Let's face it, all of us have at one time or another played armchair GM. We read dozens upon dozens of Mock Draft articles and player profiles with the hopes that our team will draft "our guy".
Then, when the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approaches that podium to reveal our teams selection...
Well it’s almost never the player we expected. Sometimes, we angrily spout off combine stats, wonderlic test scores, or anything else to prove the idiocy of the franchise for picking the player they've selected.
The Draft is won by how smart general managers are with their low round picks. Guys who aren't expected to do much, but surprise and exceed their late round drafting.
So I've accumulated the best of the late round selections by the Eagles and the worst of the high round choices. Enjoy!
Taken in the '92 draft by the Eagles, he really wasn't expected to be more than a dime corner and special teams contributor.
Although his numbers weren't outstanding—after all he was opposite one Eric Allen—he still managed to show flashes of being a great corner. He was part of one of the most productive corner tandems in Eagle history and part of a secondary that created turnovers seemingly every game.
The other thing that earns him this great distinction is he was a ferocious tackler as well. Think of him as a smaller Sheldon Brown. He had a knack for delivering timely hits, and he was not afraid to stick his nose in there to make the play.
Even though he was a free agency casualty in '96 he is still regarded as one of the best Eagles to man the corner, picking off eight passes in just four seasons with the birds.
Impact to the Eagles: Perfect compliment to Eric Allen and helped solidify an already potent secondary.
Honorable Mention: Sheldon Brown. As the 58th pick in the second round, he owns a slight edge over Bobby Taylor, since Taylor was selected 50th.
At 6'2" and 210 lbs, Ware was supposed to be the next Bobby Taylor. With marquee receivers in the league like Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress, this seemed like the smart pick for the Eagles in the 2004 draft.
Ware was a likable enough guy; hard worker, kept his mouth shut and tried his best. It's just that there was never any results to back up his work.
The few times that the Eagles allowed a receiving touchdown during the 2004-2005 span, most of the time Ware was in the shot, which is not a good thing. For the most part corners want to go unnoticed, unless their making a good play.
Adding to Ware's case is the fact that to this day, he has still never recorded an interception in the NFL.
Impact to the Eagles: None really. He came from a particularly weak draft class once you got out of the first round.
Although, he did have one of the few bright spots of a bad '05 campaign as Quintin Mikell blocked a Chargers field goal, and Matt Ware returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
Dishonorable Mention: Ben Smith—First round, 22nd pick
I know, I know too easy right?
But for Eagles fans it gets no better. Especially considering Joyner was cut in training camp after being selected in the eighth round of the 1986 draft. Hard to imagine that, given the player he would become.
Joyner's unique combination of strength and quickness allowed him to excel in the Eagles aggressive defensive schemes. He was selected to three Pro Bowls in 1991, 1993, and 1994.
In one Monday Night game in 1991 against the Houston Oilers, Joyner, playing with a 102-degree fever, recorded eight solo tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two sacks.
He was named NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated that very same year and received runner-up honors for Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
During his time in Philadelphia he would amass 875 tackles, 37 sacks, 21 Fumbles forced and 17 INTs.
Impact to the Eagles: Was a part of one of the best Eagles defenses of all time.
Honorable mention: Ike Resse: Fifth round, 142nd pick—got the most out of what he had.
Jessie Small, taken by the Eagles in the 1989 draft certainly managed to live up to this title.
So much so, you have to scour the Internet to find more than one paragraph on him. The only thing of note about him was when Buddy Ryan placed a bounty on Dallas kicker Luis Zendejas—I've heard the reward was $500.
Small was the linebacker who took a shot at Zendejas on a kickoff. No he wasn't able to collect, but he must have known that he'd be out of work soon since he made the attempt in the first place.
He was only able to stay in the league for four seasons.
Impact to Eagles: Years of jokes about coming up "Small", and the Eagles didn't draft another LB until the fourth round in '91. Some guy named William Thomas, who I heard was pretty good.
