Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eagles drafting and the current roster

Ten of the Eagles' 13 draft picks from 2010 are on the current roster. But what about their previous drafts? Here's a look at which selections from 2006-09 are still on the team.

Eagles drafting and the current roster

Brandon Graham is one of 10 rookies who have made the Eagles´ 53-man roster. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Brandon Graham is one of 10 rookies who have made the Eagles' 53-man roster. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles selected 13 players in April's draft. More than four months later, 10 of those rookies have made the team's 53-man roster.

Two (Brandon Graham and Nate Allen) will be counted on to start. And at least a few others (Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Riley Cooper and Clay Harbor) figure to see the field in roles other than special teams.

In terms of total rookies on the roster, we can throw in Austin Howard and Jorrick Calvin also. Howard was signed as an undrafted free agent, and Calvin was acquired from the Cardinals in exchange for original sixth-round pick Charles Scott.

As everyone knows, the roster can certainly be tweaked between now and Sunday, but as it stands, 12 of the Eagles' 53 players are rookies who have never played a down in the NFL before. That's 22.6 percent of the roster.

Looking at those numbers made me think about the Eagles' drafts prior to 2010 and how many of those players are still on the roster and playing significant roles. It's generally accepted that draft classes should not be graded until players have had three years in the league, but we can certainly take a look at how many original picks from 2006-09 are still on the roster.

Here's a look at the players drafted in those years that are still on the team:

YEAR PLAYER
2006 Brodrick Bunkley (1st round, 14th overall)
2006 Winston Justice (2nd round, 39th overall)
2006 Max Jean-Gilles (4th round, 99th overall)
2006 Jason Avant (4th round, 109th overall)
2006 Omar Gaither (5th round, 168th overall)
2007 Kevin Kolb (2nd round, 36th overall)
2007 Stewart Bradley (3rd round, 87th overall)
2007 Brent Celek (5th round, 162nd overall)
2008 Trevor Laws (2nd round, 47th overall)
2008 DeSean Jackson (2nd round, 49th overall)
2008 Mike McGlynn (4th round, 109th overall)
2008 King Dunlap (7th round, 230th overall)
2009 Jeremy Maclin (1st round, 19th overall)
2009  LeSean McCoy (2nd round, 53rd overall)
2009 Moise Fokou (7th round, 230th overall)


* As I stated above, the Eagles have 10 players from the 2010 draft on their roster. That's the total number they have on the roster from the previous three drafts combined.

* Overall, 25 of 53 players (47.2 percent) on the team are draft picks from the past five seasons (2006-10).

* The Eagles drafted eight players in 2009. Three remain on the roster, but two (Maclin and McCoy) are being counted on for big-time contributions. The five players the Eagles took between McCoy in the second round and Fokou in the seventh round are all gone.

* The '09 draft should serve as a bit of a cautionary tale also. While it's a good thing that the Eagles thought enough of 10 of their picks this season to keep them on the roster, how many will still be around at this time next season? Macho Harris started for the Birds in '09, and he was cut last week. Fokou made the roster and started towards the end of his rookie season, but he has no defined role in 2010. In other words, for the rookies who made it this season, it's important to make an impression right away. There isn't much of a grace period.

* In 2008, the Eagles selected 10 players. Four of them are still on the roster. Jackson was obviously a home run in the second round. Laws is an interesting case. Going into camp, it looked like he could be cut. For now, at least, he's going to get a chance to contribute, most likely as an inside pass rusher in nickel situations. McGlynn seems like a good backup and could get a chance to start at some point. And Dunlap seems to have only made the roster because of the Eagles' lack of depth at tackle. But the coaches obviously still see some potential there. As for the ones who didn't make it, Quintin Demps was cut last week, and the Eagles traded Joe Mays away at the start of training camp. Mays ended up making the Broncos' initial 53-man roster.

* Note that Victor Abiamiri (not listed on the chart) was also a part of the 2007 draft class. He's currently on the PUP list to start the season. Other than Abiamiri, three of the eight picks from '07 are on the roster. Those three (Kolb, Bradley and Celek) have high ceilings. In other words, each at least has the potential to make multiple Pro Bowls. Abiamiri still has to prove he can stay healthy and that he can play.

* And finally, the Eagles selected eight players in '06, and five of them are on the current roster. Bunkley and Justice are above-average starters. And Avant is pretty much a starter, given how much he's on the field as the Eagles' third wide receiver. Gaither and Jean-Gilles are backups, who can be counted on to fill in. But neither has shown the ability to play at a consistently high level. It's unlikely that any of the players from the '06 class will make a Pro Bowl, but Justice probably has the best shot. Imagine how crazy it would have been to suggest such a thing at this time last year.

The 2010 draft was the first of the Howie Roseman era. It will be interesting to monitor the progress of the 10 rookies who were selected in April to see how they can contribute in their first seasons. Perhaps it even calls for a weekly MTC post.

On Wednesday, I'll take a broader look at the roster to detail how it was constructed through the draft, free agency and trades.

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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