FanPost

Poor Drafting Catching Up With the Eagles

With all the talk this season about the expensive Free Agent acquisitions, little attention has been paid to the "bang-up" job the Eagles have done lately in drafting talent for their team.  I think it is safe to say that teams get better by building their core through the draft.  The Redskins have already proven that bringing in expensive and talented players as an attempt to fix all your personnel and coaching issues simply does not work.

A lot of pundits have praised Reid's draft management, perhaps not necessarily clamoring at his eye for talent, but at the very least for bringing in plenty of draft picks.  No doubt Reid is known for this, but does it matter if you don't turn those picks into valuable assets?

Yes, the defense is bad.  Yes, the coaches have made really poor decisions.  Yes, players have made ridiculous mistakes.  But how much of the problem is accountable to overall poor talent evaluation and draft decisions?

Following the jump is a case-study on the Eagles recent drafts and how the poor drafting, while only one of its current many problems, has finally started to catch up with the team.

No doubt the team has hit with a few notable players, including their top-two wide receivers.  I think many do agree that the Eagles probably do one thing particularly well: that is evaluate offensive talent and perhaps develop quarterbacks.  I will also make the disclaimer that some of drafting is "luck" based.  I will grade each pick on the following scale from worst to best for players drafted within the first five rounds:
  • Complete Failure (zero or extremely limited contribution to the Eagles)
  • Moderate Failure (solid contributions to the Eagles for a season or two, but limited length or role-player, or strong contributions to another team later in his career or after a trade)
  • Average (three to four solid but not spectacular seasons with the Eagles)
  • Moderate Success  (a lengthy career of five or more seasons, but limited notable contributions during their tenure with the Eagles)
  • Complete Success (instant name recognition and very notable contributions to the Eagles; career length may be short or long, simply depends on average performance over each season of their career)

Lower round talent should not receive the same weight, so players drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds will receive merely a "hit," "close," or "miss" rating, as expectations are obviously lower.  Typically these players are not expected to offer major contributions.  A "hit" would fall in the top two categories, while a "miss" would fall into the bottom two.  These ratings only apply to the Eagles--players may have have success with other teams, but we're only concerned with their contributions to the Eagles franchise.

I make no claims that the grading system is perfect (and yes, it is subjective), but undoubtedly it will help with my overall assessment of the Reid Drafting Regime.™ Also keep in mind I won't have the perfect information on every player.  If you wish to correct something or add to a player's status, feel free to do so and help me out. =)

To make this a fair evaluation, we ought to go back to the entire drafting regime of this Andy Reid era, although his influence in the first few drafts was probably more limited.  So we'll start with that fateful 1999 draft, and everyone's favorite first-round pick was taken at #2 overall.  Each player will be followed by their overall career numbers (not just with the Eagles) and current NFL status.  The number preceding each player is the round in which they were drafted.

1999:

1 - Donovan McNabb (QB) - 36,930 yards, 58.9 Comp. %, 234 TD, 117 INT - Minnesota Vikings (Starting QB)
Everybody knows McNabb.  He was the face of this franchise for ten and a half seasons.  He had a great tenure with the Eagles, and I think it is fair to say he was admired (to a point).  Had he won a Superbowl here, no doubt his reputation would be greatly improved, but he was certainly a successful draft pick.  Complete Success

2 - Barry Gardner (OLB) - 256 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 6 FF, 3 FR - Retired
Gardner only played four seasons in Philadelphia.  He recorded 95 tackles in 2000 as the starting WILL, but fell back into mostly a special teams player the next two seasons.  I don't know that his one decent year is enough to save the pick, and I'm not sure how many Eagles fans actually remember him.  Moderate Failure

3 - Doug Brzezinski (G) - Retired
Doug only started all 16 games for the Eagles in his rookie year.  He stayed with the team for three more years, but was never the official starter again.  He joined the Panthers in 2003 and started 8 games for them in 2004, but retired the following year.  Complete Failure

4 - John Welbourn (T) - Retired
Outside of his rookie season, Welbourn was actually a staple of the Eagles offensive line for four years, and contributed quite a bit to the Chiefs after his time with the Eagles.  Although drafted a round later, he ultimately had more impact in the league than Brzezinski.  Moderate Success

4 - Damon Moore (SS) - 138 Tackles, 6 INT, 2 FF, 3 FR - Retired
When I first saw the name, I literally thought who? But Moore did start all 16 games for the Eagles in both 2000 and 2001, and he provided more than 110 tackles over those two seasons in Philly.  He went on to play one more year in Chicago, but retired in 2003.  Moderate Failure

4 - Na Brown (WR) - 34 Rec, 363 Yards, 2 TD - Retired
Largely infamous amongst the Eagles fanbase, Na Brown was just that guy.  He had very limited contributions to the Eagles over his three seasons, largely used in a depth role.  A complete practice-squad filler.  Complete Failure

6 - Cecil Martin (FB) - 26 Attempts, 103 Yards, 81 Rec, 491 Yards, 2 TD - Retired
I think a few people will remember who I affectionately called "Cecil the Diesel" coming out of the back paired with Stanley Pritchett at FB.  He saw more time as a receiver than a rusher, but overall was more of a backup and split a lot of his time in a crowded Eagles backfield.  He spent four seasons with the Eagles before moving on to Tampa in 2003, where he only managed to play one game.  Hit

6 - Troy Smith (WR) - 1 Rec, 14 Yards - Retired
Yes, there was a Troy Smith before the Ohio St. QB.  He apparently got time in one Eagles game in his rookie year where he caught one ball for fourteen yards.  Miss

7 - Jed Weaver (TE) - 88 Rec, 1,090 Yards, 6 TD - Retired
Jed only spent his rookie year with the Eagles, but managed to garner All-Rookie honors after starting ten games.  He joined Miami the following year but was mostly used in a blocking role.  He had a decent season with San Fran in 2003 before ending his career on a low note in New England in 2004.  Close

7 - Pernell Davis (DT) - Retired
Pernell played a couple games for the Eagles in 1999, but never saw the field again.  Miss

 

2000:

1 - Corey Simon (DT) - 192 Tackles, 32 Sacks, 9 FF, 3 FR - Retired
Many will remember Mr. Simon.  He was a beast in the middle for the Eagles from 2000 to 2004, recording 9.5 sacks in his rookie year alone.  Simon had one more year with the Colts in 2005 but failed to record another sack, and if memory serves was injured during that year.  He retired after a brief stint with the Titans in 2007.  Complete Success

