Howie Roseman held up a slip of paper. It looked blank, but it was a Zoom call, held shortly after the 2020 NFL Draft ended on Saturday evening, so maybe the image was blurry.
More likely, it was for dramatic effect. Anyway, the point is what was written on either that piece of paper or another one from months ago.
Roseman had written three questions on a scrap of paper after the Eagles lost an early January playoff game to the Seattle Seahawks:
Can he run?
Is he healthy?
Does he love to play?
He delivered that list to head coach Doug Pederson then walked down the hallway at the team’s NovaCare Complex and showed it to VP of player personnel Andy Weidl.
Those three questions became the organization’s guiding philosophy throughout the draft and especially on Saturday when the Eagles bolstered their roster with seven picks on the final day.
“When we looked at everyone we picked (Saturday), we tried to answer those questions,” said Roseman. “Now, when we went a little bit later in the draft, maybe there were some questions on a couple of those guys, but we felt like they were good enough football players that they were worth the risk.”
The Eagles went into the draft with eight picks, after spending two to acquire cornerback Darius Slay in last month, a deal Roseman didn’t want to be glossed over.
“Because we always try to balance free agency and the draft,” said Roseman. “I think one of the things we look at through this draft is we added Darius Slay. You know, that's part of this draft. This is a Pro Bowl corner and I don't want him to get lost in the flow here of everything that we've done in the off-season.
“This is a guy who can get the ball back for our offense, put it back in the hands of Carson, and give coach opportunities to call plays. He's a difference-maker. I think when our fans see this guy in Eagles green, they're going to be tremendously excited that we have him on our football team.”
Roseman began to live up to his nickname, “Trader Howie” late in the fourth round when he began making deals to move backward, and in the, end, build his pick count back to 10.
“We really wanted to have double-digit picks in this draft,” said Roseman. “It was important to us.”
One of the trades was with the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles sent pick No. 146, which came right after the Eagled had taken Auburn offensive lineman Jack Driscoll at pick No. 145.
The Cowboys filled their center need with that pick, taking Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz.
“When the Cowboys call and they offer a trade, I'm going to be honest, that's hard for me,” said Roseman. “That's hard for me in the NFC East to make a trade with our competitors, so it had to be something that we felt was really good for our football team.”
Roseman said the player they were looking to take at No. 146 was the same player they were looking at taking in the fifth round, so they took the additional pick the Cowboys were offering, except the Eagles traded backward with that, too, to the point where they made three picks in the sixth round.
To recap the entire draft, the Eagles added:
QB Jalen Hurts: Second round
LB Davion Taylor: Third round
S K’Von Wallace: Fourth round
OL Jack Driscoll: Fourth Round
WR John Hightower: Fifth round
LB Shaun Bradley: Sixth round
WR Quez Watkins: Sixth round
OL Prince Tega Wanogho: Sixth round
DE/LB Casey Toohill: Seventh round
“Our new depth chart was up, and to look at it and see where we are right now, it's exciting,” said Roseman. “We have a good football team, and we can't wait to get started.”