That’s Howie Roseman’s assessment and the NFL’s reigning Executive of the Year gave you a very small peek behind the curtain a week out from the NFL Draft.
All those mock drafts you love are for entertainment purposes only.
“Nobody has any idea what we’re going to do,” Roseman said during his pre-draft media session at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday.
Roseman knows that because he doesn’t discuss team business with anyone not in the building even NFL information brokers like Adam Schefter.
“I will be honest with you. I never talk about our team,” the Eagles’ personnel chief said. “I never talk about our team. For me, I’m very consistent about that. I won’t talk to other teams about our team. I won’t talk to anyone about our team. When I go to my kids’ sporting events, who are we going to draft, maybe I should start saying stuff there, but I don’t.
“I think at the end of the day I say the same thing. There’s a very small group of people who kind of can figure out what directions that we’re thinking about depending on where it’s going. I say the same things I say to my kids. We’ve got two ears and one mouth. Let’s be good listeners for the next couple weeks.”
And that philosophy isn’t unique to the Eagles.
“For me to think that there are actually people in this league talking to people and saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to draft this guy at 10, but don’t tell anyone,’ this is a huge game of poker, and all you want to affect is the outcome of your desired results,” Roseman explained.
That didn’t stop reporters from trying to uncover a rock, any rock.
JAKIB Sports talked to two former league executives over the past week with former scouting executive and scouting combine chief Chris Landry placing the depth of the true first-round talents at 16 or 17. Former Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, now a draft analyst for SiriusXM Radio, was a little more liberal, going 22 deep.
Roseman starts the process with Nos. 10 and 30 in the first round and there are a few years that go 30 deep so the second first-round pick could turn into a trade-down.
“Since we have two first-round picks I’m not going to tell you how many guys have first-round grades,” Roseman said. “I’d say this: I never get caught up and maybe I should. Maybe I’ll look at this after the draft. I never get caught up in trying to compare quality of this draft versus a previous draft, because I think we’ve got to be in the moment we’re in right now. To sit there and go, man, this draft doesn’t have this or this draft, I wish it had that, it doesn’t help us make good decisions for next weekend.”
Roseman eventually bottom-line it.
“Am I going to give you guys any answers today? No, not even a little bit,” he smiled. “But I think the reality of it is anyone who’s sitting there and saying, ‘hey, I know exactly what’s going to happen at pick 11 or pick 12 or pick 6 or 20,’ it’s all a guess.”
The best breadcrumb Roseman did drop was the adjective “unique” when discussing his top-10 pick.
“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, then you really get a chance – so if you pick by position and you pick a player who’s not any good, then it’s not a good pick anyway,” he said.
That has fantasy football-obsessed Eagles fans soaring with Bijan Robinson dreams.
Roseman’s tell in this poker game comes from his history and when he reveals his cards they will likely remain what they usually are — the offensive or defensive lines.
“I think that if you start saying, ‘Hey, we can only get a unique player, but it’s got to be this position,’ you really narrow your options right there,” said Roseman. “So just trying to be as open-minded as possible about what that looks like and making sure that whoever we pick is somebody that we think can really impact the game.”
Those fitting that definition are Georgia rushers Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson, Iowa defensive end Lukas Van Ness and perhaps Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr.
“I promise you when we come here next Thursday night … you guys will have probably five or six times when the commissioner announces a pick go, whoa, because at the end of the day, everyone sees things differently,” said Roseman. “Just like everyone sees people differently, just like everyone sees food differently.
“The things that we’re seeing that we think are so clear and so transparent to another team are totally opposite. That’s what makes the draft kind of fun. You see things and you go there, and you go, there’s no way that everyone is not going to see the first 10 picks exactly how we see them, and there will be a difference of opinion.”
The real trick is as amole as it gets. Play the hand you’re dealt as best as you can.
“I’m really focused on what are the opportunities that we have over the next weekend to improve our team, to get players that we think fit, and that we think can be a part of the culture and the team that we’re trying to build over a period of time,” Roseman said. “… At the end of the day we know there are going to be tremendous players who come out of this draft, and we’ve got to find those guys.
“We’ve got to bring them to Philadelphia, and that’s our challenge, and that’s our job, and that’s what we’re going to try to do the best we can to do over the next week.”