Howie Roseman’s second stint in charge of the Eagles’ draft got off to a bold and exciting start back in 2016, when he moved up from 13 to 8 to 2 in order to draft a franchise quarterback.
Carson Wentz was the first draft pick in the Eagles’ new (and sort of old) regime.
Including Wentz, the Eagles have drafted 21 players in the last three drafts since reinstating Roseman to power and since hiring Doug Pederson as head coach and Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator. Remember, Joe Douglas wasn’t around for a draft until 2017, but he’s played a big role in each of the last two classes.
Only one player drafted by the Eagles in the last three years has really become a star. Wentz made a Pro Bowl in 2017 and was on his way to an MVP award before blowing out his knee that December.
But of the 21 players the Eagles have taken in the last three years, 17 of them are still on the roster; that includes Donnel Pumphrey, who is in his second stint after spending some time on the Lions’ practice squad.
In three years, they’ve had two first round picks. One was used for Wentz. One was used on Derek Barnett in 2017. But dating back to when he was first made GM in 2010, Roseman had made seven first-round picks. Six of them have been used on offensive or defensive lineman; four defensive, two offensive. The only time he didn’t use a first-round pick on a lineman was in 2016, when he drafted Wentz. The 2015 draft, when the Eagles took Nelson Agholor, Chip Kelly was in charge.
So if the Eagles stay at 25, there’s no guarantee they’re going to use that pick on a lineman, but it’s the safest bet.
In the last three years, here’s a positional breakdown of all 21 players taken:
A few notes on those numbers: The DB group breaks down to three corners, safety Blake Countess and Avonte Maddox, who is super versatile but was drafted as a corner. As far as Day 1 or 2 picks (Rounds 1-3), the Eagles have had six in three years: Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Derek Barnett, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Dallas Goedert.
Here’s every pick the Eagles have made in the last three years. Players in bold are on the current roster:
2-49: TE Dallas Goedert
4-125: DB Avonte Maddox
4-130: DE Josh Sweat
6-206: OL Matt Pryor
7-233: OT Jordan Mailata
1-14: DE Derek Barnett
2-43: CB Sidney Jones
3-99: CB Rasul Douglas
4-118: WR Mack Hollins
4-132: RB Donnel Pumphrey
5-166: WR Shelton Gibson
5-184: LB Nathan Gerry
6-214: DT Elijah Qualls
1-2: QB Carson Wentz
3-79: OL Isaac Seumalo
5-153: RB Wendell Smallwood
5-164: OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai
6-196: S Blake Countess
7-233: CB Jalen Mills
7-240: DE Alex McCalister
7-251: LB Joe Walker
So the only four players who aren’t on the roster anymore were sixth or seventh-round picks. Although, Pumphrey was close to being on this list as a fourth-rounder. He was cut but returned and is unlikely to make the roster in 2019.
Let’s go year-by-year with some notes:
2016: This draft will always be remembered for Wentz and it should. The only other Day 1 or 2 pick was Seumalo, who has grown into a starter and just signed an extension. While Smallwood and Vaitai haven’t been stars or even steady starters, they’ve given the Eagles decent production for fifth-round picks. Mills has given the Eagles a lot for a seventh-rounder. Losing Countess in 2016 to the Rams’ practice squad always confused me. The Eagles really liked him and then didn’t even get him to stick around on their practice squad. He has been a rotational backup for the Rams. McCalister never made the team and Walker was a backup for part of 2017.
2017: We haven’t seen enough of Barnett to really make a determination about him and he’s still just 22. But we’ve seen enough signs to think he can be a really good player in this league. Sidney Jones is probably the make-or-break player of this draft. The Eagles gambled by taking him and it hasn’t paid off yet, but it’s too early to count him out. Rasul Douglas hasn’t been a consistent starter, but he’s played well when called upon. The Pumphrey pick clearly hasn’t worked. Mack Hollins had a decent rookie season but missed all of Year 2.
2018: The Eagles traded out of the first round and ended up with Goedert, who had an extremely promising rookie season. Avonte Maddox also had a great rookie season for a fourth-round pick, showing plenty of versatility. If Jordan Mailata ever fulfills his athletic potential, taking him in the seventh round could be one of the greatest value picks in Eagles history. Too early to tell on Sweat or Pryor.
A few awards …
Best value pick: Say what you want about Mills, but getting him for a seventh has been a steal. In three years, Mills has played in 39 games with 25 starts. He made that game-saving play against the Falcons in the playoffs in 2017 and started for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
Worst pick: It’s too early to judge most of these picks, but I feel pretty safe judging the Pumphrey selection. Maybe he surprises us all, but even for a fourth round pick, the Eagles haven’t gotten anything out of him. Remember, they even traded up to get him in 2017. It was a questionable pick at the time and even more questionable now. Jamaal Williams hasn’t been a star for the Packers, but he has rushed for over 1,000 total yards in his first two seasons. He was taken two spots after Pump.
The next star: I mentioned that Wentz is the only player drafted by the Eagles in the last three years to make a Pro Bowl. If I had to guess the next one of this group to make a Pro Bowl, I’d go with Barnett. He’ll have his chances and was playing well before his injury last season.
Unfulfilled potential: The most unfulfilled potential award goes to Sidney Jones. I was tempted to say Mailata, but Jones was a first-round talent and the Eagles gambled to take him in the second round in 2018. He has all the tools, but can he stay healthy?
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