and his defense, [what] they require and they need. So, we’re looking forward to that. We’re going to get going. We had great meetings last week about defensive backs and we’ve got an opportunity with 11 picks to hit on a couple guys next week.
We’re looking forward to that, and we’ll get going here soon.
Q. As a follow-up on the wide receivers, we’ve spoken to you guys in the past few years about weighing college production versus future projection. As an organization, where guys stand on that debate now? And then also, when you look at a player who might be an outlier when it comes to either height, weight, or speed, how do you weigh that compared to what you’ve seen in the past? (Zach Berman)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think the first part is good players come in all shapes and sizes, and so we’re not going to discriminate based on any of those things.
Coach, do you want to talk a little bit about receivers?
NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, with receivers, to me it’s about how you’re going to get these guys the football early on, and do they have the skill sets of things that you can feed them early on. And some of those things are like slants and jet sweeps and screens and stuff like that. Do they have the skill set that allows them to get easy touches?
Because Howie talked about it – college football and pro football, completely different things for that receiver out there. When it’s out there on the island, those guys that they might not even throw at — a lot of colleges are saying, oh, that guy is a second-round pick. I’m not even throwing to him. I’ll go over to the other side, because this guy over here, he’s not going to get drafted.
So, there’s a huge difference in the things that they have to see week in and week out. That’s a learning curve. They’ve got to get used to releasing off the ball. That’s a big thing. When these corners are up in your face, they’ve got to get used to releasing off the football and winning off the football.
What else do they got to get used to? They’ve got to get used to catching the ball in traffic and catching the ball with bodies around them. Usually there’s no bodies around them. They get open so much that they’re right here and there’s no bodies around them. And so now they’re catching the ball here, and boom, the ball is getting smacked out of their hands. I shook the camera or shook the thing a little bit. I’m sorry, but I’m excited. We’re talking about wide outs. (laughter)
So, it’s just a different game. It’s trying to see how you’re going to get them the football early on because in my past we’ve had some receivers that had some success early on because we made it an effort to say, hey, he might not be able to win at this yet, but he can win at this, or we can get him easy touches here. So, it’s trying to see if he can do those things that you feel like — and I just mentioned a couple of them, I’m not going to try to give you all the information on these receivers — but what he can do early on, and then does he have it in his body as a wide receiver to win at the line of scrimmage. Does he have that shake with the ball in his hands, because you might not ever see him with a guy right up in his face. Does he have that strength when the ball is in the air to go pluck it out of the air.
It’s doing your best to try to see, again, how you’re going to get him the football and does he have the skill set that [we are] going to require him to have when playing in a different type of game of the NFL.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: And this is what will happen. Coach will go through a receiver and he’ll walk in to [talk to] Andy and I and say, ‘All right, this is how I’m going to use them. These are the routes that I am going to use for this receiver that you’re going to see on the field.’ So, you have a vision in your eye about how this player is going to fit, which is awesome.
NICK SIRIANNI: And that right there is just how we coach. We are trying to explain to Andy and Howie, like — how do we explain to our players how we want to run a play? The videotape. Let’s look at the videotape. I’ve got a screen behind me. That’s where we would watch tape on. Boom, let’s watch the videotape. Here’s what we’re looking for, players out there, Eagle players out there. Here’s what we want it to look like. Well, it’s the same thing here in the scouting process. Hey, here’s how we would use this player. Here’s the skill set this player has and here’s how we’ve used this type of player in the past, just to expand on that just a little bit more.
Q. Howie, you talked about the flexibility you have with all of your picks and in trading back, and you have the ability to make another trade in the first round on draft night. I’m not going to ask you if you want to or plan on it, but most of the time when you do make a move in the first round, has it been something that just takes place there that night or has there been some planning or thought going into it? (John Clark)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, you know, all of that planning and thought and conversations, they’re happening right now. We’re talking to teams in front of us and figuring out like what that would look like, because when you’re on the clock that’s harder to do. You don’t want to get into a negotiation when you’re on the clock, when another team is on the clock.
