By Harvey Hoffman
The NFL draft is coming up in 10 days, and the Eagles have had a mixed history of picks, though it is undeniable that they have had success.
Such as these:
1. Steve Van Buren, 1944 Draft, 1st Round, 5th Overall
The Eagles were a laughing stock of a franchise before Steve Van Buren came in to turn around the franchise. Van Buren only had one losing season during his time with the Eagles. And he led the team to back-to-back NFL Championships. He ran wild on defenses and in 1949, it was his best season rushing for 1,146 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Van Buren was named an All-Pro five times, and he has a bust in Canton, Ohio in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Donovan McNabb, 1999 Draft, 1st Round, 2nd overall
Andy Reid selected Donovan McNabb second overall in the 1999 draft. And although he never led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win, he is still one of the greatest players in team history.
McNabb played 11 seasons with the Eagles, throwing for 32,873 yards and 216 touchdowns. In 2004, McNabb had the best year of his career throwing 3,875 yards and 31 touchdowns. McNabb started 15 games during the regular season, winning 13 of the games. If he would have won a Super Bowl, he would have been sat number one on this list.
3. Reggie White, 1984, 1st Round, 4th overall (above)
Reggie White was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1984 supplemental draft. He quickly became one of the best players in football. White played his first eight years with the Eagles and as a rookie, he had 13 sacks. In the next three seasons, he had at least 18 sacks, and in 1987 he got to the quarterback 21 times. In 1991, the Eagles were considered one of the best defenses in football history and White was a big reason why.
Some often forget just how good White was with the Eagles, rather focusing on his time with the Green Bay Packers.
4. Tommy McDonald, 1957, 3rd Round, 31st overall
It’s often forgotten just how good Tommy McDonald was for the Eagles back in the day. At times, the yards didn’t jump off the page, but he caught a lot of touchdowns.
His best season was in 1961 for the Eagles when he caught 64 passes for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named to six Pro Bowls and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
5. Wilbert Montgomery, 1977, 6th Round, 154th overall
Wilbert Montgomery’s place on his this last has to do with where he was selected. Montgomery didn’t go until 154th overall in the 1977 draft. He didn’t get a lot of chances in the first season, but by the time year two rolled around, he was the team’s leading back. In 1978, Montgomery rushed for 1,220 yards and nine touchdowns. He played eight of his nine years in the NFL with the Eagles and finished with 6,358 yards and 45 touchdowns.