Howie Roseman could do no wrong two years ago.
The Eagles executive vice president/general manager had the Midas touch in 2017 and the Eagles followed the golden path Roseman built to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
The 2017 offseason saw Roseman sign quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeGarrette Blount, and receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith for the offense. He re-signed guard Stefen Wisniewski.
Cornerback Patrick Robinson and defensive end Chris Long were brought in for the defense.
All solid gold moves that, at the time, with the exception of probably Jeffery, looked average to perhaps slightly above average.
Roseman’s first-round draft pick that year, Derek Barnett, was a mighty contributor who upped his game another level in the postseason. Running back Jay Ajayi was delivered at the trade deadline.
Duplicating that Midas touch has proven difficult for Roseman, as it does for every decision maker whose team wins a Super Bowl one year then falls back, with the New England Patriots the notable exception.
The Eagles are just 12-10 in regular season games since winning Super Bowl LII, including the 3-3 record they will bring to Dallas on Sunday night for a first-place battle in the NFC East.
Roseman’s moves over that time have been … meh.
He tried to make Michael Bennett work last year, but the defensive end was traded in the offseason.
He tried to make Zach Brown work this year, but the linebacker was released on Monday.
Mostly, it’s Roseman’s drafts these past two years that have, so far, misfired.
As much credit as former vice president of personnel Joe Douglas gets credit for the 2017 season, Douglas (now general manager for the New York Jets) must also share some of the blame for the so-far unfortunate drafts of 2018 and 2019.
It’s still too early to judge those classes, but it’s telling that of the 10 players Roseman and Douglas drafted the last two years only three have been on the defensive side of the ball, which is where this team struggles, more so than the offense.
None of those three defensive players came in the first three rounds. They were cornerback Avonte Maddox and defensive end Josh Sweat, both of whom came in the fourth round of 2018, and defensive end Shareef Miller, who was taken this past spring in the fourth round.
The Eagles traded out of the first round in 2018 to grab tight end Dallas Goedert, who looks like the real deal, but the two offensive linemen taken late – Matt Pryor (6th round) and Jordan Mailata (7th round) have yet to show anything to be confident they will be contributors one day.
The most recent class is already being questioned because second-round receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside can’t find his way onto the field despite a real need at receiver.
Andre Dillard and Miles Sanders look like impactful players going forward, but already, fifth-round pick, quarterback Clayton Thorson, was already released and signed to the practice squad of the Cowboys.
Again, though, it’s too soon to make any solid decisions on the past two drafts.
Three years is a good benchmark time frame, which calls the 2017 class into question.
Roseman and Douglas made eight picks. Three are already out of the league – running back Donnel Pumphrey (4th round) receiver Shelton Gibson (5th round), defensive tackle Elijah Qualls (6th round).
Barnett is the clear plumb of a group that also includes cornerbacks Sidney Jones (2nd round) and Rasul Douglas (3rd round), receiver Mack Hollins (4th round), and linebacker Nathan Gerry (5th round).
Jones needs to find his confidence or he could be the next one in this group to be out of the league. Douglas looks like a solid backup as does Gerry.
Hollins hasn’t been much of a factor given a big opportunity with DeSean Jackson out and Hollins caused a bit of a stir a few weeks back when he said that if he had to pick between offense and special teams, he would pick special teams. It should be noted that Hollins hasn’t played any special teams since he took seven snaps on those units against the Lions in Week 3.
Unless Roseman re-discovers his Midas touch, the new norm that head coach Doug Pederson talked about after winning a Super Bowl, may be more like a .500 record.