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May 01, 2023

Howie Roseman is winning another NFL offseason

With a masterclass of a draft, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is the pick for the figure who "won the week" in Philly sports.

Eagles NFL
030923HowieRoseman Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman.

In two short years, Howie Roseman went from persona non grata to the toast of the city. So it goes for the guy in charge of constructing the Eagles' roster. As the Birds go, Philadelphia goes. From the fires of the burned out Carson Wentz era after the 2020 season to a team that's set to have the best 53-man unit in the NFL yet again, Roseman has risen like a phoenix. 

No one knows both pitchforks and parades in Philly quite like Roseman. 

A splashy 2022 offseason that saw Roseman bring Pro Bowlers A.J. Brown and James Bradberry to Philly may have conjured up images of the dreaded 2011 "Dream Team" for some fans, but those Eagles reached the Super Bowl and almost won the whole damn thing. There were inevitable departures in free agency this spring, like Javon Hargrave heading to San Francisco on a monster contract, but over a three-day span last week, Roseman fortified a team that should be the favorite to represent the NFC in the Big Game once more. 

"Winning the offseason" and "winning the draft" don't equate to automatically hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but Roseman is doing everything in his power to make sure the Eagles add to their trophy case next February. After a buzzworthy draft, Roseman is the clear-cut choice for who "won the week" in Philly sports, my regular Monday feature here at PhillyVoice. 

Possessing two first-round picks, Roseman did what many expected, leaping from the 10th-overall selection to snag one a defensive lineman. He did just that and landed Georgia's Jalen Carter, perhaps the most talented player in the draft, but one dealing with off-the-field issues. It's a gamble worth taking for a player of Carter's caliber, forming a 1-2 punch on the interior with Jordan Davis that should continue to allow the Eagles to dominate in the trenches for years to come. 

Roseman's patience at the end of the first round proved to be fruitful, too. Landing Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith, solidifying Philadelphia as "Georgia North," without needing to move up from the 30th pick was perfect. He's a guy who Eagles fans would've been cool with drafting at 10. At 30 though? Tremendous value. 

Roseman proceeded to draft Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen, the newest student at Jeff Stoutland University, and ballhawking safety Syndey Brown, rounding out a draft that's an easy "A" grade. Good stuff.

In a city that still feels the traces of 1999's Ricky Williams debate, Roseman showcases why the talk of them possibly drafting running back Bijan Robinson at 10 was never going to happen even if the Texas RB was still on the board. It's just not how they operate. Trading for Saint Joe's Prep graduate D'Andre Swift, who's entering his age-24 season and averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his career, is the ideal running back move for a championship contender to make. With a crowded backfield in Detroit, I thought a Swift deal could be a midseason move in the Jay Ajayi mold. That wasn't just wishful thinking for someone who attended high school at 17th and Girard, as buying low on a talented back on a cheap contract is exactly what you'd expect a GM like Roseman to do. 

D'Andre Swift. Rashaad Penny. Kenny Gainwell. Boston Scott. There are injury concerns, sure, but the Eagles' running back room is better than it's been the last two seasons when the Birds were historically great rushing the ball down opponents' throats. Jalen Hurts, at the absolute minimum, was a top-four passer in 2022 and now he has the best backfield he's ever had along with Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert all in their primes. All three pass-catchers have their roots in gutsy moves from Roseman: he dealt a first-round pick for Brown, traded up for Smith when draftniks (foolishly) undervalued him because of his slender frame and jumped up for Goedert even with an All-Pro tight end who had the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl still on the roster. 

It's so hard for a team to make it back to the Super Bowl after going through such a grueling season. That might be even more true for a team that losses it, a deflating turn of events to put it lightly. The Eagles might not be back in the Super Bowl in 2024, but it won't be for a lack of trying from Roseman. 

Runner-up: Nick Castellanos 

Castellanos is the "who won the week" runner-up for the second week in a row. On top of a stellar home run-robbing catch on Friday, Castellanos has hit .333 with an OPS of .917 in his last six games. The Phillies are 4-2 in that span and finally have a record above .500 for the first time this season.

Last week's winner: Tobias Harris

Harris went off with 25 and 12 in the Sixers' Game 4 close out win in Brooklyn on April 22. 

2023 Who Won the Week Tally:

Joel Embiid: 5

James Harden: 2

Howie Roseman: 1

Tobias Harris: 1

Bryson Stott: 1

Mac McClung: 1

Haason Reddick: 1

Kenny Gainwell: 1

DeVonta Smith: 1

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