You want to make sure that you understand what they’re looking for and what you’re willing to do. We’ll talk to teams in front of us. We’ll talk to every team in the league. We’ll talk to teams in back of us. We’ll figure out what they’d be willing to do if their guy is there.
Now, it’s all contingent on a player being there, but we try to have all that homework done. And you know this, we’ve had the conversation before where the trade’s compensation is done before the draft, and it’s like, hey, the guy is there; we pick up the phone and we say, ‘You ready to roll, you ready to roll,’ and it’s done.
Q. Do you have any possible compensation worked out with any teams right now? (John Clark)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Without getting into specifics, we talk about those things — when we’re having the conversations we’re saying, ‘Hey, if you want to move up, what are you thinking, if you want to move back.’ We made a trade already where we moved back and had that done.
That’s what we’re trying to do now in the week leading up to the draft is have those conversations, and if someone is saying, ‘Hey, it would take this for you to move up’ or someone is saying, ‘I’d only trade this for you to move back,’ we can cross those guys off the list a little bit and understand they’re probably not serious bidders.
NICK SIRIANNI: You know what’s kind of cool here is that the things a coach goes through throughout a week to get ready for a game, it feels like the same thing the general manager and the scouts go through to get ready for the draft.
I know you didn’t ask me that question, but I’m going to answer it a little bit, too [jokingly/laughter]. It’s the same thing. All the work — if you think you’re just going to call a play when the 40-second clock starts to tick down, you’re crazy. You’re not going to do that.
You did all the work on Monday through Saturday to get ready for Sunday. It’s the same thing. It’s just a longer process with the draft, which I think is so cool, because Howie can kind of put himself in my shoes and I can kind of put myself in Howie’s shoes. I think it’s awesome.
Q. My question is for Andy and Nick. We’ve talked a lot here about syncing the scouts up with the coaching staff in terms of what’s important. What can you tell us about that, particularly Nick, about what type of player is a Nick Sirianni player, what’s important to your offense that you think you need, and we haven’t had a chance to talk to Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, but I wonder what are his needs defensively that might be different from what was needed previously? (Les Bowen)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a good question. You know, as far as — obviously talent is the most important thing, right. We’ve got to have talented players because those are the guys that go out and they make plays when the game is on the line. They make the plays in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, talent. So it is looking at the different skill sets of guys.
But like Howie said, every player comes in different shapes, different sizes, different speeds. They’re all different. It’s about finding like okay, this guy has speed, we’ll use him this way. This guy has power, we’ll use him this way. This guy has — right, and it’s explaining that to the scouts. And just, again, it’s the same thing.
Hey Jalen Reagor, we want you to run this route this way, let me show you. Here you go.
Hey Andy, hey Howie, here’s how we would use this specific skill set, whether that’s running back, tight end, wide receiver, quarterback, offensive line, any position on defense.
But I think — so again, talent. But talent looks different every way.
But I think the things that are pretty common for good players that we’ve been around is it does take something that they have inside. It takes something that they have inside.
One thing that we did as a coaching staff and as scouts when we are interviewing these players, we tried to figure out does this guy love football, is this guy competitive, is this guy tough, does this guy have a high football IQ?
We were trying to answer those questions on every one because when you’re competitive, when you’re tough, when you have a high football IQ and when you love football, you’re going to take your skill talent, you’re going to take your talent, everything that God blessed you with talent-wise and you’re going to maximize that.
That’s what we’ve seen. That’s what we’ve seen like with all the players that we’ve coached.
Sometimes those guys aren’t the most talented, but they maximize it and they pass guys’ talent level.
Yes, we’re looking for certain skill sets and we’re trying to explain when we’re looking for these skill sets how we would use them and then what’s inside of that player. What does he have in here. That’s huge. That’s huge, because that player is — again, I know I said it three times, I’m going to say it four times, that player is going to maximize his skill and his development.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: And there’s two things just to add on to that. One, the way the coaches found out about competitiveness because we’re in a virtual world, they’re not in the building, it was unique. It was kind of fun to see that, and then they’re ranking their competitiveness through some games, and Coach can talk about that a little if he wants to, and then I think the second part is too when they tell us how they’re using guys it allows us to think about the value, about is this guy going to play three downs, is this guy a role player, and it helps us when we’re putting together our board figure how the exactly what that value is going to be for our football team for our schemes which helps in the grand scheme of things.
