Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles have a history of drafting players who participated in the Senior Bowl. With this year’s Senior Bowl week in the books, we may be able to start identifying potential Eagles targets.
With Chip Kelly and a new coaching staff involved, we don’t have any drafting trends to look at so we could see Howie alter his M.O. Another thing to consider is that there seems to be some conflicting thoughts as to who will ultimately call the shots on draft day.
Jeff Lurie stated that the 2010 and 2011 drafts were not really Roseman’s, but 2012 was. To that, I say…yeah right. Roseman may not have had final say, but he had input. The question now is who will have more input…Roseman or Chip Kelly?
Rather than debate about that, I’m fairly confident that both guys will have significant input into who they select. For now, though, most people are looking at Roseman as having the bigger influence on the draft, just like a traditional General Manager would.
Therefore, we can give some credence to recent trends by Roseman.
As far as the Senior Bowl is concerned, here is a history of the past 14 drafts (the Andy Reid era) and which Senior Bowl participants they selected (along with the round in which they were selected):
1999: QB Donovan McNabb (1st), LB Barry Gardner (2nd), OL Doug Brzezinski (3rd), WR Na Brown (4th), DB Damon Moore (4th)
2000: WR Todd Pinkston (2nd), OL Bobby Williams (2nd), WR Gari Scott (4th)
2001: LB Quinton Caver (2nd), DE Derrick Burgess (3rd)
2002: CB Sheldon Brown (2nd), S Michael Lewis (2nd), RB Brian Westbrook (3rd), OL Scott Peters (4th), WR Freddie Milons (5th)
2003: DE Jerome McDougle (1st), DE Jamaal Green (4th)
2004: RB Thomas Tapeh (5th), OL Adrien Clarke (7th)
2005: DT Mike Patterson (1st), WR Reggie Brown (2nd), S Sean Considine (4th), DE Trent Cole (5th)
2006: DT Brodrick Bunkley (1st), OL Max Jean-Gilles (4th), WR Jason Avant (4th)
2007: QB Kevin Kolb (2nd), DE Victor Abiamiri (2nd), RB Tony Hunt (3rd), LB Stewart Bradley (3rd)
2008: DT Trevor Laws (2nd), S Quintin Demps (4th), OL Mike McGlynn (4th)
2009: DB Macho Harris (5th), WR Brandon Gibson (6th), LB Moise Fokou (7th)
2010: DE Brandon Graham (1st), S Nate Allen (2nd), CB Trevard Lindley (4th), WR Riley Cooper (5th), S Kurt Coleman (7th), LB Jamar Chaney (7th), DT Jeff Owens (7th)
2011: OL Danny Watkins (1st), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (2nd), LB Casey Matthews (4th), K Alex Henery (4th)
2012: DE Vinny Curry (2nd), QB Nick Foles (3rd), CB Brandon Boykin (4th), WR Marvin McNutt (6th)
As you can see, the Eagles have picked 19 of these players in rounds one and two, and another 20 in rounds three and four. In eight of the last 14 drafts, the Eagles have used their first pick on a Senior Bowl player (in ’07 and ’08 their first pick came in round two).
Obviously, this trend had a lot to do with Andy Reid since he was the head coach for all of those drafts. However, Roseman has been on board for the past three years and the 2013 draft will supposedly be his show.
Since that’s the case (and the only thing we have to go on for this year), let’s look at the last three drafts since he’s been GM as it relates to the Senior Bowl…
Two of his three first-round picks, three of his four second round picks and a total of 15 out of his 33 draft picks were Senior Bowl participants.
Almost half of his picks have been Senior Bowl players. That holds true even if you only count last year’s draft, the one in which Lurie says was Howie’s draft.
Last year’s top pick, Fletcher Cox, was an underclassman and not eligible for the Senior Bowl. Many of this year’s projected top picks are also underclassmen and it’s highly likely that the Eagles will not be using their first-rounder on a Senior Bowl guy.
But after that, it’s fair game. Here is a quick look at the Senior Bowl players who could be potential targets after Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft (name/position/hw/school/projected draft round via NFLDraftScout.com):
- Robert Alford CB 6’0″ 185 Southeastern La. (3rd)
- Bacarri Rambo S 6’0″ 210 Georgia (3rd)
- EJ Manuel QB 6’4″ 240 Florida State (3rd or 4th)
- Brandon Williams DT 6’3″ 325 Missouri Southern (3rd or 4th)
- Jonathan Cyprien S 6’0″ 210 Florida International (4th or 5th)
- Phillip Thomas S 6’1″ 215 Fresno State (2nd)
- David Quessenberry OL 6’6″ 295 San Jose State (3rd or 4th)
- Kyle Long OL 6’7″ 312 Oregon (2nd)
- J.C. Tretter OL 6’4″ 300 Cornell (4th or 5th)
- Will Davis CB 6’0″ 186 Utah State (2nd or 3rd)
- Margus Hunt DE 6’7″ 280 SMU (2nd)
- Ezekial Ansah DE 6’5″ 270 Brigham Young (2nd)
There are several other possibilities, but I see those guys as potential targets anywhere from the second to fourth rounds.
The guys on that list that could be of particular interest are Jonathan Cyprien, Phillip Thomas, E.J. Manuel, Kyle Long and Margus Hunt.
Cyprien created some good buzz during the week of practice, Kelly is familiar with Thomas from playing against him while at Oregon and Long, of course, from playing for him, Manuel is the guy many Eagles fans are eying-up and Hunt would be a nice fit as a 3-4 DE.
There is one Senior Bowl participant to keep an eye on as a potential first-rounder… OT Eric Fisher of Central Michigan ( 6’7″ 305 lbs). He was reported as having a solid week of practice and impressed scouts enough that some now see him as having a slight edge on Luke Joeckel as the top OT.
As I do more research on this year’s draft class and we learn what kind of defense Chip Kelly will run, I’ll be able to start honing in on some good potential fits. There are also numerous underclassmen to consider for both our first and second-round picks.
As for now, it’s always fun to try and find trends in the team’s drafting strategy…though anything we’ve seen in the past could be a moot point because of the new regime in place.
With that said, Howie Roseman does seem to like Senior Bowl players so we do have a group of players to start with. The wild card is Chip Kelly. We have yet to see a single personnel move made under him so obviously we can’t start to identify what he might be looking for in players.