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Philadelphia Eagles: Grading Every Howie Roseman Draft Pick Since Carson Wentz

Howie Roseman made the right move back in 2016 to make Carson Wentz the Eagles’ franchise quarterback. However, since making that pick, his talent evaluation skills have looked lackluster. Let’s grade out how each draftee performed since Carson Wentz was selected. 

2016:

Isaac Seumalo: A-  

Drafted: Round 3, Pick 79 Position: LG

Initially drafted as a center, Isaac Seumalo has become a dependable starting left guard for the Eagles these past two seasons. After mostly playing as a backup and swing tackle during his two seasons, Seumalo took over as the starter for Stefen Wisniewski in 2018. He’s also been able to stay on the field through four seasons; he did not miss a single offensive snap in 2019. After signing a three-year extension, Seumalo projects to be the Eagles’ starting left guard through the 2022-23 season.  

Wendell Smallwood: C 

Drafted: Round 5, Pick 153 Position: RB

Taken in the fifth round out of West Virginia, Wendell Smallwood showed flashes of potential but was ultimately the odd-man-out in Philly. After a solid start to 2017, Smallwood lost all of his playing time after the Eagles acquired Jay Ajayi. Then, he became a cut casualty in 2019 due to Philly’s having a crowded backfield. In his three seasons with the Eagles, Smallwood had 233 carries for 931 yards, along with eight total touchdowns. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai: B+  

Drafted: Round 5, Pick 164 Position: OT

Halipoulivaati Vaitai was another solid offensive lineman on a mid-round pick made by Howie Roseman. During the 2018 season, Vaitai took over as the Eagles’ starting left tackle after Jason Peters suffered a torn ACL. Big V stepped up in a big way for that team and was a solid backup lineman the past two seasons with Peters healthy. With Andre Dillard projecting to be the Eagles’ starting left tackle of the future, Vaitai signed a five year deal with the Lions this offseason. 

Blake Countess: D  

Drafted: Round 6, Pick 196 Position: DB

Blake Countess did not make it very far in Philly. After getting cut during his first preseason in Philly, Countess signed with the Rams, where he played for three seasons. Countess last played for the New York Jets in 2019.   

Jalen Mills: A  

Drafted: Round 7, Pick 233 Position: DB

Arguably Howie Roseman’s best late-round pick in recent years. After standing out as a rookie for his physical play, Mills had a breakout season in 2017 and helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl championship. Injuries have hurt Mills the past two seasons, and the Eagles are planning on moving him to safety. Mills has an infinite amount of confidence, but it will be difficult for him to replace Malcolm Jenkins next season. It should be very exciting for most Eagles’ fans to see what he can do in 2019.  

Alex McCalister: D  

Drafted: Round 7, Pick 240 Position: DE

After being a late seventh-round pick by Howie Roseman, Alex McCalister never played an NFL snap. He last played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in 2019.   

Joe Walker: C-  

Drafted: Round 7, Pick 251 Position: LB 

Walker never provided a ton for the Eagles, but expectations were never very high, either. After suffering a torn ACL during the 2016 preseason, Walker made the Eagles roster in 2017, where he mostly played special teams. After getting cut by Philly in 2018, Walker has played his last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

2017:

Derek Barnett: C+  

Drafted: Round 1, Pick 14 Position: DE

After a solid rookie season, Derek Barnett has been underwhelming these last two seasons. Barnett suffered a season-ending injury in 2018 in week six, and then somewhat underperformed in 2019. On numerous occasions, Barnett racked up dumb penalties, putting Philly in a tough position. To be fair, Barnett is a solid player, but he was likely a round or two too high. 2020 may be a make-or-break season for Barnett in terms of his future with Philly. 

Sidney Jones: D-  

Drafted: Round 2, Pick 43 Position: CB

Quite frankly, I’m being generous by not giving Howie Roseman an F for this pick. Jones would have been much better, but he still hasn’t fully recovered from a torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day. After playing in just one game in 2017, and struggling in 2018, Jones had a horrendous 2019 season. That being said, Jones may have turned a corner towards the end of last season, as he did make a huge stop late in Philly’s Week 16 win against Dallas. If Jones can’t figure it out in 2020, Philadelphia will likely move on from him.  

Rasul Douglas: C 

Drafted: Round 3, Pick 99 Position: CB

Rasul Douglas is basically just the epitome of a mediocre NFL cornerback. His most significant issue is that he isn’t fast enough, so he often gets burnt down the field by speedy receivers. With the Eagles acquiring Darius Slay from Detroit, it’s unclear what Douglas’ role will be in 2020. Trade rumors have swirled around his name for a while, but he likely won’t net much more than a late-round pick.  

Mack Hollins: D+  

Drafted: Round 4, Pick 118 Position: WR

After his rookie season where Mack Hollins showed some promise, fans were very high on this 6’4” receiver. However, Hollins missed all of 2018 due to a “mysterious” injury and struggled in 2019. Hollins got cut after week 12 of the 2019 season, and later signed with the Miami Dolphins. In total, Hollins had 26 catches for 351 yards and a touchdown with the Eagles.   

Donnel Pumphrey: F  

Drafted: Round 4, Pick 132 Position: RB

2017 was arguably the greatest running back class of all-time. Names such as Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, and Kareem Hunt, among so many others, come from that draft class. So who did Philly take? Donnel Pumphrey. Did he ever play an NFL snap? Nope. Donnel Pumphrey was easily one of Howie Roseman’s biggest draft mistakes. 

