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Roseman Recaps Busy First Round

Posted May 9, 2014

General manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles were active in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft as they selected linebacker Marcus Smith with the 26th overall pick after trading down with Cleveland to acquire an extra third-round pick. In an interview Friday with SportsRadio 94WIP, Roseman took fans inside the draft room to explain the key moments of the first round.

1. Buffalo Bills move up to No. 4 and select WR Sammy Watkins

The Bills pulled off a blockbuster trade sending Cleveland its first-round pick this year and next year as well as a fourth-round pick next year in order to jump ahead five spots and select wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Roseman said that the Eagles were exploring trade-up scenarios and the bevy of picks that the Browns acquired made other teams think they could get more in return.

"When the first trade is made in the draft, it kind of affects everyone's thoughts on the next trade," Roseman said.

Roseman said that teams that he talked to leading up to the draft now wanted more compensation. In the end, the Eagles decided that any trade up would have been too costly.

"You want more tickets to the lottery. You want more picks. You want more chances to hit on guys," Roseman explained.

2. The Eagles are on the clock at No. 22

Roseman said that the Browns came in with an offer that made it "very good for us to move down." The Browns gave the Eagles a 2014 third-round pick (No. 83 overall) in order to swap spots in the first round. The Eagles add a seventh draft pick and still believe that a player whom they have a high grade on will be there when the team is on the clock at No. 26.

3. The Browns select QB Johnny Manziel

The Eagles had the chance to select Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. Head coach Chip Kelly recruited him at Oregon. Manziel committed to Oregon before changing his mind and thriving at Texas A&M. Kelly recalled the recruiting of Manziel and said the quarterback "broke my heart." With another opportunity to coach him, Kelly and the Eagles organization passed and showed how much they believe in Pro Bowl quarterback Nick Foles.

"When you have a young quarterback, like we do in Nick, you have to throw your total support behind that guy," Roseman said. "It's so hard to succeed as a young quarterback in the National Football League, you need to know everyone in the building - on your team, in your front office, in your coaching staff - is behind you. That's how we feel about Nick Foles."

4. The Eagles draft LB Marcus Smith

Roseman acknowledged that the Eagles inquired about trading down again when they were on the clock at No. 26. However, there was concern internally that the team would trade back too far and miss out on a group of highly graded players. The Eagles looked at the draft board and chose linebacker Marcus Smith because he was in the top-tier of players remaining at a position that did not have a lot of depth.

"If guys are in the same tiers, we look at the harder to find position and then we look at the other positions we're looking at and how the draft board looks," Roseman said.

Roseman raved about the 6-foot-3, 251-pound Smith's athleticism, work ethic, production and upside. The 2013 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, Smith had 14.5 sacks, which ranked second in the nation. Roseman also likes that Smith comes to Philadelphia in a situation where he can learn the ropes from veterans such as Connor Barwin and Trent Cole.

"I think when we look at him it's the upside," Roseman said. "For us, when you talk about him athletically, he's an exceptional athlete. ... We think he's got so much more to grow, too. Lucky for us, we do have veterans at that position."

The Eagles will be busy Friday as the second and third rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft take place. Philadelphia has its own second-round pick (No. 54 overall) and two third-round picks - the one acquired from Cleveland and its own (No. 86 overall). Roseman wanted to get Smith in the fold with the first-round pick because from talking to other personnel execs around the league the linebacker was not going to last much longer on the board.

"I know from talking to my friends around the league, it's hard to think that a pass rusher with his production and this athletic ability was going to be there when we were picking in the second round," Roseman said.

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