Since he can't deal Kevin Kolb to get more draft picks, Roseman hinted that he could move his top choice to some of those same quarterback-needy teams.
If the Eagles do move down, it would mean missing out on the draft's top cornerbacks and likely focusing on the draft's deeper positions, probably along the offensive and defensive lines.
Roseman's comments have to be weighed carefully, given teams' use of misdirection at draft time. But his take matches breakdowns from draft analysts who also have predicted a run on late-first-round quarterbacks and movement from teams that can't get veterans through trades or free agency.
"There's panic among the teams that need quarterbacks," Mike Mayock, an NFL Network draft analyst, said Wednesday, forecasting a "feeding frenzy" on late-first-round passers.
Roseman hinted at interest in defensive linemen, saying that they might go quickly but that there are many good ones available. The Eagles also need offensive line help, and quality blockers might be had in the second or third round, Roseman said.
The opposite holds true at cornerback, a glaring need for the Eagles but a position that is thin in this draft. Roseman did mention the possibility of finding a nickel back after the first round.
"There are other avenues" to address such needs, Roseman said, referring to free agency and trades once the NFL lockout ends. "We don't want to force a particular need if the right player is not there."
The free agent cornerback crop could be a strong one, depending on player movement rules. Under the rules from 2009 and earlier, quality starters such as Johnathan Joseph, Brent Grimes, and Antonio Cromartie could all be available, along with all-pro Nnamdi Asomugha.
There are only three corners with topflight talent in the draft: Patrick Peterson of LSU, Prince Amukamara of Nebraska, and Jimmy Smith of Colorado.
Judging from Roseman's comments, none will be wearing midnight green this fall. Peterson is likely out of reach, and the Eagles would have to trade into the low teens to get Amukamara. Smith might also require a move up since his stock is said to be rising.
The sense Thursday, though, was that the Eagles would rather move down.
Here are some other highlights of Roseman's hourlong session with reporters:
Asked about character concerns about Smith, Roseman said, "Jimmy's a good guy to talk to. . . . He did a great job when he was here."
He said Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, a third-round pick last year who hardly played, got "beat up" in training camp and had "a disappointing year," but Roseman praised the defensive end's work ethic. Roseman said cornerback Trevard Lindley played "at a high level" for a rookie fourth-rounder but has to make a jump in year two. Linebacker Keenan Clayton will be a weakside linebacker, not a safety. Roseman said the team knew when it drafted Clayton that it would probably take him a year to adjust to the NFL.
Roseman attributed his tendency to make so many draft-day trades to "ADD."
"The more players you get, the better chance you have of hitting on guys," he said.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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