Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles running back # 28 Correll Buckhalter celebrates his touchdown with team mates Philadelphia Eagles #84 wide receiver Hank Baskett and Philadelphia Eagles # 79 Guard Todd Herremans in the first quarter during the Philadelphia Eaglesvs New York Giants game at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday December 17th, 2006. (Photo by Tom Berg/NFLPhotoLibrary)

The year….was 2000. Gas was LESS than $1 a gallon. The world was getting over Y2K. American Beauty had just won the Oscar, and the #1 song was by Carlos Santana (Maria Maria.) AOL was sending everyone 1000 FREE hours of the internet, and Penn State was about to have the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft as the Browns were about to make a huge mistake drafting Courtney Brown. But the Eagles were heading into year 2 of the Andy Reid era and they held 7 draft picks including pick 6.

The Eagles ended up taking Corey Simon, and then Todd Pinkston in round 2. All in all, it wasnt a great draft. But im starting with 2000 because its a good number. I dont have a good reason it just seems like a solid line in the sand. So lets take a look at the BEST draft day steals for the Eagles in the last 21 years.

When we’re looking at a draft day “steal” im going to qualify it as rounds 4-7. Rounds 1, 2, and 3 should result in starters or at the very least good rotational players. While the entire NFL draft is a crap shoot, the later rounds are like throwing darts at a board and hoping for the best.

  • 10) QB - AJ Feeley

    AJ Feeley fell to the Eagles in the 7th round of the 2001 draft. He had suffered an elbow injury at Oregon and lost his job to eventual top 3 pick Joey Harrington. The Eagles needed depth and grabbed him up. A year later he was saving the Eagles season as Donovan McNabb broke his ankle.

    The Eagles ended up trading him to Miami for a 2nd round pick (Reggie Brown) and he proved to be a backup QB who got on a hot streak. But when you draft a guy in round 7 and turn him into a 2nd round pick, thats a success.

  • 9) RB - Correll Buckhalter

    The Eagles took Nebraska’s Correll Buckhalter in the 4th round of the 2001 draft. Like Feeley, they were looking for depth at the position. They certainly found it. Buck teamed up with Brian Westbrook and Duce Staley to give the Eagles a 3 headed monster. Buckhalter overcame a lot of injuries to have a 7 year career with 27 touch downs.

  • 8) S - Kurt Coleman

    Kurt Coleman was the 244th player to get selected in the 2010 draft and in his rookie year managed to start 2 games. He became a full time starter in his sophomore year and he endeared himself to the Philly fans for his effort. The problem was he bit on every double move.

    But fast forward to 2015 and Coleman was on the Panthers where he had a breakout year, picking off 7 passes. He followed it with 4 interceptions in 2016. He ended up having a 10 year career in the NFL which, for a guy drafted 244th overall, is REALLY good.

  • 7) DE - Raheem Brock

    The 2002 draft was Andy Reid’s masterpiece. Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, Michael Lewis, and Brian Westbrook were their first four picks. But in round 7 they went local and took a Temple product (which was unheard of at the time because Temple was so bad.) The 238th pick was DE Raheem Brock.

    Brock didnt end up making the Eagles and was claimed by the Colts off waivers and made an impact pretty quickly. The 238th pick turned in a 10 year career with 40.5 sacks including a career high 9 in 2010 with Seattle. He was also a big part of the Colts defense when they won a Super Bowl.

  • 6) OT - Jordan Mailata

    When you draft a guy who learned what football was 13 months before he entered the draft, and you turn him into one of the best young tackles in football, then you get MASSIVE props. Most know the backstory at this point but Mailata was an Australian rugby player who transitioned into football with the hopes of latching on with a team. His workout caught the eye of Jeff Stoutland who convinced the Eagles to take a flyer on him in the 7th round.

    It took a few years of development, but Mailata got his break thanks to an injury to former 1st round pick Andre Dillard. Mailata has flourished. At 24 years old he has started 24 games in the NFL and is only getting better. The Eagles signed him to a long term deal last season.

  • 5) S - Jordan Poyer

    In 2013 Chip Kelly took Jordan Poyer 213th overall out of Oregon State. He made the team but was put on waivers and claimed by the Browns in October. He stayed in Cleveland for a few year until signing with Buffalo and thats when his career truly took off.

    Like Coleman, Poyer teamed up with former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and has blossomed into one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately for the Eagles he hasnt done it with the Eagles.

  • 4) OL - Todd Herremans

    Todd Herremans was the Eagles 4th round pick in the 2005 draft out of little Saginaw Valley State. In his first year he started 4 games, and in his sophmore year he took over the left guard job. He became the Eagles Mr. Reliable. He started 124 out of 127 games he played with the Birds and showed versatility playing, at times, both guard and tackle when needed. He was the definition of reliable and solid.

  • 3) TE - Brent Celek

    In 2007 the Eagles held the 162nd pick (5th round) and drafted Brent Celek from Cincinnati. Thats going to become a trend by the way. He immediately became the heir apparent to LJ Smith, and when the Eagles let Smith walk in 2009 Celek took over the job full time.

    His best season came in 2009 when he caught 76 balls for 971 yards and 8 touch downs. In 11 seasons, all with the Eagles, Celek caught JUST under 5,000 yards (4998) and hauled in 31 touch downs. He was a solid blocker, well liked by his teammates, and capped off his career by winning a Super Bowl with the Birds.

  • 2) DE/LB - Trent Cole

    Picks 1 and 2 could be flip flopped. But I will go with the Eagles 2005 5th round draft pick in Cincinnati’s Trent Cole. Andy Reid told the story that when Cole met with the Eagles at the combine he told Reid “I have 30 moves” and then showed Reid all of them. That impression left a lasting impression and the Eagles grabbed him. He went on to become the 2nd best Eagles defensive end behind Reggie White.

    Over 10 seasons Cole found the QB 85.5 times. He finished his career with 90.5 after spending the last 2 years with the Colts. He also showed versatility playing LB when the Eagles switched to a 3-4. He is second All-Time on the Eagles sack leaders.

  • 1) C - Jason Kelce

    The third straight Cincinnati player which means the Eagles should draft nothing but Cinncinatti players from rounds 4 on. Jason Kelce was the Eagles 6th round pick in 2011, thought of as too small to make it in the NFL. But he quickly became a favorite of then offensive line coach Howard Mudd, and it didnt take long for Philadelphia to see in Kelce what he saw in the former Bear Cat.

    There isnt much to say about Jason Kelce that you dont already know. But he is, at worst, the second best draft day steal by the Eagles.