Howie Roseman’s best trade in years


Milan Varia

Howie Roseman’s moves have left Eagles fans confused and upset, but his plan could end up being masterful.

There is a method to Howie Roseman’s madness. 

A week has passed since the Eagles have traded down from the 6th overall pick to the 12th. The trade’s reception was met with disgust from a majority of the fanbase. For months, many have been cultivating a love for one of the top prospects, Ja’marr Chase. The highly touted player is nearly the consensus number one wideout in the entire class, and has shown signs of being a generational player. With the tremendous athletic ability and plenty of raw talent, a player like him is difficult to pass on.

However, generational talent does not equate to success in the NFL. Take a look at an NFC East rival, the New York Giants. In 2018, the team drafted Saquon Barkley, one of the most highly touted draft prospects of all time. His expectations were no less than a Hall of Fame player. While Barkley has played exceptionally well in the league, the Giants have remained in murky depths of horrendous football. They have gone 15-33 in the three seasons he has been with the team. That is mediocre at best.

Likewise, drafting Ja’marr Chase could end with the same result. Even with all the talent he possesses, he will not be helping the franchise in a major way. With the exceptions of the defensive line and the running back core, there needs to be an improvement at every position.

Part of these issues stems from both quarterback and offensive line play, which was all the more reason to trade down for future assets. The Eagles were rumored to have significant interest in Zach Wilson, a QB from BYU. A lack of faith in Jalen Hurts coincided with an inconsistent offensive line might result in an unproductive Chase. While selecting the best WR can be a great move, building the team up as best as possible in multiple areas is even more vital.

If everything plays out the way it is supposed to, the Eagles will have three first-round draft picks next season. Three first-round talents can be very impactful. Even if just one of them is a huge hit, the Eagles will reap sweet rewards. With those picks, if an offensive lineman, linebacker, and cornerback are selected, the Eagles can be poised for a quick jump back right into the playoffs. 

But many fans do not look at the future; instead, they focus on the current situation. But as it stands, the Eagles are far from a winning season. One player will not make any difference for them. Looking ahead is what is needed. There are plenty of positives with the 12th pick. While the talent is not as generational as Chase, it has the potential to elevate the team.

There are still three other great pass-catchers in this draft class: Devonta Smith, Kyle Pitts, and Jaylen Waddle. The hope is one of those three will fall to the Eagles. 

Devonta Smith, the Heisman winning WR from Alabama, is a larger-than-life performer. While he stands at 6’1”, 175 lbs, Smith is an explosive receiver who is a route technician. His route tree is advanced and can shake off any defender he approaches. His hands and body control are among the best in the class. Combine this with his separation, and Smith can stand out as one of the best picks in the draft at the 12th spot. 

Philadelphia native Kyle Pitts, a TE from Florida, rules the passing game. With his size at 6’6”, opposing defenders have a hard time covering him. His build and play style models that of Calvin Johnson. In a hybrid TE-WR role, Pitts could thrive. This small fact is perfect for the Eagles, who have had so much success at the TE position since 2013. Pitts could end up being the most dominant player in the class. His potential is through the roof, and his talent makes him an immediate top 5 TE upon entering the NFL. If the chance is there, the Eagles should draft him.

Jaylen Waddle is a Swiss-army knife WR. A fellow teammate of Smith, who missed most of his last collegiate season, looks to use his speed to his advantage. The electrifying player fits the mold of the new-age wide receiver reminiscent of Tyreek Hill. Essentially, he is the addition that all fans and coaches alike dream of having on their team.

Hope is still abundant, and the fact that teams in the NFL can turn themselves around fast proves that these small moves can be beneficial in the long run. There are still plenty of problems to worry about, such as Jalen Hurts capability as a full-time starter and Roseman’s ability to make the correct draft picks throughout the upcoming draft. Nonetheless, the moves that seem terrible now have the opportunity to reach full fruition. The path to contention will either be long and strenuous or short and exciting. Roseman has the fate of the Eagles in his hands.