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Eagles Howie Roseman found these 15 gems late in the NFL draft, or off the waiver wire


Martin Frank   | Delaware News Journal
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Sure, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has missed on some draft picks, most notably with Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in the second and third rounds of the 2017 draft.

But Roseman has also found some gems in later rounds since 2016, not to mention with undrafted free agents and players plucked off other teams' practice squads. 

Several of them played a prominent role in the Eagles' 25-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Here's a look at the best of Roseman's finds in the fourth round or later, either from the Eagles or from other teams:

15. Matt Pryor, 6th round, 2018

It has been an up and down start for Pryor. He was passed over at both right guard and right tackle in the season opener. And he didn't play well when he was put in at left guard against the Rams on Sept. 20 after Isaac Seumalo got hurt.

But the Eagles found a spot for him at right guard, and Pryor has done well there starting the last two games.

14. Travis Fulgham, 6th round, 2019 (Lions)

The Eagles signed Fulgham, a wide receiver, on Aug. 30, a week into training camp. And when injuries decimated that unit, the Eagles promoted him to the 53-man roster on Saturday.

Fulgham caught a 42-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that put the Eagles ahead to stay. Now it appears that he might be here to stay.

13. Genard Avery, 5th round, 2018 (Browns)

The Eagles traded for Avery last October, giving up a fourth-round pick. But the Eagles were always intrigued by Avery's potential, and after a slow start, he finally showed that against the 49ers.

Avery played only 16 snaps Sunday, but had 1 sack and 5 quarterback hits. 

12. John Hightower, 5th round, 2020

The rookie wide receiver from Boise State is starting to find a niche for himself. He showed his speed in training camp, and his ability to make tough catches, such as on the 4th-and-4 conversion in the fourth quarter on a slant over the middle.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he'll have some tough decisions to make when the top three receivers in DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor return. Hightower and Fulgham are making it that way.

11. Boston Scott, 6th round, 2018 (Saints)

Scott, a running back, was instrumental in the Eagles' four straight wins last season, winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week after having 138 yards from scrimmage in the season finale against the Giants, which enabled the Eagles to clinch the NFC East.

So far this season, Scott has found a role as Miles Sanders' backup with 18 carries for 60 yards.

10. Jordan Mailata, 7th round, 2018

Mailata, the former Australian rugby player, might have been a roster casualty if not for Andre Dillard's season-ending biceps injury in late August.

Mailata had never gotten on the field before this season, and played just 20 snaps before finding out the day before the game against the 49ers that he would be starting in place of Peters, who's headed to the Hall of Fame.

"I’m not trying to fill anyone’s boots," Mailata said. "I’m trying to make my own boots." 

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9. Nate Herbig, undrafted, 2019

Herbig began the season, somewhat surprisingly, as the starter at right guard. He played well there through the first two games before the Eagles moved him to left guard in place of Seumalo, who's on injured reserve.

When Seumalo returns, it's likely that Herbig will move back to right guard.

8. T.J. Edwards, undrafted, 2019

The Eagles see Edwards eventually becoming an every down linebacker. He has shown ability both on the inside and outside. But he will likely miss some time with a hamstring injury suffered against the 49ers.

7. Cre'Von LeBlanc, undrafted, 2016 (Lions)

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz refers to LeBlanc as "Strap" because he straps on his shoes and does whatever is asked. For the Eagles, that means serving as the nickel corner, a third safety or cornerback on the outside. 

LeBlanc has done all three ever since the Eagles signed him off waivers midway through the 2018 season.

6. Nathan Gerry, 5th round, 2017

Gerry might not be the best linebacker in coverage, and the 49ers' George Kittle certainly had a field day against the Eagles with 15 catches for 183 yards, as did the Rams' Tyler Higbee on Sept. 20 with 3 TD catches. But Gerry calls the signals on the defense and he has been on the field for all but a handful of snaps this season.

5. Josh Sweat, 4th round, 2018

Sweat has gradually worked his way into a prominent role in the defensive end rotation. After a quiet rookie season, Sweat had 4.0 sacks last season, and he already has three sacks in four games this season. 

4. Corey Clement, undrafted, 2017

Clement will forever be known as the undrafted rookie free agent who had 100 yards receiving in the Eagles' Super Bowl win. It hasn't been as smooth for Clement since, as injuries the last two seasons have taken their toll.

But Clement is a core special teams player who merits an occasional carry.

3. Greg Ward, undrafted, 2017

Ward will always be the poster child for perseverance. He spent his rookie season on the practice squad. He was mostly out of football the next season, before coming back to the Eagles' practice squad in 2019.

Ward was promoted to the active roster in late November and quickly became the Eagles' best wide receiver over the final five weeks of the season as injuries decimated the position. Ward has found himself in the same situation this season. He leads the Eagles with 146 yards receiving.

2. Avonte Maddox, 4th round, 2018 

As a rookie, Maddox started at safety due to injuries. He also played nickel and a little on the outside. Maddox spent last season as the top nickel until moving to the outside when injuries affected the outside corners. He won the starting job opposite Darius Slay in training camp, and was off to a strong start before an ankle injury sidelined him.

1. Jalen Mills, 7th round, 2016

Mills became a starter early in his rookie season at outside corner. Then this season, he was moved to safety, a position he hadn't played since college. Mills was doing reasonably well there before moving back to corner against the 49ers when Maddox suffered his ankle injury.

Martin Frank, sports reporter

Martin Frank, sports reporter

I cover the Philadelphia Eagles for the News Journal. I've learned that there's never an offseason for a team that has such a hold over people in Delaware. I enjoy bringing that passion for the Birds to readers, whether it's in-season or out, a Super Bowl run or the drama leading up to the draft. But I mostly enjoy bringing you the stories of the players, from the 53rd man on the roster to star quarterback Carson Wentz. Your support as a News Journal subscriber enables me to bring those stories to you.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.