April 24, 2023
The idea of Bijan Robinson lining up behind Jalen Hurts for the next several years is apparently one that other NFC teams aren't too thrilled about entertaining.
History and conventional wisdom tell us that the Eagles won't go for a position like running back with the No. 10 overall pick in the NFL Draft later this week, with general manager Howie Roseman instead opting to keep investing in the trenches at either offensive or defensive line.
Projections, mock drafts, and the rumor mill, however, have continually linked the Birds to the star running back out of Texas, with the latest coming from the NFL Network's James Palmer, who reported Monday that conference opponents are hoping Philly doesn't end up with the top back in the draft class.
"Now this would be outside of the norm for Howie Roseman. We know the way he builds this team, from the inside out, they work on the trenches. But if you look at what he said in his press conference last week, they don't think they're going to be picking this high in the draft in the next several years. They feel like they need to hit on a unique talent that can make an impact right away, but also said they need to be open-minded when they're looking at No. 10.
"This is outside of the box for the Eagles, but when I talked to several teams over the weekend in the NFC, I'll tell ya this, they do not want the Eagles to draft Bijan Robinson. They believe that would make this offense beyond scary. You saw the contract extension, the press conference with Jalen Hurts today, perhaps this takes some of the carries off of his workload with Bijan Robinson stepping in and being probably that No. 1 back right away.
"Running back is a need for the Philadelphia Eagles in this draft. They did get Rashaad Penny, who's had issues staying healthy, they do really like Kenneth Gainwell, but there are a lot of people around the league that believe this pick would change their offense." [NFL Network]
I’ll just say this. A couple NFC teams I talked to this weekend DO NOT want the #eagles to draft RB Bijan Robinson. The thought of that offense with his addition is scary in their eyes. My report on NFL NOW on @nflnetwork. pic.twitter.com/YrAJrthLiL— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 24, 2023
A genuine fear or a smokescreen being put up by other execs and coaches? Maybe a bit of both – the entire league is playing chess this time of year, after all.
Either way, with picks No. 10 and 30, the Eagles have a whole lot of options to consider, and based on Roseman's media availability last week, don't seem necessarily locked to any particular position or tried-and-true formula.
"I think the most important thing when you're picking in the first round, certainly when you're picking 10, is that you get a unique player," Roseman said. "I think that there are so few unique players in any draft that if you start picking by position and not based on the quality of the talent... if you pick by position and you pick a player who's not any good, then it's not a good pick anyway.
"I think the most important thing for us here is that we utilize this opportunity to get a unique player for our team. Certainly not planning to be picking at this point in the near future. Obviously things happen, but we're not planning for that. So, we understand how important it is to get this right, and how do you get it right is you make sure you get a unique player.
Additionally, the Eagles' current running back depth chart does leave something still to be desired on paper.
They expect Kenny Gainwell to take on more this season, Boston Scott is back for another year, and Rashaad Penny has proven good when healthy, but he hasn't been able to stay that way.
Adding a projected all-purpose back like Robinson behind Hurts and a strong offensive line still in the here and now – not to mention A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert as pass options – yeah, that could easily be a massive headache for opponents to deal with.
But again, the Eagles have a whole lot of options to consider.
Expect the rumor mill to keep churning all the way up to the first round Thursday night.
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