Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has already shown that he can find value at the tail end of the seventh round after both players selected with compensatory picks in the 2010 draft, safety Kurt Coleman and defensive tackle Jeff Owens, found their way onto the roster in 2010 – not to mention linebacker Jamar Chaney, who was selected with an earlier pick in the seventh round. Coleman, selected with the 244th overall pick in last year's draft, started three games last season, including the playoffs, and was a valuable contributor on special teams.
Elsewhere, productive players drafted with recent compensatory picks in the seventh round include wide receiver Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints, running back Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants, wide receiver Kevin Walter of the Houston Texans (drafted by the Giants), quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills (drafted by the St. Louis Rams) and fullback Jason Snelling of the Atlanta Falcons.
But the picks at the back end of the seventh round could have an added importance this year. If, come draft time, there were still a work stoppage, then teams will not be able to sign undrafted rookie free agents when the draft concludes. So the Eagles' two seventh-round compensatory picks, which cannot be traded, can be considered a head-start on bringing on board two players who might otherwise go undrafted. And, if NFL teams aren't able to sign rookie free agents, those undrafted players are likely to be coveted by teams in the Canadian Football League and the United Football League, making the opportunity to add two more players even more important. It should also be noted that the Eagles' two compensatory picks are the fourth and seventh picks in a line of 21 compensatory picks at the end of the seventh round.
And make no mistake, the Eagles have had plenty of success with their signings of rookie free agents in the past, from longtime stalwarts Jamaal Jackson and Quintin Mikell to contributors like Akeem Jordan, Rod Hood, Nick Cole, and Austin Howard. So any opportunity the Eagles' front office gets to identify and select players to bolster the roster is one that shouldn't be slighted.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:48 p.m., March 28