Not much going on tonight, so i thought I'd reminisce a little about our success rate in the first round over the Andy Reid regime. I decided to use a numbered scale from 1 to 10 to rate each player(s). Scores are based primarily on NFL production, to an intermediate degree on longevity, and to a lesser degree on what I felt the quality of the pick was at the time the player was taken, before he ever dawned an NFL uniform.
1999 Donovan McNabb (Grade 9.7 / 10) Arguably the best draft pick in franchise history. Led the Eagles for 11 years with many more ups than downs. He was a bit sensitive with the media but nobody ever told him playing in Philly was easy (or fair all the time). In 1999, I was part of the Ricky Williams campaign, but Andy promptly showed Eagles nation that HIS team was going to be run HIS way by building around a franchise QB rather than a franchise runner. Two seasons later it was obvious Andy made the right pick.
2000 Corey Simon (8.5 / 10) I loved this pick when it was made. Simon promised to provide the Eagles with the interior pass rusher they so badly needed since the tragic death of Jerome Brown. He sacked Troy Aikman on his very first regular season play on the way to a fantastic rookie campaign. He gave us four very good years, but became a malcontent after so long and departed not very long after that. Signed with the Colts where his career quickly spiraled downward.
2001 Freddie Mitchell (4.5 / 10) The Eagles missed on this one. I don't think I was ever excited about him at any time. FredEx had good hands, but was undersized and didn't have the speed to compensate. Most famous for 4th and 26.....and also for foolishly giving Rodney Harrison and the Pats all sorts of bulletin board material prior to the 2005 Super Bowl, and contributed nothing in the game. He was a Terrell Owens sized prima dona, but never backed anything up on the field.
2002 Lito Sheppard (8.2 /10) Wasn't excited about this pick, but he proved me wrong (somewhat). Went to two Pro Bowls although I don't think he was ever what you would call an truly elite player. Certainly wasn't a bust, but was injury prone and eventually grew unhappy with his contract and signing Asante Samuel had to hurt. Had one of the more memorable plays of the last decade when he picked off Drew Bledsoe and returned it for 100+ yards for a touchdown, sealing an Eagles home win over Dallas. Making a big play to help beat the Giants or Cowboys will always serve to boost a player's stock
2003 Jerome McDougal (3.0 / 10) Hated this pick from the get go, and he justified it. Did virtually nothing in the pros, although he did lay one hell of a hit on Eli Manning in the Eagles 2004 home opener. The Steelers continue to rub salt in this wound, as they took All World safety Troy Polamalu with the very next pick in the first round.
2004 Shawn Andrews (8.9 /10) He gets a high grade because I thought this was a fantastic pick when the Eagles traded up for him. He was injury prone but was lights out when he was healthy. Was the best guard in football in 2006 at the age of 24 and looked like the Eagles hit a grand slam. I honestly thought we had a second coming of Larry Allen, thats how high I was on him. Such a disappointing ending.
2005 Mike Patterson (7.8 / 10) I liked this pick. I didn't predict him to ever dominate but thought he would be a solid starter, which he has been. I thought he would be more productive in the sack department which is why his score isn't higher. He might be fighting for his job this summer with the emergence of Antonio Dixon.
2006 Broderick Bunkley (8.0 / 10) I wanted Haloti Ngata more, but I thought Bunk could be a dominant player if he worked at it. Unfortunately, he didn't do that as a rookie and it showed. He had lots of potential but was unpolished coming out of FSU. Like Patterson, I thought he'd get to the quarterback more, but he holds strong at the point and has emerged as a solid NFL tackle.
2007 Kevin Kolb (8.8 / 10) He wasn't a first rounder but he was the team's first pick that year. The heir apparent to Donovan McNabb showed flashes of greatness at times and will make a very good starter in the NFL next year for whichever team he is traded to. Doesn't have the big arm, but is a hard worker, very accurate, and a little more mobile than many think. Should net the Eagles at least a first round pick in a trade, which boosts his grade.
2008 Trevor Laws/DeSean Jackson (Laws: 7.2 / 10, Jackson: 9.3 / 10) They were taken so close in the second round that year that I decided to grade both. Laws showed some promise last year but probably isn't where the team thought he would be or needs him to be. Even on draft day, I thought he was a bit of a reach. I did not think Jackson would still be available at #49 overall. I was elated at this pick at the time because I knew at the very least he would really upgrade the return game. Has emerged as an elite playmaker although one can argue he is a streaky player. Has a lot of great years ahead of him and can't wait to watch. Made the play of the year in 2010.......do I really need to tell you which?
2009 Jeremy Maclin (9.2 / 10) In the last ten years, I don't ever think I was more excited about a first round pick when his name was called. Getting Maclin at the 19th pick was a total steal then and certainly now. I rated him just a tad below Jackson because I think Jackson is more talented but Maclin is more consistent. After two seasons looks to be well on his way to stardom. Teams with Jackson, Avant and Cooper to give the team its best WR corps in years. Should make a good push for the Pro Bowl this year.
2010 Brandon Graham (Incomplete) Didn't produce like they thought he would, then got hurt. Haven't seen enough to put a fair grade on him. I liked this pick because I knew he was a good player coming out of Michigan, but I thought the team had more glaring needs at the time. When the Eagles moved up to #13, I actually said to my friend "Here comes Earl Thomas" because drafting a safety made a lot more sense. The team did address the safety position soon after by using the "Donovan McNabb pick" on Nate Allen, which made me feel better about getting Graham.
ANDY'S AVERAGE SCORE: (7.76 of 10) Looking back, I was pleased overall. FredEx and McDougal busted pretty badly, which brought the total down. But all in all, Andy's done a pretty commendable job picking them in the first round. He doesn't always make the popular pick (actually he rarely does) but looking at other teams, he could have done a lot worse.