Eagles general manager Howie Roseman sat down with a few beat reporters today for his take on the draft. Here are some initial thoughts, with more to come …
• In an Eagles draft with very few reasons to criticize, the one question was about the safety position. The Eagles did not draft a safety and it does not sound like the Eagles intend to add there. “We like our group of safeties,” Roseman said, adding that they are “very comfortable” with the group they have and don’t feel the need to add experience. That group would be Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Jaiquawn Jarrett.
* The Eagles said they added Syracuse safety Phillip Thomas, who led the Big East last season with five interceptions, as an undrafted free agent. Roseman said Thomas will sign with the Eagles, despite rumors that he was going to instead sign with Washington. Roseman said Thomas was a player the Eagles had a lot higher rated than they got him.
• Roseman said the Eagles were able to draft best player available because the Eagles had “no major holes.” Roseman said last year’s picks were more need based because free agency was so uncertain with the lockout. This year, the Eagles were able to fill their needs in free agency or a trade. "There's a difference between wanting (a pick) and have to,” he said.
• Roseman said the Eagles are very high on this group of undrafted free agents. He said noted there are some character risks among them, but said the players remorseful about their past problems.
• On the decision to draft running back Bryce Brown with their final pick, instead over Chris Polk. "It's not very often you get a 224-pound kid who ran a 4.4.” He said the Eagles felt they would have regretted it if someone else selected Brown, who had a wild ride through his college career and quit the Kansas State team last season. Polk, from the University of Washington, agreed to terms as an undrafted free agent. Roseman said Polk is a very talented guy, who is super productive and can run and catch.
• Cox was the Eagles’ highest-rated defensive linemen and among the top players in the entire draft. He said the Eagles noted that he was named the SEC player of the week four times by the league’s coaches. He said the Eagles knew Cox would be a great fit the first time they saw him. He said the Eagles started to think they might get Cox once the Rams traded down. The Eagles had pre-draft conversations with the Seahawks about what it might take to move up to No. 12 to get Cox if he was there. He said it was big for the Eagles for Carolina to select Luke Kuechly. He said the Eagles always planned to recoup the picks that they traded to Seattle. They got back the fourth-rounder with a trade with Green Bay to move down in the second round. They did not recoup the sixth-round choice.
• Roseman said the Eagles did not want to go up into the top 10 because of the combination of cost in trade and the rookie salary cap. He said he really liked the depth in this draft, which is why he wanted keep both second-round picks and the third.
• He said the Eagles feared they might not get Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry when they moved back from No. 51 to No. 59 in the second round, but were thrilled when he was still there.
• The Eagles “were really sweating Boykins in the fourth,” he said in reference to Georgia’s Brandon Boykins. He said when they got Curry and then still got Boykins there were “a lot of high-fives around the room.”
• He said there was no message intended to anyone on the roster when they selected Curry, he was simply the best player on the board at the time. “I don’t think Brandon [Graham] needs any more motivation,” Roseman said.
• The Eagles expect to be at the maximum of 90 on the roster by the start of minicamp. They are at 88 right now.
• The Eagles are not looking to add another option at left tackle. They are comfortable with Demetress Bell, King Dunlap and the addition of Dennis Kelly.
• The team is very confident about its running backs. Roseman said they have lots of confidence in Dion Lewis and with the addition of the young players, “we feel very good about it.”
• Second-round linebacker Mychal Kendricks will get an opportunity to play very quickly, but nothing says he will start as the strongside linebacker out of the gate.
* The decision to draft Nick Foles had nothing to do with Kirk Cousins. Roseman said Reid likes to draft a quarterback regularly in order to keep a stable of fresh bodies. He did not rule out the possibility of keeping four quarterbacks.