The Philadelphia Eagles have seen their fair share of 1st-round picks who turned out to be busts. The fan base has certainly called out Howie Roseman, Andy Reid, and other decision-makers for their shortcomings during their tenures in the front office.
The NFL Draft is wild, random, and predictably unpredictable. The best NFL organizations have their fair share of misses. They also make up for it with solid draft strategies, positional priorities, and careful selection of players they believe can translate their skills to the next level.
Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb
One of the best coaches in the history of the NFL controlled personnel decisions for the Eagles for most of his 14 seasons in Philadelphia. The first draft choice of his tenure established the foundation for his long-term success.
Ricky Williams, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, or Cade McNown would’ve altered Eagles history for the worse if Donovan McNabb never came to Philadelphia in 1999.
Later first-round decisions didn’t turn out as well for Andy Reid. Loudmouth Freddie Mitchell and an infamous firefighter handcuffed his ability to climb the mountain and win the first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Philadelphia Eagles Front Office
Reid’s protegee Howie Roseman has shouldered intense criticism for past questionable draft-day decisions. He’s also made up for misses with steals like Jordan Mailata and value picks like Jalen Mills and Avonte Maddox.
More recent picks like DeVonta Smith and Jalen Carter have a great chance to cement Roseman’s legacy. However, the list of 19 picks only includes the track record of players drafted by 2020.
The Eagles have made 1st-round picks based on their positional priority for the franchise quarterback and offensive and defensive linemen. There are hits and misses. Every decision will meet inevitable scrutiny of the highest magnitude from the most passionate fan base in professional sports.
However, the Eagles have advanced to seven NFC Championship Games and three Super Bowls since Jeffrey Lurie hired Reid. The effects of the decision have made the Eagles one of the most successful organizations in the NFL since 1999.