What to Expect From the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles' Draft Picks

Cody SwartzSenior Writer IJune 10, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Running back LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during minicamp practice at the NovaCare Complex on May 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Andy Reid's draft picks have a history of not producing much in their first year.


In fact, his first-year players barely see the field.


Donovan McNabb started just six games at the end of his rookie year, as Reid wisely allowed him to sit and learn from mentor Doug Pederson for the first 10 games. This move paid off well as McNabb started the entire 2000 season, led the Eagles to the playoffs and finished second in the NFL in the Most Valuable Player voting.


Freddie Mitchell was a first-round draft pick at the wide receiver position. He totaled just 21 catches for the season, playing primarily as the team's third receiver.


Jerome McDougle, Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley were three defensive linemen drafted in the first round in a span of just four years. While Patterson did manage to crack the starting lineup for seven games near the end of the 2005 season, neither McDougle nor Bunkley started a game or even collected a sack.


Last year's DeSean Jackson was the exception to the rule.


Forced into a starting role because of injuries to Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, Jackson was given playing time early, eventually winning the starting spot.


He caught 62 passes for 912 yards and two touchdowns. The receptions and yards were the most by an Eagles homegrown receiver under Reid.


Over the last 10 years, Reid has done pretty well in the draft. His picks don't always perform early on, but most of them turn out fine.


That being said, expect this year's draft class to play. A lot.


Expect first-round pick Jeremy Maclin to get significant playing time as one of the team's wideouts. Maclin is most likely to play in the slot role as the Eagles' third receiver.


Maclin brings a strong element of speed to the team. This should make him a deep ball threat for McNabb. I don't expect Maclin to put up the same numbers that Jackson did last year, basically because he will be given fewer opportunities on the field.


However, I do expect Maclin to give defensive backs some trouble next season.


He has the talent and speed to do some damage immediately, and he will benefit from playing with McNabb, one of the elite quarterbacks in the game.


I also forsee Maclin contending for a job with the punt or kick return duties.


Second-round draft pick LeSean McCoy is a speedy, elusive running back out of Pittsburgh who reminds many of Brian Westbrook.


With Westbrook nursing a nagging ankle injury, McCoy could be used a lot more than originally intended.


In fact, McCoy could be the team's opening day starter if Westbrook is not healthy.


It's asking a lot to expect a rookie to be ready to be the opening day starter in his first NFL game, but in this scenario, the Eagles may have no choice.


Westbrook has been very injury-prone over his career, so we could be seeing a lot of McCoy this season.


Tight end Cornelius Ingram was picked in the fifth round out of the University of Florida. A former college quarterback, Ingram converted to tight end. He was thought to have first or second-round talent, but missed the majority of his senior year due to an ACL injury, dropping his draft stock.


As of now, Brent Celek is the team's starter at tight end. Celek emerged as a play-maker down the stretch and in the playoffs last season, topping out with 10 receptions, including two touchdowns, in the NFC Championship game.


Ingram should push for playing time, and if anything else, provide the Eagles with a viable option to use in two-tight end sets.


Cornerback Victor “Macho” Harris was picked in the fifth round, four picks after Ingram. Harris is a cornerback and kick return specialist, who could push Hobbs or Demps for time as the team's return man.


Harris won't play much on defense—he is currently the fifth cornerback, behind Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Ellis Hobbs, and Jack Ikegwuonu—but he will have a good opportunity to learn from some of the game's best.


Fenuki Tupou was the team's third pick in the fifth round. A huge offensive tackle, Tupou was recently signed to a four-year deal by the Eagles, but I doubt he will make the team, much less play his rookie season.


Tupou is buried on the depth chart, behind Jason Peters, Shawn Andrews, Winston Justice, King Dunlap and Chris Patrick, and I don't think the team will keep six tackles.


Sixth round draft choice Brandon Gibson will need a miracle to make the team. As it stands, the Eagles have five legit receivers on their roster, plus Reggie Brown. Gibson might make the practice squad, but that's it.


The team's final two picks were guard Paul Fanaika and outside linebacker Moise Fokou, two players who will most likely be released from the roster during the final week of training camp.