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#pounditThursday, August 5, 2021

Eagles’ Howie Roseman responds to scrutiny over awkward draft fistbump

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Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is trying to clarify the awkward draft room video that went viral following the team’s third round selection.

Video from the draft room showed Eagles senior scout Tom Donahoe offering a reluctant-looking fistbump to Roseman following the team’s selection of defensive lineman Milton Williams 73rd overall. Roseman seemed to be somewhat exasperated in response to Donahoe. The video raised speculation about the relations between Roseman and the team’s scouts, which had appeared strained this season. There was even some speculation that Roseman had gone off his own personal draft board to make the selection, ignoring the full team version.

On Tuesday, Roseman strongly disputed that there were any issues. He suggested that Donahoe had wanted to draft defensive lineman Alim McNeill instead of Williams, but McNeill ended up going No. 72 after the Eagles traded down from No. 70.

“That’s ridiculous,” Roseman said Tuesday on 94WIP, via Tim McManus of ESPN. “Every single person on our staff has their own draft board. That’s how we write up reports. [Coach] Nick [Sirianni] has his own draft board, [vice president of player personnel] Andy Weidl has his own draft board, Tom Donahoe has his own draft board, I have my own draft board. That’s how we rank players. That’s how our system is set up, to do that.

“Discussion and debate and having these conversations, it’s OK. You’d rather have that passion. Tom’s been here for a long time. We’ve been together for 10 years, extremely close relationship. It’s OK to have tough conversations, and Tom and I have had a lot of them in 10 years.”

Roseman’s denial won’t really silence chatter about discord in the organization. There was some talk of that going all the way to the top during the 2020 season, so this wasn’t a great look for a franchise trying to dispel that notion.

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