Looking back at Eagles draft classes: 2006 draft

It’s no secret that Andy Reid struggled to select a good draft class, but some of the classes I’ve analyzed over the past couple days have been straight up terrible. While the 2006 draft wasn’t a disaster, it still wasn’t super strong. Here are some notes:

Important notes

Total picks: 8 (3 offense, 5 defense)
Notable picks: Brodrick Bunkley, Winston Justice, Jason Avant
Players remaining on team: 0

1. DT Brodrick Bunkley

Bunkley may not have lived up to the hype of a first round pick, but he was still a relatively solid player for the five years he spent with the Eagles. He missed just four games over that time span, starting in 52 games and recording 111 tackles and six sacks. He was the primary starter from 2007-2009 until he lost the job midway through the 2010 season after suffering an injury. The problem with Bunkley? He was nothing special, and will likely be completely forgotten in a few more years. He was eventually traded to the Broncos for a sixth round pick.

2. OT Winston Justice

Justice lasted five years on the team, but again, was nothing special. For a second round pick, the Eagles just didn’t get their value here. Justice was the primary starter at right tackle from 2009-2010, but was really more of a backup-caliber guy who ended up being forced to start because of either injuries or the fact that there just wasn’t anyone else better on the roster. The Eagles eventually traded him along with a sixth round pick for a different sixth round pick in 2012. Sense a trend?

3. LB Chris Gocong

Gocong was yet another average player that the Eagles got in a high round (in this case, the third). He was a primary starting outside linebacker for the three seasons he spent with the team, totaling 129 tackles and four sacks. As with the first two guys, he was eventually traded for basically nothing. Along with Sheldon Brown, he was sent to the Browns for a fourth round pick, a fifth round pick and LB Alex Hall, who never played a game for Philly. Another throwaway pick.

4. OG Max Jean-Gilles

The Eagles took Jean-Gilles in the fourth round, and he went on to start 26 games in four seasons for the team. As with the rest of these guys, he was really nothing special. After his contract ran out, he was simply not re-signed, and he never played in an NFL regular season game again. He now plays in the AFL.

5. WR Jason Avant

Would it be wrong to call Avant the best player of this draft class? It would be kind of sad, but I think it might be true. Avant was the only player to make it more than five years with the team, playing eight and racking up 3,646 yards and 12 touchdowns over his career with the team. He played in 116 games and started about half of them. Avant was never expected to be a top receiver, never surpassing the 700-yard mark in a season, but he was continuously solid and could often come up with a big catch when you needed him. The former fourth round pick was eventually released in the offseason as a cap causality.

6. DB/KR Jeremy Bloom

Bloom is the most successful player among anyone in this draft, but unfortunately, not in the football sense. Bloom was a successful skier both in college and in the Olympics, but those talents never really translated to the NFL. He hurt his hamstring and was placed on injured reserve for his whole rookie year before being released afterwards.

7. LB Omar Gaither

A fifth round pick, Gaither lasted five years with the Eagles, taking on various roles as a linebacker. He started every game at middle linebacker in 2007 and 10 games in 2008, but combined for just 10 more starts in the other three seasons. He finished his Eagles career with 227 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions, but again, he was nothing special. He was not re-signed after his fifth year with the team.

8. DT LaJuan Ramsey

Ramsey was picked in the sixth round as a depth pick on the defensive line. He was a backup for two seasons on the team, playing in 15 games and recording six tackles. He was released in the offseason after his second season.

Except for Avant, most of these guys played a handful of years with the team before eventually being traded or released due to mediocrity. While the players weren’t total busts since they were at least good enough to stick around for a few years, they weren’t talented enough to make a difference on this franchise. A bunch of average players is going to lead to an average team, not an improved team. This draft wasn’t a failure, but it was very ineffective in helping the team.

Draft grade: D+


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