Dishonorable mention: Quinton Caver-—second round, 55th pick. He almost made No. 1, but he didn't stay an Eagle longer than a season.
Yes I have heard of Reggie White, just one problem; he wasn't drafted! This is a list of draftees not best Eagles ever... (somebody ought to get to working on that one...)
So considering the criteria, Clyde Simmons, drafted 233 in the ninth round, is the best drafted D-lineman in my opinion.
Simmons was a sack master. After a slow rookie start he began to start making a name for himself in the pass rush department. Exploding with 15.5 sacks in '89, he left many quarterbacks picking turf from their facemasks.
He actually wasn't selected to his first Pro Bowl until the '91 season and then again in '92, where he collected 19 sacks.
When he finished his career, Simmons ended up 11th all time in sacks.
Impact on the Eagles: He was part of perhaps the best Eagles defensive line that featured Mike Pitts, Reggie White, Jerome Brown and himself.
Honorable Mention: Andy Harmon—Sixth round, 166th pick. Solid contributor out of Kent State
I've been burning up about this pick since 1996.
You see, I was fooled like everyone else by this combine marvel in 1995.
Mamula tied the number of 225 lb bench presses put up by the top tackle in the draft (Tony Boselli), and his 4.63 40-yard dash time was very fast for his position. He scored a 49 out of 50 in the Wonderlic Test.
Everyone thought this guy was going to be a stud.
And while he wasn't bad, he probably was more of a third or fourth rounder, than a first round pick. Especially not a No. 7 pick overall where the Eagles selected him.
He ended up playing five years before injuries forced him from the game. In 77 career games with the Eagles, Mamula had 209 total tackles and 31.5 sacks.
Not the numbers you'd expect from a top 10 pick.
Impact on the Eagles: Every front office values the combine less as Mamula serves as a cautionary tale.
Dishonorable Mention: Jerome McDougle—First round, 15th pick. As much as I hate to kick a guy when he's been kicked enough by life, he was the 15th overall pick in that horrible '03 Draft. More on that later...
One thing Andy Reid knows is offensive lineman.
Taken in the 2005 Draft, Todd has proven to be a versatile guy. Playing both guard and tackle at various times in his short career, Todd has shown himself to be a valuable asset.
Not highly touted due to his short arms and small school background, offensive line coach Juan Castillio has helped him develop into an NFL starter.
Solid in run blocking and pass blocking, Todd has shown he deserves to play at this level and will only get better.
Impact to Eagles: Todd's high level of play allowed the Eagles to part ways with longtime veteran Tra Thomas this past offseason.
Honorable Mention: John Welbourn—Fourth round, 97th pick. Not only played well but gave some good draft picks in a trade with KC. (POTD vote for the reader who knows who those picks turned out to be.)
Williams was the Eagles first round draft pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, and started all 16 games for them in 1994, but was banned from the NFL after failing 15 drug tests.
A few picks later they could have had Todd Steussie, a much better offensive lineman
Impact on the Eagles: The Eagles ended up with a terrible offensive line in the years that followed, until a young man named William "Tra" Thomas was drafted in 1998.
Dishonorable Mention: Antone Davis—First round, eighth pick. He was a solid player but never the dominating tackle people believed he should have been.
I kept looking for a late round gem at this position and could not find one. Turns out if you're a tight end drafted after the third round, you probably deserved to get picked lower, at least as far as the Eagles are concerned.
That being the case, I decided to pick my favorite: Ketih Jackson.
After being drafted by the Eagles in 1988, Jackson recorded 81 receptions for 869 yards and six touchdowns in his first season, along with seven catches for 142 yards in the Eagles' only playoff game that year, and won the NFC Rookie of the Year award. In his nine seasons, Jackson made the Pro Bowl six times (1988-1990, 1992-93, 1996).
Jackson finished his career with 441 receptions for 5,283 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Impact to Eagles: He gave QB Randall Cunningham a dangerous safety valve and really defined the tight end position as a weapon in the passing game.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Young—First round, sixth pick. Three pro bowls in 1973, 1974 and 1975, all while wearing Eagle Green.
