Insider Urges Eagles to Draft Unstoppable Weapon: ‘Say to the World’

Howie Roseman

Getty Eagles GM Howie Roseman is a two-time winner of the NFL Executive of the Year award.

No one knows what the heck general manager Howie Roseman is going to do in the first round. He has two picks in his back pocket, with a bevy of explosive college playmakers begging to wear a midnight green jersey in 2023. So, what direction do the Philadelphia Eagles go in once they officially go on the clock?

Jalen Carter of Georgia seems to be the growing consensus assuming the Seattle Seahawks don’t take him first. He is widely considered the most talented defensive player in the class. However, the Eagles could throw everyone for a loop and add another game-changing weapon to the NFL’s third-best offense from 2022. One guy being linked to them as an outside-the-box option is Bijan Robinson.

NBC Sports’ Peter King put himself in Roseman’s shoes in a recent column and didn’t beat around the bush. He believes the Eagles would be foolish not to take Robinson in the first round. Putting him in the same backfield as dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts could prove unstoppable.

King wrote: “I think if I were Howie Roseman, I’d draft Bijan Robinson 10th overall, break the Eagles’ mold of always fortifying the two lines, and say to the world: Okay, you all try to stop Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and Bijan Robinson — I know you can’t.”

Remember, the Eagles are rolling the dice at running back after losing Miles Sanders in free agency. Rashaad Penny sits atop the depth chart as currently constructed. Boston Scott, Trey Sermon, and Kenneth Gainwell will presumably get a crack to jump over the oft-injured former Seahwaks star at training camp.

Draft Expert Puts Robinson over Saquon Barkley

Robinson has been called a top-5 talent in this year’s draft, arguably the best non-quarterback on the board. ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked him the fourth-best offensive player, adding that his overall skillset was better than Saquon Barkley’s coming out of college.

“I’ve got him as one of the top-5 players in this entire draft class; if you’re just basing it on skill and the football player,” McShay told reporters on a national conference call. “I’ve got him at No. 4 behind Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Will Anderson. I’ve got Bijan at No. 4. And I would make an argument that he is slightly, not significantly, but maybe slightly better as a prospect coming out than maybe Saquon Barkley was four or five years ago. And Barkley was the No. 2 overall pick.”

McShay also dismissed the notion that teams should pass on Robinson because he’s a running back. Yes, the position has been undervalued in recent years due to the wear and tear on them. But, any franchise taking Robinson in the first round would actually control his rights for five years under a rookie deal thanks to the fifth-year option.

“I think if you have an elite talent, you draft him in the first round,” McShay said. “You get him at a cheap price, you bring him in for the first five years when he still has the tread on his tires and then if you don’t want to give him the second contract because it’s going to be astronomical, you don’t have to.”

Eagles Haven’t Drafted RB Since Keith Byars

Trends were made to be bucked, right? The Eagles aren’t expected to draft a running back in the first round for one very simple reason: it hasn’t happened since 1986 when they took Keith Byars. Ironically, Byars was the 10th overall pick that year — the same spot where they would likely have to take Robinson — and he went on to a fruitful career in Philly.

Byars rushed for 2,672 yards and 17 touchdowns over seven seasons, adding 371 catches for 3,532 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air. He skipped town in 1993 (via free agency) and made a Pro Bowl for Miami.

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