This week marks another milestone on the NFL offseason calendar as the league’s Owners Meetings take place in Boca Raton, Florida. As NFL executives meet to discuss potential rule changes and a host of other topics, members of the Eagles’ front office, including Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie and head coach Doug Pederson, will also address the media.
Things kicked off on Monday as Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman took some time to recap the Eagles’ efforts in free agency and preview what’s on the docket in the coming weeks leading into April’s NFL Draft.
Here are some of the major takeaways from Roseman’s 10-minute meeting with the press …
Free Agency Wrapping Up, What’s Next?
Over the past few weeks, the Eagles have filled a number of needs, whether it was through re-signing young, core players like
"This is always kind of the point where you transition towards the draft," Roseman said. "It’s kind of a natural breaking point. We’re really kicking into high gear here in terms of draft preparation, and our scouts have done an unbelievable job of being on the road and being at the Pro Days and getting all of that information back, led by Tom (Donahoe), and then at some point here again we’ll have a chance to get on the road and get our coaches involved as well to see guys live."
On The Running Back Position
One of the most notable moves of the Eagles' offseason was the trade of running back DeMarco Murray to the Tennessee Titans in order to move up in the fourth round. While
“We’re building," Roseman said. "We’re looking to add depth everywhere. You take what’s in free agency and then you also take the young players in the draft and we feel really good about Ryan (Mathews) and Darren (Sproles) and Kenjon (Barner) is coming back as well, but it’s also a position that we’re constantly exploring to see if we can add some guys.
"We studied this. There’s this narrative that you can get running backs in the fifth, sixth, seventh rounds and undrafted free agency, but when you look back at the last ten years and the guys who were in the top 10 in rushing, those guys are high picks. When you find a special guy at that position – a guy who can run the ball, pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield – that’s a unique weapon. So I don’t think the position is devalued. Talking to Doug, obviously we come from the same school of Andy (Reid) and what he can do with those kinds of guys. Obviously we have them in Ryan and Darren, but when you really look at it, and I had some time over the fall to do that, you see that it is hard to get guys later and the top guys are coveted."
On Holding The Eighth-Overall Pick
The Eagles traded Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to the Miami Dolphins, and in the process they moved up five spots in the first round from 13 to eight. Now inside the top 10, Roseman is very comfortable with where the Eagles have positioned themselves.
“The one thing that it allows you to do is to really focus on a limited number of players and know them really well," Roseman said. "We’ll do that in the next coming weeks. We’ll hit the road and work out a lot of these guys and really kind of focus in on what we’re looking at.
“Where we’re sitting at eight is a really good spot for us. We’re excited about the opportunity to get a really good player. I have no idea of the position, but we’re really going to focus in on that in the next couple of weeks and make sure that we do all of our groundwork on these guys.”
On The Deeper Positions In This Year's Draft
Despite all the work that the Eagles have done and all the new additions brought in during free agency, the Eagles still have spots on the roster where more depth is needed. With that in mind, Roseman spoke about the positions in this year's draft that he believes have the most depth.
“I think the defensive line- the interior defensive line, the defensive tackle group – it’s probably the best that’s come out in a long time," Roseman said. "We’ve gone back and studied ‘What does that mean?’ Does that mean you can get later into the draft and get a guy or that everyone kind of tries to get their own guy. It’s a really interesting group of guys on the interior defensive line, for us the defensive tackle position. Then you look through it, and the offensive line group is pretty good. The numbers that we have on our board are much greater than we’ve had the past couple of years. So those positions kind of stand out, and as your building a team along the lines, that’s kind of exciting.”