Howie Roseman’s real test to come on Draft Day

Howie Roseman has been the driving force behind the Eagles' strong start to the offseason. 

Roseman has locked up key young players like Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson, he's re-signed key free agents Vinny Curry and Sam Bradford before the free agency period began, and he even found a way to unload the two worst contracts on the team, shipping Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray out of town. 

Whether you've been a fan of Howie's or not, it's hard not to be impressed with what he's done so far. 

Roseman has put the Eagles in a position to have a strong offseason. However, what's truly going to make or break Roseman is the upcoming Draft. 

At the end of the regular season, there were a great deal of questions about how much flexibility the Eagles would have to improve. With a limited amount of salary cap room available, and a lack of a second-round pick, the Eagles were going to have to get creative to acquire more picks and shed payroll. 

No one would have imagined a scenario in which the Eagles rid themselves of two of the worst contracts of the team. For Roseman to find trade partners willing to take on both Maxwell and Murray is nothing short of remarkable.

The team will now enter free agency with a solid amount of money to play with, and will also pick up a few additional draft picks to add to their talent pool, all while ridding themselves of a couple of guys that reportedly weren't great in the locker room. Howie should be commended for this. 

What Roseman has done so far has been impressive, but at the same time it's nothing he hasn't done before. Throughout Howie's tenure as general manager, he's been a master at managing the salary cap, he's never had trouble extending the contracts of players he wants to keep, and he's always been good at working the phones and making trades to stockpile draft picks. 

The biggest problem with Roseman has always been his ability to consistently perform on Draft Day. 

It started back in 2010, when the Eagles infamously traded up and selected Brandon Graham over Earl Thomas. It continued the following year when the team made the bizarre selection of 26-year-old guard Danny Watkins at the end of the first round. Second-round picks were also wasted on Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett. A fourth-rounder was used on kicker Alex Henery

While Roseman will always have the 2012 Draft that brought Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry, Brandon Boykin, and Nick Foles to his credit, the shadows of picks like Marcus Smith and Watkins are more than enough to give followers of the team cause for concern when the Birds go on the clock in April. 

Roseman has shown that he can work agents and teams as well as anyone in the league, but evaluating talent at the college level is the one thing he hasn't proven he can do at a consistent level. And when you consider the chaotic state that the Eagles' front office has been in over the offseason — failing to hire a new personnel head and also parting ways with their director of college scouting — for better or worse this is going to be a draft where Howie is going to be calling almost all of the shots. 

He had better make the most of that opportunity and make the right calls for the Eagles future.

Denny Basens is a contributing writer to Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @DennyBasens.

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