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Howie Roseman: Eagles stuck to their board in drafting Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

On Saturday, the Eagles drafted linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. The son of linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, a member of the Eagles Hall of Fame.

As G.M. Howie Roseman tells it, the Eagles didn't ignore their priorities to justify taking Trotter Jr. with pick No. 155, in round five.

"You have to stick to your board," Roseman told reporters. "We can't make up a grade on any player just because we like them. I make a joke a lot of times. You know, the best person I know in the world is my wife, and I don't want her playing linebacker for us, either."

Ideally, teams need to treat players as nameless and faceless. The purpose of the draft is to give each franchise multiple new parts that ostensibly can be plugged into the perpetual pigskin machine that inevitably treats all of them as replaceable. Because they inevitably will be replaced.

"I think for us, at the end of the day, you have to have a certain skillset to play at any position in the National Football League, and so we're looking for a skillset, and we're drafting players based on a skillset," Roseman said. "As much as you like those stories, and it's a great story without the ending, you know. We just started that story, but it's got to be skillset, and he has a skillset, and that's why we drafted him. He has a mentality. That's why we drafted him. We're looking forward to him being his own person and not having to walk in anyone's footsteps, but creating his own legacy."

Roseman, in theory, would feel the same way about whoever he took in that spot. That's the objective for every pick.

All that said, it's impossible to completely disregard who a player is when setting the board. Did Trotter Jr. get extra consideration in the complex stew of tangible and intangible factors that takes players of all sizes, shapes, and positions and puts them into a one-after-another-after-another official ranking? Well, if all factors are roughly the same between two different players, doesn't the fact that one of them would bring a great story to town make the difference?

It would indeed be different if there was a reliable formula that allows players to be ranked in a way that accurately reflects their NFL performance. Even with all the time and money and effort and thought and discussion and debate, it's still a crapshoot.

Some will thrive. Some will fail. Some will step up. Some will step off. If a player is objectively good enough, why not trust the DNA match with a guy who has played at a high level? Especially if that guy could essentially serve as an unofficial coach who can supplement the effort to turn his son into the best possible player?

For as complicated as they like to make it, sometimes it's simple. With Trotter Jr. going to the Eagles, the attraction is likely far more simple than complicated.