The Eagles’ Face a Challenge in Rookie Free Agency
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles are currently without a second- or third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and if that stays status quo, the rookie free agent market is one that could be even more important this year.
And that might be a problem.
Every year this is a mad dash for the top undrafted talent after things wrap up in the selection process but there is a method to the madness from an agent's perspective.
A representative's job is to cull the league's rosters and find the best opportunity for his client.
One of the unintended consequences of building a Super Bowl roster is the realization that those agents are likely to steer priority free agents in other directions where their clients have a better chance to gain a foothold in a particular organization, something Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas acknowledged on Thursday at the NovaCare Complex.
"You would think because we're coming off a Super Bowl and we don't have a second- or third-round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft," Douglas said before pivoting, "In my experience, coming off a Super Bowl, it's sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster, because agents and players have a perceived notion that it's going to be that much tougher to make the team."
Douglas, of course, got his first ring in Baltimore after the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII so he understands better than most the task in front of him and his staff.
"That's going to be a challenge for us, and we know it," he said. "We are going to attack it."
Two of the Eagles Super Bowl heroes from last season were undrafted, the triggerman of the "Philly Special" Trey Burton, who is now in Chicago, as well as last year's crown jewel in rookie free agency, South Jersey native Corey Clement.
"Our guys are going to do a great job recruiting these guys that slip through the cracks, like we did last year," Douglas asserted. "But it is going to be a challenge."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen