Eagles: How the 2012 Draft Influenced Howie’s Decision-Making in 2020

Howie Roseman made an appearance on Ian Rappaport’s podcast, “RapSheet + Friends” to discuss the Jalen Reagor pick, and justify the Jalen Hurts selection at 53 overall.

There’s no reason to bury the lede because he gives a fairly coherent argument for the Hurts pick near the end of the interview.

”We’re gonna err on the side of caution when it comes to the quarterback position, that’s who we are, that’s what we believe in… I was with coach Reid in 2012… we had this plan, we were gonna go into [the draft] and we were gonna get a quarterback who is now playing really successful in another place (Russell Wilson) and a quarterback who has won a world championship in our place (Nick Foles), and we could get both of them, and we tried to get a little cute. We sort of figured out the difference between the 2nd and 3rd round [tried to hold off on Wilson til the 3rd]… and, I feel like the lesson that I learned from that is, what is the difference in taking a guy between the second and third round if you get a guy who is an important player to your football team.”

There’s a few things to chew on. Howie suggests what we’ve already heard in the past, that the Eagles wanted Russell Wilson badly, and Mike Garafolo later adds that the widely-known plan was to take Wilson in the third round. Howie admits as much when he says, “we tried to get cute,” and chose to wait until the third round to get their quarterback.

He adds: “We’re gonna make sure we learn from the things that we do, and we’re not gonna get cute.” It’s clear that he draws two main conclusions from the 2012 Draft that influenced him in 2020:

  • First, whether it be Wilson or Foles/2nd or 3rd round, you can never go wrong adding players you think can help your team, especially at QB; both players were projected backups, and both have won Super Bowls.
  • The second conclusion he makes—which is a more of a regret—is not using that second round pick on Wilson, and instead drafting for supposed need (46 overall was used on Mychal Kendricks, 59 overall on Vinny Curry). After all, while Foles helped win a Super Bowl, Wilson is a franchise QB and future Hall-of-Famer.

The Jalen Hurts pick is Howie’s way of not getting cute. It’s hard to knock a commitment to long-term decision making, and it’s hard to knock his willingness to learn from the past.

A main complaint about the Hurts pick is that he’s not worth a second round pick or that we should have waited to grab him in the third/fourth. Howie thinks that’s a fair way to look at it, but also claims that’s the “cute” way of operating.

In the context of the 2012 Draft and the career arc of Russell Wilson and Nick Foles (note: no disrespect to Foles) it’s pretty clear that Howie is guided by the philosophy of drafting the players who can help you succeed long term when you can, not when the value says you should. I can’t disagree with that. Maybe if you’re high on Hurts, then picking him 53rd is justifiable—it certainly is in Howie’s eyes, and I buy his rationale. Had he used that philosophy in 2012 he says it would’ve guided him to take Russell Wilson.

I just think the fatal flaw in that argument is that Hurts isn’t the prospect that Howie/Doug/Weidl seem to think he is. Not close. But the takeaway is that if Howie buys-in to you as a football player then he’s willing to take you whenever, and he’s clearly all-in in on Hurts.

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