It's July 8th.
The only thing going on in the football world at this time every year is Brett Favre deciding whether or not to play the game again.
Because the Eagles don't need a QB, and because the Eagle faithful could care less about the never-ending Brett Favre "drama", we usually have little to talk about.
I was surfing the web, thinking of ideas for a story, when I got the urge to look up some NFL draft history. (Has that statement ever been said before in the history of the English language?)
Out of curiosity, I decided to browse through the past Philadelphia Eagles drafts. And after a lot of grueling research and analysis, I came up with one conclusion: During Andy Reid's tenure, the Eagles have found a vast amount of "under-the-radar" talent within the 5th round of the draft. In other words, while the rest of the coaches are taking a snooze during this round, Andy Reid raids the fridge for a midnight snack.
Let's take a look at the history of the 5th round:
1999: No Selection
Andy Reid's first draft as a head coach. Although Reid and Co. do not have a 5th round selection, they strike gold with a different aspect of the number five; Donovan McNabb.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: TE Jerame Tuman, DT Rod Coleman
2001: TE Tony Stewart, QB AJ Feeley
Okay. Maybe TE Tony Stewart wasn't a real fond pick, but QB AJ Feeley isn't bad at all. In fact, he is a quality back up. He has done more than his fair share for the Eagles, including getting traded to the Dolphins for a 2nd round pick, not doing so well there, and then coming back to us. I personally think it was all apart of an Andy Reid plan. A conspiracy! Just kidding. But all I know is that QB AJ Feeley was the best player drafted in round 5 of that year. Chalk one up for Reid!
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: RB Derrick Blaylock
2002: WR Freddie Milons
This is truly the only 5th round where Andy dropped the ball. Freddie Milons was in the league for two years and was done, never ever finding a team. The 5th round this year was loaded with talent, but Andy wasn't attracted. It's okay, though. Even Einstein made some mistakes, right?
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: LB Andra Davis, DE Aaron Kampman, LB Scott Fujita
2003: No Selection
Another draft in which the Eagles didn't have a fifth round pick. Only two players that were drafted in this round of 2003 caught my eye, but I am glad we chose not to take them. For we have better now.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: G David Diehl, C Dan Koppen
2004: FB Thomas Tapeh
The Eagles drafted late in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and in due process we missed out on RB Micheal Turner. However, we did pick up a pretty decent FB in Tapeh, who, while he was in an Eagles uniform, did perform pretty well.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: FB Mike Karney, RB Michael Turner
2005: DE Trent Cole, G Scott Young
Boom! This is the Eagles best fifth round draft of the decade. DE Trent Cole was the signature draftee. He had the most sacks in his first three years than any other drafted Philadelphia Eagle with 25.5. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2008. Pretty fantastic for a 5th round pick if you ask me. The other player that was drafted that round was G Scott Young. He was Andy Reid's Mormon Player of the Draft, and has provided the Eagles with a serviceable back up in case of a tragedy. Chalk another one up for the big man.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: T Daniel Loper, OLB Michael Boley
2006: WR Jeremy Bloom, LB Omar Gaither
2006 was a "hit and miss". The Eagles drafted WR Jeremy Bloom, the Olympic skier, to provide for a serviceable punt return and kick return game. Bloom's biggest accomplishment in the NFL was being recorded for an Under Armor commercial. Certainly not what the Eagles had in mind. However, they did strike gold with their other 5th round pick, LB Omar Gaither from Tennessee. Gaither is a loud, vocal leader who provides depth at the linebacker position, and may push for the starting gig this upcoming pre season.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: TE Quinn Sypniewski, T Ryab O'Callaghan, S Dawan Landry
2007: CB CJ Gaddis, TE Brent Celek
2007 was also a "hit and miss". The Eagles drafted CB CJ Gaddis out of Clemson, and released him two months after they signed him. The Eagles had no opportunity to draft WR Steve Breaston, the only other player worth drafting in the round that year, simply because he was selected before the Eagles' pick. The Eagles had no use for him anyway, with wide receivers Reggie Brown, Hank Baskett, and Jason Avant under development. Andy Reid found his "diamond in the rough" with TE Brent Celek. Celek is still young and developing, but has shown glimpses of a dependable TE, especially in the NFC Championship Game, where he hauled in two touchdown receptions. His performance was enough to boot former Eagles TE LJ Smith out of town.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: TE Kevin Boss, WR Steve Breaston
2008: No Selection
The Philadelphia Eagles did not have a fifth round selection in this draft. In my opinion, they didn't miss much.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: RB Tim Hightower
2009: TE Cornelius Ingram, S Victor "Macho" Harris, T Fenuki Tupou
Most experts' final grade of the overall 2009 draft was an A, and most of their picks were selected in the fifth round and beyond. Therefore many people believe that Andy and his staff did an excellent job in the later rounds. Cornelius Ingram is a versatile, athletic TE who may have went higher if not for an injury. "Macho" Harris brings toughness and character to the safety position, and Fenuki Tupou brings his 314 lbs. self to the masses of the offensive line. Time will tell if any of these picks will pan out. We have every reason to be optimistic.
Significant players drafted in Round 5 that year: To be determined.
I'm not sure how he does it, but Andy Reid has a knack for finding talent in this round, especially the past five drafts. He may have excellent scouts, he may have a keen eye, or he may have one massive gut-feeling (probably the answer), but he does do work. These may not be the most engrossing pieces of information, but I thought it was at least a little bit interesting.
And even if Andy totally whiffs on the 2009 5th round selections, he chose three men named Cornelius, Macho, and Fenuki.
For some reason, I respect that.