Highlights of Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson’s pre-draft meeting with the media


Presumably for the last time before the Eagles make their first round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, executive vice president of player personnel Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson met with the media to discuss a myriad of topics. With the Eagles holding the 8th overall pick and being involved in several rumors about the possibility of drafting up, the two primary figureheads at the NovaCare Complex had plenty of matters to address. To their credit, Roseman and Pederson were candid with their responses. Here are some of the answers/discussion points that jumped out: 


The Draft's Top Quarterback Prospects: 

Even with the Rams having traded up for the 1st overall pick in the draft, many still see the Eagles as a team that could potentially make a move to secure the quarterback that is left over after Los Angeles makes their selection. Pederson and his staff have worked out all of the top signal callers in the class and appear interested in selecting one at some point in the draft. As is the case in every draft, there are tiers to the quarterback hierarchy and the Eagles may have to do some moving around if they identify one that they project as a franchise option. Here's Pedeson's opinion on the two top prospects: Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and California's Jared Goff. 

"They're very close. In my opinion, they're very close. Similar characteristics as quarterbacks: good height, good size, good arm strength, mobility…they're very similar. Smart, intelligent guys that obviously are going to play, I feel like play a long time in the National Football League."

On Ezekiel Elliott: 

The player most-often linked to the Eagles who doesn't play a quarterback by the media (and the player himself) is Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is far-and-away the top player at his position and the Eagles happen to have a glaring hole in their backfield. The conversations about the former Buckeye's position playing a factor in a potential draft-day tumble seems to have gone quiet as the event has drawn closer. Some see Elliott as the top offensive talent in the draft, and his ability to impact the offense on all three downs make him a prized commodity. Roseman seems to share that stance on the Ohio State product, judging off his analysis of him on Monday afternoon: 

"He can do it all. He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, he can pass-protect, they used him as a lead-blocker, he's a winner, he's got competitive fire, he's run to be around, he kind of reminds of some of the running backs we've had here who play with that kind of energy. Someone told me a long time ago that your running back sets the tone for your identity. Certainly he did that at Ohio State."

On whether the Eagles made an attempt to trade up in the draft: 

It has been reported by multiple outlets that the Eagles may have been the runners-up to the Rams in acquiring the 1st overall pick from the Tennessee Titans in an attempt to select the quarterback of their choice. Some see Philadelphia as still involved in discussions to try and acquire the veritable 'consolation prize' from the Cleveland Browns: owners of the 2nd overall pick. Howie Roseman has been an active player in draft-day trades, and has already improved his team's position by moving from 13 to 8. Here's his retort to whether the Eagles did indeed attempt to secure the draft's top selection:

“I wouldn’t consider any discussions with other teams as serious until you make deals, so I think it’s the same discussions with the people behind us. We’re having those discussion now. … We just kind of have those conversations internally and weigh the cost-benefit of everything. … For us, we stack the players and we find a way to get the best players we possibly can. We’re excited also about picking eighth and the opportunities that will be at the eighth pick.”

On whether the Eagles would trade back in the draft: 

The flip side of the 'trading for the 1st overall pick' conversation is the possibility of the Eagles moving back down in the draft to gather additional assets. Many have noted their lack of a 2nd round pick as incentive for making such a move, and the Eagles could maximize their draft haul if they could identify a player available later in the first round. Around the time Roseman made the deal to move up for the 8th pick, he noted there were roughly 10 players the team had identified as potential first round options. He seemed to echo that sentiment when he was asked about the possibility of moving down in the first round:

"I think we're open to all of the above. I think we're open to trading up, I think we're open to trading down if it was compelling. Because we do like being in the top ten, that's why we moved up in the first place. At the same time, we're very ready to pick at eight. We're going to get a very good player. We're excited about that.


On whether the Eagles would consider drafting Paxton Lynch with the 8th pick: 

"I think you've had to, for us at number eight, you look at other areas of need. I don't know if necessarily that would be the spot to take someone like that at that spot. I do think he's someone that you do have to have special consideration if you're looking for a quarterback."


 Members of the assembled media were able to go back and forth with the two prior to their recorded responses later in the interview, but Roseman and Pederson provided some solid detail in their session. Here's the link to the entirety of both interviews

Somers Price is a contributor for Eagledelphia.com and can be followed on Twitter @somersprice

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