NFL draft: 5 bargains and 5 busts in Philadelphia Eagles’ history
Baylor guard Danny Watkins poses for photographs with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the 23rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, April 28, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
The NFL draft is a week away from beginning in Philadelphia, which means that NFL teams and their fans have their eyes on the future. Could an early round pick be the franchise player? Will the late-round picks be steals? Or will a bad crop of players set a team back a couple years? Those are some of the questions out there, so we compiled a list of five bargains and five busts from the Philadelphia Eagles draft history.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Steve Beuerlein (7) eludes Philadelphia Eagles’ Mike Mamula (59) in the third quarter at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 7, 1999. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)
The NFL combine stud was the No. 7 overall pick, and he draws most of the ire when it comes to Eagles busts. Mamula, however, did produce some with an eight-sack season in 1996 and 8.5 sacks in 1999. But he was done after five years and didn’t match the production of a top-10 pick — especially when the Eagles traded a pick that become Warren Sapp for him.
hiladelphia Eagles free safety Brian Dawkins reacts during the NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons in this Jan. 23, 2005 photo in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Miles Kennedy)
Dawkins was a second-round pick out of Clemson in 1996 and became a feared stalwart in the Eagles secondary for 13 years. He was a fan favorite and played well into his 30s. He had 21 sacks and 34 interceptions for the Phillies.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, left, and first-round draft pick Danny Watkins pose before during an NFL football news conference at the Eagles practice facility Friday, April 29, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Birds grabbed Watkins — a 26-year-old firefighter — out of Baylor in the first round of the 2011 draft. He burned out quickly in the NFL. In only two seasons in Philadelphia, Watkins appeared in 23 games and made 18 starts.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook celebrates his 10-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005, in Jacksonville, Fla. Watching at right is the Patriots’ Asante Samuel (22). (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The third-round pick was one of the most versatile players to ever suit up for the Eagles. He could run, catch passes and return kicks. In 2007, he had 2,104 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns while rushing for a career-high 1,333 yards.