Roseman: “we’re trying to be less judgmental about young men in their 20′s in college”BREAKING NEWS, Eagles Draft, News, NFLDraft Friday, April 20th, 2012
Eagles GM Howie Roseman emphasized the fact that the Birds are reassessing many things about their prospect evaluations. I mentioned in the other article about how they are de-emphasizing the Combine and All-Star games, as well as not drafting for needs but trying to draft the best player on the board at the time.
I give Roseman a lot of credit for being so open about admitting to the failures of the team’s recent drafts. It gets me a great deal more confidence in what they’re going to do in the future. Many times you see people in the public eye deny shortcomings, but he sat with about 20 local media persons for over an hour and talked about how they were making corrections with their draft process.
In addition to the change regarding the Combine and All-Star games, along with not drafting for needs, he talked them reevaluating their analysis of players backgrounds and off the field conduct.
To put it simply, the Birds want to do a better job of differentiating what is normal college behavior. At one point Roseman said, “we’re trying to be less judgmental about young men in their 20s in college living a college lifestyle.”
Check out the following comments by Roseman in whic he all but says, the Eagles downgraded the character of a player they didn’t draft, while giving a great evaluation to another player who they did draft.
“I can’t tell you that we got a clear-cut answer on it, but we’ve tried to make up some tiers of things that are acceptable and unacceptable,” Roseman said. “This has come through trial and error on some of the guys that we’ve gone through and been right or wrong or about . . . It’s a very thin line on trying to figure that out, and being right. Some of the guys that you would have met with and looked at their background and said there’s no chance they’ll be successful in the NFL . . . they end up doing really well, and there’s guys that you think are going to be great guys and they don’t end up being as great as guys as you think”.
In my opinion I believe Roseman was thinking about Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham as he was making these points. Graham had an advantage over Pierre-Paul when they were coming out because he played four-years at Michigan, while Pierre-Paul played only one year at South Florida before having to turn pro because of his family situation.
There were rumors that Pierre-Paul had something bad in his background partly because he jumped from one junior college to another from his freshman to sophomore year before transferring to South Florida for his junior year. Who knows maybe he got in trouble at school for doing something stupid like a college prank.
Whatever it was hasn’t hurt his play on the field, because the year he had in 2011 was one of the greatest seasons I’ve ever seen an NFL defensive lineman have and remember I played with Reggie White. I saw Reggie get over 20 sacks in a shortened season.
Think about the season that JPP had. He was one of only two Associated Press All Pro defensive ends despite starting only 12 games. The second- year star had 16.5 sacks and was just as good against the run as he was against the pass. He was the first defensive lineman in NFL history to register a sack, force a fumble and block a kick in the same game. JPP was the best defensive lineman on a team with Pro Bowl talents like Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.
These are staggering facts and a hard pill for the Eagles to swallow when you realize they could have had this young man, but passed on him and let the arch rival Giants select him. Then they had to sit and watch JPP help New York win a Super Bowl.
It’s obvious that Graham hasn’t been the player the Eagles thought he was going to be. He still wears the big smile he was wearing a couple of years ago when the Eagles drafted him and his still says all the right things, but there’s not much else to show. In fairness he has been injured, but that probably doesn’t help Roseman and the front office when they see what kind of player JPP has developed into in such a short period of time.
If the Birds draft another defensive end in the first round of this draft, it will be a sign to me that the Eagles don’t think very much of Graham’s future.
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