2 - Todd Pinkston (WR) - 184 Rec, 2,816 Yards, 14 TD - Retired
The infamous Mr. Pinkston.  He was a starter for the Eagles from 2001-2004, during what I like to call the "dark days" of the Eagles receiving corps.  Although he put up average to slightly above numbers for the Eagles, it is likely that Pinkston was better known for the drops and overall sub-par play.  He had his best year in '02, catching 60 balls for 798 yards and 7 TDs.  He never did play for another team and retired in 2005.  Average

2 - Bobbie Williams (G) - Cincinnati Bengals (Starting G, currently suspended)
Following an overall slow start to his career, Williams finally got onto the starting squad in 2003 where he started 11 games for the Eagles.  Since then, he's had a remarkably consistent career, starting in all 16 games for the Bengals at RG in each season from 2004 through 2010 (except 2006 where he only played in 13 games).  He has been a rock for the Bengals and should start next week after serving his suspension.  Moderate Failure

4 - Gari Scott (WR) - 2 Rec, 26 Yards - Retired
Following in the footsteps of Troy Smith, Gari Scott basically saw no playing time even in a weak Eagles receiving corps in the early 2000s.  He only saw time in 3 games in 2001.  Complete Failure

6 - Thomas Hamner (RB) - Retired
No offense to Michael Vick, but Hamner here was the original dog-beater.  He likely only existed as a PS body, and he does not exist in the PFR database.  Miss

6 - John Frank (DE) - Retired
This guy retired immediately after reporting to camp.  UsefulMiss

6 - John Romero (C) - Retired
Oh boy 2000 was not the best draft year.  Miss

 

2001:

1 - Freddie Mitchell (WR) - 90 Rec, 1,263 Yards, 5 TD - Retired
The people's champ! Best known for 4th and 26, Mitchell should be better known as a complete bust of a first round draft pick.  He was more of a 3rd/4th receiver in a crummy Eagles offense, so he never did put up the numbers you would expect from a highly-touted talent.  He played four years with the Eagles before fading into obscurity.  Moderate Failure

2 - Quinton Caver (LB) - 34 Tackles, 1 FR - Retired
The second of Reid's 2nd round linebacker misses in just 3 years, Caver never really saw time with the Eagles.  He played in 16 games in two seasons, recording just 12 tackles those two years.  He went on to play for the Chiefs and Cowboys, but was never a regular starter.  Complete Failure

3 - Derrick Burgess (DE) - 215 Tackles, 52 Sacks, 6 FF, 5 FR - Free Agent
Burgess was a near-hit for the Eagles who unfortunately suffered through various injuries in his first stint with the Eagles.  He had 6 sacks as a rookie, but never really exploded until the Raiders got him in 2005 where he lead the league with 16 sacks.  He put up 11 and 8 the next two years, but his production dropped off and he was traded to New England in 2009 after not reporting to Raiders camp.  Moderate Failure

4 - Correll Buckhalter (RB) - 655 Attempts, 2,944 Yards, 21 TD, 144 Rec, 1,410 Yards, 6 TD - Free Agent
The Eagles had some mid-round would-be successes in 2001, but much like Burgess, Buckhalter suffered with injuries missing three entire seasons.  When healthy, Buck proved he could put up some numbers, especially complementing the man Mr. Westbrook.  He had his best overall year in 2009 with the Denver BroncosModerate Success

5 - Tony Stewart (TE) - 76 Rec, 623 Yards, 3 TD - Retired
This Stewart was pretty forgettable in an Eagles uniform.  He had 5 receptions for 52 yards in his rookie season as an Eagles, before being placed on the PS and picked up by the Bengals.  He had his best year in 2003 with 21 rec for 212 yards, but was never a starter in the league and hasn't played since 2009.  Complete Failure

5 - A.J. Feeley (QB) - 4,091 Yards, 373/670, 55.7 Comp. %, 27 TD, 29 INT - St. Louis Rams (Backup QB)
Feeley has had two separate stints with the Eagles, probably most remembered for the first when he took over for McNabb in 2002 and went 4-1 in five starts.  Miami signed him the following year and attempted to work him as a starter, but he never quite seemed capable, having only limited success.  He's bounced around quite a bit since then and is currently Bradford's backup in St. Louis.  Average

 

2002:

1 - Lito Sheppard (CB) - 264 Tackles, 19 INT, 2 Sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR - Free Agent
Sheppard was a big piece of the Eagles defense from 2003-2007, until he saw a diminished role in 2008 and a bit of a sour departure to the NYJ in 2009.  He was a two-time pro bowler with his best years in 2004 and 2006, and is best known for his interception returns of more than 100 yards in those years against the Cowboys.  He wasn't the same player after 2006, and did deal with injuries for much of his career.  Complete Success

2 - Michael Lewis (SS) - 558 Tackles, 12 INT, 11.5 Sacks, 14 FF, 9 FR - Free Agent
Lewis was a steady fixture at safety for the Eagles for the better part of his five years with the team.  He quietly put up fairly decent numbers, garnering over 100 combined tackles in both 2005 and 2007 (by then playing with the 49ers).  He was largely overshadowed in the secondary by the likes of Brian Dawkins, but he definitely contributed to that dreaded Eagles secondary of the early millennium.  Moderate Success

3 - Sheldon Brown (CB) - 410 Tackles, 21 INT, 7 Sacks, 8 FF, 2 FR - Cleveland Browns (Starting CB)
The right complement to Lito Sheppard, Brown was the Eagles third secondary hit and pick in the 2002 draft.  He was more consistently in the lineup as compared to Lito, starting all 16 games for the Eagles from 2004 to 2009 (minus one missed start in 2008).  He averaged nearly 2 picks a year while with the Eagles before being traded with Chris Gocong to the Browns in 2010.  Complete Success

3 - Brian Westbrook (RB) - 1,385 Attempts, 6,335 Yards, 41 TD, 442 Rec, 3,940 Yards, 30 TD - Free Agent
What can you say about this guy? One of the best backs in Eagles history and rounding out a very successful 2002 draft for the Eagles, out of 'Nova this small and shifty all-purpose back put up astounding numbers for the Eagles over eight terrific seasons.  Injuries plagued him once he neared 30, and as the Eagles do they released him around that time.  He played (limited) in 2010 for the 49ers.  Complete Success

4 - Scott Peters (C) - Retired
This is where the Eagles draft went off course in 2002.  Their first four picks were astounding, but Peters never saw the field for the Eagles.  He started four games for the Giants in 2003, but never really played again.  Complete Failure

