Eagles analysis

Ranking Howie Roseman's drafts from best to worst

NBC Universal, Inc.

Next week, Howie Roseman will oversee his 14th draft as Eagles general manager, and the first 13 have ranged from brilliant to disastrous.

Roseman has drafted 105 players, ranging from a 1st-ballot Hall of Fame center to a 1st-round edge rusher that never started a game in the NFL.

During a recent Eagle Eye podcast, Dave Zangaro and I decided to rank each of Roseman’s first 13 drafts from best to worst, and this is what we came up with.

Remember, Roseman wasn’t in charge of the 2015 draft, which produced Nelson Agholor and Jordan Hicks. Head coach Chip Kelly served as de facto GM in 2015 before owner Jeff Lurie fired Kelly and restored Roseman’s control over personnel.

Roseman first joined the Eagles in 2000 and became general manager in January of 2010. Roseman’s first three drafts with the GM title Andy Reid had final say but Roseman had a strong voice in the draft room, so they’re included here.

1) 2018: Howie Roseman’s best draft came just a couple months after the Eagles won the Super Bowl. The Eagles didn’t have 1st- or 3rd-round picks in 2018, but they still found a top-10 tight end, a very good slot corner, a Pro Bowl edge rusher and an elite left tackle. Six years later, four of the five players the Eagles selected are still here (although they released Avonte Maddox and re-signed him). Even Matt Pryor, the one guy who didn’t really pan out here, is still in the NFL, heading into his seventh season. 

2nd round: TE Dallas Goedert
4th round: CB Avonte Maddox, Edge Josh Sweat
6th round: OL Matt Pryor
7th-round: OL Jordan Mailata

2) 2012:. This draft was top-heavy with a Super Bowl MVP and a possible Hall of Fame defensive lineman. It might have been in the top spot if the Eagles hadn’t traded Foles and then brought him back. But Kendricks was an above-average starter – he’s started more games at linebacker than any other Eagle over the last 20 years – and Curry did have a 9-sack season, although overall a disappointing career for a 2nd-round pick. Bryce Brown had an odd Eagles career – one of five RBs in franchise history with two games with at least 169 rushing yards. But very little else.

1st round: DT Fletcher Cox
2nd round: LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Vinny Curry
3rd round: QB Nick Foles
4th round: CB Brandon Boykin
5th round: OL Dennis Kelly
6th round: WR Marvin McNuttOL Brandon Washington
7th round: RB Bryce Brown

3) 2013: The Eagles sure nailed the top of this draft, selecting a five-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle and a three-time Pro Bowl tight end with their first two picks. Along with 2012, one of Roseman’s two drafts that produced multiple Pro Bowlers. After that? Not much. Bennie Logan was an adequate starter for a few years. Jordan Poyer became an all-pro safety but it was in Buffalo.

1st round: OT Lane Johnson
2nd round: TE Zach Ertz  
3rd round: DT Bennie Logan  
4th round: QB Matt Barkley  
5th round: S Earl Wolff  
7th round: DE Joe Kruger, DB Jordan Poyer, DE David King  

4) 2021: The 2021 draft produced one of the best wide receivers the Eagles have ever selected, a two-time Pro Bowl guard, a productive running back and a couple other role players. If Zech McPhearson becomes the starting slot corner in 2024 it could bump 2021 up a little higher. 

1st round: WR DeVonta Smith 
2nd round: OL Landon Dickerson
3rd round: DT Milton Williams
4th round: CB Zech McPhearson
5th round: RB Kenny Gainwell 
6th round: DT Marlon Tuipulotu, Edge Tarron JacksonDB Jacoby Stevens
7th round: Edge Patrick Johnson

5) 2016: Despite the way things ended with Wentz, the actual pick remains a very good one. As brilliant as Nick Foles was during the 2017 postseason, the Eagles wouldn’t have gotten there if Wentz wasn’t 11-2 with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his 13 starts before tearing his ACL. The series of trades to get the No. 2 pick and select Wentz was nothing short of brilliant. Isaac Seumalo became a very good starter over six years when he was healthy, Big V was the starting left tackle during the Super Bowl run and Jalen Mills was very good during the entire 2017 season.

1st round: Carson Wentz
3rd round: Isaac Seumalo (3)
5th round: Wendell Smallwood, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
6th round: Blake Countess 
7th round: Jalen Mills, Alex McCalister, Joe Walker (7).

6) 2020: Overall, a weak draft. When you start out with a colossal bust like Jalen Reagor with the 21st pick, that’s disastrous. But if you can find your long-term answer at quarterback that elevates any draft, and Hurts is 33-14 over the last three years with some splendid postseason play in 2022 and a historic Super Bowl. He’s still only 25, and his 99 combined touchdowns over the last three seasons (61 passing, 38 rushing) trail only Josh Allen (128), Patrick Mahomes (111) and Dak Prescott (100). Nobody else from that draft is even on the roster anymore, although Jack Driscoll and Quez Watkins both contributed at times.

