Looking back at Eagles draft classes: 2010 draft

After looking back at the 2011 and 2012 draft classes, which were vastly different, I now move on to the 2010 class. Like the 2011 class, this one included a lot of people. Here are some details about the draft:

Important notes

Total picks: 13 (4 offense, 9 defense)
Notable picks: Brandon Graham, Nate Allen, Riley Cooper
Players remaining on team: 2

1. LB Brandon Graham

The Eagles shocked a lot of people when they traded up in the first round to take Graham, a player they didn’t really seem to need. Why’d they trade up then? Beats me, but Graham has actually been a nice player for them over the past bunch of years. It took him a little while to become an effective enough player to warrant some serious playing time, especially after starting six games as a rookie at defensive end and doing basically nothing. Graham has slowly improved over the last three years though and had the best year of his career in 2014, playing in all 16 games and recording 35 tackles, 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles despite not starting. He earned a payday and the Eagles kept him around where he will move into the starting role as an outside linebacker. It seemed like a strange pick in 2010, but it has turned out to be a solid one looking back.

2. S Nate Allen

Ah, Nate Allen. Most Eagles fans absolutely hate him for how “bad” he’s played at times. He is often bad in coverage, which was shown when he allowed the Cardinals to score on a long touchdown pass last year to win the game. But Allen is really over-criticized for his time in Philadelphia. Sure, he made a lot of dumb plays and wasn’t the best safety, but he was pretty good against the run and still had a fair amount of interceptions. He started 69 games over the five years with the team and picked off 10 passes, also recording 258 tackles and 31 passes defensed. He just hit the jackpot when the Raiders overpaid in free agency for him, thus ending his career in Philly, which is fine. But I think it’s unfair to label him a bad player. Did he live up to the hype of a second round pick? No, but he wasn’t horrible.

3. DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim

Te’o Nesheim is definitely one of the worst third round picks in Eagles history. He played in just six games as a rookie, starting one, and getting two tackles and a sack. He dealt with injuries that year and was cut the next year before later being signed back to the practice squad. After most of the year on that, the Buccaneers claimed him and his days with the Eagles were over. Talk about a waste of a third round pick.

4. CB Trevard Lindley

Lindley was the first of four picks in the fourth round for the Eagles in 2010. This pick ended up with the Eagles in the Sheldon Brown trade that sent him to the Browns. Lindley was pretty much nothing for Philly, playing in 11 games (one start) his rookie year and getting 18 tackles and an interception. After that, he never played in the NFL again in the regular season. He was never talented enough to stay on the roster, much less actually get on the field.

5. LB Keenan Clayton

Clayton spent a couple years on the team as a backup linebacker, but he didn’t really produce enough to break into the starting lineup. He played in 21 games in two years for the team and started just one game, totaling 18 tackles in what was primarily special teams. He spent the 2012 season with the Raiders before leaving the NFL completely.

6. QB Mike Kafka

The Eagles struggled mightily to find a real quarterback once Donovan McNabb left Philadelphia. Kafka was drafted to be a backup at minimum and barely could do that. He spent two seasons with the team, not seeing the field his rookie year and appearing in four games in 2011. He finished the year with two interceptions and no touchdowns. So basically, he was bad. He broke his hand the next year and was released before the regular season, thus ending his (luckily) short-lived career with the team.

7. TE Clay Harbor

The fourth of the Eagles’ fourth round picks that year, Harbor was a solid backup tight end for them for his three years with the team. He played in 39 of a possible 48 games with the Eagles and totaled 421 yards and four touchdowns, primarily being used as a blocking tight end though. Once the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz though, Harbor was expendable and he didn’t make the roster in 2013, being signed by the Jaguars instead.

8. LB Ricky Sapp

Sapp never played a game in an Eagles uniform, injuring his knee before the 2010 season and spending the whole year on injured reserve. He then “left the team for undisclosed reasons” in 2011 and they released him, ending the worthless career in Philadelphia.

9. WR Riley Cooper

Is it sad to say that Cooper is one of the best players from this draft class? Well, it’s actually true, as other than Graham, he’s the only player left from this draft class on this team. For most of Cooper’s career, he’s been a terrible player. Yes, he was only a fifth round pick so there shouldn’t be a ton of expectations, but he was statistically the worst receiver in the first half of 2013 and the worst starting receiver in 2014. Those are not the types of stats you want to hear from a starting wide receiver. His second half of 2013 was the only worthwhile series of games he played, finishing that year with 835 yards and eight touchdowns. But last year he regressed despite the absence of DeSean Jackson and now could be fighting for a starting job with Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor in 2015. Unfortunately, he’s locked up for at least the next year. Otherwise, they’d probably just cut him by now.

10. RB Charles Scott

Scott barely spent any time as an Eagle, getting traded for a fellow sixth round pick just a few months after the draft, landing on the Cardinals before being released shortly after. He never played in the NFL.

11. LB Jamar Chaney

Remember when the Eagles though Chaney was a franchise starting linebacker? Oh, the jokes. After one year as mostly a backup, Chaney started all 16 games for the Eagles in 2011 at middle linebacker, notching 67 tackles, a sack and three interceptions. He wasn’t bad, he was pretty much average. The little experiment of him as a “long-time starter” ended quickly as he only started five of 14 games in 2012 and then was released before the 2013 season. Apparently, Brian Baldinger called him “already one of the best middle linebackers in the league” after his first career start in 2010 where he had 16 tackles. It’s safe to say Baldinger was incorrect about that one.

12. DT Jeff Owens

Owens was on the practice squad for most of the 2010 season before being called up to the main roster late in the season. He ruptured his left patellar tendon in his only game and was released the next year after failing his physical. He never played another game in the league.

13. S Kurt Coleman

Unlike most of these guys, Coleman actually lasted more than two years on the team. In fact, he was one of the team’s starting safeties in both 2011 and 2012, having pretty solid seasons both years. The next year he fell out of favor and was relegated back to special teams, but still playing in 15 games. His rookie contract was up and the Eagles chose not to re-sign him, although he finished with 157 tackles and seven interceptions in 59 games with the team. Not bad for the last of 13 guys picked in this draft.

If you haven’t already figured it out, this was also a terrible draft. While the 2011 draft at least resulted in a Pro Bowl center in Jason Kelce, this draft has very little redeeming qualities. Most of the players were gone within a couple years, and only two of them are still on the team. How do you take a staggering 13 players in the draft and only have TWO of them last five years? That’s just pathetic in my eyes. The safeties, Allen and Coleman, had solid careers with the team, and Graham is now a starter, so it’s unfair to give this draft a failing grade. But it definitely deserves a bad one.

Draft grade: D+

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