Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Have Eagles had success with 1st-round trades?

You're likely aware of the numbers by now.

Have Eagles had success with 1st-round trades?

The Eagles traded up to draft defensive end Jerome McDougle in 2003. (David Maialetti/File photo)
The Eagles traded up to draft defensive end Jerome McDougle in 2003. (David Maialetti/File photo)

You're likely aware of the numbers by now.

The Eagles have made a draft-day trade in the first round in each of the past four years and six of the last eight.

So it should go without saying that a move on Thursday night out of the No. 23 spot would hardly be a surprise.

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to revisit the six first-round trades since 2003 to identify how the Eagles have fared when they've made a move.

2003: This is probably the easiest one to grade. The Eagles swapped the No. 30 pick for the No. 15 pick, also sending a second-rounder (No. 62) to the Chargers.

With the 15th pick, they selected Jerome McDougle, one of the team's biggest busts of the past decade. McDougle never started a game for the Eagles and finished his career here with just three sacks. He was shot in 2005, but had not been productive in two seasons prior to that.

San Diego used the 30th pick on cornerback Sammy Davis, who started 26 games in his first two seasons, but only six after that. With the Eagles' second-round pick, the Chargers selected safety Terrence Kiel, who started 50 games in four seasons.

Obviously, this trade-up was not a good one for the Birds.

2004: The Eagles moved up to No. 16, dealing the 28th pick and a second-rounder (No. 58) to the 49ers.

That pick was used on Shawn Andrews, who started 47 games from 2005-2007, twice earning Pro Bowl honors. But we all know how things turned out after that.

When you trade up for a player, the expectation is that he will have a longer career than Andrews had here. The site DraftMetrics.com did a study of draft picks from 1991-2004 and found that 67 percent of the offensive linemen taken between the 14th and 28th picks went on to start in the league for five years.

So, while Andrews was outstanding for a three-year span, the Eagles did not get the return they expected.

Meanwhile, the 49ers ended up dealing the 28th pick to the Panthers, who took cornerback Chris Gamble, a seven-year starter.

The Niners used the second-round pick from the Eagles on cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who has started 72 games in seven seasons.

2007: This is probably the most talked-about one. The Eagles sent the 26th pick to the Cowboys in exchange for a second-round pick (36th overall), a third-round pick (87th overall) and a fifth-round pick (159th overall).

With those three selections, the Birds took Kevin Kolb, Stewart Bradley and cornerback C.J. Gaddis.

Talk about an incomplete, eh?

Let's start with Kolb. It appears that the Eagles have developed him into a trade chip that could net them a first-round pick in return. If that happens, the trade looks good. If Kolb walks after next season as a free agent, the trade looks bad.

A few years ago, the Bradley pick looked a lot better than it does now, but the jury's still out on what type of player he will become.

And Gaddis, obviously, is no longer on the roster.

As for the Cowboys, they drafted pass-rusher Anthony Spencer with the 26th pick. In four NFL seasons, he's got 17.5 sacks (including the postseason). Six of those have come against the Eagles - two in the 2010 regular-season finale, two in the 2009 regular-season finale, one in theh '09 playoffs and one more as a rookie.

By this time next year, it'll be a lot easier to evaluate this trade.

2008: The Eagles traded out of the first round, sending the No. 19 pick to Carolina for a second-rounder (No. 43), a fourth-rounder (No. 109) and a first-rounder in 2009.

The Eagles didn't want the 43rd pick either, though. They sent it to the Vikings, along with a fifth-rounder (No. 157 overall) for a different second-rounder (No. 47) and a fourth-rounder (No. 117).

With the 47th pick, the Birds took Trevor Laws. Before last season, I'd have said that selection looked like a bust, but Laws showed some encouraging signs in 2010 and the jury's still out.

With the 109th pick, the Eagles took Mike McGlynn. Again, before last season, we didn't know much about McGlynn. And while he does not have a Pro Bowl ceiling, he showed he's at least capable of starting at center. In 2011, we might find out what his upside is at guard, if he gets a shot on the right side.

With the fourth-rounder the Eagles got from Minnesota, they took Quintin Demps, who is no longer on the roster.

Maybe most importantly, the Eagles were able to use that 2009 first-round pick, package it with a fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder, and acquire Jason Peters from the Bills. So, essentially, two out of five of their offensive linemen in 2010 (Peters and McGlynn), and one of their defensive tackles (Laws), are with the Eagles partly as a result of the 2008 trade.

As for Otah, he started 12 games as a rookie and 13 in 2010. The Vikings, meanwhile, took safety Tyrell Johnson with the 43rd pick that the Eagles originally acquired. He's started 24 games in three seasons.

If Peters continues to build on his strong 2010 campaign, moving out of the first round in 2008 will be looked at as a wise move.

2009: The Eagles moved up two spots to No. 19, sending the 21st pick and a sixth-rounder (195th overall) to the Browns.

With the 19th pick, the Birds stuck to the "draft the best player available" mindset, adding Jeremy Maclin to complement DeSean Jackson. As I wrote about earlier this offseason, Maclin has put together two very impressive seasons. We've seen defenses focus on stopping Jackson from getting deep, but with Maclin on the opposite side, the Eagles were able to still have success offensively (for the most part).

As for the 21st pick, the Browns made out pretty well too, selecting center Alex Mack out of California. Mack has started all 32 games since he entered the league and was a Pro Bowler in 2010. As for that sixth-round pick, the Browns took running back James Davis, who was cut last season.

This one worked out for both sides.

2010: The Eagles moved up to No. 13, giving the Broncos the 24th pick in the first round, and also a pair of third-rounders (Nos. 70 and 87).

The Birds drafted Brandon Graham, and it's obviously way too early to judge how that turned out.

And what happened to their original pick at No. 24? As you might recall, the Broncos dealt it to the Patriots, who then moved it to the Cowboys.

Dallas eventually drafted wide receiver Dez Bryant, and he looked like a player in his first season, finishing with 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns. Of course, the character concerns that likely made Bryant fall to No. 24 still exist, but there's no questioning his talent and productivity.


You can follow Moving the Chains on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected