Looking back at Eagles draft classes: 2008 draft

Four drafts down and there’s only been one that was a B grade or higher. The 2009 draft I originally gave a C, then bumped up to a C+ after thinking about it, but it still was nothing amazing. Now I’ll take a look at the 2008 draft, the last time the Eagles didn’t have a first round pick.

Important notes

Total picks: 10 (4 offense, 6 defense)
Notable picks: Trevor LawsDeSean Jackson, King Dunlap
Players remaining on team: 0

1. DT Trevor Laws

After not having a first round pick this year, the Eagles decided to go with the Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws. I’d be surprised to hear casual fans say they even know who this guy is. Despite being their first pick in this draft, he never amounted to much, playing as a backup. He actually appeared in 56 of a possible 64 games over the time he was in Philly, but combined for just 45 tackles, five sacks and two starts. He wasn’t terrible, but he was nothing special. Not worth a second round pick.

2. WR DeSean Jackson

Luckily for the Eagles, they had a second round pick, and this time, they hit the jackpot. It would be flat out wrong to say Jackson was a disappointment. In fact, he’s one of the best receivers in franchise history and gave them one of their most exciting wins ever, the Miracle of the Meadowlands II. I still get chills just watching the YouTube video of that epic punt return. I’m getting chills just typing this and thinking about it. But his career as an Eagle should in no way be defined by either that play or the negative falling out they had when he was released. Jackson was always sort of a hassle and a…knucklehead, we’ll say, but he still totaled 6,117 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns, as well as three rushing and four punt return touchdowns. He was an electrifying player that had a very, very good six year career in Philly. The one downside? That it was just six years. If he had played for 10 or more years with the Eagles, I think he could’ve been the best receiver they’d seen in Eagles history.

3. LB Bryan Smith

There was a bit of a drop-off in the rest of the draft, starting with Smith. He last just one year with the team, never appearing in a game, before he was released. And it’s not like he found success anywhere else. He played in six career games, all with the Jaguars, and had three tackles. That was it. It’s not an exaggeration to say he was one of the team’s worst draft picks in the last decade.

4. C/G Mike McGlynn

McGlynn was the first of the Eagles’ fourth round picks in 2008. He had varied  success for the Eagles, playing in just three games his rookie year, zero the next year, then starting in 14 out of 16 games in 2010 at center after Jamaal Jackson tore his triceps at the beginning of the year. After that, though, he was released before the start of the next season. He has since bounced around the league, actually starting at guard for the Colts for two years and for the Chiefs last year. But as for his time with the Eagles, it wasn’t anything to write home about.

5. DB Quintin Demps

Demps was picked in order to fill in as a backup safety, while also taking over the kick returning duties. He was the primary kick returner his rookie year, averaging 25.3 yards/return, including a 100-yard touchdown. He only returned six kicks the next year though and was unable to find time on defense, and was thus expendable. He was released the year after.

6. DB Jack Ikegwuonu

Good luck saying his name three times fast, or, even remembering him at all. A former fourth round pick, Ikegwuonu spent his whole rookie year on the PUP list. He played in one game in 2009, but must’ve been so bad that they released him two days later. He never played in the NFL again. He was actually arrested in November 2014 for committing a series of armed robberies to fund heroin purchases. He and his brother, who was involved in the robberies, were sentenced less than a week ago.

7. OL Mike Gibson

Gibson spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. He was on the practice squad in 2009, but was signed off it by the Seahawks a month or so into the season. He played for Seattle for three years and actually re-signed with the Eagles in March 2012, but was released in December of the same year without playing in a game.

8. LB Joe Mays

Mays has actually had a long career in the NFL, spending multiple seasons as a starting linebacker for a team. But his career with the Eagles was limited to just two years and 13 games, where he recorded just four total tackles before being traded to the Broncos.

9. LB Andy Studebaker

Apparently a descendant of the Studebaker automobile company, Studebaker spent a few months of his rookie year on the Eagles’ practice squad before being signed by the Chiefs, where he spent five years. He never played in a game for the Eagles though.

10. T King Dunlap

At a towering 6’8″, Dunlap played four seasons with the Eagles, playing in 52 games and starting 19 of them. His most important year was in 2012 when basically everyone on the offensive line got hurt and Dunlap had to play a lot, starting 12 of the games that year. He was pretty ineffective though and the Eagles chose not to re-sign him after his rookie deal was up. He has since been the starting left tackle for the Chargers, but I have no idea how they managed to turn him around into a worthwhile player.

The 2009 draft had two great players and then a bunch of garbage, and the 2008 draft was the exact same, except a little more garbage and only one good player. Some of these guys went on to play a bunch of years for other teams, which is good for them, but it doesn’t help the Eagles at all. They basically went 1/10 here on getting even roster-worthy players. Only Jackson made it past his original four-year rookie contract with the Eagles, and therefore it’ll go down as another failed draft by Andy Reid.

Draft grade: C-


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