5 - Freddie Milons (WR) - Retired
Milons fractured his fibula in the final preseason game his rookie year and never played.  He was traded to the Steelers for a conditional draft pick--one the Eagles never received because he did not play a down for the Steelers in 2003.  He floated to some practice squads and played for Team Alabama of the All American Football LeagueComplete Failure

6 - Tyreo Harrison (LB) - Retired
He had 3 tackles with the Eagles in 2003.  That's all.  Miss

7 - Raheem Brock (DE) - 246 Tackles, 38.5 Sacks, 13 FF, 16 FR - Seattle Seahawks (Backup DE)
The Eagles cut Brock before the 2002 season began, so he never played a down with the team that drafted him.  Perhaps this was a missed opportunity--he went on to play for eight seasons in Indy and then the last two with the Seahawks.  He posted 9 sacks last year.  While he isn't the starter, he perhaps ironically plays directly behind fellow former-Eagle Chris Clemons.  Miss

 

2003:

1 - Jerome McDougle (DE) - 30 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF - Retired
The Eagles traded up fifteen spots in the first round to obtain McDougle in the 2003 draft (sound familiar?).  His career was marred by injuries, and he simply could never get sustained playing time.  It seemed like things were going well until the infamous shooting in 2005, which ultimately forced him to miss the entire 2005 season.  Perhaps he is best known for kicking the referee's flag just a few plays prior to the 62-yard winner from Matt Bryant in 2006.  He missed the 2007 season but signed with the Giants in 2008, seeing very limited action.  Complete Failure

2 - L.J. Smith (TE) - 233 Rec, 2,556 Yards, 18 TD - Retired
Smith played a decent role at TE for the Eagles, ultimately seen as the replacement for the ephemeral Chad Lewis.  While he showed flashes of brilliance and put together a couple 600+ yard receiving years in '05 and '06, Smith also had problems with dropped balls and injuries during his career.  He was really a stop-gap between the Lewis and current Celek regimes.  Average

3 - Billy McMullen (WR) - 52 Rec, 725 Yards, 3 TD - Retired
McMullen played three seasons with the Eagles, having his best year in 2005 with 18 rec and 268 yards.  He's probably most famous for being traded to Minnesota for Hank Baskett in 2006, where he put up marginally better numbers in that season.  He didn't play in '07 and has since bounced around to a couple teams, but hasn't played since '09.  Moderate Failure

4 - Jamaal Green (DE) - 2 Tackles, 1 Sack - Retired
He played in eight games for the Eagles in 2004, recording a sack and a couple tackles.  He's since bounced around but hasn't played much, if any, meaningful football.  Complete Failure

6 - Jeremy Bridges (G) - Arizona Cardinals (Backup RT)
Originally drafted as a guard, Bridges is currently playing tackle for the Cardinals in a backup role to Brandon Keith.  The Eagles drafted him but never activated him during the '03 season.  He's played mostly for the Cards but spent some time in Carolina, as well.  Miss

7 - Norman LeJeune (DB) - 2 Tackles - Retired
He never played a down for the Eagles and was only activated briefly during the '03 season.  He later played for the Admirals of NFL Europe and then spent a couple seasons in Miami.  He's since played seasons in the AFL and UFL but not a down since '09.  Miss

 

2004:

1 - Shawn Andrews (T) - Free Agent
Andrews is most well known for his "drama-queen" persona and injuries that really stymied his career.  Perhaps many don't remember that he was elected to two consecutive pro bowls in 2006 and '07.  He played 15 games in 2005 and 16 games in both his pro bowl seasons, but after the '07 campaign, Andrews disappeared as he battled depression.  He returned but shortly after injured his back, pretty much ending his career (at least with the Eagles).  He played for the Giants in 2010 and started 7 games, but didn't contribute much and was released this year.  Average

3 - Matt Ware (DB) - 85 Tackles, 1 INT, 3 FF, 3 FR - Free Agent
Ware ended up being used in a rotational/limited role with the Eagles and their deep secondary.  Although a third-round pick, he never really contributed much even in a spot role.  He played two seasons in Philly before moving on to Arizona through 2010, and his best year in 2009 was largely forgettable.  Complete Failure

4 - J.R. Reed (DB) - 56 Tackles, 81 Kick Returns, 1,808 Yards - Retired
Reed, like Ware, was almost unusable in the secondary.  He was used mostly as a kick returned and amassed an average of around 23 yards in his rookie season, but he never scored a TD and then missed the '05 season due to injury.  He returned to the Eagles again in 2007 and actually started three games at SS due to injuries.  He didn't do much and was released the following year in favor of Kyle EckelModerate Failure

4 - Trey Darilek (T) - Retired
Trey saw limited action for the Eagles in '04 and '05 and was cut before the '06 season.  He played in the preseason for the Dolphins in '08 but did not make the final cut.  Complete Failure

5 - Thomas Tapeh (RB) - 22 Attempts, 69 Yards, 27 Rec, 157 Yards, 1 TD - Retired
Tapeh was drafted largely to play as FB, and he (like many other Eagles backs) was used more as a receiver in the flat than an actual rusher.  He played limited in his rookie season, at the end of which he dislocated his hip and missed the entire '05 campaign.  He contributed a little over the next two seasons in Philly, his best year being '06 with 16 rec, 185 yards, and a score, although he was largely a blocker.  Tapeh only started half the games each year and was signed/released by the Vikings in 2008.  Moderate Failure

6 - Andy Hall (QB) - Retired
Hall never played for the Eagles.  He was an emergency QB in his rookie year and was then relegated to NFL Europe before the '05 season.  He had some success in Arena Football, but not in the NFL.  Miss

6 - Dexter Wynn (CB) - 41 Tackles, 1 Sack, 5 FR - Retired
Wynn was another rotational DB who saw very limited time on defense, but was used more as a returner.  He was cut, resigned, and then waived in mid '06 before being claimed by the TexansMiss

7 - Adrien Clarke (G) - Virginia Destroyers (Starting RG)
Clarke never made it very far in his NFL career.  He suffered a torn hamstring in his rookie year  and a back injury in '06 causing him to miss that season, as well.  He did start four games in '05 after Artis Hicks was hurt, then moved on to the Jets and Ravens in '07 and '08.  Miss

7 - Bruce Perry (RB) - 16 Attempts, 74 Yards, 13 Returns, 330 Yards - Retired
Perry spent his rookie year on injured reserve.  He spent some time returning kicks and even converted to DB until the Eagles re-signed Wynn in '06, but he never played and floated on and off the practice squad.  Miss

