Looking back at Eagles drafts: Ranking the second round picks of Andy Reid era

Yesterday I ranked the Eagles’ first round draft picks from the Andy Reid era, which was actually a better group than I had always thought. Now I’ll look at the second round picks, which is where Reid really struggled the most and held back their growth as a franchise. Here are some quick stats:

Important Notes

-Total second round picks: 19 (8 offense, 11 defense)
-Years without a second round pick: 2004
-Years with multiple second round picks: 6
-Players remaining on team: 2

1. RB LeSean McCoy (2009)

McCoy is one of the few great players Reid got in the second round. By the time he was traded to the Bills, he was the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 6,792 yards, racking up 54 total touchdowns as well. He was the best running back in the league in 2013, earning All-Pro honors. He ran for over 1,000 yards four different times. Despite his medium career length, he still left a huge imprint on this organization and its record books.

2. WR DeSean Jackson (2008)

Jackson is another great player from the second round, but has also cut ties and any honor he had with the Eagles once leaving the team. He joined the Redskins and has only bad-mouthed the team since doing so. Regardless, his punt return in the Miracle of the Meadowlands II will be remembered by fans forever. He also was a great receiver (when he tried his hardest), totaling 6,117 receiving yards and 39 all-purpose touchdowns. It would be wrong to recognize his tremendous talent and ability to do more than just catch a football. He doesn’t know how to show respect for a team, but he definitely knows how to play football.

3. CB Sheldon Brown (2002)

Brown finished his career with the Eagles having had many very solid seasons. One huge positive with him was that he never got injured, therefore he never missed a game in an Eagles jersey. That’s pretty remarkable. When he was eventually traded to the Browns, he had already recorded 349 tackles and 19 interceptions. Considering how bad the Eagles’ cornerbacks have been over the last decade or so, it would not be an exaggeration to say Brown was one of the best.

4. S Michael Lewis (2002)

Lewis was actually picked ahead of Brown in the draft. It’s safe to say that 2002 was the best year for second round picks in the Reid era. His career was a bit shorter, and he struggled by the time he was eventually released, even though he went on to have multiple successful seasons outside of Philadelphia. Regardless, he made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and was a great tackler as the team’s strong safety. His Philly career was relatively short-lived, but productive while it lasted.

5. LB Mychal Kendricks (2012)

Kendricks is one of the two second round picks from this era that still remains on the roster, although I’m still a bit surprised that’s the case with all the other inside linebackers on the roster. Kendricks has been very solid when he’s been on the field, starting in 40 games over three seasons. In 2013 he played the best, totaling 86 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions. It’ll be interesting to see how much he plays in 2015, but already, he’s proved to be one of the more talented second round picks that Reid had.

6. DE Vinny Curry (2012)

Curry was the other second round pick of 2012, and he has been very successful too despite never being a starter. Last year he was excellent coming off the bench, seemingly making a play every time he was out there. He recorded nine sacks and four forced fumbles in limited snaps. He is probably a better fit in a 4-3 scheme as a defensive end, but as a 3-4 pass rushing defensive tackle, he’s shown that he can still excel. He’s one of my favorite players on the team and hopefully will continue to produce at high levels.

7. TE L.J. Smith (2003)

This is where the rankings hit a huge drop-off. Smith wasn’t a bad player, but Curry has contributed more to this team in three seasons than Smith did in six. He finished with 2,525 yards and 18 touchdowns, but never really had a breakout season or anything to deserve a lot of praise. He got hurt a lot in the last couple years with the team and was eventually let go. He seemed like he was often more of a hassle than a help, but they struggled to find good tight ends, so he was always the guy.

8. S Nate Allen (2010)

Like I said when I analyzed the 2010 draft, Allen really wasn’t as bad as many people think. And considering how bad a lot of these second round picks were, he certainly could’ve been a lot worse. Allen was a solid run-stopper who also managed to get a lot of interceptions, totaling 258 tackles and 10 picks. He still made a lot of dumb plays and probably had bloated stats due to the fact that no one else was good enough to beat him out for the starting position, but still, he really wasn’t that bad.

9. T Winston Justice (2006)

Justice was pretty average too. Like Allen, he mostly got on the field due to injuries or because no one else was good enough to beat him out. He started at right tackle for two years before eventually getting traded for a sixth round pick. He was supposed to be a staple of their offensive line when they drafted him, but he just never really panned out. Oh well.

