As the NFL Draft fast approaches near the end of April we’ll be posting more and more blogs relating to that. Today I’ll start by examining the best and worst drafts for our beloved Eagles in the past 20 years dating back to 1995 with head coach Ray Rhodes. The ’95 draft was not a successful one by the Eagles which I’ll get into further below. This draft featured three future Hall of Famers in Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and Curtis Martin. Sapp and Brooks were selected by the Bucs in the first round. Other notable first round selections included Steve McNair, Joey Galloway and Ty Law. Ki-Jana Carter went first overall to the Bengals and never quite panned out. With the 7th selection in the first round the Eagles selected…
- Mike Mamula- Defensive End (Boston College)
Mamula was one of the first players to train specifically for the combine. He ran a 4.58 which was far better than most every defensive end as well as repping 28 times for 225 bench press, this was more than Tony Boselli the left tackle who went 2nd overall to Jacksonville. The “Workout Warrior” also scored a 49 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test which is the 2nd highest score all time. All these factors caused Mamula’s stock to rise significantly and the Eagles subsequently traded their number 12 selection along with two 2nd round picks to the Bucs. They selected Mamula with the 7th selection. That number 12 overall pick they traded turned out to be Warren Sapp who the Bucs chose and became a cornerstone of that franchise for years to come. On the other hand, Mamula played five seasons in the NFL all with the Eagles until he was forced to retire in 2000 because of injuries. He played in 77 games totaling 31.5 sacks in midnight green. The most sacks he had in a season was 8.5 not quite what your expecting out of a top 10 pick. The Seahawks selected wide receiver Joey Galloway with the next pick in the draft.
- Bobby Taylor- Cornerback (Notre Dame)
Bobby T was the exception for this Eagles draft class. He was selected in the 2nd round with pick number 50. In his senior season in 1994 at Notre Dame he was named first team All-American. He went on to play nine seasons with the Eagles teaming with fellow cornerback Troy Vincent and safety Brian Dawkins to form one of the best Eagles secondaries in franchise history. He played in 119 games while in Philly tallying 19 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. In 2002 he made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career and was also named an All Pro. Taylor was known for giving Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin fits over the years due to his length and size. He retired after the 2003 season after playing one year with the Seahawks. Another notable 2nd round selection was Kordell Stewart aka Slash taken by the Steelers with pick 60.
- Greg Jefferson- Defensive End (Central Florida)
Jefferson was the 2nd defensive end drafted by the Eagles in the first three rounds of this draft to go along with Mike Mamula. He had a very underwhelming career playing four seasons with the Eagles and managing only 13.5 sacks over those years. He never played for another team in the NFL. He is currently a 10th grade history teacher in Florida. Just to put things in perspective after Jefferson was drafted at number 72 the Patriots took Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin two selections later at 74.
- Chris T. Jones- Wide Receiver (Miami)
After the lackluster selection of Greg Jefferson with the 72nd pick in the 3rd round, the Eagles followed it up with Jones at pick 78. Jones only played three seasons with the Eagles and played in only 32 games during that time. All five of his touchdowns came in 1996 where he posted a respectable 70 receptions for 859 yards. However, combined in 1995 and 1997 he only had 10 catches 134 yards playing in only 4 games in 1997. Jones played one more season with the Raiders in 1999 then retired. Twelve picks later in the round Green Bay selected a much more successful wideout by the name of Antonio Freeman. Freeman became one of Bret Favre’s favorite targets during his eight seasons with the Pack. He actually played one year for the Eagles in 2002 then returned to Lambeua in ’03 to finish out his career.
- Dave Barr- Quarterback (California)
There really isn’t much to say about this particular selection as Barr didn’t even make the team that year. He never played a single regular season down with the Eagles. Barr was the 119th pick in the 4th round. It was a strange pick by a team already going into the season with Rodney Peete and Randall Cunningham on the roster. Barr holds the Cal single season record for passer rating (164.5) which obviously never helped him at the next level. There were no other notable selections in the 4th round which makes this pick sting a little less, but not much.
- Kevin Bouie- Running Back (Mississippi State)
Bouie was the final selection of the Eagles forgetful ’95 draft. He was taken with pick number 210 in the 7th round. The Eagles did not have a pick in either the 5th or 6th rounds. Expecting much from 7th round picks is asking a lot, but Bouie never amounted to much of anything for the team. Ricky Watters and Charlie Garner were already on the roster at the position so he never really stood much of a chance. Bouie also played for the Chargers and Cardinals in his brief NFL career. Fourteen spots earlier in the 6th round the Broncos selected a running back by the name of Terrell Davis that wound up winning 2 Super Bowls and Super Bowl XXXII MVP. Overall Grade: D Out of the six selections in this draft class only Bobby Taylor had any kind of impactful career with the Eagles. You could argue that if Mamula was a 2nd or 3rd round pick he would be viewed as a decent pick, but unfortunately that was not the case. After the 2nd round selection of Taylor they got little to no value from the rest of their selections. That being said the team still went 10-6 and lost to the Cowboys in the divisional round of the playoffs. The most frustrating part is the fact Sapp, Brooks and Ty Law all would have helped this defense for the foreseeable future as opposed to Mamula. The selection of Greg Jefferson over Curtis Martin didn’t help the cause either. Keep it locked for future blogs looking back on past Eagles drafts!! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @birds_scoop