The tale of Jeremy Maclin’s draft-day slide might prove relevant in 2014. Widely considered a top-10 talent, the two-time consensus All-American wound up in a free fall after the Oakland Raiders chose Darrius Heyward-Bey instead at No. 7 overall. The Eagles tossed the Cleveland Browns a sixth-round pick to move up two spots from No. 21 and steal Maclin.
This year, the Eagles are scheduled to pick 22nd, and while they don’t have their sixth-rounder, a similarly subtle upward move could be in the cards should a big name drop.
As for Maclin, he likely would’ve become the top receiver on roughly half the teams in the league by now. In Philadelphia, he’ll finally get a chance to step out of DeSean Jackson’s shadow and assume that role in ’14. As long as Maclin has recovered from a torn ACL, he could live up to the hype yet.
Conversely, Round 2 was the epitome of the old saying, “Good things happen to those who wait.” The Eagles missed out on three first-round running backs, only to have LeSean McCoy fall in their laps at No. 53. Perhaps the most complete back in the NFL today, Shady is well on his way to breaking the franchise record for rushing yards—likely this season, at the ripe age of 26, provided he stays healthy.
2009 was an extremely weak draft outside the first couple rounds. Thus, the Eagles were content to trade down often or unload selections altogether.
Philadelphia traded out of Round 3 in a series of moves. Given the fact that just three Pro Bowlers came after the No. 86 pick—one defense, two special teams—no apparent harm done there, a little tidbit that will affect the final grade.
The Birds’ fourth-round pick was already committed to the Buffalo Bills from the previous offseason’s trade for All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters.
The Eagles sent two fifth-round picks acquired through all their maneuvering to the New England Patriots in exchange for veteran cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs wound up starting seven games the next season before suffering a career-ending injury.
Of the collection of spare parts from Rounds 5-7, three are still hovering around the NFL. Moise Fokou started 22 games in midnight green. Traded to the St. Louis Rams as a rookie, Brandon Gibson has never posted fewer than 30 receptions in a season. Paul Fanaika came out of nowhere to start all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals in ’13. The scouts did a good job of identifying talent, even if it didn’t pan out in Philly.
This was a two-player draft. Given it was two very good players though (one elite) in a class that quite honestly stank, not to mention the front office accomplished some things with all the moving around, it was a quality two-player draft.