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February 08, 2017

Ranking the Eagles' draft classes since 1999, Part II

Eagles NFL

This week, we'll be ranking the Eagles' draft classes going back to 1999, or Andy Reid's first year with the team. Yesterday we started with the worst, counting down from 18 to 13. Read that one at your own peril.

Today we'll count down from 12 to 7 in Part II.

12) 2010

So many picks, so little value.

 RoundPlayer Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Brandon Graham DE 
 2Nate Allen 
 3Daniel Te'o-Nesheim DE 
 4Trevard Lindley CB 
 4Keenan Clayton LB 
 4Mike Kafka QB 
 4Clay Harbor TE 
 5Ricky Sapp DE 
 5Riley Cooper WR 
 6Charles Scott RB 
 7Jamar Chaney LB 
 7Jeff Owens DT 
 7Kurt Coleman 
 TOTAL13 picks  17 

Brandon Graham has become a good NFL starter, but the reality is that the majority of the Eagles' fan base expected the pick to be Earl Thomas once the Eagles traded up, and they were right that he should have been. I mean, not to beat that to death or anything, but it should be noted. As for Nate Allen, he is arguably the best defensive back the Eagles drafted since 2002, which is mind-blowingly sad.

Otherwise, there is so much about this draft that brings back weird memories, such as:

  1. Remember when Ricky Sapp used to tweet "Family Guy!" like 30 times per week?
  2. Remember when the Eagles traded Charles Scott for Jorrick Calvin, the guy who unintentionally/hilariously ran around in the end zone trying to kill time on a kickoff even though the clock doesn't start until you come out?
  3. Remember when Keenan Clayton was going to be the safety/linebacker hybrid before it was en vogue, but he stunk?
  4. Remember when Daniel Te'o-Nesheim tested really well on that dumb "SackSEER" metric, and then proceeded to have five career sacks?
  5. Remember Mike Kafka's rag arm?
  6. Remember when Brian Baldinger said Jamar Chaney was "already one of the best linebackers in the NFL after his first start?" Lol.
  7. Remember when Riley Cooper went on a racist rant at a Kenny Chesney concert? And when he was quietly the reason the Eagles lost in the playoffs against the Saints when he dropped an easy pass over the middle with acres of open field in front of him?

Ah, memories.

11) 2001

The 2001 and 2015 drafts had the fewest number of picks over the last 18 years, with six.

Round Player Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Freddie Mitchell WR 
 2Quinton Caver LB 
 3Derrick Burgess DE 
 4Correll Buckhalter RB 
 5Tony Stewart TE 
 5A.J. Feeley QB 
 TOTAL6 picks  

Freddie Mitchell had 90 career receptions. By comparison, Nelson Agholor has 59 after two seasons, although I doubt Mitchell cost the team two touchdowns because he wasn't lined up correctly, and then, obviously, there was 4th and 26.

As for the rest, Burgess was a really good player, although he did most of his damage with the Raiders. Buckhalter was an underrated complementary back, and the Eagles were able to flip A.J. Feeley into a second-round pick from Miami.

But rounds 1 and 2? Ugh.

10) 2006

This was a very difficult draft class to place.

Round Player Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Brodrick Bunkley DT 
 2Winston Justice OT 
 3Chris Gocong LB 
 4Max Jean-Gilles OG 
 4Jason Avant WR 
 5Jeremy Bloom WR 
 5Omar Gaither LB 
 6LaJuan Ramsey DT 
 TOTAL8 picks  21 

When you look at this draft class, there's not one single player where you would say, "That was a really good pick." Mayyyybe Jason Avant in the fourth round? What this class did have was a lot of players who were contributors, but were JAGs. 

Also, if the Patriots drafted Jeremy Bloom, he'd already be in the Hall of Fame. OK, maybe not. It's tough to beat out Morten Andersen.

9) 2000

One player was good early in his career, and one was good later after he was gone.

 RoundPlayer Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Corey Simon DT 
 2Todd Pinkston WR 
 3Bobbie Williams OG 
 4Gari Scott WR 
 6Thomas Hamner RB 
 6John Frank DE 
 6John Romero 
 TOTAL7 picks  19 

Corey Simon was an awesome player for the Eagles at the start of his career, registering 9.5 sacks as a rookie, and 32 sacks over his first five years. And then he got fat and lazy, went to Colts, then the Titans, and he was out of the league at 30. Meanwhile, Todd Pinkston was an OK No. 2 receiver and a down-the-field threat, but most remember him for being bullied for 60 minutes in the NFC Championship Game by Ricky Manning Jr.

Bobbie Williams started 136 games over his career, but only 12 with the Eagles.

8) 2013

Three good players with the first three picks:

Round Player Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Lane Johnson OT 
 2Zach Ertz TE 
 3Bennie Logan DT 
 4Matt Barkley QB 
 5Earl Wolff 
 7Joe Kruger DE 
 7Jordan Poyer CB/S 
 7David King DE 
 TOTAL7 picks  

Johnson, Ertz, and Logan are all legitimate NFL starters, who should all go on to have long NFL careers, as long as Lane can lay off the peptides.

And, of course, there was the legendary Matt Barkley, who appeared in three games, threw no TDs and 4 picks, had a QB rating of 44.6, challenged a beat writer to some kind of odd quarterback man test, and then was traded to the Cardinals:

7) 2016

A franchise quarterback!

Round Player Position Pro Bowls Years as primary starter 
 1Carson Wentz QB 
 3Isaac Seumalo OG/C 
 5Wendell Smallwood RB 
 5Halapoulivaati Vaitai OT 
 6Blake Countess CB/S 
 7Jalen Mills CB 
 7Alex McCalister DE 
 7Joe Walker LB 
 TOTAL8 picks  

A couple months ago, we projected the futures for the Eagles' 2016 draft class, and really, for the purposes of ranking last year's class among the rest, projecting is all we can do. I see two legitimate starters in Carson Wentz and Isaac Seumalo, with some other contributing pieces. Obviously, the team will look to build around Wentz.

If Wentz can carve out a career like Donovan McNabb, this class would be ranked where the 1999 class is, which you'll see in Part III of this exercise. If Wentz can win a Super Bowl, it would obviously immediately vault to No. 1.

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