10. WR Reggie Brown (2005)

Brown somehow had a few good seasons with the Eagles, totaling over 700 yards multiple times in his first couple years with the team. He even led rookies in receiving yards in 2005, which shocks me to this day. He was showing some potential and I even had his jersey when I was younger. Unfortunately, his career fell of a cliff and he did nothing more after getting hurt a lot. His success was very short-lived.

11. WR Todd Pinkston (2000)

Pinkston was similar to Brown, except he had even fewer good years. In fact, he really only had one, where he had 798 yards and seven touchdowns. Other than that, every season was pretty average or worse despite starting almost every game. The Eagles were lucky they had a great quarterback and defense, because Pinkston didn’t need to be that talented. I’d compare him to Riley Cooper– one good year, nothing else.

12. LB Barry Gardner (1999)

For a second round pick, Gardner was pretty bad, but he wasn’t a complete disaster like some of the guys I’m about to talk about. After starting for one season, he was relegated to special teams for the next few years before eventually just not getting re-signed. And why would they? He was expendable. He left the team having recorded 122 tackles and two sacks.

13. DT Trevor Laws (2008)

I really don’t understand how Laws ever got on the field. He was their first pick of the draft after not having a first round pick, but he was way worse than DeSean Jackson, who they took in the same round after him. Laws wasn’t bad, but he definitely wasn’t good. He played in 56 games and totaled 45 tackles and five sacks. Not great at all.

14. LB Matt McCoy (2005)

After selecting Reggie Brown as the first of their second round picks in 2005, they couldn’t get much worse, but they did. McCoy lasted just two and a half years on the Eagles before being released for a guy from the practice squad. He finished his Eagles career with mediocre stats. He did have a pretty solid 2006 campaign, but that was it. Mostly, he was just a disappointment.

15. G Bobbie Williams (2000)

Ranking Williams this low isn’t indicative of how his career turned out, but how valuable he was as a player on the Eagles. Since he only lasted four years and was a regular starter for one of them, he didn’t really do anything of worth. He was mostly just a backup that happened to start 11 games one year when someone got hurt. He did really well as a starter for other teams throughout his career, but not with the Eagles. Thus, he deserves a low ranking.

16. QB Kevin Kolb (2007)

It really hurts me to list Kolb higher than anybody on this list, but that’s how bad some of these players are. The Eagles traded down out of the first round, then took Kolb when it seemed like they didn’t even need a quarterback. In his first two years, he played in seven games, had five turnovers and zero touchdowns. He wasn’t any better in his next two years, never recording a year with more touchdowns than turnovers. He also never played in more than seven games in a season due to what seemed like endless injuries. He was terrible. He was so bad. Ugh.

17. DE Victor Abiamiri (2007)

In what was definitely the worst second round of the Reid era, Abiamiri was the next pick in 2007. He was also ravaged by injuries, missing two entire seasons before eventually leaving the team. He had just 20 tackles and four sacks in the time he did get on the field, but he could never build up enough momentum to warrant earning a starting job.

18. S Jaiquawn Jarrett (2011)

Jarrett was so disappointing, it hurts. The Eagles went with a safety high in the draft in hopes he would become a long-time starter, but Jarrett was the complete opposite. He had 15 tackles in 12 games as a rookie, but only made it two games into the next season before being released. That has to be an all-time record for fastest release of a second round pick, right? Just 14 games. Wow. That really stunted their growth on defense, and I’m sure this pick is one of the reasons why Reid was eventually let go.

19. LB Quinton Caver (2001)

Caver was definitely one of the worst picks in the Reid era, but he’s very close to Jarrett. It could probably go either way, but Caver had a very similar story. He was released in the middle of his second season for being ineffective, and I guess they just didn’t want to waste their time anymore. Unlike Jarrett, he never even started a game. He finished his Eagles career with just nine tackles.

Out of 19 guys, really only six of them turned out to be worth a second round pick. The rest were either just average or bad, but a whole lot of them were bad. Four of those top six guys were defensive players, but the top two were both on offense. Some of these picks were so bad that they were released before their rookie contract even was up. That’s just terrible. Kendricks and Curry are the only ones remaining on the team, and they both have a chance to succeed even more, but it’s still also possible that Chip Kelly will let them go after 2015. We’ll see, but it’s still clear that Reid was mostly bad at picking in the second round.

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