They haven‚Äôt missed all the time. Trent Cole was an excellent find in the 5th round. Sheldon Brown, drafted in the 2nd round, has had a fine career. Stewart Bradley, 3rd round, has a chance to become a very good linebacker.
Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley, both 1st round picks, have been above average. Lito Sheppard, also a 1st round pick, had a couple of decent years before falling out of favor. Same goes for former 1st round pick Corey Simon.
However, in 11 years, those are the best of Reid‚Äôs defensive picks.
The Eagles have been particularly bad at drafting linebackers. They once thought so highly of Barry Gardner that they gave him the starting job while allowing Jeremiah Trotter to leave via free agency. Quintin Caver was gone before you knew it. Matt McCoy lasted half a season in the starting line up before he was benched.
All three of those players were taken in the 2nd round, which only underscores how bad the Eagles have been at drafting linebackers in the Reid era.
Drafting on the defensive line has faired no better. Jerome McDougle in round 1, Victor Abiamiri and Trevor Laws in round 2, and Bryan Smith in round 3, just to name a few. Other than Trent Cole and Derrick Burgess, the best defensive end drafted in the Reid era is Raheem Brock, and he never played a down for the Eagles.
Drafting in the secondary, particularly at the safety position, has also been disastrous. Second round pick Michael Lewis looked good for a couple of seasons, but was eventually exposed in coverage. His replacement, 4th round pick Sean Considine, was even worse.
Third round pick Matt Ware made 1 play and it was on special teams, not in the secondary (the blocked FG-TD in the 2005 Chargers game). Fifth round pick C.J. Gaddis was supposed to be groomed under Brian Dawkins, but didn‚Äôt make it out of training camp. Quintin Demps was supposed to be a steal in the 4th round, but all he‚Äôs shown is weak play and a bad temper.
Go back and look at some of those names again. One star, a handful of above average players, and at best, a huge collection of questionable picks.
This is an important draft for the Eagles to rebuild the defense. They have five picks in the first three rounds. The scouts need to be spot-on this year, and Reid must improve on his drafting record.