Eagles Insider

Roseman's one-word response to Davis doubters

Eagles Insider

As Day 1 of the NFL draft was unfolding last April and Jordan Davis kept sliding down through the first round, Howie Roseman kept asking everybody he spoke with why teams bypassing the Georgia interior lineman.

The answer was that he wasn’t worth taking that high because you can’t play him on third down because he’ll never be a pass rusher.

Howie’s answer was short and sweet:


One thing that sets Roseman apart in the draft – and in player acquisition in general – is not accepting conventional wisdom about a player.

Don’t go by what everybody else thinks. Go by what you see with your own eyes. And when it came to Davis, Roseman refused to believe Jordan would be limited as a pro to playing on running downs.

“That guy’s got a head of steam, how are you stopping that guy?” he said.

During his 54-minute interview with Jason Kelce on the Kelce Brothers’ New Heights podcast, Roseman spoke about how the Eagles handled it when Davis began drifting down the first half of the first round of last year’s draft and addressed the criticism that the Eagles overdrafted Davis because he wasn’t a big-time sack producer at Georgia and didn’t play a ton of snaps in college.

“Last year, going through the draft, my perspective was Jordan Davis, 10 years ago, would have been a top-three pick,” Roseman said. “So you’re going through it, and you’re like, ‘Why is this guy falling?’ And everyone’s going, ‘Well, he only played 40 percent of the time at Georgia.’


“The guy won the Lombardi and the Outland trophies. He was top-10 in the Heisman Trophy (voting). With the best defense in the country that won the national championship game. And so you’re going, ‘What are we missing?’ (He’s) a freak-show athlete. What are we missing? 

“Good character? Yeah, he was a captain at Georgia. Unbelievable personality. So you’re going, ‘What is going on here?’ And it’s like, ‘Oh, he can’t play on third down.’”

Davis had 11 ½ sacks at Georgia, including 5.0 as a senior in 2021. He didn’t have any as a rookie, but the Eagles wouldn’t have drafted him 13th overall if they didn’t believe he could develop into a guy who can disrupt the quarterback and play on third and long.

The other thing to remember about Davis is that because of Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams - and Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh later in the year - he wasn’t playing a lot on third down. Of his 224 snaps, 89 came on pass plays. And he had 10 pass pressures on those 89 snaps.

And he just turned 23 and the Eagles believe there’s no reason he can’t be a force as a pass rusher as he grows into the role.

As far as the criticism that Davis shouldn’t have been a high 1st-round pick because he didn’t play that many snaps in college, Roseman had an answer for that, too.

“To me, it was a situation where it's like, ‘Why is he playing 40 to 50 percent of the plays?’ Well, really, look at the games that Georgia was in last year,” he said. “(Georgia was) winning 42-7 in the third quarter most of those games and they were smart, they have all these five-star recruits and we’ve got to keep these guys here so we don’t lose them a year from now when Jordan leaves. 

“And in the close games, in the national championship games, he’s playing 60 percent of the plays. So when I look at that, I’m going, man, that’s an opportunity.”

It remains to be seen what Davis's ceiling is and just what sort of player he'll become, but Roseman's explanation really does shed light on his thought process while making  a hugely important decision on draft day.