Great article about how the Eagles have stunk up the draft. I remember for years they could not draft a proper offensive lineman, you guys remember Antone Davis (92) and Lester Holmes (93)?
The Giants are getting ready to play for their second championship in five years and the Eagles will be watching. At home.
There are, of course, many differences between the two franchises, but perhaps none stands out more than the recent history of the draft.
See, while the Giants have continually nabbed productive players with their top picks, the Eagles have failed. You probably already know this if you're part of the group (with the pitchforks and fire) calling for Andy Reid's job. It might be painful, but here's a year-by-year comparison of the top part of the draft between the Giants and Eagles.
We decided to take a look at the last five years, so we'll start with 2006.
WARNING: The following is painful for Eagles fans.
The Eagles used their first-rounder on Broderick Bunkley out of Florida state with the 14th pick. Bunkley started 52 games over five years for the Eagles. He recorded 34 tackles in 2008 and had a career-high three sacks in 2007. He spent this past season with the Broncos.
With the last pick in the first round, the Giants took Mathias Kiwanuka as a DE out of Boston College. Kiwanuka moved to linebacker this season and had 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has had as many or more than three sacks (Bunkley's career high) in each of his six seasons, including 2010, when he played in just three games.
Kiwanuka is still producing for the Giants and Bunkley was OK in Philadelphia and isn't on the team anymore. Advantage Giants.
The Eagles, in what has become all too common for them, traded out of the first round. They originally had the 26th pick. Instead, their first pick came in the second round, when they took Kevin Kolb with the 36th overall pick. Who knows what Kolb would have ended up doing in Philly? But he was shipped out to Arizona for a second-rounder and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
DRC struggled this past year but will likely be a starting CB for the Eagles and the Eagles did get a second-rounder. But is it fair to judge a pick based on what you traded that player for a few years later?
Well, how's this to add insult to injury? When the Eagles traded away that No. 26 pick to the Cowboys, Dallas took linebacker Anthony Spencer. Spencer has had at least 50 tackles in each of the past three years and had six sacks this past season. Eagles linebackers combined for three sacks this season. They could have probably used Spencer.
The Giants, in 2007, didn't trade their first-round pick. Instead, they drafted cornerback Aaron Ross with the 20th selection out of Texas. No, Ross hasn't set the world on fire. In fact, he played just one game in 2009 and one in 2010 but returned to start 15 games this season for the Giants. Ross is also the Giants' primary punt returner. Ross had four interceptions in 2011, more than any Eagles minus Kurt Coleman, who also had four. But remember, three of Coleman's INTs came against the Redskins in one game.
The Eagles don't have Kevin Kolb anymore, they probably could have used Anthony Spencer and the Giants are still starting Aaron Ross. Advantage Giants.
In 2008, the Eagles had the 19th-overall pick and traded out of the first round ... again. Then, in the second round, with pick No. 43, they traded down again.
When they finally made a selection they took Trevor Laws out of Notre Dame with the 47th pick, in the second round. Laws has cool hair, sure, but has started just two games for the Eagles. Two picks later, the Birds took DeSean Jackson. OK, that's a good pick but we're not concerned as much with the Eagles' picks later in the draft. They're OK there. They just really seem to struggle early.
Actually, in 2008, Jackson, along with seventh-rounder King Dunlap, were really the only solid pick the Eagles made. Remember Bryan Smith, Mike McGlynn, Quintin Demps, Jack Ikegwuonu, Mike Gibson, Joe Mays and Andy Studebaker? Don't worry, no one else does either.
Maybe the Eagles dodged a bullet in 2008. The Panthers, using the Eagles' pick, took offensive lineman Jeff Otah, who has been injured and hasn't really been able to get on the field.
But the Giants didn't trade out of the first round and they found a solid player.
The Giants, who had a pick 12 slots after the Eagles, took safety Kenny Phillips out of Miami with the 31st pick. Phillips has started 15 games each of the past two seasons and and has recorded at least 60 tackles in each. He also had four interceptions this season, again, more than any Eagle sans Coleman.
Phillips isn't great but he's better than Trevor Laws right? And Jackson has been electric but does he make up for that terrible overall draft? Advantage Giants -- at least with the first pick.
This one looked great. It still doesn't look horrible. The Eagles took Jeremy Maclin out of Missouri with the 19th overall pick. Great! Maclin is really good. He caught 55 passes in '09, 70 in '10 and 63 in '11. He had 762 receiving yards in '09, 964 in '10 and 859 in '11. He has 19 TDs in his first three years.
Awesome, finally the Eagles are going to win one.
Not so fast.
The Giants, with the 29th pick, took Hakeem Nicks out of North Carolina. If you'd rather have Maclin instead of Nicks, you simply haven't been paying attention. After a 47-catch rookie year, Nicks had a 79-catch and a 76-catch season. He's gone over 1,000 yards in each of the past two years and has 24 TDs in his first three seasons.
Just when it looked like the Eagles made a great pick, the Giants topped them. Advantage Giants.
OK, this is the one that really hurts Eagles fans. This is the one you already know. This is the one that keeps you up at night.
With the 13th pick in the 2010 draft, the Eagles took defensive end (sort of) Brandon Graham from Michigan. The Eagles traded up to that 13th pick, which at the time, led most fans to think they were targeting safety Earl Thomas from Texas. Nope.
Graham was having an OK rookie season, he had three sacks in 13 games before he got hurt and had microfracture knee surgery in December of his rookie year. This season, Graham played in three games and had five tackles.