Eagles Press Conference Notes: Draft Flexibility, Jalen Hurts, Offensive line
The end of draft season is almost here.
One week from today, the Eagles will make their selection and we will be introduced to the newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles family.
On Wednesday, Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman, vice president of player personnel Andy Weidel and head coach Nick Sirianni took turns answering questions about the draft process and more.
One of the more interesting responses from Roseman came when asked about why he made the move to trade from the No. 6 spot in the draft back to the No. 12 spot.
"Flexibility creates opportunity," Roseman stated.
"For us, having an extra first-round pick, that's one of the hardest things to acquire, a first-round pick in the following year."
There is a lot to unpack with that statement, but Roseman's comments can lead us down a long and winding road.
Having more picks, obviously allows them to make more picks, but there is also opportunity to move if they have a player they covet in this draft. The team is currently picking 12th, but what if there is a player they like that starts to fall to the 7-9 spots of the draft. They now have the ability to move back up to get to that spot, while adding more draft capital in next years draft.
Through trades, the team has added multiple picks that can be used to maneuver in this years draft.
- a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft (from Colts)
- a conditional second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft (from Colts)
- a fourth-round selection (123rd overall), and a 2022 first-round selection (from Miami)
- a 2021 fifth-round selection (from Cowboys)
- a seventh-round selection (from SF)
To make a move from No. 12 to say No. 8 or 9, the team can use the extra third-round selection, or use their own third-round selection to move to grab a player they like.
Another possible scenario would be moving back in the draft. With the Eagles sitting at No. 12, don't be surprised if Roseman adds more picks to move back in the draft to take an offensive lineman, an area the Eagles have drafted many times in the past with success.
If Roseman can add another second-round pick to move back three spots with New England to 15, that can't be ruled out, with two players that could be targeted in that range.
One is USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker and the other is Northwestern's Rashawn Slater.
I think the team gave us some insight to the possibility of drafting either of those players when asked about veteran guard Isaac Seumalo on Wednesday.
"Isaac gives us tremendous flexibility," Roseman explained. "He has the ability to be a good stating center, we've seen play guard. Having a guy like that allows us to not have to force either of those two positions."
Weidel added the the team was aware of both players, and that their versatility adds to their value. Both players can play both guard and tackle, and some even think Slater could play center if needed.
"We're well aware of the talents, and we're well aware of their versatility," Weidel stated.
When it comes to quarterback Jalen Hurts, a lot was made that the team did not use Wednesday's platform to name him the starter, which shouldn't come as a surprise. When a team hires a new coach, he wants to preach competition, and coming out and handing someone a job simply isn't in a new coaches DNA.
The team spoke volumes when it traded Carson Wentz and then moved from No. 6 to No. 12, that Hurts was their guy, even though Sirianni didn't make that proclamation on Wednesday.
"To name any starters at this particular time - we've been working with these guys for two days - my biggest thing is competition, where going to have competition at every position," Sirianni stated.
Hardly a slight, more the message of the press conference, including Sirianni much ballyhooed story about playing rock, paper, scissors that has been blown out of proportion.
"Its just coach speak,"said ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst Louis Riddick on KJZ on 97.3 ESPN.
"I've never heard a coach say, sitting in April, we have our 22 man depth chart carved out and everyone else is competing for backup roles. I've never heard a coach say that."
"Competition is a big part of his philosophical sell he gave to Jeffery Lurie and quarterback is not exempt from that, nor in this case should it be."
The story was meant to show creative ways to see how competitive potential draft picks are without the ability to interact with them in person. The team hasn't been able to bring draft prospects in the building due to COVID protocols, so meetings are happening over Zoom or Teams calls.
Rest assured, unless something bizarre happens, Hurts will be the starter.
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