8 biggest NFL draft do-overs for the Eagles during the Howie Roseman era

We’re just eight days away from the first round of the 2022 NFL draft kicking off and it’ll be a career-defining moment for Eagles GM Howie Roseman.

Roseman has been hit or miss in the first round, making some of his best moves in rounds three-seven or with undrafted free agents.

Philadelphia has two first-round picks scheduled for next Thursday night and it’ll be imperative for the organization’s top decision-makers to be all on the same page regarding the best player on the board.

The majority of Roseman’s criticism stems from poor decisions in the first or second round that have set a talented roster back years, and we’re taking a what-if approach to all the failed moves.


Here are eight of Philadelphia’s biggest NFL draft do-overs during the Howie Roseman era and the player that should have been selected.

2020 NFL draft -- No. 21 overall -- Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson

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One year after selecting J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the 2nd-round, Philadelphia made the pick that’ll hang over Roseman’s head for years to come. Jalen Reagor has 64 catches for 695 yards and three touchdowns in 28 career games, including 24 starts, since the Eagles made him the 21st pick in the 2020 draft.

Philadelphia passed on Justin Jefferson, who the Vikings selected at No. 22 overall, and the former LSU star has posted back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, logging 196-catches for 3,016-yards and 17 touchdowns.

2019 NFL draft -- No. 57 overall -- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles traded up for Andre Dillard in 2019 but he initially sat behind Jason Peters.

Dillard missed all of 2020 with an injury and was expected to be the starter upon his return, but Jordan Mailata improved greatly over a year and a half, eventually beating him out for the job.

Philadelphia could have stayed put and selected Josh Jacobs, Marquise Brown, or Montez Sweat.

Then in the second round, Roseman struck with Miles Sanders, and then set the team back years by selecting J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at No. 57 overall over players like DK Metcalf (64), Diontae Johnson (66), Terry McLaurin (76) and Hunter Renfrow (149).

2014 NFL draft -- No. 26 overall/ No. 42 overall Jordan Matthews over Davante Adams

Marcus Smith lasted just three years in Philadelphia, and never started a game during his tenure. Smith played in 37 games with the Eagles and had just four sacks, last playing in the NFL in 2018, but he wasn’t the worst decision of that draft.

Philadelphia’s best move would have been to select DeMarcus Lawrence at No. 26 overall out of Boise State or Derek Carr out of Fresno State.

In the second round, the Eagles doubled down, taking Jordan Matthews out of Vanderbilt, over Carr’s Fresno State teammate, Davante Adams.

2016 NFL draft -- No. 2 overall Carson Wentz over Joey Bosa

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After getting the reigns back from Chip Kelly, Roseman altered the Eagles’ history before the draft, trading LB Kiko Alonso, CB Byron Maxwell, and the 13th overall selection to the Miami Dolphins for the 8th overall selection.

Days before the draft, Roseman then flipped the 8th pick, a 3rd round draft pick, a 4th round draft pick, a 2017 1st round draft pick and a 2018 2nd round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for the 2nd overall selection and a 2017 4th round pick. That No. 2 would eventually become Carson Wentz.

Looking back, Philadelphia could have stayed at No. 13 overall and selected Xavien Howard out of Baylor some 25 picks before Miami did.

If the Eagles had chosen to stay at No. 2, Joey Bosa (Chargers), Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys) or Jalen Ramsey ( Jaguars) would have all been better long-term options over Carson Wentz in a re-do scenario.

2018 NFL draft: trading pick No. 32 to Baltimore for Lamar Jackson

(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

If Philadelphia doesn’t get enamored with Carson Wentz, the franchise still could have landed Lamar Jackson.

With only a handful of picks entering the 2018 NFL draft, the Eagles’ GM started to deal.

Not seeing any value at No. 32, Roseman traded the 32nd (QB Lamar Jackson) and 132nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to Baltimore for the 52nd and 125th overall picks in 2018, and a 2019 2nd-round pick. The 125th overall pick became Avonte Maddox.

Roseman then acquired the 49th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft from Indianapolis in exchange for the 52nd overall pick and the 169th overall pick.

The 49th overall pick would be used to nab tight-end Dallas Goedert.

Roseman then acquired the 233rd overall selection (Jordan Mailata) in the 2018 NFL Draft from New England in exchange for the 250th overall selection and a 2019 7th-round pick.

2017 NFL draft -- No. 14 overall -- Derek Barnett over T.J. Watt

Former University of Tennessee star Derek Barnett made significant contributions as a rookie during the Eagles’ championship run in 2017, but he hasn’t lived up to Philadelphia’s expectations the past four seasons.

He had only two sacks last season, despite starting 15 games, and was re-signed to a two-year deal.

Baltimore selected cornerback Marlon Humphrey out of Alabama two picks later, and Buffalo selected cornerback Tre’Davious White out of LSU at pick No. 27.

If Philadelphia was really thinking big, Roseman would have placed value in a pass-rushing outside linebacker from Wisconsin and selected T.J. Watt.

2011 NFL draft -- No. 23 overall Danny Watkins over Cameron Heyward

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A firefighter with one hell of a story, Danny Watkins played two years in Philadelphia, appearing in 23 games (18 starts) with the Eagles. Watkins played just one game for the Dolphins in 2013 and has been out of the league ever since.

If even Philadelphia didn’t want to trade up for a player of need, former California defensive end Cameron Jordan should have been the player for the Eagles. The year prior (2010), Philadelphia selected Brandon Graham one slot ahead of Seattle selecting Earl Thomas.

2015: Chip Kelly Draft -- Nelson Agholor over Byron Jones

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Roseman was benched in 2015, and it showed as Chip Kelly and 31 other talent evaluators struggled to properly assess the best players in one of the worst overall first rounds of all time.

Nelson Agholor has been a solid NFL wide receiver, but Shaq Thompson (CAR) or Byron Jones (DAL) would have been the proper picks.