7 - Dominic Furio (C) - Retired
Furio never saw a down with the Eagles.  Eventually he started playing in the AAFL, whom no one has ever heard of.  Miss

 

2005:

1 - Mike Patterson (DT) - 231 Tackles, 13 Sacks, 3 FF, 6 FR - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting DT)
Patterson has been the rock at DT for the Eagles since he's been drafted.  He hasn't missed many games over the last seven seasons, and has played fairly consistently as the Eagles likely best run-stopper.  Like Simon, Patterson was another good hit in the first round for the Eagles.  Complete Success

2 - Reggie Brown (WR) - 177 Rec, 2,574 Yards, 17 TD - Retired
Reggie played a good bit in his first three seasons, starting in his rookie season because T.O. was suspended.  He was seemingly similar to Pinkston, posing as a top-two receiver, when he in reality he probably should not have been there.  He had modest numbers in '06 and '07, 816 and 780 yards respectively, but come the '08 season he faded into the background and never saw much time again.  He was traded to the Bucs in '10 for a sixth rounder in '11 (better than nothing).  Average

2 - Matt McCoy (LB) - 83 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 4 FF - Seattle Seahawks (Backup OLB)
McCoy belongs in the long-line of small Eagles linebackers.  He started 10 games in '06 but probably shouldn't have been there.  He played very limited in his other two seasons with the Eagles after Omar Gaither took his starting spot.  After a late hit on the Vikings punter Kluwe, McCoy was cut in favor of current Eagles LB Akeem Jordan.  He signed with New Orleans in '07 and currently plays for the Seahawks.  Complete Failure

3 - Ryan Moats (RB) - 204 Attempts, 831 Yards, 8 TD, 20 Rec, 127 Yards, 1 TD - Free Agent
The small guy saw some time in his rookie season, including a 40-yard TD on his first carry against the Giants where he finished with pretty good numbers.  He never got much playing time, however, and broke his ankle before the '07 season (which he missed entirely).  He was waived in '08 and spent a couple seasons with Houston thereafter.  Moderate Failure

4 - Sean Considine (S) - 182 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 4 INT, 2 FF, 5 FR - Carolina Panthers (Backup SS)
He was with the Eagles for four years, making 9 starts in '06 when he had his best season.  He made 8 starts the following year until a shoulder injury ended his season.  He played on special teams in '08 for the Eagles as he had real deficiencies playing in the secondary.  The Eagles did not resign him in '09, so he spent two years with the Jaguars and is currently a backup on the Panthers.  Moderate Failure

4 - Todd Herremans (T) - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting RT)
Todd has proven his worth and utility to the Eagles offensive line.  He can play nearly any position in the front five and can do so admirably.  He's been the regular starter since 2006 minus a few games missed due to injuries.  Complete Success

5 - Trent Cole (DE) - 299 Tackles, 60 Sacks, 11 FF, 9 FR - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting DE)
The third remaining Eagle from the '05 draft, Trent Cole was a huge find in the fifth round--one of the few the Eagles have actually hit on later in the draft.  He earned the starting job in Week 10 of his rookie year and his been entrenched there ever since.  He's had at least 8 sacks each year since '06 and was easily on pace to do the same this year before injury.  Complete Success

5 - Scott Young (G) - Retired
Young didn't play his rookie year, but saw some time in '06 and '07, including a bad false start in the playoff game against the Saints on 4th down.  He played very little for the Browns in '08 and retired before the next season.  Complete Failure

6 - Calvin Armstrong (T) - Free Agent
Calvin bounced around in the NFL a little but never really played.  He's since played in the AFL and CFLMiss

7 - Keyonta Marshall (DT) - 1 Tackle - Retired
He played one game in '05 but was cut before the '06 season.  He joined the Jets practice squad in '06 but has not played since.  Miss

7 - David Bergeron (LB) - Retired
Yeah, I don't think this guy ever played anywhere.  Miss

 

2006:

1 - Brodrick Bunkley (DT) - 116 Tackles, 6 Sacks, 3 FR - Denver Broncos (Starting NT)
Bunkley was the first miss the Eagles had recently in first-round defensive linemen.  He played little his rookie year and did record 6 sacks over the next three seasons as the starter, but he never really fulfilled his potential and the expectations as a first round pick.  After getting hurt last year, Bunkley missed time and was traded to the Browns before this season began (and didn't report), then was re-traded to the Broncos for a pick in 2013.  Average

2 - Winston Justice (T) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup RT)
Better known as Winston "Bustice" around these parts, the potential first-rounder fell and the Eagles nabbed him in the 2nd.  In his first start in 2007, he allowed four sacks to Osi Umenyiora.  Justice regained the starting role in '09 after Shawn Andrews went down due to injury.  He started all 16 games in '09 and 13 in '10, but injured his knee and was activated just prior to the start of the season.  He likely will never live up to the expectations.  Moderate Failure

3 - Chris Gocong (LB) - 184 Tackles, 6.5 Sacks, 3 FF, 3 FR - Cleveland Browns (Starting WILL)
Gocong missed his rookie season due to injury.  He played in nearly every game from '07 to '09 and traditionally started at SAM, but also rotated in at DE from time-to-time.  He was never really considered a great pick but he did put up some modest numbers for the Eagles.  He eventually lost his job to Moise Fokou and was traded along with Sheldon Brown in 2010 for Alex Hall and a couple draft picks.  Moderate Failure

4 - Max Jean-Gilles (G) - Free Agent
Max fell in the draft due to concerns over his weight, but he was ultimately meant to inject youth into the line, insuring its future once the veterans moved on.  However, he never really became true starting material.  He was injured in '08 when he finally gained the starting job, and didn't play again until Jackson was hurt in '09.  He started ten more games in '2010 but never showed top form.  Before the '11 season, he signed with both the Bengals and then the Panthers, but neither team kept him.  Moderate Failure

4 - Jason Avant (WR) - 168 Rec, 2,043 Yards, 9 TD - Philadelphia Eagles (#3 Receiver)
Avant is really the lone success of the '06 draft.  He's proven himself to be one of the best possession receivers in the league, and certainly a great slot/third receiver on a team with depth at the position.  While he doesn't put up huge numbers, it is largely because the Eagles passing game spreads the ball so well.  He is currently signed through 2015.  Moderate Success

5 - Jeremy Bloom (WR) - Retired
Bloom was supposed to be a decent sleeper pick for the Eagles, but it never panned out.  He hurt his hamstring during training camp and was left on injured reserve.  He is probably best known for his skiing ability.  Complete Failure

