NFL Draft 2020: Finding trends in last 4 Eagles drafts under Howie Roseman


In the four drafts since Howie Roseman came back into power in 2016, the Eagles have drafted at their original first-round position just once: in 2017, when they drafted Derek Barnett at No. 14. 

In 2016, they moved up for Carson Wentz. In 2018, they moved out of the first round, eventually taking Dallas Goedert. And in 2019, they jumped up a few spots to land Andre Dillard. 

So keep that in mind as the Eagles enter the 2020 NFL Draft with the 21st pick. That’s the pick they have now. Not necessarily where they’re going to pick on Thursday night.

In the last four years, Roseman has made 10 during the draft (three in 2019) and that doesn’t include the trades from 13 to 8 to 2 to get Wentz in 2016 because they happened earlier. So Roseman is aggressive throughout the draft and cares about value. The Eagles are going to move around again this year. 

This will be the first draft with Andy Weidl as VP of player personnel. He was promoted in June to replace Joe Douglas. While he’s been with the front office for a few years, his increased presence is somewhat of an unknown. But I don’t anticipate a huge change in philosophy. And the offensive head coach and defensive coordinator are still in place. 

Of the 26 players the Eagles have taken in the last 4 years, 17 are still on the roster and roughly 8 project as starters in 2020. That list of 17 includes Shelton Gibson, who is on his second stint with the Birds and is a long shot to make the 2020 roster. Just one of those players (Wentz) has made a Pro Bowl. 

In the last four years, here’s a positional breakdown of all 26 players the Eagles have taken: 

DB: 5
OL: 5
DL: 5
WR: 3
RB: 3
LB: 2
QB: 2
TE: 1

As far as Day 1 and Day 2 picks: Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Derek Barnett, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Dallas Goedert, Andre Dillard, Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The only positions with multiple Day 1 and Day 2 picks in the last four years are OL and CB. 

For as much stock as we think the Eagles’ put into their defensive line, it’s noteworthy that they’ve used just one Day 1 or Day 2 pick on a defensive lineman in the last four years. That’s a departure from Roseman’s first five years as GM, when the Eagles used three first-round picks on DL. But don’t let that fool you too much, Roseman and the Eagles have been pretty open about their philosophy of drafting on both lines. 

Of particular note this year with the need at wide receiver: their three picks at WR in the last four years haven’t been great: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round in 2019 and Mack Hollins (fourth) and Shelton Gibson (fifth) back in 2017. Jury’s still out on JJAW but Hollins and Gibson both didn’t work out. 

Here’s every pick the Eagles have made in the last three years. Players in bold are on the current roster: 


1-22: OT Andre Dillard 
2-53: RB Miles Sanders 
2-57: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 
4-138: DE Shareef Miller 

5-167: QB Clayton Thorson 


2-49: TE Dallas Goedert 
4-125: DB Avonte Maddox
4-130: DE Josh Sweat
6-206: OL Matt Pryor 
7-233: OT Jordan Mailata 


1-14: DE Derek Barnett 
2-43: CB Sidney Jones
3-99: CB Rasul Douglas

4-118: WR Mack Hollins
4-132: RB Donnel Pumphrey
5-166: WR Shelton Gibson 
5-184: LB Nathan Gerry

6-214: DT Elijah Qualls 


1-2: QB Carson Wentz 
3-79: OL Isaac Seumalo
5-153: RB Wendell Smallwood
5-164: OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 
6-196: S Blake Countess
7-233: CB Jalen Mills
7-240: DE Alex McCalister 
7-251: LB Joe Walker 

A few awards … 

Best value pick: This still goes to Jalen Mills, a seventh-round pick back in 2016. Despite what you think of Mills, he has played in 48 games with 34 starts for the Eagles in the regular season and has started four more games in the playoffs. And now he’s in his second contract, coming back as a safety. 

Honorable mentions: Big V, Avonte Maddox 

Worst pick: This could change if he can finally tap into his potential this season, but for now, this has to go to Sidney Jones. The Eagles used the 43rd overall pick on Jones back in 2017. Jones had a torn Achilles but the Eagles gambled because they thought they were getting a first-round talent in the second round. Even after getting back from that Achilles injury, Jones has struggled to stay healthy and hasn’t turned into the star the Eagles expected. Heck, he hasn’t even become a starter. 

Honorable mentions: Clayton Thorson, Donnel Pumphrey

The next star: The Eagles’ first of two second-round picks in 2019 looks like a good one. Miles Sanders got off to a slow start as a rookie but he ended up having a great first NFL season. He set an Eagles rookie record with 1,327 yards from scrimmage and became the feature back in the second half of the season when Jordan Howard went down. 

Honorable mentions: Dallas Goedert, Andre Dillard

Unfulfilled potential: We’ll give this to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who had a really disappointing rookie year. JJAW caught just 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. What made that tougher was that he showed promise in both OTAs and training camp last season but once the season started, he couldn’t do much, even when he got more opportunities. 

Honorable mentions: Sidney Jones, Derek Barnett

Best class: This goes to 2016. The Eagles got Wentz, their starting left guard (Seumalo), the starting left tackle in the Super Bowl (Vaitai) and a starting cornerback/safety (Mills). 

Worst class: For now, we’ll give this to 2017. Derek Barnett has been a serviceable player but not a star. Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas haven’t become starters and Mack Hollins and Donnel Pumphrey are gone. At least Nate Gerry is a contributor. 

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