With just a week before the 2013 NFL Draft, most NFL fans are looking toward the future of their favorite franchises. While looking ahead is fun and exciting, remembering some of the best draft memories for your team makes the annual event just as special. The whole reason why millions of football fans tune into the draft every year is because of the great memories and awesome surprises from previous years and the hope that history repeats itself. That's BGN is reflecting back on past Eagles drafts.
Over the last ten years, the Eagles coaching staff was led by one man, Andy Reid, and featured Tom Heckert and Howie Roseman at general manager. The team has had a reputation in recent years for having bad drafts but the Eagles have added some solid players over the past decade. In order to decide which class has had the most impact on the team and league, BGN came up with a three tier rating system: Heavy Hitters (perennial starter or made immediate pact for the Eagles), Stayed Around (spent more than four years in the league, whether with the Eagles and/or another team or underwhelming player still on the team) and True Failure (in the league less than three years). Here are the results:
True Failure: Scott Peters (4th), Freddie Milons (5th), Tyreo Harrison (6th)
Heavy Hitters: LJ Smith (2nd)
Stayed Around: Jerome McDougle (1st, Eagles 2003-2007), Billy McMullen (3rd, Eagles 2003-05, also played for Viking and Seahawks), Jeremy Bridges (6th, surprisingly long career despite never playing for Eagles: 10 seasons with Cardinals and Panthers)
Heavy Hitters: Shawn Andrews (1st, 3x Pro Bowler)
Stayed Around: Matt Ware (3rd, 8 seasons with Eagles and Cardinals), J.R. Reed (4th, on-and-off Eagles for 5 seasons), Thomas Tapeh (5th, Eagles and Vikings for 4 seasons), Dexter Wynn (played 6 seasons with Eagles, Lions and Texans)
Stayed Around: Reggie Brown (2nd, Eagles 2005-09), Matt McCoy (2nd, bounced around league, played until 2011), Sean Considine (4th, played for Eagles from 2005-08, won a Super Bowl with Ravens last year)
Stayed Around: Chris Gocong (3rd, Eagles and Browns starter up until 2012), Max Jean Gilles (4th, spot start for the Eagles from 2006-10), Omar Gaither (5th, Eagles from 2006-10, also former Panther and Raider)
Heavy Hitters: Brent Celek (5th)
Heavy Hitters: Desean Jackson (2nd, 2x Pro Bowler)
Stayed Around: Trevor Laws (2nd, Eagles from 2008-2011, now with Rams), Mike McGlynn (4th, spot starter for Eagles from 2008-10, played for Bengals in 2011, current starter for Colts), Quintin Demps (4th, Eagles 2008-09, Texans 2010-2012), Mike Gibson (6th, played for Eagles, Cardinals and Seahawks from 2008-2012, still with Cardinals), Joe Mays (6th, Eagles from 2008-2009, been with Broncos since 2010), Andy Studebacker (6th, played for Chiefs from 2008-2012), King Dunlap (played for Eagles from 2008-2012, now with Chargers)
Heavy Hitters: Jeremy Maclin (1st), Lesean McCoy (2nd, 1x Pro Bowler)
Heavy Hitters: N/A
Stayed Around: Brandon Graham (1st, current Eagle, on-and-off starter), Nate Allen (2nd, current Eagle), Daniel Teo-Nesheim (3rd, played one season with Eagles, Buccaneers ever since), Keenan Clayton (Eagles from 2010-11, currently plays for Raiders), Clay Harbor (4th, Eagles backup tight end), Riley Cooper (5th, stand-out on special teams), Jamar Chaney (7th, on-and-off starter, current Eagle), Kurt Coleman (7th, on-and-off starter)
Stayed Around: Danny Watkins (1st, on-and-off starter), Curtis Marsh (3rd, N/A), Casey Matthews (4th, depth), Dion Lewis (5th, underused, traded to Browns), Stanley Havili (7th, starting FB in 2012, traded to Colts)
Heavy Hitters: Fletcher Cox (1st, full-time starter in rookie year), Mychal Kendricks (2nd, full-time starter as a rookie), Nick Foles (3rd, still open evaluation but put up big rookie numbers and led team to win on walk-off touchdown), Bryce Brown (7th, showed starting ability while McCoy was out of lineup and gain numerous yards in fill-in games in 2012)
True Failure: Brandon Washington (6th)
While 2002 features the most "Heavy Hitters," a few other drafts feature less "True Failures." Add in the up and down number for the "Stayed Around" bunch and rating the drafts becomes open ended.
So that's why BGN is turning to you. Which year do you think is the best draft of the past decade?