CSN Bay Area did a study of every NFL team's drafts over the past five years and ranked them in terms of quality. It's an interesting study to check out, although I'd be more interested in seeing someone with more focused resources like Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders take on a similar project. A lot of the conclusions drawn by the CSN Bay Area writers are suspect at best. For instance, Anthony Spencer is the Cowboys best pick of the past five years? Although maybe that's more of indictment of how bad the Dallas drafts have been than a compliment to Spencer... Also, their count of the Eagles draft picks from the past five years that are current starters is wrong.
That said, as I'm starting to realize, something like this is tough to do. We're doing a list of the 10 worst and 10 best picks of the Andy era this month and I'm finding tough to exactly quantify what a "bust" is. Some are easy and obvious... Others not so much. Take Reggie Brown for instance. The CSN study would have counted him as a good pick while he was still on the team because he was in the starting lineup for most of his career here. Drafting a "starter" is a good thing in their opinion. The study showers praise on the Falcons for picks like Sam Baker because he's a starter. As we know, Sam Baker isn't a very good starter... but he's a starter. Does that mean it was a good draft pick?
When you don't have the resources to have someone watching every game and scoring these picks, what other choice do you have? This is why it would be interesting to see someone like PFF take this on... But enough digressing, I'm sure you want to know the rankings.
The Eagles came in at #12, one spot behind the New York Giants at #11. The count the Eagles best pick as DeSean Jackson and their worst as Trevor Laws.
The Eagles' top rusher (LeSean McCoy) and top five pass-catcher (McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Jackson and Brent Celek) were acquired through the past five drafts, but they've been less-successful finding standouts on their offensive and defensive lines. Their biggest risk paid off, as Andy Reid took a chance on Jackson with the No. 49 overall pick in 2008. Obviously, they've gotten a lot of return on that investment. But two picks earlier they selected Laws, whose increased playing time last year only resulted in 18 tackles -- 22nd on the team. To his credit, he did have four sacks.
I'd say that calling Trevor Laws a worse pick than say... Bryan Smith or Ton Hunt who were both picked in the past five years is comical... but again, it doesn't seem like the CSN did a lot of digging.
They say the Eagles have eight starters from their past five drafts. I counted 12. I'm not sure whether they discount guys like Max Jean-Gilles and Mike McGlynn who started because of injury last year, but the fact is that they still started all season. I don't know, you guys can go check out the roster and tell me how many starters you think the Eagles have that were drafted over the past five years.
Dallas came in at #28, while the Redskins came in #31. The Redskins have less players on their team drafted over the past five years than any other team in the NFL. The Cowboys have fewer current starters out of their last five drafts than any other team in the NFL. Only the Patriots (51) have made more draft picks over the past five years than the Eagles (47).