Looking back at Eagles draft classes: 2009 draft

I’ve looked back at the Eagles’ drafts from 2010-2012 and now move on to the 2009 draft. The 2012 draft was great, earning a B+ grade in my opinion after three years in the NFL. But, the 2010 and 2011 drafts were so bad that it kept the franchise from advancing forward, and I gave both drafts a D. The 2009 draft is a little bit in the middle…here are some facts:

Important notes

Total picks: 8 (6 offense, 2 defense)
Notable picks: Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy
Players remaining on team: 0

1. WR Jeremy Maclin

It would be hard to argue against the fact that Maclin was a very good receiver for the Eagles. It’s a shame he only got to be a No. 1 receiver for one season because I think he could have had an even more successful career, but he did well and was a nice, team player for the entire time he was with the team. I don’t blame him for leaving to reunite with Andy Reid and be back home, especially since it means he’ll be getting more money. His 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns were very good for the five seasons he played. One could argue he didn’t quite live up to the hype of a first round pick due to not becoming a WR1 till later in his career, but that was mostly because of the presence of DeSean Jackson. Maclin was also very valuable as a returner for the first few years, which wouldn’t have been possible if he was the top receiver. Either way, Maclin was great.

2. RB LeSean McCoy

McCoy was the Eagles’ second round pick and is easily the best player they’ve taken in any draft I’ve analyzed so far. McCoy has the franchise record for most rushing yards (6,792) and also racked up 2,282 receiving yards and 54 total touchdowns. There’s no doubt McCoy was one of the best running backs in Eagles history. He had four seasons of over 1,000 rushing yards, including 1,607 in his All-Pro 2013 campaign (and 2,146 yards from scrimmage). He also had an outstanding 20 total touchdowns in 2011, something that very few running backs achieve. It came as a shock at first that McCoy was traded, but he wasn’t seen as a great fit in the Chip Kelly system and, as we’ve found out, is a bit of a sore loser and loudmouth. He has proven well why Kelly decided to trade him. Either way though, he had multiple seasons where he was a top 5, if not the best running back, in the entire league.

3. TE Cornelius Ingram

After not having a third or fourth round pick, the Eagles took Ingram in the fifth round as their third pick of the draft. Ingram never played a game in the NFL though. He tore his ACL in training camp his rookie year,  then spent the next year on the practice squad. After that he was released before the regular season of his third year in the league.

4. DB Victor Harris

He’s better known as “Macho” Harris, the kick-returning defensive back who was also drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. Harris actually began the 2009 season as the team’s starting free safety, but then spent most of the year battling with other guys to keep his position. He ended up playing in 15 games that year and starting eight, which would be his only season with the team. He was cut before the regular season in 2010 after being switched around between cornerback and safety in the preseason.

5. T Fenuki Tupou

Who? Well, I’m sure that would be every fan’s reaction if told that Tupou was the Eagles’ third pick of the fifth round in 2009. Somehow he stuck around for a few years though, following the exact same path as Ingram- ending up on injured reserve for his rookie year, the practice squad for his second, and then being released before his third.

6. WR Brandon Gibson

Most NFL fans probably don’t remember that the Eagles were the ones to draft Gibson. He has been a sub-par receiver for the past six years, splitting time between the Dolphins and the Rams, but has never really amounted to anything beyond what one would expect from a sixth rounder. He played in one game for the Eagles before being traded along with a fifth round pick to the Rams for Will Witherspoon.

7. G Paul Fanaika

Fanaika, the former seventh round pick, never played a game for the Eagles, but has actually been the starting right guard for the Cardinals the past two years and has done pretty well. I wonder if they had kept him around as a depth option if he would’ve ended up starting. I guess we’ll never know.

8. LB Moise Fokou

Fokou played three years with the Eagles, and started 22 out of the 43 games at outside linebacker, but was really nothing special. He somehow managed just 61 tackles in those 43 games and was traded during the preseason to the Colts.

This draft was very top-heavy, with guys like Maclin and McCoy becoming key parts of their offense for the last six years, but everyone else were basically throwaway picks. Fokou and Harris started a handful of games each, but they never really amounted to anything special. Gibson and Fanaika are still in the NFL, but neither did anything for the Eagles. It’s hard to call this a successful draft because of the way it worked out despite the success of Maclin and McCoy. They just didn’t do enough to pick up the slack of the other guys. Plus, zero guys from this draft are still on the team. I know these guys have had a chance to play six years in the league and there’s been a head coaching change midway through, but still, that’s not great.

Draft grade: C+

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