The future looks bright for the Philadelphia Eagles. After exceeding expectations in 2021 and reaching the postseason, the team will enjoy a bounty of riches in the NFL Draft in April, with three first-round picks at their disposal.
Howie Roseman did a masterful job navigating a tough offseason last year. Acquiring three first-round picks is no small feat, and according to reports from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Howie had the opportunity to get a fourth.
Per the report from Garafolo, when the Chicago Bears were attempting to trade up in the first round of last year’s draft, they contacted the Eagles and offered them a 2022 first-round pick in return. Here’s the full snippet from his report on Wednesay:
Now, Howie Roseman came into this season saying ‘I know we’re starting to plan for the future.’ That’s why he compiled those three [first-round] draft picks. He had an opportunity to get a fourth, by the way. When the Bears were trading up — and they would have traded up with the Eagles instead of the Giants — Roseman said ‘No, I like DeVonta Smith and believe he’s going to have an immediate impact on our team.’ So he selected DeVonta Smith.”
Having four first-round picks in this year’s draft would have been wild, but Roseman absolutely made the right choice staying put and selecting DeVonta Smith.
As a general manager, when your team is a in a re-tooling stage it’s important to acquire talent while also building for the future. Smith checks both of those boxes. He’s had an immediate impact on this team and he’s going to be a pivotal offensive piece in Philly for years to come.
On the year, Smith leads the Eagles in receptions (61), receiving yards (875), and receiving touchdowns (5).
It would have been easy for Roseman to just take the first-round pick from Chicago and call it a day. His team was entering a rebuild, no one around the league gave them any respect as a potential playoff team, and he had already spent a first-round pick on a wideout the year prior. By declining the pick and taking Smith, Roseman got an immediate impact player to fill a huge need on the team, while also building for the future.
This isn’t the best move Howie has ever pulled off. It’s just another example of Howie’s consistency as a general manager. Whether you want to admit it or not, Roseman is one of the smarter GM’s in the NFL, and this is just another example of why.