It’s serious because Andy and Howie need some good hits and some good luck from the 2012 Draft in order to continue their current regime.
Balancing positional need against Best Player Available philosophy should not be so complicated, according to GM Howie Roseman, who’s entering his third season. In most cases, Howie knows the team should simply trust its meticulous evaluations and choose the highest-rated players available whenever it is their turn to pick in the draft, regardless of how deep they already may be at that particular spot.
Of course, it’s never that easy to stick to BPA discipline, which is part of the fun for us as fans and viewers of the process. We know what they need, but they know what they want…and there’s the inherent dramatic tension which equals entertainment value.
“It’s very hard because of the way this league is now and the nature of it”, said Roseman this past week — and the pressure on everyone to sit there, when you have this need sticking out at you and you know that you have a player ranked higher, to still take that best player, because you want to win right now. If you go back to what’s in the best long-term interests of the franchise as opposed to really what’s in your best interests, you’re going to make the right decision…”
“If we take the best player and add competition, that will only bring good things for our team. There are some variations in that. If you have guys closely graded and you [have a need at a] specific spot, you’re going to take that position. But if there’s any variation in the grade, we’re going to take the best player.”
Roseman admitted the team might have deviated from that approach in past years, particularly last season, because the feeling was that it just needed one or two final pieces to complete a bona fide Super Bowl contender.
The reaches have been obvious, though not always the wrong moves.
Last season, they addressed an immediate need with their first-round pick when they chose offensive lineman Danny Watkins That worked out pretty well.
In the second round, however, their decision to fill another need by reaching for Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett backfired, as Jarrett spent most of the time drowning in a system he either couldn’t absorb…Later, the Eagles filled a huge need by drafting Nebraska kicker Alex Henery in the fourth round. Henery turned out to be perhaps their best value.
Still, there have been more whiffs than hits since Roseman took over in 2010, when the Eagles traded up to draft defensive end Brandon Graham in the first round, added end Daniel T’eo-Nesheim in the third round and linebacker Ricky Sapp and running back Charles Scott in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.
Their 2011 draft cannot yet be graded fairly, because nobody knows yet whether third-round cornerback Curtis Marsh or fourth-round linebacker Casey Matthews or fifth-round guard Juliam Vandervelde will turn out to be steals or busts.
No matter. Roseman is particularly excited about the 2012 season because it will represent the first in which everything has a chance to come together during his tenure. Roseman also pointed out how this has been the first year in which any of his draft picks have spent a full offseason in the Eagles’ program.
“You feel like this is the first year that really the playing field is level and it is what it was supposed to be. I’m really excited about that,” he said. “I’m excited about our football team that we have now, excited to add to that, and excited about the future.”
Well, the fun of speculation over the future and the beginning of the actual NFL season begins now. Let’s raise a libation and enjoy the commentary below of our good friends who know a lot more than I do about the Draft prospects in play tonight… And yes, it is a party!