Howie Roseman has been in the Eagles' war room for 10 drafts -- he was the lowest-ranking person there in 2001, the guy who relayed the choice of Freddy Mitchell in the first round to video coordinator Mike Dougherty, on the other end of the phone line in New York.
This year, though, his first as the Birds' general manager, Roseman will actually have some say in the name that is relayed, when the Eagles pick 24th overall in the first round of the draft, which is being held next Thursday evening. The second and third rounds are Friday evening and the final four rounds are scheduled for Saturday. It's the first time for the three-day format, and Roseman thinks that will lead to more wheeling and dealing than when teams were always on the clock.
"Because of the lull in the time, I think there's going to be more trades, moving up and moving back," Roseman said Thursday during a predraft session held with reporters covering the team. "We're excited about that. We think we have a lot of ammunition to do both those things, and if the opportunity presents itself, we'll go there."
The Eagles have 11 picks in what is being touted as an exceptionally deep draft. They are slated to pick five times among the first 87 choices, through three rounds. Roseman said the Eagles went out of their way to bolster what originally was a larder of six choices, because this draft offers so much talent.
"We saw that this draft could really help us, from an overall team perspective, and we went out and we got five other picks, two of them (compensatory picks) from the league, and we feel like they're in strong places in the draft," he said.
Roseman said he will look at the Birds' first second-round pick -- No. 37 overall, obtained from the Redskins for Donovan McNabb -- as "the fifth pick in the draft" that day.
"I think it's going to be fun," he said.
*Roseman acknowledged that the possible return of Jeff Garcia might hinge on whether the Eagles draft a developmental quarterback, something they probably would like to do, but can't be certain of doing -- especially since they won't be looking for a QB early in what is not a strong QB field. Roseman said he anticipates Michael Vick will be with the Eagles this season, but he said the Eagles continue to field offers, as they would for virtually any player.
*Asked about teams near the top of the draft wanting to move down, Roseman said that seems to be the case, as it has been so often lately, with teams feeling high picks get too much guaranteed money under the expiring CBA. (That's one of the main reasons owners are unhappy and the sport could be facing a 2011 lockout..)
*Roseman said that particularly in the area where the Eagles are drafting in the first round, you have to be careful not to draft exclusively for need, that history shows when teams do that, they often pass up on Pro Bowl players at other spots.
*Roseman not surprisingly was noncommital about the trade of Sheldon Brown making cornerback a higher priority for the Eagles. He expressed "a lot of confidence" in Ellis Hobbs, who didn't cover very well last season before suffering a serious neck injury.
*He said the defensive line crop is particularly deep in this draft. "We have more defensive linemen graded (as being worthy of being selected) in the first three rounds than we've had in the whole drafts the last three years," Roseman said,
Offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles signed his tender, agreeing to a 1-year contract. Jean-Gilles had been a restricted free agent.
Only punter Sav Rocca remains unsigned among the team's restricted free agents. Today is the deadline for other teams to make offers to RFAs; teams have until June to re-sign their own players. Rocca spends his offseasons in his native Australia and is expected back for the first minicamp, in less than two weeks.
A fourth-round draft choice of the Eagles in 2006, Jean-Gilles has appeared in 29 career regular season games, including 16 starts. He played in 14 games in 2009 (including playoffs), starting six games at right guard.
Gosh, take a look at this. A certain former Eagle has a new look ...
It had to happen one day, but it will definitely take some time to get accustomed to it.