Taken in the second round of the 2003 draft (the worst in Andy Reid's history), the 6'3" TE out of Rutgers was supposed to be not just the heir to fan fave Chad Lewis, but the future of the position.
As a rookie he had 27 receptions for 321 yards and a touchdown. He had 34 receptions, 377 yards and five touchdowns in 2004. His touchdown total of five was the most in a season by an Eagles tight end since Chad Lewis posted six in 2001. So far so good....
Smith also made an impressive diving reception in the back of the end zone for the Eagles' first touchdown in Super Bowl XXXIX.
He followed up his 2004 season with a strong 2005 campaign, hauling in 61 receptions for 682 yards and three touchdowns, both of which were career highs.
Amidst the numbers was the truth about Little John. There were drops at crucial moments, fumbles, missed blocks and injuries. He was never able to dominate like he should have. Especially in an offense geared to throwing the football, like the Eagles. What's worse is he always had an excuse.
Whether it was play calling or his injuries, or the quarterback (although in his defense, Mike McMahon was a horrible QB), it was never his fault for disappearing at times. Or not making the play.
Now he'll get to blame Joe Flacco for his inability to consistently catch the ball.
Impact to the Eagles: The running game has suffered the most in L.J.'s time as they haven't gotten strong blocking from that position since Chad Lewis' departure.
Dishonorable Mention: Jason Dunn—Second round, 54th pick
Carmichael led the league in receptions and receiving yards during the 1973 season. He finished third in receiving yards in 1978 with 1,072 and was second in receiving touchdowns in 1979 with 11.
He was also the Eagles' top receiver of Super Bowl XV, with six catches for 91 yards. He ended his career with 590 receptions for 8,985 yards with 79 career touchdown catches, along with 64 rushing yards on nine carries.
He still ranks 18th all-time in career touchdown receptions.
Impact to the Eagles: He gave a true downfield weapon to compliment their hard nosed defense.
Honorable Mention: Tommy McDonald—Third round, Pick 31
Some will say he's the best, but he was a third round pic, making his expectation a little higher for greatness. You don't draft a seventh rounder expecting much.
It was believed that being a Political Science major, as well as a two sport college athlete (baseball and football), made Mitchell both athletic and intelligent enough for the West Coast Offense.
That did not end up being the case though.
Like any rookie, he had difficulty in learning the complex Philadelphia playbook and didn't play much his first season.
The Eagles hoped Mitchell would break out in 2002, but instead he only caught 12 passes for 105 yards over the whole season.
Impatient fans and media began tossing around the term "bust" soon after. In spite of his failures, Mitchell remained as confident in himself as ever.
He showed some promise in '03, when 23 of his 35 receptions went for first downs, and he caught his second and third career touchdown passes.
Of course, who can forget the fourth and 26 situation, where Mitchell caught a 28 yard pass for a first down in between two Packer defenders? Would this be the moment that turned things around for Mitchell?
Some thought that with Terrell Owens joining the team, more balls would come his way due to double teams and rolled coverage. Even though he was a part of another great moment in Eagle history, when Donovan made his 14 second scramble to find him for a 60-yard catch, he managed only 22 catches for the year.
He still stayed cocky and even dedicated an entire press conference to the greatness of his hands. Then came the Super Bowl.
Normally tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick said of Mitchell, "All he does is talk. He's terrible, and you can print that. I was happy when he was in the game."
Further writing his ticket out of town, he continued to sound off in interviews where he criticized McNabb, Owens, and the New England Patriots as well as their head coach, Bill Belichick, saying that the way they reacted reminded him of "little girls".
Mitchell said he felt that if he had gotten the ball more they would have won. "Owens and Donavan must not have wanted to win the game" said Mitchell.
90 receptions 1,263 yards and five touchdowns after the 2001 draft, and Mitchell was not only gone from the Eagles, but from the NFL as well.
