Philadelphia Eagles’ 5-Year Draft Review

by Adam Fournier, Ourlads’ Intern

With 48 picks in the last five years, the Philadelphia Eagles are tied with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers for the most in the NFL. How does that song go? One of these things is not like the other. In the past five seasons, the Seahawks have two Super Bowl appearances with a Super Bowl victory; and the 49ers have appeared in three NFC Championship Games winning one. Meanwhile over the same stretch, the Eagles have not won a playoff game and also had a four-win season. The biggest reason for the difference in the success of the three teams is the difference in production from their draft picks over this five-year stretch. While the Eagles have drafted a few solid players, their production from the draft has not been nearly enough.

The 2010 draft had an incredible amount of selections in thirteen players and did not produce nearly enough for having that many picks. The real problem is how short the majority of the picks’ careers were in Philadelphia. Six of the picks spent only one year or less on the Eagles, including 3rd round pick Daniel Te’o Nesheim and 4th round picks Trevard Lindley and Keenan Clayton. While none were that great, the Eagles did get production out of Nate Allen, Clay Harbor, Jamar Chaney, and Kurt Coleman. However, none of these players are still with the team in 2015. The only two who remain with Philadelphia are 1st rounder Brandon Graham and 5th rounder Riley Cooper. Cooper has been the best pick of the draft as he has made a solid contribution at wide receiver, especially for a 5th round pick. Graham, on the other hand, has been a big flop, starting only 13 games in five seasons and never producing at a 1st round level. Graham is expected to start in 2015, so this could be his big break.

The 2011 draft is more of the same story but even worse, as it was another huge draft class (11 players) that has failed to produce. Only Julian Vandervelde and Jason Kelce are still with the team for 2015 with only Kelce being a contributor. Vandervelde has been a non-factor and has yet to start a game. Kelce has been very good for the Eagles starting at center for three of the four years, missed 2012 with injury. Kelce was rewarded for his play with a contract extension before the 2014 season and followed it up with his first Pro Bowl selection. The rest of the draft was a huge failure with the first three draft picks gone after only two seasons or less with the Eagles. The class as a whole goes down as one of the worst in the last five years.

The 2012 draft class was much better as it produced some very good players on the defensive side of the ball. Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks have been great in their three seasons with the Eagles and are starters in 2015. Also Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin have been great as well, but in reserve roles. Curry is expected to produce as a reserve again in 2015 while Boykin was recently traded to Pittsburgh. The final notable selection from this draft is Nick Foles. Foles looked like a potential franchise quarterback after a Pro Bowl season in 2013 which included an incredible 27 to 2 touchdown to interception ratio. However following an injury ridden average 2014 season, Foles was traded to St. Louis for Sam Bradford.

The 2013 class has been decent so far as the Eagles found two solid starters in Lane Johnson and Bennie Logan with Zach Ertz contributing in a reserve role at tight end. Also 5th rounder Earl Wolff is expected to start in 2015 after contributing for two years, mostly as a reserve. While none of these players have been world-beaters, this draft looks to be a good one for the Eagles.

There is not much to say about the 2014 draft as only Jordan Matthews made any contribution whatsoever. Matthews was a part of the legendary 2014 wide receiver class having a great rookie season. He will be looking to follow up on his success and is expected to start for the Eagles in 2015. The rest of the draft made little to no impact and are all projected as reserves in 2015. There is still plenty of time for these players to make an impact but so far the class as a whole has been a failure.

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