The Best and Worst Draft Picks of the Andy Reid Eagles Era


Given the amount of power he’s obtained and this off-season, and the drastic roster upheaval that he used the power for, it’s fair to say that Chip Kelly had put a target on his back over the past few months. With that, how his signings and trades this off-season work out, will go a great way in determining how long of a leash he gets with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Next week’s draft, especially if the future is mortgaged for one Marcus Mariota, will also help to define the Chip Kelly era.

So as Kelly is about to go through the most important draft of his Eagles’ tenure, we decided to take a look back at some of the best and worst picks of his predecessor, Andy Reid.

This wasn’t an easy process.  With thirteen years at the helm, the team made a lot of draft picks under Reid.  It is unclear how much input Reid had towards those picks, but his opinion certainly carried a good deal of weight, especially near the end of his run.

Here are the five worst picks.  I factored in both where the player was selected and how much he contributed to the team.

5. Kevin Kolb – Kolb doesn’t rank here because he was a particularly bad player.  The guy did win a few games for the Eagles.  But the pick epitomized the Eagles’ maddening tendency to worry too much about the future over the present.

I felt that the Eagles were close to a Super Bowl in 2007.  They could have drafted a player who might have helped them immediately.  Instead, they traded down to pick a player who wouldn’t contribute anything for at least a couple of years. This, in my mind, was part of the reason why the Eagles missed the playoffs in 2007.

4. Jerome McDougle – The Eagles traded up in the first round of the 2003 draft to get McDougle.  They thought he would be a great pass rusher, but from training camp holdouts to gunshot injuries, it seemed like something was always preventing McDougle from succeeding.

In McDougle’s defense, he did have one amazing highlight when he welcomed Eli Manning to the NFL:

3. Danny Watkins – As part of the disaster that was the 2011 offseason, the Eagles thought it was a good idea to draft an inexperienced 26-year-old in the first round.  If only Watkins showed the same passion for football that he did for firefighting….

2. Freddie Mitchell – Though “Fred-Ex” was the recipient of the iconic 4th and 26 play against the Packers, which was crucial in the Eagles run to the Superbowl, he only spent four seasons in Philadelphia. He only spent four seasons in the NFL for that matter, with just over 1,000 receiving yards, and has settled for a life in prison after being convicted for tax fraud.

1. Jaiquawn Jarrett – As much as I disliked the Kolb pick, at least Kolb contributed to the team.  Jarrett was such a disaster at safety that the coaches couldn’t even put him into a game.  You would think that a safety known for his hitting skills could at least contribute to special teams, but Jarrett was just as bad there.

It is nearly unheard of for a second round pick to be cut before his second season, but Jarrett somehow managed it.  It was perhaps the only impressive feat he managed in his brief time with the Eagles.

Jarrett did have a game against the Steelers last year where he picked off Ben Roethlisberger twice and even posted a sack, but besides that, the 25 year-old hasn’t managed to amount to much in his NFL career.

(Here’s to hoping we don’t talk about Marcus Smith in the same light once the Chip Kelly era is over.)

And now here are the five best picks the team made under Reid:

5. DeSean Jackson – Though Kelly ultimately disposed of Jackson for culture reasons, and he isn’t fond of the Eagles anymore, Jackson posted over 6,000 yards receiving in his six seasons with the Eagles. He’s also the owner of the most iconic play in franchise history. The ironic part is that Jackson, the most talented receiver the team has drafted in the last 20 years, fell to the second-round largely because of character concerns. Those same reasons ultimately led to his exit from Philadelphia.

4. Brian Westbrook – Westbrook was a versatile, exciting player who was the key to the Eagles’ offense in their most successful run in team history. The only problem was that he had a lot of trouble staying healthy.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 06: Running back Brian Westbrook #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after catching a 10-yard touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the third quarter of the Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium on February 6, 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

3. Trent Cole – Cole was a victim of an off-season re-tool this year, but “The Hunter” will always have a place in Eagles’ history. The 2005 fifth-round pick out of Cincinnati spent a decade in Philadelphia, accumulating 85.5 sacks, good for second in team history.

2. LeSean McCoy – Though Chip Kelly may have permanently burned the bridge with “Shady” this off-season — notice that’s a re-occurring theme on this list — McCoy was a second-round pick out of Pittsburgh in 2009, and in six years with the Eagles, became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and put himself on pace to surpass the 10,000 yard mark later on in his career.

1. Donovan McNabb – Yes, he had his well publicized flaws.  No, he never won a Super Bowl.  But he was probably the franchise’s greatest quarterback ever and led the team to a lot of wins over his years here. If not for McNabb’s play at quarterback, the Eagles don’t make it to five NFC Championship games, and Andy Reid’s tenure doesn’t last nearly as long as it did.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles Only Seven-Round Mock Draft