5 - Omar Gaither (LB) - 233 Tackles, 5 Sacks, 2 INT, 2 FF, 3 FR - Carolina Panthers (Backup MIKE)
Gaither took over the starting job in '06 due to McCoy's struggles and played a role on special teams, as well.  He started the entire season in '07 after Trotter was released and racked up pretty decent numbers.  The LB carousel started its turns in '08, though, as Bradley was moved to MIKE and Gaither to WILL.  He was eventually benched for Akeem Jordan.  When Bradley then got hurt in '09, Gaither moved back to MIKE (beating out Joe Mays).  Then Trotter was re-signed and Gaither was injured, playing sparingly again in 2010.  The Panthers signed him this summer.  Moderate Failure

6 - LaJuan Ramsey (DT) - 23 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 1 FF - Free Agent
Ramsey saw some time in a reserve role with the Eagles, including picking off a tipped Brett Favre pass in his rookie year.  He was waived in the summer of '08 and then bounced around to a few more NFL teams before landing in the UFL very briefly.  Miss

 

2007:

2 - Kevin Kolb (QB) - 3,131 Yards, 274/449, 61.0 Comp. %, 16 TD, 18 INT - Arizona Cardinals (Starting QB)
Kolb was never really the Eagles guy.  He was traded with the obvious intent of replacing McNabb when the time came, but injuries and a surprising Vick ended up spelling doom for his Eagles career.  The jury is still out on him as a starting QB--he's put up very average numbers for the Cardinals so far.  He showed flashes with the Eagles and will likely remain at least a viable option at QB for some time.  On the plus side, the Eagles did flip him for a 2nd round pick and DRC (whom the jury is also still out on), so the return was fairly good.  Average

2 - Victor Abiamiri (DE) - 20 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 2 FF, 2 FR - Philadelphia Eagles (Injured Reserve)
Victor played a few games in his rookie season and the following year, but was eventually named the starter in 2009.  He hurt his knee during the year and then returned, only to go under the knife after the season.  He missed the 2010 season and remains on injured reserve this year after rupturing his achilles.  Thus far Victor has not been the pick the Eagles expected.  Complete Failure

3 - Stewart Bradley (LB) - 158 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 3 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR - Arizona Cardinals (Backup MIKE)
Stew played minimally in his rookie year and was given the starter role in his sophomore role.  He seemed to progress quickly and fill the role well, earning All-Pro honors.  He never got a chance to continue his development, though, as an ACL tear knocked him out for 2009.  He came back in '10 and started 12 games, losing one game to a concussion and the final three to a dislocated elbow.  He wasn't quite the same as he was in '08, which isn't surprising coming off a severe knee injury.  Moderate Failure

3 - Tony Hunt (RB) - 14 Attempts, 25 Yards, 2 TD - Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna
Hunt never got much of a shake with the Eagles.  He was limited due to pretty much all the carries going to Westie and Buck.  In his second season, the Eagles attempted to move him to FB, but it didn't really work.  He was eventually released and never played in the NFL again.  He now plays in Austria.  Complete Failure

5 - C.J. Gaddis (S) - Retired
Gaddis never played in the NFL.  The Eagles cut him before his rookie season would even begin, and he signed onto the Falcons PS in '07 and '08 but never moved up.  Complete Failure

5 - Brent Celek (TE) - 169 Rec, 2,045 Yards, 14 TD - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting TE)
We all know Celek.  He impressed most in his sophomore season and earned the starting job, clearing way for the Eagles to remove L.J. Smith.  He had a very strong '09 campaign, but fell off in 2010.  He's definitely a talented tight end and another 5th round Cinci-steal (along with Trent Cole).  If things continue he'll likely be a complete success, but for now I'll adjust downward for only one real strong season.  Moderate Success

6 - Rashad Barksdale (CB) - 8 Tackles - Kansas City Command (AFL)
Rashad was released by the Eagles during the preseason and landed with the Chiefs in his rookie year.  He played in six games his entire career.  He bounced around to a few more practice squads before landing in the AFL where he currently plays.  Miss

7 - Nate Ilaoa (FB) - Retired
Nate was another draft fatality cut before the season began.  He played in the AFL until the Columbus Destroyers folded.  Miss

 

2008:

2 - Trevor Laws (DT) - 36 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup DT)
Laws was drafted ahead of DeSean Jackson but has yet to make as much of an impact.  He's played in a good number of games since '08, but almost exclusively in a backup capacity, and most likely because the Eagles like to rotate their defensive line so extensively.  It might be early to call Laws a bust, but he hasn't made as big of an impact as his draft position would warrant.  He has improved but has yet to even meet expectations--he's also now stuck behind two very good DTs.  Moderate Failure

2 - DeSean Jackson (WR) - 187 Rec, 3,448 Yards, 18 TD, 104 Returns, 1,130 Yards, 4 TD - Philadelphia Eagles
"Action Jackson" is really the only true success of the 2008 draft.  His big play ability has amazed just about the entire NFL and gives the Eagles an extremely potent sting on offense.  Awaiting a possible contract extension, Jackson has done quite a bit to deter enthusiasm about a big deal--too many drops and perhaps "weak" plays.  But his speed and ability is still there, evident as he amassed 171 yards against SF.  He also averages 7.4 yards a carry rushing.  Complete Success

3 - Bryan Smith (DE) - 3 Tackles - Retired
Smith was a total bust.  He never played for the Eagles but did start a couple games for the Jags in 2009 and has since not played a lick.  Complete Failure

4 - Mike McGlynn (G) - Cincinnati Bengals (Backup G/C)
McGlynn didn't see much time playing until 2010, when Jackson's injury forced McGlynn into the starting center role.  He was inactive for the entire 2009 campaign and played in only 3 games his rookie year.  He was cut by the Eagles this year and the Bengals went ahead and signed him.  Moderate Failure

4 - Quintin Demps (S) - 28 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 1 FF, 52 Returns, 1,314 Yards, 1 TD - Free Agent
Demps did pretty well as a kick returner in his rookie year, finishing fourth in the league.  He only played a bit on defense.  In '09 he seemed to be the suitor for the open FS position, and he felt like it was his job.  Macho Harris ended up beating him out to start, and Demps played in a limited capacity the entire year.  The Texans signed him late in 2010 and then cut him before the season began this year.  Moderate Failure

