Pre-Draft Press Conference Transcript: Nick Sirianni, Howie Roseman, and Andy Weidl
Nick Sirianni, Howie Roseman, and Andy Weidl met with reporters today for a pre-draft virtual press conference today. With just eight days until the draft, fans are getting anxious for draft night to come. The team will pick at 12 instead of 6, after the trade back with Miami. Sirianni, Roseman, and Weidl sat down today to talk about the upcoming draft, and you can find everything that was said in the press conference below.
Howie: Draft process has been great, just want to thank everyone that’s been involved. We’re really excited to get ready for next week. Andy: When Nick got here, we tried to get everyone on the same page, and I think we did that, and we had an excellent week of meetings last week. Saw great chemistry, can’t wait to get scouts in here in person next week. Know what you’re looking at, and what you’re looking for
Q: Do you view Slater or Tucker as guards in the draft, and do you see them as a first round option? And do you view Seamalo as a backup for Kelce?
Howie: Issac gives us a ton of versatility, having a guy like that doesn’t make us force positions. Andy: They are great talents, we’re going to keep where we see them into ourselves.
Q: You’ve got 11 picks in this draft, where the success rate drops, how are you approaching the later round picks?
Howie: We’re constantly studying the “hit late guys”. Having those picks gives you flexibility to move up, but we’re also looking for role players
Q: There’s been a lot of criticism on recent drafts, what do you say to those people? Andy, what have you learned since taking over the job?
Howie: We’re proud of our group of scouts and our front office. The draft hasn’t always been perfect, and it always depends on where you’re picking. We’re always striving to be better, but we have some great draft talent on this roster. We want to maximize the 11 picks in this draft as best as we can, and excited to add to this football team. Andy: I learned about adjusting to the new coaching staff, finding players that can fit the program. We’re an extension of the coaching staff, and we want to go out and find the guys that best fit this program. Just trying to get the right player for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Q: How have you overcome the challenges of not having the scouting combine?
Andy: Our scouts went above and beyond going to pro days. COVID-19 has touched all of us, and our scouts have been amazing this year. We went down to the Senior Bowl, interviewed about 128 players down there. Relayed that info to Howie and Nick, and had zoom interviews. We have the people here that are able to do that, and we are extremely excited for next week. Howie: continues to praise the scouts, said scouts wanted to do anything possible to better this football team. Nick: Thought the ideas Howie had of zoom meetings were great. No time limit on meetings like the combine, we were able to get meaningful conversations with every player that we wanted to.
Q: Pretty well documented that the first two picks last year weren’t on the scouting board last year, what’s changing this year?
Howie: We’re trying to get the biggest talent but also the biggest fit, and each player we draft needs to fit with our coaching staff. Having the scouts in person next week, after not being in the building since last February, will be great to have open conversations about fit and guys on our board. We’re all on the same page.
Q: The fact that you guys weren’t able to get together, did that effect the process? And Nick, how have things changed for you in regards to the process?
Howie: The book hasn’t been written on last years draft, and we’re excited for this draft. Nick: In recent years I’ve been spending my time on the offensive side, but now that I’m watching these defensive players, it’s a whole new world. Using his offensive mind to think about how teams could gameplan against these guys, opens Jonathan’s (Gannon) eyes, brings a bigger view on offensive players. I love being able to watch all positions before the draft.
Q: Why did you trade back from 6, and what does it have to do with the QB situation?
Howie: Flexibility creates opportunity. That’s one of the hardest things to require (a team’s first round pick). Had to sit back and say “who are the best 12 players in this draft”, to get the extra volume and get a wider view of the range of players. When you’re moving back early, you have to think we’re getting a premium. When we get the call, and we’re having discussions with Miami, once we found out it was SF we knew 3 QB’s would be gone. Able to lock in on guys who would be there at 12. We’re going to evaluate every player, and nothing is on the table. Nick: To name any starters at anytime, we’ve been working with these guys for 2 days. Competition at every position.
