It's energizing at the NovaCare Complex with a roster of players back in the building as the offseason conditioning program opens and with the 2022 NFL Draft starting on Thursday at 8 PM.
Electrifying. Exhilarating. Eagles football, 2022 season.
"Just seeing those guys around the building," Howie Roseman said in an exclusive interview this week, "if there's any needed juice for this week, we've got it. It's awesome. It's really great."
So is the Eagles' opportunity this weekend with 10 overall selections, nine in the opening five rounds, five among the top 101 picks, and picks 15 and 18 on Thursday night. While the pomp and partying will take place in Las Vegas, Roseman and the Eagles will be ensconced at the NovaCare Complex fully aware of the importance of the moment.
"I think it's fun. A lot of people throughout the week of the Draft ask, 'Are you anxious?' We can't lose a game. All we can do is add and get better," Roseman said. "The opportunity to get better excites me. We've got a whole process coming together and seeing the joy on the faces of our scouts and our front office when we make picks is fun. There's juice and that's part of it and then there's the next stage the following weekend when they come on the field for the Rookie Minicamp and then Training Camp. All of these guys, you root for them and you're excited to see them."
In these few hours before the Draft, Roseman and his scouts and personnel team are largely finished the work. "The evaluations are done," he said, so there is time for making phone calls to "touch base with every single team in the league," to firm up possible draft scenarios – and they exist for sure in Round 1 – to make things just a bit more clutter-free for every stage of the process. Roseman will look at some reports and watch players to refresh and reconfirm what the Eagles have spent the last 11 months doing as they stack their Draft board for each round.
"For me, it's about adding and collecting as many talented pieces as we can as we're building this thing," Roseman said. "I think at some point after the draft and it's usually that Saturday night – Saturday night I'll sit in my office and I will reflect on what we had done over the past few days, what we have. It will be one of my latest nights of the year. I'll sit up and I'll go through all the reports on the guys and sometimes I'll kind of flash on the guys – especially an undrafted guy – and I think that will be the first time where I'll say, 'Alright, this is where I think we are right now before we start our Rookie Minicamp. Maybe here are a couple of spots where we're still looking to add because we're not going to be a perfect team after this draft, no matter what. Every team in this league is still going to have holes to fill after this draft, I promise you.
"Whoever is going to win the Super Bowl is still going to have a hole after this Draft, more than one hole, and that's OK. We still have a lot of time to fix that and evaluate our players and go from there."
Are the Eagles going into the Draft thinking about a quick fix? No, not at all. Are we going to see sweeping moves to dramatically overhaul the roster? Not likely. The word Roseman has used throughout the offseason is "build," as in, "the Eagles are building." What that means is that a solid foundation is in place, one that turned the 2021 season around and reached the playoffs, and that this weekend gives the Eagles the chance to add more talent at every level, throughout the roster.
Roseman is keeping his options open – wide, wide open when you're a team with two picks in Round 1, 10 picks overall, and another two first-rounders in 2023, and two second-round picks in 2024.
"Flexibility," Roseman said. "I think you can go in with a great plan, but if you're not flexible to change and see opportunities, whether it's going up, whether it's going down, whether it's a player you didn't anticipate being there, I think you limit yourself. I think you go in saying, 'Hey, I think this would be a good outcome,' but you have to be open to other outcomes because if you go in and say, 'Hey, this is the player I'm going to take and it doesn't matter, I think it limits your flexibility to go in and say, 'Wow, I didn't know this player was going to be there.' … We have to be flexible and we have to be open to something is going to happen that we didn't anticipate and we'll be ready for it."
Ready to add talent. Ready to add to the young core. Ready to continue the building process. Ready to take the next steps and ready to seize an opportunity to make the most of the assets the Eagles have in their possession. It's Draft Weekend and that, combined with the start of the offseason program, has the NovaCare Complex bouncing.
"Let's go," Roseman said. "We're all excited to do this."