4 - Jack Ikegwuonu (CB) - Retired
Jack was a high-risk project.  A knee injury before the combine sidelined him for the entire 2008 season and hurt his draft stock considerably.  It was a flyer, for sure, and there was no guarantee he would actually work out, but the 4th round seems like a high price to pay for such a chance.  He played in one game after Hanson was suspended, but was waived immediately after.  Complete Failure

6 - Mike Gibson (T) - Free Agent
Another low-round offensive lineman drafted by the Eagles, Gibson panned out just as well as the rest.  A shoulder injury sidelined him all of 2008, and he landed on the Eagles PS in 2009.  The Seahawks took him off the roster and he started 8 games for them in 2010, playing in 14 games total.  He was cut by the Seahawks before this season.  Miss

6 - Joe Mays (LB) - 70 Tackles, 1 FF - Denver Broncos (Starting MIKE)
Joe didn't play until the last two games of his rookie season, strictly on special teams.  He played some MIKE after Stew was injured and fought with Gaither over the starting job.  He showed very limited potential and was eventually traded to Denver for J.J. Arrington.  Since Arrington never made the starting roster, the Eagles got a 6th round pick in 2012 instead.  Miss

6 - Andy Studebaker (LB) - 48 Tackles, 2.5 Sack, 2 INT, 2 FF, 1 FR - Kansas City Chiefs (Backup LB)
Andy, drafted by Andy, never made the Eagles active roster.  Instead the Chiefs signed him off the practice squad and he's been there ever since.  He is still there as a backup, but intercepted Roethlisberger twice in his first career start.  Miss

7 - King Dunlap (T) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup LT)
With Peters hurt, it looks like Dunlap is going to be in a starting role again.  He's hung around ever since he's been drafted and he's been wildly inconsistent.  The Big King has shown some good things, but he's also played really bad at times.  He missed his rookie season with an ankle injury, but started 5 games in 2010.  Considering he's still on the team as a 7th rounder and will be thrust into starting again, in a way the King is a hit, but his play must improve.  Hit

 

2009:

1 - Jeremy Maclin (WR) - 152 Rec, 2,071 Yards, 16 TD - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting WR)
The Mac Attack has been a fabulous addition to the Eagles offense.  He probably wasn't going to end up an Eagle, but he fell far enough in the first round for the Eagles to nab him (likely thanks to the Raiders drafting Heyward-Bey).  Maclin had a big sophomore campaign and solidified himself as the #2 (arguably even the #1) receiver.  He's already off to a big start this year, but he's had some nagging injuries that hopefully won't hold him up too much.  He's also made a couple big mistakes, but hopefully Mac will learn and use it as motivation to improve.  Complete Success

2 - LeSean McCoy (RB) - 428 Attempts, 2,080 Yards, 15 TD, 133 Rec, 983 Yards, 4 TD - Philadelphia Eagles
Shady has shown us some big things already in his career.  As the replacement to the great Westbrook, he had big shoes to fill.  He's done so with great aplomb.  "Shades of Barry Sanders" has demonstrated his joystick-like movements especially here early in 2011.  He had two strong games before a drop off against San Fran.  Expect McCoy to contribute for many years, as long as he stays healthy.  Complete Success

5 - Cornelius Ingram (TE) - Free Agent
Ingram, much like Jack in the prior draft, was a high-risk, high-reward type gamble.  Like Jack, this too did not pay off for the Eagles.  Ingram tore his ACL in his rookie year and never played.  The Eagles then put him on the PS in 2010 but was waived before the 2011 season, stuck in a crowded TE market.  The Lions picked him up briefly but just released him with an injury settlement last week.  Complete Failure

5 - Macho Harris (DB) - 41 Tackles - Free Agent
Harris won the FS job as a rookie and started 8 games.  He and Sean Jones ended up sharing time and Harris' play diminished through the year.  He was waived in '10 and played in three games for the Redskins.  The Steelers signed him this year but cut him before the season began.  Moderate Failure

5 - Fenuki Tupou (T) - Free Agent
Tupou has not played a game for the Eagles.  He was on injured reserve in his rookie year, and stayed on the PS the entire 2010 campaign.  He was cut before the season this year.  Complete Failure

6 - Brandon Gibson (WR) - 100 Rec, 1,139 Yards, 4 TD - St. Louis Rams (Starting WR)
Gibson was impressive in the Eagles training camp as a rookie, and many thought he should make the team.  However, likely due to the team's depth at his position and a deficit at another, Gibson was traded, with a 2010 5th rounder, to St. Louis for Will Witherspoon.  Gibson was then given a chance and has since proven his ability, becoming the top WR (along with another Eagles castoff Danny Amendola) and set Rams rookie records in his first game.  Close

7 - Paul Fanaika (G) - Seattle Seahawks (Practice Squad)
Paul was waived and signed to the PS before his rookie season began.  He's since moved to the Redskins, Browns, and now Seahawks where he lives on the practice squad.  Miss

7 - Moise Fokou (LB) - 80 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 FF, 2 FR - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting SAM)
MoFo as he's affectionately referred to has been a fair find for the Eagles in the 7th round bargain bin.  He started the final four games in '09 and continued his role through into 2011.  He's smaller in stature like all Eagles LBs, but he has shown ability although more consistency would be ideal.  The onus is on the defense to get better, and MoFo is in the same boat as the rest.  Hit

 

2010: (Keep in mind these assessments may change in the future.  For now I will not grade guys that are still on the Eagles roster, unless they were starters at some point in their first two seasons.)

1 - Brandon Graham (DE) - 12 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 FF - Philadelphia Eagles (PUP List)
The Eagles pursued Graham much in the same way they pursued McDougle in 2003.  They paid to move up and nab him at 13.  Praised for his work ethic and "high motor," Graham did end up playing in 13 games in his rookie year.  He tore his ACL and has been out since.  When he was playing, Graham didn't show a ton, and many are quick to label him a bust.  I think it is too quick to do so, and we may not know until 2013 whether or not he'll pan out and be worth the price.  I do worry his career will end up much like McDougle's.  Moderate Failure

2 - Nate Allen (FS) - 47 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 3 INT, 1 FF - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting FS)
Allen has resumed his starting role at the FS position, one he earned in his rookie year.  Allen played well in his rookie season before tearing his patellar tendon.  He's struggled early in 2011, not surprising given the injury he suffered, but he was just renamed the starter last week.  We'll have to see how he does moving on in the year.  N/A

