“For us as a personnel staff, the elephant in the room is that you aren't going to be able to fill all of your needs,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a pre-draft discussion last week. “When you look at the Super Bowl champions over the last couple of years and you break down their team, you probably could pick some weaknesses they have. As much as we don't want that and we'd like to have 22 perfect players at each position, we understand that it's a work in progress. The roster is always going to be like that, so you have to be comfortable that we may have to go into August or September with a spot that we're continuing to look for, and I think that's a great challenge for us and our personnel staff to say that we're going to look at the wire, we're going to look at guys who are cut, but we have to stick to our board because the draft is a long-term decision for us.
"So we don't know where we're going to be in two or three years from now, so it doesn't affect the way that we stack our board, and for us, quality is going to trump quality. When you look back at successful drafts, if you can come out of it with three starters, that is a really good draft. There aren't a lot of drafts where you can come out and do that. So we still have enough picks to do that. Obviously, you'd always like to have more picks, but it is what it is at this point.”
Whether it’s their No. 22 overall pick in the first round or their final pick in the seventh round, the Eagles are continuing to do their homework.
The draft begins Thursday, which is much later than usual, and it has afforded the Eagles to scout everyone for a longer period of time.
“I think it's about the quality of the players we get,” Roseman said. “What this extra two weeks has allowed us to do is spend a lot of time on the potential priority free-agent guys and really know those guys, certainly for me, better than I've ever known guys later on the draft board. I think [I was asked] at the Playground Build [last] Monday about if our board is set and at the top of the board, it is set.
“We are playing around with [the rest of our board]. The sixth- and seventh-round guys, those are the ones we're going to get as free agents. We've never been in a draft, as long as I've been here, where we're having to go through our sixth- and seventh-round guys to find a player [to draft] in the seventh round. So, the way it works is, usually in the seventh round, we're still picking guys we have in the fourth or fifth round.
“Those are the things we're spending a lot of time on here in the last week. The top of our board is set, we haven't changed it or moved anything because you can convince yourself of anything if you spend too much time doing it.”