Q: If you look at the stats, WR and DB seem to be the lowest percentage of draft hits, why you guys feel that might be the case, and what you can do to overcome it?
Howie: The WR trend in the NFL have been tough, taking away the last few years. The coverages in college football are different. 4th corner who won’t play in the NFL is guarding them in college, while 4th corners in the NFL are still great players. Andy: History is shown in the CB’s this year. We’re looking forward to that, great meetings last week regarding defensive backs.
Q: Weighing college production vs future projection. Where do you stand on that? How do you weigh height weight and speed?
Howie: Good players come in all shapes and sizes. Nick: It’s about how you’re going to get these guys the football early on. Do they have the skillset to feed them early on? “I’M EXCITED, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT WIDEOUTS”. In my past, we’ve had some receivers early on, and we need to see where guys can be successful. (Sirianni said a lot about receivers, and as it showed, he is EXTREMELY passionate about Wide Receivers.)
Q: Talked about the flexibility with picks, is the planning on draft night?
Howie: We’re talking to teams in front of us right now, in regards to trading picks on draft night. We talk to teams in front of us, we’ll talk to every team in the league. It’s all contingent on a player being there, but we try to have all that homework done, and we’ve had the conversation before, where the trade compensation is done before the draft night. Without getting into specifics, we say “hey if you wanna move up, move back, etc.” to teams. That’s what we’re trying to do to teams right now. Nick: The things that a coach goes through a week before the game, seems like the GM and scouts go through the week before the draft.
Q: What type of player is a Nick Sirianni player? Are Gannon’s needs different from previously?
Nick: Obviously, talent is the most important thing. They make the plays, and looking at different skillsets. Like Howie said, every player comes in different shapes and sizes. Finding out how to use these guys in different situation. Hey Reagor, we want you to run this route this way, etc…..Is this guy competitive? Is this guy tough? Do you have high football IQ? You’re going to take your talent and you’re going to maximize that. That’s what we’ve seen with all the players we’ve coached. Not all players are the most talented, but they maximize their talent as best as they can. What does that player have in here, maximizing skill. Howie: The way coaches found out about competitiveness, and finding out how guys are being used, 3 down guy, role player, etc.
Q: A lot of the young players talked about how much they missed not having OTA’s, how big of a blow is it, especially for the young guys?
Nick: One thing you’re happy with is that everyone’s in the same boat. Of course I’d love the players to be on the field with us. The more I can be around the players, no matter what way, the better. We really got a good thing going to figure out ways to maximize communication last year in Indy. We were given a situation, and had to learn how to adapt. Figure out how we’re going to maximize the learning process. Making sure the meetings were interactive.
Q: What’s the deal with the different type of receivers. X receivers compared to a Z receiver, what’s going through your guys head there?
Nick: I’ve had plenty of different types of receivers. It’s about guys being able to do what they ask them, guys being able to win 1v1 matchups consistently, etc. Julio and Odell were referenced, can you win consistently 1 on 1?
Q: Howie there’s been a lot of talk with Lurie’s involvement in the draft process. How heavy is his voice in making the final selection?
Howie: Jeffrey’s looking through our process, we want to know if he has questions about anything we’re doing. Those aren’t his evaluations, those are based on coaches and scouts. If we’re talking about guys, and he might stand up and say “is that really what we’re looking for?” In terms of the draft room, 99% of the time, the work is done, and you’re just picking off what is there.
Q: Lack of Alabama players, do you factor in a school’s program? What’s your take on the DE class?
Howie: It’s something about being a Florida guy (jokes). I think we look at Alabama as a program that is incredibly run, players come out and are ready to play. We have guys on our board from the University of Alabama. Andy: Time will tell with the DE class. They’ll be there, spent a ton of time with different guys. We’ll see where the players are in the time come!
Nick Sirianni is an energetic coach, and I absolutely love his energy and vibes that he’s brought to the team so far. With just 9 days til the draft, the Eagles are getting ready for one of their most important drafts in years.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Eagles