This is an evergreen column, meaning that it’s written every year and it never really changes. It was true in 2018, it was true in 2019, and it’s true this year.
We’re talking about Howie Roseman’s draft record, of course, five year’s worth of players in the post-Chip Kelly era that aren’t providing the contribution you probably should be getting at this point. There have been 36 players drafted since Chip was fired and Doug Pederson was hired, yet the Eagles’ starting units on both sides of the ball still feature a solid chunk of Andy Reid leftovers and free agent signings.
Let’s go down the list and check Howie’s record, as we do once per year at Crossing Broad:
Is it goofy to include 2020 picks in this? The lower round guys, probably, but the top three picks, no. They’re expected to contribute in year one.
When you go through the snap counts after two games, this is what you’re getting from Jalen Reagor, Jalen Hurts, and Davion Taylor:
103 offensive snaps, 0 defensive snaps, and 22 special teams snaps
Reagor is responsible for 100 of the offensive snaps, while Hurts has been on the field three times and Taylor has been restricted to special teams snaps only. That’s close to nothing for your 2nd and 3rd round draft picks, which ended up being a luxury pick and a project player.
K’Von Wallace has at least been on the field for the defense, playing a whopping six snaps. He’s also been on the field for special teams. Rookie Jack Driscoll started in week one and the Birds like what they have in rookie John Hightower. We’ll see how those guys develop.
Dillard is out for the season and could possibly be a bust.
Miles Sanders appears to be an absolute stud and a piece that could be here for a very long time.
JJAW, unfortunately, looks to be a stiff, while Shareef Miller was cut this year and Clayton Thorson didn’t even make it through his first training camp. Miller, for what it’s worth, was scooped up by the Carolina Panthers.
Goedert is a solid player, but they’re going to bump into a situation where they have to decide whether to extend Zach Ertz, or let him walk and give Dallas the extension instead. Maddox and Sweat have come along well, providing good value as fourth round draft picks.
The Birds seem to be down on Pryor this year, for some reason, though he’ll be starting in place of the injured Isaac Seumalo on Sunday. Jordan Mailata was a luxury pick and a guy who has only seen very limited action as converted rugby player who is still learning a new sport.
This is the one. Perhaps the ugliest draft of Howie’s tenure.
Barnett has had his moments, but has yet to develop into the type of player that other first round defensive linemen become. Sidney Jones was seen to be a steal at the time, but could not rediscover his pre-injury college form at the NFL level. Douglas is a tweener and had some ups and downs here, but went to Carolina and was ranked by PFF as the 10th best corner in week two, so go figure.
Mack Hollins stunk, Donnel Pumphrey stunk, my WVU guy Shelton Gibson disappointed me, and Nate Gerry we’d all agree probably is not an NFL starter. Qualls ended up in the XFL.
Some hits and some misses in this draft. Obviously Carson was electric in 2017 and a big reason why the Eagles and Nick Foles had home field advantage in the playoffs. Seumalo found his way into the starting lineup, as did Big V and Jalen Mills.
Smallwood contributed to the Super Bowl team (see the Chargers game that year), but ultimately was always a peripheral running option.
You have to go down the list and look at how many of these guys are starting in 2020.
It would look like this:
- Jalen Reagor
- Miles Sanders
- Andre Dillard (injured)
- Avonte Maddox
- Derek Barnett
- Nate Gerry
- Carson Wentz
- Isaac Seumalo
- Jalen Mills (in a new position)
And you could put an asterisk on Dallas Goedert, since the Birds play a lot of 12 personnel and he plays a lot of snaps. That’s nine or ten players over the last five years that have found their way into the starting lineup, and it’s not a good number. Nine divided by 36 is 25%, so only one quarter of Howie’s draft picks over the last five years have found their way to the starting lineup this season.
Otherwise, you’ve got guys like Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson in there, who were Chip selections. Andy Reid veterans are still here, too, like Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox. And you’ve got a slew of free agents like Darius Slay, Rodney McLeod, and Javon Hargrave, when he’s healthy. The rest are UDFAs or fringe guys that are borderline starters anyway.
So no, it’s not great, and it’s hurting a 0-2 team that needs to get younger and needs some cap relief. They need more out of their draft picks and need more from the guy making the picks.