Over the past three drafts, the Eagles have taken a total of five players who have won national championships at Georgia and Alabama and it’s absolutely not a coincidence.
These guys know what it takes to be a champion. And that’s a valuable trait.
“It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Jordan Davis said.
And he should know. The Eagles’ newest first-round pick was a centerpiece of the vaunted Georgia defense that led the Bulldogs to a 33-18 win over Alabama in the National Championship Game in January to cap off a brilliant season.
“It’s intentional,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman said. “It's intentional to get winners.”
And Davis showed up to the NovaCare Complex on Friday sporting a giant championship ring on his finger.
“His ring looks bigger than anyone's I've ever seen,” Roseman said.
That ring’s a reminder for everyone that sees it that Davis and his Georgia teammates reached the mountaintop of college football. Two rounds after selecting Davis, the Eagles selected his teammate and Georgia captain Nakobe Dean in the third round.
The year before, the Eagles used their first two picks on DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson, two captains from Alabama’s 2020 national championship team.
And the year before that, the Eagles used a second-round pick on Jalen Hurts, who was a member of the 2017 Alabama championship team.
“I think experience is a great teacher,” Roseman said. “Sometimes — it's not that hard. Great players, great school, high recruits, play at the highest level, it kind of works.
“You want winners. You want guys who have done it.”
Now, it’s never a bad idea to take players from high-level SEC programs like Alabama and Georgia. And if you’re drafting players from championship teams, they’re very likely going to be good players — duh.
But aside from getting good players, the Eagles are also getting an influx of leadership as they continue to become further removed from their Super Bowl LII victory.
“These guys know what it takes,” Roseman said. “And I think that the NFL season, it's a roller coaster ride, it's the ups and downs, and when you have guys that when you're down are going to help bring you back up, and those guys that are champions know what happens when adversity hits and how to raise the level of everyone, that's what team is all about.”
Then Nick Sirianni piped in.
“Kind of like when you're 2-5,” Sirianni said.
Just like the Eagles record through seven games in his first season as head coach before turning things around and getting into the playoffs. When times are tough, when teams face adversity, you need leaders. And the Eagles hope that by getting leaders from national championship teams, it’ll help.
It’s also worth pointing out that guys like Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are getting older and won’t be around much longer. The Eagles are hoping this wave of draft picks will become the cornerstones for their next Super Bowl run.
Last Thursday night, after the Eagles made him a first-round pick, Davis received a text from Hurts. He responded: “Ring chasing.”
“Because that's what we're doing,” Davis responded. “Obviously, he's been at Bama, he knows what it takes to win a National Championship, as do I. To be able to do that in the NFL takes a lot of dedication, a lot of work. I'm willing to learn under him and learn under other guys on the team and soak it all in.”
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast
Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube