Eagles' execs Roseman, Donahoe caught in awkward draft room exchange


Things were going so well, too.

Day 2 of the Eagles’ draft turned downright strange Friday evening when ABC’s cameras inside the Eagles’ war room at the NovaCare Complex caught an awkward exchange between Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and senior football adviser Tom Donahoe.

Moments after the Eagles picked Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Milton Williams with the 73rd pick in the third round, Roseman can be seen as usual making the rounds of the war room, fist-bumping Nick Sirianni and Jeff Lurie.

But when he gets to Donahoe, the veteran scout is standing facing away from Roseman and everyone else. Donahoe appears clearly unhappy and gives Howie a half-hearted fist bump with his right hand before muttering a few words to Roseman while he stands there with his hands in his blazer pockets staring straight ahead.

Roseman looks very surprised at Donahoe’s reaction and stands next to him, holding his hands up in the air as if to say, “Whaaaatttttt?”

Roseman conceded that Donahoe was disappointed with the trade out of 70 and the pick at 73.

“I think when we were at pick 70 there were a couple guys that we liked on the board," he said. "We moved back a little bit to see how it would go, a couple of the guys that we liked went as well, and, you know, these guys spend all year scouting these guys and you get favorites, you get guys that you feel really strongly about, we all do, and that’s the fun part about being in the draft room, is the emotions of it. At the end of the day, Milton Williams is an exciting player for our football team, we’re excited to have him, I don’t want to take away from his day, but we’re all excited about that pick.”

The Eagles originally had the 70th pick in the third round but moved back three spots with the Panthers, gaining a sixth-round pick in the process.

The Panthers drafted offensive lineman Brady Christensen out of BYU at 70 with the Eagles’ old pick. The two players that went off the board between 70 and 73 were Central Florida cornerback Aaron Robinson at 71 to the Giants and North Carolina State defensive tackle Alim McNeill at 72 to the Lions.

Donahoe and Roseman have been together in the Eagles’ front office since 2012. One of Donahoe’s high school football teammates at South Hills Catholic in Pittsburgh was George Weidl, whose son Andy is the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel and other son Casey is director of scouting operations.

Donahoe spent most of the 1990s as the Steelers’ general manager before a stint in the Bills’ front office, and joined the Eagles as a senior adviser before the 2012 season. 

When Lurie restored Roseman to power after Chip Kelly was fired, Donahoe was promoted to senior director of player personnel a few days after Christmas 2015 and then returned to the role of senior adviser in 2016.

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