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July 26, 2017

Ranking the Eagles' worst draft picks since 1999

Eagles NFL

With the Philadelphia Eagles' release of former first round pick Marcus Smith, I took a look back at the Eagles' drafts since the start of the Andy Reid era (1999) and tried to figure out where Smith fit in among the worst picks during that time frame.

Out of that exercise, a list was born:

10) Tony Hunt, RB, 3rd round, 2007

Hunt's career rushing totals: 14 carries, 25 yards, 1.8 YPC, long gain of 6 yards, one fumble. He lasted two years with the Eagles, his only two seasons in the NFL.

9) Bryan Smith, DE, 3rd round, 2008

Smith never appeared in a game for the Eagles after being an over-drafted project out of McNeese State. He did appear in six games with the Jaguars before his career ended with zero sacks.

8) Victor Abiamiri, DE, 2nd round, 2007

Like Marcus Smith, Abiamiri lasted just three years with the Eagles, finishing his career with just seven more tackles and the same number of sacks as Smith.

7) Quinton Caver, LB, 2nd round, 2001

Caver actually lasted in the NFL for six years, appearing in 64 games, and starting four. With the Eagles, he appeared in 16 games and had a measly 12 tackles to show for it. The rest of his career was similarly unproductive, as he had no sacks, no interceptions, and no forced fumbles.

6) Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, 2nd round, 2011

At the time, the Eagles had two glaring needs, guard and safety. They reached massively for each in the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, as both Danny Watkins and Jarrett are long since already out of the NFL. 2011 was the lockout year, meaning that the draft came before free agency. Ideally, you would try to fill your glaring holes in free agency, then add the best available players in the draft. The Eagles took the reverse tact. They reached for need in the draft, then signed all the "best" players in free agency, and the results were disastrous.

5) Freddie Mitchell, WR, 1st round, 2001

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. Still, Mitchell's career was a big disappointment.

4) Jerome McDougle, DE, 1st round, 2003

McDougle's career was already off to a bad start before he got shot. And then, you know, he got shot. Adding insult to injury, the Eagles traded way up in the first round to draft McDougle. For his career, McDougle had 37 tackles and three sacks. He did almost kill Eli Manning though.

3) Nelson Agholor (so far), WR, 1st round, 2015

Agholor's career with the Eagles certainly isn't over yet, obviously, but it's off to an atrocious start.

2) Marcus Smith, LB/DE, 1st round, 2014

In his three seasons in Philly, Smith played just 413 snaps with the regular defense, making almost no impact whatsoever. He finished his Eagles career with just 23 tackles (16 solo), 1 tackle for loss, 4 sacks, no forced fumbles, no fumble recoveries, no interceptions, no batted passes, and no pass breakups. And yet, he skipped OTAs this offseason because they're "voluntary."

1) Danny Watkins, OG, 1st round, 2011

Watkins was the dumbest pick in two decades. He was already 26 years old when the Eagles drafted him (he turned 27 during his rookie season) on a team at the time that was legendary for letting players walk once they got into their 30's. For context, Tyron Smith was taken in the same draft class as Watkins. Smith will be turning 27 during the season this year, as Watkins did during his rookie season. 

On top of his extraordinary age, Watkins was also transitioning to guard, a non-impact position that he didn't even play in college. 

But he was a firefighter, so he was a blue collar guy! Except that, you know, he really liked firefighting, and had no interest in football at all.


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