3 - Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (DE) - 2 Tackles, 1 Sack - Philadelphia Eagles (Practice Squad)
Te'o hasn't done much to live up to his higher draft position.  He played in six games his rookie season, but he's lost all semblance of a job this year in a loaded defensive line scheme.  Currently stuck on the practice squad, thus far it seems as though Te'o is a bust.  Complete Failure

4 - Trevard Lindley (CB) - 22 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 FR - Free Agent
Lindley played in 11 games in his rookie year, starting one, but it was difficult to read whether or not he was successful.  Once the Eagles went out and traded for DRC and signed Asomugha, it became clear Lindley's spot on the club was in jeopardy.  He was waived before the season.  Complete Failure

4 - Keenan Clayton (LB) - 12 Tackles - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup SAM)
Keenan had a nice special teams play last week, but has not thus far into his career seen a lot of playing time in the LB role.  Considering the overall poor quality of Eagles LBs, it doesn't reflect well on you to be a backup to those guys.  It really remains to be seen whether Clayton will provide value to the Eagles.  N/A

4 - Mike Kafka (QB) - 11/16, 107 Yards, 68.8 Comp. %, 2 INT - Philadelphia Eagles (3rd QB)
Kafka looked good in the preseason this year, his only significant time in an Eagles uniform.  He came into the Falcons and Giants games due to Vick's injuries.  He did well in the conservative scheme against the Falcons, but got overly aggressive against the Giants and pretty much threw desperation passes for picks.  I think Kafka has potential, but for now the jury is still out.  N/A

4 - Clay Harbor (TE) - 13 Rec, 144 Yards, 2 TD - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup TE)
Clay didn't show much in his rookie season, only getting 9 catches and playing in only 9 games.  Thus far, particularly after the 49ers game, Harbor has looked decent in his sophomore season.  He's in a crowded receiving field and especially as a backup, he won't see a ton of looks.  So far so good I guess, but too limited to offer a grade.  N/A

5 - Ricky Sapp (DE) - Free Agent
Sapp was hyped as a big steal in the 2010 draft.  Turns out that couldn't be further from the truth.  Sapp was hurt in his rookie year and came back in 2011, but shortly afterwards simply up and left the team.  I'm still not sure what his deal is or if he'll ever be back to the league.  Complete Failure

5 - Riley Cooper (WR) - 7 Rec, 116 Yards, 1 TD - Philadelphia Eagles (#4 WR)
Cooper has shown flashes of his talents this early in his career.  He hasn't yet caught a pass this year, but his preseason performances were decent.  He's buried in the depth chart under a talented receiving corps, so looks his way will be very limited.  N/A

6 - Charles Scott (RB) - Free Agent
Scott didn't last long with the Eagles, even when many thought he may make the team.  He was traded to Arizona for Jorrick Calvin, but then landed on the Giants PS for the 2010 season.  He was cut this year.  Miss

7 - Jamar Chaney (LB) - 53 Tackles, 1 FF - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting MIKE)
Chaney looked real good when he filled in for an injured Stew in 2010 against the Cowboys.  He currently leads the team in tackles this season, but like the rest of the defense, has given up his fair share of opponent offensive production.  It might be a bit much to expect 7th round talent to provide quality services at MLB, problems exacerbated by Chaney's smaller size.  Some good and some bad so far, too early to tell how extensive his impact will be.  Hit

7 - Jeff Owens (DT) - Free Agent
Owens was cut when he failed his physical this summer.  In the only game he played in 2010, he hurt himself.  Not a good showing.  Miss

7 - Kurt Coleman (S) - 43 Tackles, 1 INT - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup SS)
Coleman did struggle in his rookie year, common for a 7th round draft pick.  He showed some things and eventually earned a starting gig heading into this year.  Since then, however, he struggled along with the rest of the Eagles defense.  He lost his starting job to Nate Allen and Jarrad Page starts ahead of him, as well.  He has some potential, but just as well, not much should be expected of him down the line.  N/A

 

2011: (These players will not be rated at all unless their impact on the team, both long and short term, is fairly obvious.)

1 - Danny Watkins (G) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup RG)
Many were surprised to see the Eagles take a 26 year-old in the first round.  What wasn't surprising was the fact that he was a lineman, although perhaps the Eagles would have done better to take a true tackle.  Although he isn't starting, it is far too early to tell whether Watkins is a complete bust or not, even if he was expected to take the starting gig from the top.  I imagine he will be the starter next year (if he's still around).

2 - Jaiquawn Jarrett (S) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup SS)
Jarrett apparently isn't yet ready to step into the defense.  I think many agree it wouldn't hurt to give the guy a shot.  We'll see if and when he ends up playing this season.

3 - Curtis Marsh (CB) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup CB)
Marsh is a long corner who was a bit of a longshot to make the team, but it wasn't much surprise.  The Eagles would not abandon a third round rookie so quickly.  It will be a longshot for Marsh to see any quality time this season.

4 - Casey Matthews (LB) - 14 Tackles - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup WILL)
Thus far, Casey has looked nothing like his brother Clay.  Undoubtedly the Eagles took Matthews largely because of his bloodline and the success Green Bay had with Clay the year before.  It was well known to most, however, that Casey is not nearly as good as his brother.  That said, it is still too early to call him a bust.  He does have time to improve, and certainly WILL is his likely natural position given his size and speed.

4 - Alex Henery (K) - 8/11, Long of 38, 11/11 XP - Philadelphia Eagles (Kicker)
The fourth-round kicker demonstrated his young status against the 49ers, missing two important field goals that certainly helped the Eagles lose the game.  It will be near impossible for him to match that collegiate accuracy, but he needs to do better than he did against the Niners.  There's no guarantee Akers makes those kicks.

5 - Dion Lewis (RB) - 3 Attempts, 13 Yards, 1 Rec, -3 Yards - Philadelphia Eagles (3rd RB)
Lewis showed some great things in the preseason.  I think he'll be a good backup for the Eagles, but I would like to see him get some more carries each game, or at least pair him in the backfield with Shady from time to time.  I think he'll be an improvement over the works of one Eldra Buckley.

5 - Julian Vandervelde (G) - Philadelphia Eagles (Backup LG)
Haven't seen much of him at all this year, and that includes the preseason.  He was good enough to make the team, I guess.  I definitely prefer Mathis as the starter.

6 - Jason Kelce (C) - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting C)
Kelce got into the good graces of Howard Mudd, enough to earn the starting job.  I personally think Jackson would remain a better option as long as he's healthy, but apparently the Eagles think otherwise.  I haven't been overly impressed by Kelce so far, but he'll get better the more he plays this year.

