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Roseman On 2010 Draft Picks

Posted Apr 21, 2011

In the business of evaluating players, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will tell you, it's important to constantly self-evaluate. That's why, in the process of previewing next week's draft with a roundtable full of reporters, Roseman candidly offers up an assessment of a few of the 13 players Roseman selected last April.

The maiden selection of Roseman's inaugural draft was Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. Roseman, head coach Andy Reid and the rest of the Eagles' personnel department were so smitten with Graham's potential as a game-changing pass rusher that they traded up for him. Graham's rookie season was solid - he recorded three sacks - but it was cut short at the end with a torn ACL. Reid is on record as saying that it will be "a stretch" for Graham to be ready for Week 1 of the upcoming season, but the Eagles are still plenty high on the defensive end's future.

"He was an impact guy and you go back and watch him in the preseason games and you watch him one-on-one in training camp, which we did, then he came in regular season and I thought he played pretty well (Week 1 against) Green Bay," Roseman said. Then, in Week 2, "at Detroit, he had an ankle sprain. You guys know the history of defensive linemen with ankle sprains, it's a tough deal, especially a guy who relies on his speed and quickness. I thought that as the season went on, (Week 5) in San Francisco, as he started to get his groove, unfortunately he had that injury in Dallas. This guy has been productive at every level. By the same token, there is some unknown with it. That doesn't mean we don't have a lot of confidence in Brandon Graham, but that's also a position we talk about fastballs and having a lot of guys and making sure that we're going to be able to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback.

"We have a lot of confidence in Brandon Graham."

Sticking with defensive ends, Roseman spent his third-round pick last year on a previously unknown defensive end from Washington named Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, whom the Eagles envisioned as a high-motor pass rusher who could make some noise up the middle of an offensive line. Te'o-Nesheim began training camp working with the first-team nickel defense as a defensive tackle, but his impact during his rookie season was minimal.

"I think with Te'o, in training camp, he got a little beat up," Roseman said, referring to a shoulder injury that hampered the rookie all season. "I don't think we've seen the best of Te'o. He's a hard worker, he's really productive, he's going to do whatever it takes and we'll just see what he does this year. Obviously it was a disappointing year for him and we expect him to be better and he expects better of himself.

"Now, he'll come back. He'll be in his second year. I really think he can work. He's a high-motor guy. He loves to play, but he has to take another step."

Next up in Roseman's evaluations is Trevard Lindley, a cornerback from Kentucky who was selected with the Eagles' first of four fourth-round picks. With plenty of talk about the Eagles' need for a cornerback in this year's draft, perhaps Lindley is being overlooked as an option at right cornerback.

"Trevard, as a rookie corner drafted in the fourth round, I thought really did a great job, played at a high level," Roseman said. "Here's an example of a guy who, if he came out after his junior year, probably would have been a second-round pick, first or second round pick. He played against the Julio Jones' and Percy Harvins of the world and really did a great job. He had a high ankle sprain early in his senior year, he played through it - he probably didn't get enough credit for playing through it. That also hurt his stock because he didn't perform as well at the Senior Bowl or at the combine because he still had a high ankle sprain. He came in and really played at, I thought, a high level for a rookie fourth-round pick. Really besides one game where the footing really wasn't great, I thought he held his own. Now, he's got to take a jump like a lot of rookies. He's got to go from his first year to his second year, but he showed some things that made you interested about him."

Finally, we examine Keenan Clayton, a former safety at Oklahoma, who moved to linebacker for his senior season and contributed to the Eagles on special teams and in certain specialty packages in the second half of the 2010 season.

"I think he was just starting to come on here when he got a knee injury late in the year," Roseman said. "He was starting to play well. When he was on the field, he did make some plays ... He was a guy that we drafted knowing that probably year one he was probably special teams, maybe playing nickel as he learned it and that he was another guy who could take a jump as he learns from year one to year two. We kind of knew when we had drafted him that maybe the impact wasn't going to be immediate, but because of his physical tools and how hard he worked at it that he had a lot of upside."

Roseman also confirmed that Clayton is a weakside linebacker moving forward.

Of course, there were nine other players picked by the Eagles in 2010, including two seventh-round steals in Jamar Chaney and Kurt Coleman, who both enter 2011 with a chance to be starters.

"Someone asked me a couple days ago, just a friend in the league, they said, 'Do you guys change the way you deal with late draft picks? Do you let this guy do them or that guy do them?'" said Roseman." And I said, 'Man, that's like my favorite round. I love it.'

"Because what we find is that we have a lot of guys with (fourth- or fifth-round grades) that are still available and it's before the feeding frenzy of undrafted free agents."

The good news for Eagles fans is that the Eagles have three seventh-round picks next weekend.

Roseman: Eagles could be in position to trade down
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