Joe Douglas is no stranger to success. Spending 15 years under genius GM Ozzie Newsome’s watchful eye in Baltimore, Douglas was awarded the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. His career began as a Player Personnel Assistant in 2000, the same year the Ravens won their first Super Bowl. Hard Knocks enthusiasts might even recall watching Douglas take on the difficult task of informing players that they were going to be cut by the team.
By 2003, he had been allocated the responsibility of scouting in the Northeast area; a position he held for five seasons. After transitioning to the East Coast (Douglas played a major role in the Ravens’ selection of franchise quarterback and Super Bowl XLVII MVP, Joe Flacco) in 2008 and Southeast region from 2009 through 2011, Douglas was named the team’s National Scout in 2012. As a National Scout, some of his responsibilities included coordinating the signing of undrafted free agents and overseeing the evaluation of potential prospects across the nation.
Considering Baltimore’s penchant for front office stability in an unforgiving and impatient NFL world, it came as somewhat of a surprise when Douglas accepted a position to become the College Scouting Director for the Chicago Bears in 2015. In his one season with Chicago, Douglas’s fingerprints were all over a critically acclaimed draft that saw the Bears select OLB Leonard Floyd, G Cody Whitehair, and DT Jonathan Bullard. Still, for reasons unknown, Chicago GM Ryan Pace allowed Douglas to interview for Philadelphia’s “personnel head” opening despite his relative success in his lone season with the Bears. After an interview with the Eagles that, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was believed to be a mere formality, it looks as if Douglas will indeed be named Philadelphia’s new personnel chief.
One long-standing blemish on the Eagles de-facto General Manager Howie Roseman’s career is that he doesn’t necessarily have the best eye for talent. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone better at wheeling and dealing, negotiating contracts, or landing sought after, big name free agents, but his ability to identify and evaluate perennial All Pro players has been splotchy to say the least.
While it’s likely that Roseman will retain final control over personnel, the addition and presence of Joe Douglas should not be overlooked. Throughout the league, Douglas has been regarded as a high character “football guy” with a strong ability to communicate and unify staff. One NFL personnel man even went as far as to call Douglas a future GM, per ESN’s Geoff Mosher. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has referred to him as “one of the best talent evaluators I’ve ever been around.”
So, yes, Eagles fans should be excited about this move. Joe Douglas’s resume and ringing endorsements speak for themselves. He’s proven to be a bright, young mind that continues to succeed with each rise in the ranks of NFL hierarchy. Whether or not he can co-exist with the often prickly Roseman remains to be seen but the Eagles certainly appear to have hit a home run with this hire.
UPDATE: Per Neil Stratton, Douglas’s former colleague in Baltimore, Andy Weidl, has agreed to join the Eagles as Assistant Director of Player Personnel. Daniel Jeremiah then echoed what many in the league feel about the abilities of both Douglas and Weidl.
Although there was understandable concern when the Eagles initially suspended their search for Roseman’s second-in-command, things now seem to be shaping up nicely in the city of Brotherly Love.