NFL Draft 2021: Eagles’ Howie Roseman defends building through lines

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Dave Zangaro
·2 min read
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Howie Roseman unapologetic about strategy of building in trenches originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Howie Roseman was unapologetic on Saturday evening after the 2021 draft wrapped up.

The Eagles’ long-time general manager learned under Andy Reid and has adopted one of his main drafting philosophies: You build through the trenches.

So after using five of the Eagles’ nine picks in this draft class on linemen, Roseman doubled down.

“Right or wrong, as long as I'm here, that's going to be the priority,” Roseman said. “And I think the great things about the two guys next to me (Andy Weidl and Nick Sirianni) is that's what they believe too. And you could say it all you want, but it better show in your actions.

“If we have an offensive lineman or defensive lineman sticking out on our board and they're the highest guy, I promise you we're going to take them. You saw that in the last couple of days.”

Sure, the Eagles drafted a receiver in the first round on Thursday for the second time in two years. But then they came back in Rounds 2 and 3 to draft OL Landon Dickerson and DT Milton Williams. They did that despite the fact that neither project as starters in this upcoming season, which seems to be evidence that the Eagles stuck to their draft board this year and didn’t reach for positions of need.

And it didn’t end on Day 2. The Eagles came back on Saturday and took DT Marlon Tuipulotu, DE Tarron Jackson and LB/DE Patrick Johnson on Day 3.

Sure, the Eagles used just one pick on an offensive lineman, but to get Dickerson they used the No. 37 pick, an obviously valuable chip.

And if the Eagles are committed to re-building through the trenches, it probably is time. Some of the Eagles’ best players on their current roster are linemen but they’re aging. Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham are 33, Brandon Brooks is 31, Lane Johnson and Fletcher Cox are both 30.

Roseman knows that drafting offensive and defensive linemen isn’t always going to be popular. He doesn’t care.

“I’m sure there's some people sick and tired of seeing the Philadelphia Eagles take linemen,” he said, “but that's how we won a championship and that's how we're going to win another championship.”

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