It all started back in 1936, the inaugural season of the NFL draft. The Philadelphia Eagles were awarded the 1st overall pick. An excited franchise with a chance to turn things around. What can go wrong? The answer is A LOT. Jay Berwanger became the first ever selection of the NFL draft. The problem is that the Eagles were cheap, and shipped him out to Chicago. Great start…..
Fast forward through the years, and the organization has seen solid selections, even Hall of Famers, selected in the 1st round of their drafts. We have the likes of Steve Van Buren, Chuck Bednarik, and Bob Brown taken in the first round. Hall of Famers! We’ve also seen very good players selected: Mike Quick, Jerome Brown (R.I.P.), Tra Thomas, and Donovan McNabb (#5 will always love you Philly!)
However, the Eagles organization has made some puzzling decisions during the opening round of the draft on many occasions. From 1950-1990, the Eagles generated 12 Pro Bowl players, and 1 Hall of Famer. AWFUL. Then, we enter the 90’s. Remember Antone Davis? Yeah…He was worth 2 first round picks, right? His middle name is BUST! In 1993, they had two opportunities to get it right in the first round. Nope, Struck out twice!. How could we forget 1995. The Eagles selected the greatest Scouting Combine performer ever at that point, Mike Mamula. They traded multiple picks to move up and select him at 7th overall. He’s going to replace Reggie White, they said. Listen buddy, Nobody will replace Reggie White (R.I.P.).
The story of the Philadelphia Eagles 1st round draft history can be seen as a featured attraction at the edge of Morey’s Pier in Wildwood. The Noreaster is what they call it. Whether it’s a good storm or bad storm, the Eagles always keep it interesting on draft night. Time to dissect the last 20 years of Eagles 1st round picks. I warn you, Enter at your own risk!
2000 – Corey Simon: Worth the 6th overall pick? Probably not, but had a decent run in Philly including a trip to the Pro Bowl.
2001 – Freddie Mitchell: Labeled as “First Down Freddie”. Caught the infamous 4th and 26 pass from D-Mac in the playoffs vs. Green Bay. Also, he caught a pass from the 14 second scramble by D-Mac on MNF vs. the Cowboys. I’m not sure another meaningful play was made by him. Freddie’s mouth was much louder than his talent.
2002 – Lito Sheppard: STUD! Played 7 seasons in Philly. 2 time Pro Bowler, former 1st team All Pro. Last few seasons impacted by injury.
2003 – Jerome McDougle: Eagles traded up 15 spots to draft him. Never lived up to the hype. Injury after injury plagued his career.
2004 – Shawn Andrews: What a roller coaster this guy was. Displayed tremendous talent going to a few pro bowls and earning an All-Pro Nod. However, he was an eccentric personality, and had bouts with depression towards the end of his tenure.
2005 – Mike Patterson: Decent stopgap for the Eagles. Enjoyed a good career until a medical condition forced a brain surgery in 2012.
2006 – Broderick Bunkley: Holds out of camp as a rookie. Notorious for missing the team flight because of a supposed hazing incident (Bucket of chicken for the D-Line).
2007 – Traded out of the first round: (Kevin Kolb / Stewart Bradley / C.J. Gaddis). Eww.
2008 – Traded out of First Round: (Mike McGlynn / Trevor Laws) The first rounder received for the following year helps the Eagles net Jeremy Maclin and Jason Peters.
2009 – Jeremy Maclin: Enjoyed success in Philly, but never reached elite status. Maclin had a cancer scare in 2011, and tore his ACL in 2013. Comes back with a vengeance in 2014 for 1,300+ yards receiving, but Eagles don’t re-sign him in the off season.
2010 – Brandon Graham: Before 2017, I bet there was mixed emotions with him. Big Red trades up for this pick. At the time, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, thought this pick would’ve been someone else (Cough, Earl Thomas, Cough). Trust me, I was at the Eagles draft party. BG makes a strip sack in the Super Bowl, and all is good! BG has enjoyed a very successful career in Philly.
2011 – Danny Watkins: This is ranked as one the WORST picks in Eagles history. A 26 year old rookie lineman? Why? No wonder this experiment didn’t work out. Plus, Watkins had more passion as a firefighter than playing football. No problem with that, but these are things I’d wish they’d known BEFORE THE DRAFT.
2012 – Fletcher Cox: STUD! Fletch has been a fixture in the middle of the Eagles dominant defensive line since he was drafted.
2013 – Lane Johnson: The Eagles strike gold twice in a row! What? I know, shocking! Big Lane is holding down the right side of the offensive line. He’s one of us. A blue collar, beer drinking, one tough son of a gun!
2014 – Marcus Smith: Welcome back to reality Eagles fans. What the heck were they thinking here? Not sure he’s even in the league anymore.
2015 – Nelson Agholor: Let’s try to draft another WR. Yeah….It really didn’t work out for us in the long run Nelson, but thank you for your contributions in 2017.
2016 – Carson Wentz: Franchise changing selection here. Howie Wheels-n-Deals from 13th to 8th, and all the way to #2 overall to select our franchise QB. Thanks to the LA Rams for taking Goff #1. Very Much Appreciated. Sincerely, The Eagles fan base.
2017 – Derek Barnett: In my opinion, the jury is still out on Barnett. While he’s been a solid defender, and a guy landing in the right place at the right time (See: Super Bowl 52), He’s been just…..average.
2018 – Traded out of First round: (Dallas Goedert / Avonte Maddox) I”ll take it!
2019 – Andre Dillard: He’ll get a chance to shine in a starting role this season, and I think Dillard will be just fine anchoring the blind side of Carson Wentz for years to come.
2020 – ???????????
Are you still with me? That was rough at times, I know. I’m glad you made it through some of those painful draft picks. The Eagles had ups and downs throughout their journey in the draft. Well, I’m sure us fans have embraced more agony and frustration than praise. However, it’s a new year. The year 2020! What a fabulous ye….oh nevermind. If anything can brighten up Philly during these crazy times, then I think the 2020 NFL Draft is the recipe for success, I hope. Howie Roseman will pull some magic from under his sleeve and score a future Hall of Famer. Believe! However, the moral of the story is not to expect the Eagles to draft a franchise changer, but rather pray for it! Good Luck tomorrow night Eagles fans!