PHILADELPHIA – With yet another sign of tension between Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and his scout department that looks set to bubble to the surface in the 2021 draft NFL, Roseman on Tuesday offered his admission to Friday’s awkward exchange between him and senior football adviser Tom Donahoe.
He also responded to the notion that he is stepping down from his personal draft board to make elections.
“It’s ridiculous,” Roseman said during a 94WIP appearance Tuesday. “Every single person on our staff has his or her own draft board. That’s how we write reports. [Coach] Nick [Sirianni] has its own draft board of directors, [vice president of player personnel] Andy Weidl has his own draft board, Tom Donahoe has his own draft board, I have my own draft board. This is how we rank players. This is how our system is set to do it.
“We have an Eagles draft board that reflects a lot of things, and my job is to bring them all together. My job is to get the coaches ̵
After the choice of defensive tackle Milton Williams in the third round, cameras showed a rude Donahoe reluctantly giving Roseman a fist bump as Roseman offered congratulations everywhere in the room. Roseman suggested Donahoe was eager for another defensive lineman – Alim McNeill of NC State. The Eagles lost the opportunity to pull McNeill when Roseman decided to trade from No. 70 to No. 73 for a further sixth round in which the Detroit Lions selected McNeill as No. 72.
A separate camera angle showed that defense coordinator Jonathan Gannon was celebrating jubilantly after the Williams election.
“Discussion and debate and having these conversations, it’s OK. You’d rather have that passion,” Roseman said. “Tom has been here for a long time. We’ve been together for 10 years, extremely close relationship. It’s OK to have hard conversations, and Tom and I have had many of them for 10 years.”
The exchange between Roseman and Donahoe is on the heels of a 4-11-1 season that was full of internal dysfunction and included strain between Roseman and members of the Boy Scouts, which was largely driven by the results of the 2020 draft as Roseman went against the scout draft in the first two rounds and chose Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts over Justin Jefferson and Jeremy Chinn, sources said. Owner Jeffrey Lurie was, according to sources, influential in the Hurts election.
Similarly, there were members of the former coaching staff under Doug Pederson who felt that the front office was not properly balancing their input to players. Pederson, the lone Super Bowl-winning coach in franchise history, was fired in January after he and Lurie were unable to get on the same page in terms of their visions for the future.
During their availability around the draft, Roseman, Weidl and Sirianni all stressed that they worked together.
“I think the one thing I learned and I learned it a long time ago was around [former Baltimore Ravens general manager] Ozzie Newsome, is a good listener. Be a good listener, listen to your scouts and communicate, “Weidl said. I think we did an excellent job that I really felt throughout this whole process the last three days. “