NICK SIRIANNI: I think some of you guys are wondering like what — we didn’t go earth shattering on these games, right. I played couple of them at rock, paper, scissors. It was as easy as that. Rock, paper, scissors, let’s see how competitive you are. I’m competitive. I’m going to be talking trash to them. Did you talk trash back to me?
Jeopardy, there’s different ways to do it, it looks a lot of different ways, but our coaches got so creative with this. [Eagles run game coordinator/offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland, [Eagles quarterbacks coach] Brian Johnson, like they did – [Eagles wide receivers coach] Aaron Moorehead, they all did a great job. [Eagles defensive line coach] Tracy Rocker, [Eagles director of player personnel/senior defensive assistant] Jeremiah Washburn, they all did a great job of just figuring out how to compete, because everyone’s compete looks a little different. I get up there I play them rock, paper, scissors. They got a little more creative than I did at times.
It was awesome, though, because it did — anything you compete at, when you compete with somebody that’s competitive, they’re going to go at you no matter what game you’re playing.
[Jokingly] We’ll play rock, paper, scissors when we get in person together.
Q. Question for Nick specifically: A lot of the young players last year talked a lot about how much they missed not having OTAs and how much of a setback it was. For you, how big a blow is it not having OTAs, especially with these young guys who need to learn new offense, new defense, new schemes? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think that one thing that you’re happy with is that everyone is in the same boat. Of course I would love the players to be on the field with us. Of course. Like the more I can be around the players, Zoom, in person, the better. And especially when you get them on the field and you’re able to teach techniques.
But what we — you know, I don’t want to reference Indy too much, but we really got a good — like last year in Indianapolis, we figured out ways. We figured out ways to maximize the online — the Zoom portion of it. We maximized it.
I know we did a great job of it. We figured out what — we were given a situation and we had to adapt. Huh, that sounds a lot like football. Hey, we thought they were going to play Cover-3. Oh, they’re playing Cover-2. Adapt or get passed up.
Oh, we thought they were bringing this slot nickel pressure. Well, they brought the strong safety pressure the other way, right. Adapt or get whooped. A tribute to [Colts head coach] Frank [Reich]. He kind of got us going on that. Hey, figure out how we’re going to maximize the learning of — you know, last year in Indy we had a new quarterback.
We were kind of in a similar spot. We had to maximize the things that we had to do to do as much as we could to get everything we could out of him. What is that? Without giving everything away, I’ll give you a couple things, but it was making sure that the meetings were interactive. We’re in Zoom. I’m not sure every one of you — we’re in Zoom right now. I’m sure not every one of you is listening intently because there are other things going around in your basements or in your house or in your car or wherever you are.
And so we’ve got to make those interactive.
So when I call, Hey Les, I call on you, you’ve got to answer. It’s just trying to find interactive ways to do things.
You know, there’s a lot of different things. We have a creative group of guys. We kind of came up and we said — we had a staff meeting and we said, Hey, here’s what we did in Indy and how we maximized how we were going to learn in the Zoom meetings. What else did you do? [Eagles defensive backs coach] Dennard [Wilson], what did you do in New York? [Eagles defensive coordinator] Jonathan [Gannon], what did you do on the defensive side of the ball? I wasn’t over there. You do things just like we do with the draft. You do it together to figure out how you’re going to get the most out of the players.
Q. When you look at the way the wide receiver room is currently comprised, you guys don’t have that many bigger wide receivers right now. Are you guys going to place an emphasis on potentially getting, say, a true X receiver in this draft as opposed to or potentially looking at another Z-type guy? (Chris Franklin)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I think, again, these guys come in different shapes and sizes.
What’s an X receiver look like? Well, I’ve had different Xs. I’ve had [Colts WR] TY Hilton who was 5’9″, 180 pounds. He played X for us.
