PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles are obviously looking for the most talented players in the NFL draft.
They'e also searching for players with character and integrity.
It can be a tricky balance.
"It's a judgment question," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a predraft discussion with reporters last week. "For us, it goes back to when we look at social media. It's are they doing it [in a responsible way] now because they know we're watching them? What were they doing when they were freshmen, sophomores and juniors? Because, in this city, there's going to be a lot of distractions. How are they going to be able to handle that? The only thing you can look back [at] is their past actions. By the same token, we also all know that when you're 19, 20, 21, you don't always make the best decisions. Is that something that's just youthful indiscretions, or does that speak to their character?
"I think that's a much harder projection than is the play on the field, is seeing if a guy can meet their potential, because you don't know," Roseman added. "I'm sure that if we went around this room and talked about how all of us were, 21 and 22, and how we are now, it's much different. So when are these guys going to develop, when are they going to grow up? Are they going to come and realize, 'This is my job, this is my livelihood, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I'm going to do whatever it takes'? There's no insurance for that."
Roseman said he likes the chemistry on the Eagles. And he wants to add to that culture with the draft.
"Culture's really important to us," Roseman said. "Culture and chemistry is a huge part of building a football team. When you talk about 53 guys trying to come together, which I think we saw towards the end of last year, the second half of last year, you're talking about people from diverse backgrounds, different parts of the country, and they're all trying to fit together. So getting that chemistry, this is the one sport where one guy is not going to make the difference. You need to have a team. It's very important to us when we talk about guys and having the right fits here in our building. We're really excited about the energy we have from our football team. So for us to go out of left field and bring someone in who doesn't fit, I look at it that our players look at us when we bring in draft picks. They look at who we put in front of that podium, and if that guy's not a fit for us, that's my responsibility. They're gonna look at me and say, 'We have a good thing going here. We have good chemistry. We have a good culture. Why would we ruin that by bringing in somebody who doesn't fit?'"