EAGLES

Roseman talks Metcalf and Jefferson draft whiffs

EAGLES

Howie Roseman sees the same thing you do.

D.K. Metcalf making plays all over the field for the Seahawks. Justin Jefferson making plays all over the field for the Vikings.

And J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor being J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor.

Metcalf and Jefferson both finished among the top six wide receivers in the NFL. Both made their first Pro Bowl. Both are just getting started.

And both could have been Eagles.

“I would just say if there's a guy that's playing really well that we were looking at in the draft or decide to go in a different direction, those things hurt,” Roseman said. “Those things are punches to your gut.”

The Eagles drafted JJAW seven spots ahead of Metcalf in 2019 and took Reagor one spot ahead of Jefferson in this past draft.

Jefferson had 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven TDs. Reagor was 31-for-396 with one TD.

In two years, Metcalf has 141-for-2,203 and 17 TDs. JJAW has 14-for-254 with one TD.

How can it happen once? How can it happen twice?

Roseman, while acknowledging that it doesn’t look good, said he hasn’t given up on Arcega-Whiteside or Reagor.

“I was just thinking about our 2010 draft and how it went with B.G. (Brandon Graham) and the guys that maybe started their career fresh and, again, I'm not saying that one guy is going to end up being better than the other at the end of their career, but sometimes it hits later than others for those guys. 

 

“We're counting on both those guys to take a big step in the offseason. … I was happy J.J. got an opportunity (Sunday). But yeah, there's no doubt, I mean, we're not sitting here and not watching that and not seeing that and not going through it (and asking) what made us make that decision when we looked at all those guys.”

Jefferson’s 1,400 yards this year are second-most by a rookie, most since Bill Groman had 1,473 for the Oilers in 1960. 

Metcalf’s 2,203 yards are 16th-most in history by a wide receiver in his first two seasons, behind people like Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Odell Beckham, Bob Hayes and Amari Cooper.

The Eagles haven’t had a wide receiver with more than 539 yards in either of the last two seasons after having at least one every non-strike season since 1976.

These are decisions that can set an organization back for years.

And judging by the Eagles' 4-11-1 record and last-place finish, they already have.

Reagor over Jefferson hurts way more than JJAW over Metcalf since it was the first round, every draft analyst agreed Jefferson was the obvious pick and the stunned Vikings quickly snagged Jefferson one pick after the Eagles took Reagor.

“Obviously, (Jefferson) has had a phenomenal year,” Roseman said. “It's not like our head is in the sand and we don't see that and we didn't spend a lot of time on that guy. I think when you talk to other GMs in this league, if everyone knew what those guys were going to do, they wouldn't even be close to the pick that they were at. We went into the draft trying to find the right guys for our team in terms of what we thought we needed to have a better offense. That's with a lot of discussion, with our scouts, with our coaches.”

In Reagor’s defense, he just turned 22 on Saturday, he missed five games with injuries and he had a much less stable quarterback situation than Jefferson.

“Jalen is a very young player, just turned 22,” Roseman said. “He missed a bunch of games with injuries. He didn't really have durability issues in college and sometimes those things over a period of time, you know, they play out.”

It’s way too early to call Reagor a bust. And even JJAW just turned 24 on Thursday.

So who knows what the future holds for them.

But we can already be pretty sure what the future holds for Metcalf and Jefferson.

They're both flat-out studs. And the Eagles whiffed on both of them.

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