6 - Brian Rolle (LB) - 8 Tackles - Philadelphia Eagles (Starting WILL)
Rolle took the job from Matthews after the great LB shuffle of Week 2.  He looked good early on against the 49ers, but as the game wore on his performance took a dive.  He has the power to play the position, but he's extremely short which will hurt him in coverage.  I personally like him more than Matthews, but he too will have to improve with experience.  I see Rolle as more of a spot-reliever on defense rather than a full-time starter.

7 - Greg Lloyd (LB) - Philadelphia Eagles (Practice Squad)
Lloyd is another bloodline pick by the Eagles, probably hoping his pedigree will make him a valuable asset.  So far it has gotten him a place on the practice squad.  If you're that far down on the Eagles LB list, you probably aren't that good, but who knows.

7 - Stanley Havili (RB) - Philadelphia Eagles (Practice Squad)
Didn't see him much in preseason.  He's a serviceable reserve back, I guess, although perhaps more of a receiver threat than a runner.  We'll see if he ever moves up the food chain.  I'm most impressed that the Eagles actually held onto all of their 2011 draft picks this year.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's the entire Reid-era drafting history.  Now that we have a complete summary, we'll organize the picks and see how Reid has done as a drafting guru.

First, the total players drafted by position:

QB: 5
RB: 11
FB: 2
WR: 14
TE: 6
G: 10
T: 9
C: 4
DE: 11
DT: 8
LB: 16
CB: 7
S: 8
DB: 4

Reid has, perhaps ironically, drafted linebackers the most out of all the positions.  Wouldn't you think this means the Eagles would be strong at that position? Well perhaps on its face it would appear so.  But you have to delve a little deeper.

For instance, linebackers have been drafted by the Eagles at a lower average draft position compared to all other positions except Center and Fullback, which have only had 4 and 2 picks, respectively.  Here's how the ADP breaks down:

QB: 3.6
WR: 3.6
DE: 3.6
S: 3.8
CB: 3.9
DT: 4.0
T: 4.3
G: 4.4
RB: 4.6
TE: 4.7
DB: 4.8
LB: 4.8
C: 5.8
FB: 6.5

Not only that, but out of all the linebackers drafted and currently rated, none have received positive marks (above average).  He hit on two 7th rounders in Moise Fokou and Jamar Chaney, but those hits are still somewhat speculative.  The rest of the LBs Reid has drafted are rated as Moderate Failures (4), Complete Failures (2), and Misses (4).  Remember that four remain unrated for now.  This could be indicative of the Eagles inability to scout linebackers and ultimately their current predicament at the position.  So not only do they draft LBs in the later rounds typically, not surprisingly the majority of these LBs are poor draftees.

Turning from the specific to the general, overall, Reid has done exceedingly poorly in the late rounds of the draft.  He's had 26 misses and only four hits in rounds 6 and 7.  Now this is not all Reid--it is difficult to find talent in the later rounds and have it stick.  But you have to consider I rated his latest three hits as two struggling linebackers and King Dunlap--none of whom are particularly impressive talents (the other hit is Cecil Martin in 1999).

Reid has also had trouble in the early rounds.  The overall numbers are perhaps a tad more forgiving: 11 CS, 5 MS, 7 Average, 20 MF, and 24 CF.  That's essentially 23 average or better players versus 44 players contributing very little or next to nothing.  Since 2006, Reid has only had 5 picks above average.  Since 2003, that number is only 8.

Some of the more startling numbers in this analysis:

  • The 8 rated guards that Reid has drafted have all been Failures or Misses.  This puts Watkins and Vandervelde against the average as possible successes.
  • Reid has had similar shortcomings at drafting Defensive End talent, as only 1 (Trent Cole) of the 11 DEs he has drafted have been above average.  The rest are failures or misses, with more than half (6) being complete failures.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly Reid has had the most success at QB, drafting five with three being at average or better (and I'm willing to bet Kafka ends up there as well).  The only miss was Andy Hall.
  • The Eagles draft either feast or famine when it comes to DTs.  Their round # selections look like this: 7, 1, 1, 7, 1, 6, 2, 7.  Simon, Patterson, and Bunkley are the three first-round DT picks Reid has made.  Laws was almost the first round, as well.  None of their late-round DTs have panned out.
  • The Eagles worst draft class? 2004.  One average pick and the rest below that standard, including five misses.  2001 was also very poor, with the Eagles first and second round picks both being failures. 
  • The best draft class? Arguably 2002.  The first four picks were amazing, but the last four picks were the polar opposite.  2005 was good and a bit more balanced, but still a lot of misses.  The 2010 and 2011 drafts aren't looking so hot right at the moment and could conceivably end up being two of the worst.

To conclude this horrific mess, what do all these figures really mean? Well, in a way it is difficult to tell.  Ideally, these figures would be compared to other teams results to see how each individual team has done in the draft over the last decade.  Ultimately this would tell you for certain a couple of things: 1) does strong drafting ultimately affect team performance, and 2) is Andy Reid really as poor a drafter as the numbers seem to indicate, or are these simply the averages as to how the draft works, and how difficult it is to spot talent?

There's no doubt that teams add pieces through free agency and undrafted talent, but the point I wanted to stress was that without doing proper scouting and drafting, at some point down the line, your team will suffer because of it--and its not something you can "cure" with free agency.  Perhaps now the last six years of sub-par drafting is catching up with the Eagles.  What I would really prefer to see is more consistent assessment of first, second, and third round talent.

Since 2003, Reid has only drafted successfully four times in the first three rounds, and that includes two strong picks in 2009 (Maclin and McCoy).  Only two of the Eagles first rounders since '03 were successful: Mike Patterson and Jeremy Maclin.  From '99 to '02? He had a successful first round pick in three of the four years.  Is this just luck? Is it needing a fresh eye for talent?

I don't make any official claims about the numbers myself and whether or not they are conclusive.  I do, however, propose a thesis and believe the team on draft day needs to do an overall better job, particularly in talent evaluation at certain positions.  I personally think the lack of depth coming out of the draft has hurt the Eagles over time.

Consider this: the Eagles made the Superbowl in '04--they had eight successful picks over the prior four years (not counting the '03 draft since rookies tend to have limited influence anyway).  Since then, the same amount of successful picks have been spread out over nine years.  This could mean any numbers of things, but it tends indicate one simple notion:

Free Agency in-bulk is not the answer.  Poor drafting is now starting to catch up with the Eagles.  And yes, this is only a small scale of the problems facing the Eagles.  The gashes do run deep with this team.

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