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Eagles boss Howie Roseman’s free agent work leaves him relaxed entering NFL Draft

The Eagles addressed so many needs in free agency that they don’t have to reach far in the three-day NFL draft that begins with the first round Thursday in Detroit (8 p.m., ABC, ESPN, NFL Network).

Actively signing running back Saquon Barkley, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, pass rusher Bryce Huff and linebacker Devin White basically enabled the Eagles to roll with their draft board.

If a highly rated offensive lineman like right tackle Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) falls, or a defensive tackle like Byron Murphy (Texas), a tight end such as Brock Bowers (Georgia), a wide receiver like Brian Thomas (LSU) or a cornerback like Terrion Arnold (Alabama) or Quinyon Guyton (Toledo), the Eagles can package their 22nd pick with one of their second-rounders or multiple third-day selections to move up.

Though the Birds have traded up in four of their last five drafts, there’s a very real possibility that one of those players will be available when they draft at 22.

“I feel really good about what the players are going to come off around the first 25 picks,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be some moment in the first round where I go, ‘whoa.’ But I feel good about that. I think that when you’re picking in the middle of the second round, there’s probably a little bit more curveballs that come your way. But we will be prepared for it. We don’t do many best-outcome scenarios. We work with, ‘This will be the worst case,’ and even in our worst-case situation at 22 and 50 and 53, we’ll be able to improve this football team.”

Guyton, Murphy, Bowers or Thomas would be major gets for the Eagles. Guyton (6-7½, 322 pounds) would be the heir apparent to Lane Johnson.

Murphy (6-1, 297) is a downhill-style playmaker who would buoy what was a substandard Eagles pass rush last year.

Bowers (6-3, 243) is a flex tight end, one of the top receivers at any level in the draft. He gets open effortlessly. His run after the catch would be second to AJ Brown on the Eagles.

Thomas (6-3, 209) clocked 4.33 in the 40 at the combine and led the country with 17 touchdown receptions last year.

In recent days the Eagles added Isaiah Rodgers to the roster, the cornerback formerly of the Indianapolis Colts who was suspended last season for gambling. Nonetheless, the Eagles need to get younger at cornerback as James Bradberry turns 31 in August and Darius Slay is 33.

Arnold (5-11½, 189) is the safest pick, but ran only a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash at the combine while Mitchell (6-0, 195) clocked 4.33 and benched pressed 225 pounds 20 times. Then there is Cooper DeJean (6-0, 203) who ran a 4.42 at his pro day. Any of those players would bolster the Eagles’ secondary.

Then again, the Eagles haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first round since Lito Sheppard came off the board with the 26th overall pick in the 2002 draft.

“At the end of the day we are not going to stretch and reach on anything because maybe there’s a perceived need,” Roseman said. “We are still in April. We don’t play our first game until Sept. 6. We are going to have a lot of opportunities to continue to improve this team. The talent acquisition season is not going to stop after the draft. We are going to continue to look. We are going to continue to try to get better and do everything that we can so that we are the last team standing.”

Whoever the Eagles select, newly hired offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio are going to impact the decisions. Roseman said Fangio has had “influence” on the Eagles’ previous defensive coordinators.

“I think it’s important that we are not bringing in players just that we like, but also fit kind of what we are trying to do defensively,” Roseman said. “Coach Sirianni does a great job of having that interaction on a continuous basis between us and the coaches, and obviously we talk all the time, and it’s just important. You know, if you bring in a really good player who does not fit what you’re trying to do offensively or defensively, it just may not work. Just because somebody is having a lot of success somewhere else in a particular scheme or system doesn’t mean that the flipside would also work here.”

Finally, there’s this: The NFL was only able to get commitments from 13 prospects to attend the draft in Detroit, but Arnold and Thomas are among that group.


First Round – No. 22 overall

Second Round – No. 50 overall (from New Orleans)

Second Round – No. 53 overall

Fourth Round – No. 120 overall (from Pittsburgh)

Fifth Round – No. 161 overall (from Tampa Bay)

Fifth Round – No. 171 overall (Compensation Pick)

Fifth Round – No. 172 overall (Compensation Pick)

Sixth Round – No. 210 overall (Compensation Pick)

Source: Berkshire mont

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