- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA – Eagles general manager Howie Roseman didn’t want to talk specifically about Johnny Manziel or reports that he met with the Texas A&M quarterback at the combine last week.
Roseman did say there was more than one reason for teams to meet with players before the draft.
“We do interviews for a wide variety of reasons at a wide variety of positions,” Roseman said Thursday. “We get 60 formal interviews at the combine, we get 30 players we’re allowed to bring in [to Philadelphia]. Out coaches and scouts do an amazing job of tracking down basically every player on our draft board to talk to.
“So some of the guys that tell you they’re interviewed, they may interview with us formally, they may interview informally. We’re trying to get as much background as possible on as many guys as possible.”
The value of that background information extends well beyond that year’s draft, Roseman said.
“You never know when the opportunity is going to come to get a player,” Roseman said. “It may be now in the draft, it may be in free agency, it may be via trade. If you look at your notes and you haven’t met the guy and the head coach is coming down the hallway and he’s going, 'Hey, how was this guy when he came out?' – and you’re kind of going, 'Help.'
“It’s just part of the process. We want to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and make sure we have as much information as possible. It’s right in front of us [at the combine]. That’s our job.”
That would explain why the Eagles would use one of their interview slots on Manziel. They also met with Robert Griffin III at the 2012 combine, a player they had no chance of drafting.
Then again, Roseman has said the Eagles will take their highest-graded player regardless of position, even if it’s a quarterback. So you never know.