1st round: WR Jalen Reagor
2nd round: QB Jalen Hurts 
3rd round: LB Davion Taylor
4th round: S K’Von Wallace, OL Jack Driscoll
5th round: WR John Hightower 
6th round: LB. Shaun BradleyWR Quez Watkins, OL Prince Tega Wanogho 
7th round: Edge Casey Toohill

7) 2011: This is one of the toughest drafts to evaluate. The first three picks were catastrophes. Dion Lewis had a nice long 10-year career but only two years of it were here. Honestly, the only guy the Eagles drafted in 2011 that contributed in a significant way was Jason Kelce. So how do you rank a draft that produced one decent player who happens to be perhaps the greatest center in NFL history and a sure-fire Hall of Famer? But they didn’t even get around to selecting him until the 191st pick. You have to give Roseman and Reid credit for finding Kelce, but starting off with Fireman Danny and a 2nd-round safety who lasted a year and a half is pretty awful.

1st round: Danny Watkins
2nd round: Jaiquan Jarrett
3rd round: Curtis Marsh
4th round: Casey Matthews, Alex Henery
5th round: Dion Lewis, Julian Vandervelde
6th round: Jason Kelce, Brian Rolle
7th round: Greg Lloyd, Stanley Havili 

8) 2010: At first, it looked like Nate Allen would be the steal of the draft and Brandon Graham would be a bust. Allen became the only player in franchise history with three interceptions in his first four games, and Graham couldn’t get off the bench. And while Allen was a functional five-year starter here, B.G. became a legend here with his late-career resurgence, making a Pro Bowl in 2020, recording a career-high 11 sacks in 2022 and of course forcing the Tom Brady fumble at the end of the Super Bowl. Riley Cooper was OK in 2013 and 2014, Clay Harbor started 18 games in an Eagles uniform and Kurt Coleman became a Pro Bowler with the Panthers. But B.G. was really the only big-time hit in Roseman’s first draft.

1st round: Edge Brandon Graham:
2nd round: S Nate Allen
3rd round: Edge Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
4th round: DB Trevard Lindley, LB Keenan Clayton, TE Clay Harbor
5th round: Edge Ricky Sapp, WR Riley Cooper
6th round: RB Charles Scott
7th round: LB Jamar Chaney, DT Jeff Owens, S Kurt Coleman

9) 2023: Too early of course to evaluate last year’s draft, but we’ll put it here for now. I expect Jalen Carter to become a perennial Pro Bowler, and Sydney Brown and Kelee Ringo both showed promise when the Eagles finally got around to getting them on the field last year. If Smith can become a double-digit sack guy and Steen becomes a starter, this draft can potentially move way up.

1st round: Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith 
3rd round: Tyler Steen, Sydney Brown 
4th round: Kelee Ringo
6th round: Tanner McKee 
7th round: Moro Ojomo

10) 2022: This is a tricky one because again it’s way too early to draw any conclusions. But based on what we’ve seen so far, Davis is an OK starter but overall has been disappointing as the 13th overall pick. Cam Jurgens was OK in his first year as a starter but did miss five games, and we’ll see how it goes at center. And Nakobe Dean hasn’t shown anybody anything yet. Davis and Jurgens should both be long-term starters but at what level? If Dean can live up to his pre-draft billing, this draft will move up a few spots.

1st round: Jordan Davis 
2nd round: Cam Jurgens 
3rd round: Nakobe Dean 
6th round: Kyron Johnson, Grant Calcaterra.

11) 2019: Miles Sanders salvages this draft. He wasn’t a superstar, but he had four productive years here and even made a Pro Bowl in 2022. But the rest of this draft was a disaster. Dillard started just nine games as an Eagle, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside caught just 16 passes as a 2nd-round pick, Shareef Miller played two career snaps and Clayton Thorson played none. Yikes.

1st round: Andre Dillard 
2nd round: Miles Sanders, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
4th round: Shareef Miller 
5th round: Clayton Thorson

12) 2017: What lifts this draft over 2014 and out of the dreaded bottom spot? Barnett at least had 6 ½ functional seasons in an Eagles uniform, and he did Tom Brady fumble in the Super Bowl. If Barnett and Jordan Matthews are a push, Rasul Douglas nudges 2017 ahead of 2014. He didn’t really figure it all out until 2021 with the Packers, but he did have five interceptions in three seasons in Philly, started 18 games and earned a ring in 2017. Sidney Jones really drops this draft down though. It was a risky pick that didn’t pan out. Mack Hollins and Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round doesn't help either.

1st round: Derek Barnett 
2nd round: Sidney Jones 
3rd round: Rasul Douglas 
4th round: Mack Hollins, Donnel Pumphrey 
5th round: Shelton Gibson, Nate Gerry
6th round: Elijah Qualls 

13) 2014: Jordan Matthews had a few solid seasons before going to the Bills in the trade that brought the Eagles Ronald Darby, a starting corner on the Super Bowl team. He came back a couple times and even caught a touchdown in the playoff loss to the Saints in 2018. Other than that? Only Watkins and Allen were even still here in 2017 and both were deep backups. Smith only played about 400 snaps in three seasons. The entire draft class started only 88 games in an Eagles uniform.

1st round: Marcus Smith
2nd round: Jordan Matthews 
3rd round: Josh Huff 
4th round: Jaylen Watkins 
5th round: Taylor Hart, Ed Reynolds
7th round: Beau Allen 

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us