Philadelphia Eagles want draft picks to play well, do the right thing and retire with the franchise

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Howie Roseman wants Philadelphia Eagles draft prospects to take a lesson out of the recent retirements of franchise stalwarts Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox.

The Eagles general manager wants potential Eagles to see the likes of DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson and Brandon Graham continue to earn contract extensions and big money years after they're drafted by the team.

The lesson in both instances?

“It's a great success story for us to be able to draft guys and sign them to extensions,” Roseman said. "I think it's a great message to our team that if you come here and do the right thing, you don't have to leave. Unfortunately we've lost two players, two of the greatest Eagles in the history of our franchise who retired, but they played with one franchise.

“I think that's legacy. To be able to have players that are able to do that, when other players see that, I think that's a big part of building culture.”

And building a steady winner.

Roseman and the scouts have hit more often than they have missed in recent drafts — one reason the Eagles went to the Super Bowl in the 2022 season and followed with a 10-1 start last season before a late-season meltdown.

Jalen Hurts is already an all-time franchise steal, the second-round QB picked at No. 53 overall in 2020. Smith, who signed an extension with $51 million in guaranteed money this week, is still a 2021 first-round bargain. Jordan Mailata went from an Australian ruby player to a seventh-round pick in 2018 to one of the best left tackles in the NFL. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter was the No. 9 pick last season and finished second in the voting for 2023 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Eagles expect to hit often when the draft begins April 25. The Eagles hold the 22nd pick in the first round and the 50th and 53rd overall picks in the second round. They have five other draft picks — for now. Roseman loves to trade picks and he has the depth needed to pull off more draft-night maneuvering for, well, future draft picks.


Offensive line depth.

With Cam Jurgens set to replace Kelce at center, the Eagles need help at right guard. Veteran guards Lane Johnson (2026) and Mailata (2025) both have contracts that expire within the next few years and a deep, punishing line has spurred the Eagles' success. Think of the tush push. Or Hurts' combined 28 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons.

Yes, Smith and A.J. Brown are one of the best wideout tandems in the NFL. But finding a No. 3 receiver has been tough in recent years for the Eagles and they could look to pluck an overlooked prospect in the later rounds. The Eagles could also use another tight end behind Dallas Goedert.

“This is the only profession where you take someone out of college and you expect them to be great,” Roseman said. “And if they're not great, you criticize them for not being great. We believe strongly that we have to develop these players. They come in here with a skillset but they're unfinished products. We have a great coaching staff, great player development staff, we have great support staff to help develop these guys.”


The Eagles are set at quarterback with Hurts and backup Kenny Pickett.

They also don't need a top running back after they signed free-agent running back Saquon Barkley away from the Giants.


Eagles fans, keep an eye on tight end Brock Bowers, offensive tackle Amarius Mims, cornerback Kamari Lassiter and wide receiver Ladd McConkey.


They all starred at Georgia, a favorite collegiate target of late for the Eagles.

The Eagles have drafted 26 Georgia players since 1943 — including three last season and two more in the 2022 draft.

The Eagles were the first team to select five defensive players from the same school over a two-year span in the modern draft era.