If you followed the NFL Draft through the weekend, you’ve probably seen the video of this awkward interaction in the Philadelphia Eagles’ war room, which happened in the moments after the team selected Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Milton Williams.
The fellow making the rounds and offering fist bumps is Eagles GM Howie Roseman, and the clearly displeased gentleman on the far right is the team’s senior director of player personnel Tom Donahoe.
The Eagles selected Williams at No. 73 overall, one pick after the Lions scooped up Alim McNeill. But the Eagles had pick No. 70 before they opted to trade down, picking up an extra sixth-round pick in the process. Donahoe did not care for this particular course of action.
Howie Roseman said on WIP this morning Tom Donahoe wanted NC State DT Alim McNeill when #Eagles traded back for Milton Williams.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 4, 2021
Can confirm from 2 independent sources that was the case. But he wasn’t only one who wanted McNeill. Donahoe also thought another 6th was needless.
“Let me tell you the story about what happened there, because I think you guys deserve it,” Roseman said. “I’ll give you some insight into it. We’re at pick [No. 70], we have two guys standing out on our board, two defensive linemen. And they’re different flavors. One is a 3 technique, one is more of a nose tackle. And so obviously when you have different flavors, everyone likes a different flavor. So Carolina calls and they’re picking two picks behind us and (Panthers GM) Scott Fitterer says, ‘Hey Howie, you want to drop down two picks for our top of the sixth-round pick?’ I said, ‘You gotta tell me offense-defense.’ He said, ‘I’m taking an offensive player.’ So we know we’re getting one of these two guys.”
Seems the GM was fine with either Williams or McNeill, while others in the room had an obvious preference for McNeill. I tend to agree with Donahoe and the other team scouts who preferred McNeill; those guys seem just a little smarter, in my thoroughly, completely unbiased opinion.