Impact to the Eagles: Not only was this a wasted first round pick, but five picks later a guy named Reggie Wayne was picked. Or how about 11 picks later a guy named Chad Johnson was scooped up? How's his career going?
Dishonorable mention: Todd Pinkston—Second round, 36th pick. Need I say more?
Montgomery was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1977 NFL Draft.
Montgomery played eight seasons with Philadelphia, shattering almost all of the Eagles' rushing records and leading the club in rushing six times.
Montgomery holds seven Philadelphia rushing record, including career attempts (1,465), rushing yards (6,538), attempts in a season (338 in 1979), rushing yards in a season (1,512 in 1979), career 100-yard rushing games (26), 100-yard rushing games in a season (eight in 1981), and touchdowns in a game (4).
In 1979, Montgomery led the NFL with 2,012 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, returns). Over his NFL career, he accumulated 6,789 yards rushing, 2,502 receiving, 814 kickoff return yards, 57 touchdowns (45 rushing, 12 receiving, 1 kickoff return), and two Pro Bowl invitations (1978-79).
Coming out of a small non-football college like Abelene Christian is the only reason I can see why he dropped so far.
Impact to Eagles: He helped decimate the hated Cowboys in the playoffs to lead to the Eagles only Super Bowl appearance of the century.
Honorable Mention: Brian Westbrook—third round, 91st pick. Viewed by many as the best all around back in the game, not playing in San Diego.
Stacy was drafted in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 48th overall pick. Stacy was released at the end of the season after only playing one game in his rookie season.
Hence the reason the only pick I could find of him was in his 'Bama uni.
In 1993, he tried out for the Cleveland Browns; however, he did not get a chance to join the team after being arrested for theft at a Kmart. He would later plead to disorderly conduct.
Impact to Eagles: The running game still had Hershel Walker and Keith Byers, so things weren't all bad.
Dishonorable Mention: Anthony Toney—Second round, 37th pick
Detmer played his entire career in Philadelphia. He spent most of his career as a backup to quarterback Donovan McNabb and as the place-kick holder for David Akers.
His action as a starter was limited to five games in the 1998 season, one game in the 2002 season (in which he was injured and had to leave the game after throwing 2 TDs and rushing for another), and the 2004 season finale against Cincinnati, which the Eagles lost.
Koy was most invaluable as the holder for David Akers. In fact the year he left Akers had one of his worst years kicking FG's, leading to a short-lived return just to fill that capacity.
When called upon to play, he showed flashes of great accuracy if not the strongest arm and managed to find a niche with the Eagles for several years.
Impact to the Eagles: David Akers has said that he always knew that Koy would hold the ball in the right way, compensating for all conditions. It's a great thing when a clutch kicker has a clutch holder.
Honorable Mention: A.J. Feely—Fifth Round, 155th pick. This was tough choice between the two. After all, who could forget Feely taking over the reigns in 2002 after McNabb's injury leading the Eagles to the playoffs?
You have to go all the way back to the 1972 draft to find the Eagles picking a bad QB in the first or second round. But this one was pretty bad.
From the University of Florida, Reaves played in 11 NFL seasons from 1972-1981 and 1987 for five different teams. Also he was the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League during its three-year existence.
His record as the NCAA's all-time leader in passing yards was achieved after an incident at the end of the 1971 season, when the Florida Gators defense laid down on the field in the fourth quarter.
This controversial act allowed Miami to score a touchdown with enough time for Florida to get the ball back in order to allow Reaves to set the record. The event is commonly referred to as the "Florida Flop".
That and being arrested in 2008 on gun and drug charges are the only things noteworthy about Reaves. He finished his two year stint with the Eagles with seven touchdowns, 13 interceptions and 1,525 total passing yards.
Impact to the Eagles: The Eagles had to wait until the ‘77 trade of Charlie Young for Ron Jaworski to get a leader at QB.
Dishonorable Mention: Bobby Hoying—Third round, 85th pick