Tonight marks the first round of the NFL draft, when teams put in the most effort to build for their future. The Philadelphia Eagles have had a pretty good period of success the past 10 years, though they haven’t gotten that elusive Super Bowl titles. Still, most of the successfull Eagles picks the 10 years have come from the later rounds, like DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook, and Sheldon Brown to name a few. For a team that hasn’t always drafted well in the First Round, the 2000’s have been up and down
2000 – Corey Simon – DT – Florida State (6th Overall)
Simon had a succcessful run in Philly. He started on a Defensive Line that went to 4 straight NFC Title games. In 2003 he reached the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately his run here ended early. After the 2004 season, the Eagles put the franchise tag on him. Simon refused to sign his tender. Eventually the Eagles lifted the tag and Simon signed with the Colts. He battled injuries and eventually retired from the league during the 2007 season. But his 5 years in Philly were pretty good.
2001 – Freddie Mitchell – WR – UCLA (25th Overall)
While certainly the most entertaining pick, Freddie lacked in actual production. The joke in town is he had more nicknames than touchdown catches. He never really learned the playbook here, and aside from one legendary catch on 4th and 26 against Green Bay in the 4th quarter of a Divisional Playoff, his career was pretty fortgetable aside from all his press conferences and celebration antics. He famously called out Patriots safety Rodney Harrison before the Super Bowl, and didn’t back it up. Patriots coach Bill Belicheck, not known for talking, said Mitchell was terrible, and he was happy when he was on the field. Not a rining endorsement. He was released in May 2005.
2002 – Lito Shepperd – CB – Florida (26th Overall)
Lito was drafted before Sheldon Brown in the same draft, and together they formed a great duo that followed the duo of Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent in the defensive backfield. Despite a few injuries, Shepperd was very productive here, going to two Pro Bowls. After the 2007 season, the Eagles signed All-Pro Asante Samuel, and that limited Shepperd’s time. Unhappy here, he was trade to the Jets in 2009. This offseason he was signed by Minnesota
2003 – Jerome McDougle – DE – Miami (15th Overall)
The Eagles moved up to get McDougle, a touted DE who never lived up to the hype. In 2003 and 2004 he battled injuries, missing 13 games total. Then in 2005, just prior to camp, he was shot during a robbery in Miami and missed the 2005 season. In 2006 he had an up and down year, and again battled injuries in 2007. He was released in 2008.
2004 – Shawn Andrews – OT – Arkansas (16th Overall)
The Eagles moved up to draft this big tackle. He was a starter from the get go. He was injured a bit in 2004, but started every game for 2005. In 2006 and 2007, he went to the Prow Bowl. It all came to a crashing halt though when a series of bizarre events lead Andrews to go AWOL from camp. It was revealed he suffered depression. He played in 2 games in 2008 before being placed on Injured Reserve, and again in 2009. he was released earlier this year. He had 3 great years here, but it ended early.
2005 – Mike Patterson – DT – USC (31st Overall)
After splitting time with Darwin Walker his first year, Patterson became a regular starter. Thus far he’s been productive, and holds the Eagles record for longest fumble recovery for a touchdown, a 98 yarder against San Francisco. In 2006 he signed a 7 year extension.
2006 – Brodrick Bunkley – DT – Florida State (14th Overall)
Bunkley struggled at the outset of his career but in 2007 became a starter, and figures to compete for that job this year. He’s had a few minor incidents, including being suspended for one game his rookie year for missing a team flight. But he figures to be around on the D-line for a while
2007 and 2008 – No picks as a result of trades
The Eagles first picks those two years were 2nd round QB Kevin Kolb and WR DeSean Jackson, who figure to be cornerstones for the offense for years to come.
2009 – Jeremy Maclin – WR – Missouri (19th Overall)
A little too early to tell, but Maclin had a productive rookie year, making a few big plays. Paired with DeSean Jackson, they figure to be an exciting receiving tandem. Maclin has great speed and improving hands, and figures to help out in the return game as well. So far there’s reason for optimism with Maclin.