I’ve had [former Chiefs WR] Dwayne Bowe who was 6’2″, 220 pounds. He played X for us.
I had [Chargers WR] Keenan Allen who was 6’3”, 200 — all these guys that I’m saying, TY was fast; Keenan was quick, not fast; Dwayne Bowe was powerful. They all played different.
So it’s just a matter of can that guy do what you want, that person to do on the outside. Really when you say X, it’s can he win one-on-one match-ups consistently.
So it’s just who can do that. Who can win the one-on-one match-up consistently so the quarterback can take the ball, go one, two, three, four, five, hitch throw, ball’s out, everybody is better in front of him because of it. He’s better because it’s one-on-one out there, and that guy looks different all across the league.
It looks different across the league.
[Former Steelers and Buccaneers WR] Antonio Brown has been that X; [Falcons WR] Julio Jones has been that X; [Browns WR] Odell Beckham has been that X. All these guys come in different shapes and sizes. Can you do what I just said, can you win consistently one-on-one.
Q. Howie, there’s been a lot of talk this off-season about Eagles Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Lurie’s involvement in the draft process. I was wondering if you could walk us through maybe how involved he is, and then during the actual draft, how heavy is his voice in making the final selection? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think that Jeffrey’s involvement is very similar to — it’s the same as it’s always been. He’s there to make sure that he’s looking through our process, and if he’s got any questions about why we’re doing things, we’re going to go and have those discussions about why the process looks like it does, why our draft board — just based on the descriptions that the coaches and the scouts are giving of this player.
He’s taking notes on those. Those aren’t his evaluations, those are based on the coaches and scouts and making sure they fit in terms of what he’s looking for from that value, that spot.
If we’re talking about a guy in the first round and we’re talking about him as a role player, he may stand up and say, Wait a minute, is that really what we’re looking for in a first-round pick? He’s not saying this is my opinion, this guy is a role player or not.
In terms of his role in the draft room, the draft room, 90 percent of the time the work is done. It’s all done, and you’re just picking them off based on where it is.
Now, you may get in a situation where you have a couple of guys and you’re trying to decide based on them having the same grade. In terms of what his role is, again, like he’s listening to the conversations that we’re having on there, and if he hears something that doesn’t really make sense based on some of the meetings we’re having he may say, Hey, I remember in that meeting Jonathan Gannon felt like this wasn’t a guy who really fit his system.
I’m making something up. He may jump in that like. But he’s not jumping in terms of saying I had this guy higher so let’s go and select that guy.
Q. Howie, a lot has been made about the Eagles not taking a player from the University of Alabama since 2002 when WR Freddie Milons came. Why is that, do you think? And when you look at some of the decisions you make, do you factor in a school’s program or its coaching staff? And then also for Andy, this isn’t a very strong group of defensive linemen apparently, not very deep. What’s your take on it, Andy? (Ed Kracz)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know, I’d like to joke and say it’s something about being a Florida grad with Alabama, but the reality is my wife’s family is from Mobile and they’re Alabama fans.
You know, I think we look at Alabama as a program that’s incredibly well run. The NFL players that come out of there are ready to play and ready to go. I know there’s a lot of guys on our draft board at the University of Alabama not only in this draft but in a lot of other drafts.
Tremendous respect for [Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban and what they’ve done there, and we would be excited to add players from the University of Alabama.
ANDY WEIDL: With regard to the defensive line class, time will tell. Time will tell with this class how good it is, how good it was.
I know this: Just the history of the draft, you can find defensive linemen at all different levels. You’ve got [Ravens DE] Arthur Jones and [Ravens LB] Pernell McPhee with the Ravens in day three, and those guys were instrumental in helping us win a Super Bowl in 2012.
They’ll be there, and we’ve vetted these guys. We know these guys, spent a lot of time with them, Coach Washburn, Coach Rocker have done an unbelievable job interviewing them and evaluating them, and we’ve had great discussions.
Time will tell with this class what it is, and we’ll see where the players are and what they turn into.