Shelton Gibson: D  

Drafted: Round 5, Pick 166 Position: WR

Shelton Gibson never made much of an impact with the Eagles. He had just three catches in his first two NFL seasons before getting cut by Philadelphia in 2019. With their receiving core depleted, the Eagles brought Gibson for their playoff matchup against Seattle last season, where he drew a pass interference in his only target.   

Nathan Gerry: B-

Drafted: Round 5, Pick 184 Position: LB

Nate Gerry doesn’t do anything special but is a solid rotational linebacker for the Eagles. Jim Schwartz has never put a ton of value into the linebacker position, but Gerry made an impact for Philly’s defense in 2019. With Nigel Bradham gone, the Eagles will need Gerry to step up and have a solid season in 2020. Gerry is most effective in the passing game, as his 6’2” 230 lb. frame and solid speed allow him to contain tight ends in coverage. 

Elijah Qualls: D

Drafted: Round 6, Pick 214 Position: DT

Elijah Qualls made a limited impact during his only season with the Eagles, recording just four total tackles in 2017. He last played for the DC Defenders of the XFL after getting cut by Philly in 2018.   

2018:

Dallas Goedert: B+

Drafted: Round 2, Pick 49 Position: TE

Dallas Goedert’s play hasn’t always been great, but as Philadelphia’s second tight end, he plays his role well. Goedert has shown flashes of greatness but has struggled at times with drops with the rest of the Eagles’ receivers last seasons. The Eagles like to run a lot of 12 personnel, with Goedert, and Zach Ertz on the field at the same time. If he can improve his hands, Goedert could be in for a big season in 2020.  

Avonte Maddox: B

Drafted: Round 4, Pick 125 Position: CB

If Avonte Maddox can stay healthy, then Howie Roseman may have found a diamond in the rough with this pick. After a great rookie season, Maddox struggled at times last year and missed four games due to a head/neck injury. He’s expected to start on the outside across from Darius Slay, and it will be interesting to see if Maddox can break out in 2020.  

Josh Sweat: C+

Drafted: Round 4, Pick 130 Position: DE

It’s tough to make a definitive answer on Josh Sweat just yet. After barely playing his rookie season, Sweat did a solid job replacing Chris Long while playing 28% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps in 2019. If Derek Barnett struggles, Jim Schwartz may want to give Sweat some more playing time in 2020. 

Matt Pryor: B- 

Drafted: Round 6, Pick 206 Position: OG 

Through two seasons, the Eagles haven’t seen much from Matt Pryor. However, the 6’7” 338 lb guard was forced into action late in the season last year after Brandon Brooks got injured. In two regular-season games and one playoff game, he played well. Pryor projects to be a solid backup guard for the Eagles in 2020.    

Jordan Mailata: D+

Drafted: Round 7, Pick 233

Jordan Mailata had never played an organized game of football when he was selected by Roseman.  A former Australian rugby player, Mailata was viewed as a project player who could turn out well due to his massive frame. Unfortunately, he hasn’t panned out. But check out some of his rugby highlights!   

2019:

Andre Dillard: B

Drafted: Round 1, Pick 22 Position: OT

With Jason Peters likely not re-signing, Andre Dillard projects to be the Eagles’ starting left tackle of the future. Dillard showed flashes of potential at left tackle during his rookie season but struggled when asked to play right tackle. The position is his to lose for 2020, and Dillard could have a very bright future in the NFL.   

Miles Sanders: A 

Drafted: Round 2, 53 Position: RB

After a slow start to the season, Miles Sanders came on during the second half of 2019. With 818 rushing yards and 509 receiving yards, Sanders led all rookies in yards from scrimmage. In open space, Sanders is a dynamic running back who is tough to bring down for defenders. With Jordan Howard gone, Sanders projects to the Eagles’ three-down-back in 2020. While Sanders has only played one NFL season, it seems like Howie Roseman hit the ball out of the park with this pick.  

JJ Arcega Whiteside: F

Drafted: Round 2, Pick 57

Bust. Somehow, Howie Roseman took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ahead of DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Darius Slayton, among other receivers. The Eagles’ receiving core was extremely depleted, and yet JJAW still couldn’t find his way onto the field for much of the season. His route-running is horrendous. His hands aren’t great. In total, he had just 10 catches on 22 targets for 169 yards and a touchdown in 2019. Not to mention he had five drops. It’s early, but this pick looks like a complete disaster for the Eagles. 

Shareef Miller: D-

Drafted: Round 4, Pick 138 Position: DE

The Eagles made this pick in the fourth round without needing a defensive end. In his rookie year, Shareef Miller only logged two total snaps, both on special teams.  

Clayton Thorson: F

Drafted: Round 5, Pick 167 Position: QB

When Clayton Thorson got drafted, he was 23 (older for a rookie), didn’t have a great college career, had injury concerns, and didn’t throw a very good deep ball. Despite all these red flags, Howie Roseman pulled the trigger and selected him in the fifth round. Not to mention, the team didn’t have a need for a backup quarterback. Gardner Minshew II was taken one round later, and projects to be the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future, while it wouldn’t shock me if Thorson never plays an NFL snap.  

Sure, it hasn’t been all bad for Howie Roseman, but his draft selections haven’t been great at times, especially since 2017. It will be interesting to see if he can reverse that trend at the 2020 NFL draft. 


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