Looking back at Eagles draft classes: 2003 draft

I’ve now entered drafts that are more than a decade old, but I will continue to analyze old drafts until the Andy Reid era is over. After the 2004 draft featured Shawn Andrews, no other player really did anything, and it was thus a mostly throwaway draft. I now move to the 2003 draft, which is definitely right back up there with the worst drafts in the Reid era. Here are some quick stats:

Important notes

Total picks: 6 (3 offense, 3 defense)
Notable picks: Jerome McDougle, L.J. Smith

1. DE Jerome McDougle

The fact that McDougle is a “notable pick” from this draft is misleading…he’s notable because of his infamy. Yes, McDougle really was that bad. The Eagles traded up to get him too, which makes it even worse, giving up their first and second round picks to select him. McDougle was supposed to be a stud defensive end, but he never even started a game for the team. McDougle just couldn’t stay on the field. He missed eight games his rookie year and five the next year, then was shot in the chest during a robbery, which caused him to miss the entire 2005 season. He returned in 2006 and played in 14 games, but recorded only 11 tackles and one sack. He then tore his triceps before the 2007 season and spent the whole year on injured reserve. So overall, in five seasons on the team, he played in 33 games, missed 47, had 29 tackles and just three sacks. I wouldn’t argue with you if you said he was the worst pick of the Reid era. Yes, even worse than Danny Watkins.

2. TE L.J. Smith

Smith ended up playing six seasons with the team and had an okay career, but he never was anything special. He never exceeded more than 700 yards or five touchdowns in a season and dealt with injury problems in the last two seasons with the team. He did start 65 games for the team over his career, but only finished with 2,525 yards and 18 touchdowns. I was glad to see him finally leave the team. Interesting fact: he was given the franchise tag in 2008 in order to stay around, and finished that year with 298 yards and three touchdowns. Talk about a franchise player.

3. WR Billy McMullen

Wow, I really can’t believe the Eagles spent a third round pick on McMullen. He played just three years with the team and never was able to move up the depth chart on a team that essentially had no talent at wide receiver already. In those three years, he had just 294 yards and one touchdown before being traded to the Vikings for Hank Baskett, who had more receiving yards in one season with the team than McMullen did his whole Eagles career.

4. DE Jamaal Green

A former fourth round pick, Green didn’t appear in a game his rookie season. He played in eight games the next year and had two tackles and a sack. That’s all you need to know about Green, as he never recorded a statistic in the NFL after that.

5. G Jeremy Bridges

Bridges was an average guard that ended up playing a long career in the NFL. The problem? He didn’t play a single game for the Eagles, thus making his value as a pick worthless.

6. S Norman LeJeune

LeJeune never played a game in an Eagles jersey either. After one year on the practice squad, he was released before the beginning of the 2004 season.

It’s one thing to not have a lot of picks but end up with some great players, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in this case. With only six draft picks, the Eagles drafted one huge bust, one average player, one below average player, and three worthless guys. What’s the only way to accurately grade a draft as bad as this one? Yes, it was that bad.

Draft grade: F


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