Eagles Decade in Review: Andy Reid Era First Round Draft Picks, Part One
The team was headed by Ray Rhodes as head coach, QB Koy Detmer (1,011 yards), RB Duce Staley (1,065 yards), and WR Jeff Graham, who was the team's No. 1 wideout and amassed only 600 yards for two TDs.
The new coach (Reid) had his work cut out for him.
His approach began with drafting quality players in the first round since day one, and he has continued that trend through the current draft.
Reid is a crafty businessman who is known to be a wheeler and dealer on draft day as he's moved up, back, and out of the first round in his 10-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lets take a venture back in time and review the Philadelphia Eagles' first-round draft selections in the Reid era and determine whether the player was worth the pick that landed the player here in Philly or if he became a bust!
1999: QB Donovan McNabb—second overall
After the Eagles ended their 1998 campaign with a 3-13 record, they held the second overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Reid began his legacy with the Eagles by drafting Syracuse QB Donovan McNabb rather than going with fan favorite RB Ricky Williams—and the boos rang throughout the city of brotherly love.
As it turns out, drafting Donovan proved to be a phenomenal draft choice—if not the best selection in franchise history.
He is currently the Eagles' all-time passing leader with 32,873 yards and was the face of the Eagles franchise since day one.
McNabb never won a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, and the Eagles front office felt it was time to move forward as they traded him to division rival Washington Redskins prior to the 2010 NFL Draft.
Worth the pick
2000: DT Corey Simon: sixth overall
Simon was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2000-05 and was the starting DT for the Eagles in four of the team's NFC Championship Games during that time. He was a part of the 2004 squad that went to the Super Bowl, but the Eagles fell short to the New England Patriots, losing 24-21.
The Eagles placed the franchise tag on Simon at the conclusion of the 2004 season, but he refused to sign the agreement.
After countless hours of contract negotiations failed to result in a long-term contract offer, the Eagles agreed to remove the franchise tag, allowing Simon to become an unrestricted free agent.
Worth the pick
2001: WR Freddie Mitchell—25th overall
When Freddie Mitchell was selected as the Eagles' first-round draft choice, many thought the team had finally landed a WR who could really help elevate the game on the offensive side of the ball.
Unfortunately for everyone, Mitchell never really became the type of player they had all dreamed of.
Two plays truly stand out in my mind when I hear Mitchell's name:
4th-and-26 in the Divisional Playoff Game against the Green Bay Packers. Mitchell made a 28-yard reception, and the Eagles later tied the score on that drive and would win the game in overtime.
The second play came on Nov. 15, 2004 against the Dallas Cowboys when Mitchell made a 60-yard reception.
It was the fact that McNabb eluded the Cowboys' pass rush threat for an astonishing 14.1 seconds that made the pass happen, though.
Mitchell was released on May 5, 2005 and ended his NFL career with 90 receptions, 1,263 receiving yards, and five touchdowns!
2002: CB Lito Sheppard—26th overall
Sheppard really became known throughout the league in 2004 when he notched five interceptions, two of which he returned for six points, and was also selected to his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Many had high expectations of Sheppard in 2005, but unfortunately his injury-riddled career began as he missed a total of six games and contributed only three INTs.
Lito did set NFL history, however!
In 2006 he became the first player in NFL history to record two interception returns of 100 yards or more. Both returns came against division rival Dallas Cowboys (2004 and 2006), and the 2006 return sealed the deal for the Eagles as they clinched first place in the division.
Lito was traded to the New York Jets in 2009 in exchange for a 2010 conditional pick in the NFL Draft but was released on March 4.
He signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings reportedly worth $2 million on April 21.
It is tough to say Lito was worth the pick or if he was a bust. He played hard when he was on the field and always came up big against the Cowboys, but his injury report has to be factored in.
Lito has amassed 284 tackles, two sacks, and 19 interceptions. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice (2004, 2006) and was also honored with being an All-Pro selection (2004)
Worth the pick
Years 2003 through 2010 are coming shortly beginning with 2003 selection Jerome McDougle!
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