A history lesson of the No. 25 pick in the NFL draft
Eagles at No. 25
The Eagles will have around nine picks in the upcoming NFL draft in April, but the crown jewel of the bunch is the No. 25 overall pick.
In modern NFL history, the Eagles have had the 25th pick three times: They took Freddie Mitchell in 2001, Jon Harris in 1998 and Jermane Mayberry in 1996. Mixed bag there. Mayberry was a solid starter for nearly a decade, but Mitchell was, well, Mitchell. And Harris was a bust.
In the last 20 years, nine different positions have been taken at pick 25. The most frequent position taken is cornerback (6), followed by linebacker (3), then quarterback, safety, receiver and defensive tackle (2) and then tight end, offensive lineman and defensive end (1). Six of those 20 players were once named to a Pro Bowl.
* Pro Bowl selection
2018: TE Hayden Hurst
The Ravens traded back to take the tight end out of South Carolina last season. As a rookie, Hurst caught 13 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in 12 games. He suffered a stress fracture that needed surgery in August and missed the first four games and then wasn’t exactly 100 percent. Long way from a verdict on him.
2017: S Jabrill Peppers
In the two years since the Browns drafted Peppers out of Michigan, he’s started 29 games at safety and has 2 interceptions, 8 passes defensed and 4 fumble recoveries. He’s also been a punt and kick returner for the past two seasons. He didn’t have a very good rookie season, but the Browns figured out how to use the hybrid defender in Year 2 and he looked really promising in 2018.
2016: CB Artie Burns
The Steelers took him out of Miami and he’s started 31 games (played in 48) during his three years in the NFL. He had three interceptions as a rookie, but has just one in the two years since. He lost his starting job during last season and has just one year left on his rookie contract to prove himself.
2015: LB Shaq Thompson
The Panthers took Thompson out of Washington and the linebacker has played in exactly 14 games in each of his first four seasons, with a total of 47 starts. Thomas Davis is set to become a free agent and Thompson is in line to replace him. Thompson has been a productive player and now the Panthers are going to rely on him even more.
2014: CB Jason Verrett *
Verrett, who was drafted by the Chargers out of TCU, had a tremendous second season. He started 14 games, had three interceptions, 12 passes defensed and was named to the Pro Bowl. But he’s played just five games since then and missed the entire 2018 season. He went on IR in 2016 with a torn ACL and again needed knee surgery that shortened his 2017 season. On the first day of training camp in 2018, he tore his Achilles. Injuries have derailed his young and once-promising career.
2013: CB Xavier Rhodes *
Taking Rhodes out of Florida State six years ago has really worked for the Vikings. He turned himself into a Pro Bowl cornerback. He was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and 2017and was an All-Pro in 2017. He had a down year in 2018, but was injured for the whole season. He dealt with foot, hamstring and groin injuries. Even with the injuries, he was still pretty good and if he’s healthy, the Vikings expect him to be back to form next season. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract before the 2017 season.
2012: LB Dont’a Hightower *
Hightower has been really solid for the Patriots since they took him out of Alabama back in 2012. He has started 84 games over the last seven games and was a Pro Bowler back in 2016. He was injured for Super Bowl LII but was a starter in the Patriots’ wins in Super Bowl XLIX and Super Bowl LI.
2011: OL James Carpenter
After the Seahawks took Carpenter out of Alabama, he played in 45 games and started in 39 in four seasons, becoming a left guard. His last game for Seattle was the loss in the Super Bowl. In 2015, he signed a four-year contract with the Jets and just finish out that deal this past season. He started 58 games for the Jets, but had an injury-shortened 2018 because of a shoulder injury. Carpenter is set to be a free agent in March.
2010: QB Tim Tebow
You all remember when the Broncos took Tebow and when the whole Tebow-mania thing took over the NFL. And you probably remember his preseason with the Eagles in 2015. His last regular season NFL game was way back in 2012.
2009: CB Vontae Davis *
Davis played three seasons in Miami after they drafted him out of Illinois, but the Dolphins traded him to Indianapolis before the 2012 season. In Indy, Davis became a two-time Pro Bowler and intercepted 13 passes in six years, including eight in 2014-15, when he was at the top of his game. You’ll remember Davis now for retiring at halftime of a Bills game in 2018, but he was a very good cornerback for several years.
2008: CB Mike Jenkins *
The Cowboys took Jenkins out of South Florida and he spent his first five seasons in Dallas, where he played in 71 games with 48 starts. He spent one season in Oakland and his last two in Tampa Bay. He signed with the Cardinals in 2016, but tore his ACL in the preseason and hasn’t played in the NFL since. He had 10 career interceptions; five of them came in his only Pro Bowl season in 2009.
2007: LB Jon Beason *
The Panthers took Beason from Miami and the linebacker immediately made an impact. He started 16 games as a rookie and was in the Rookie of the Year conversation. He was a Pro Bowler the next three years and was an All Pro in 2008. But eventually injuries derailed his career. He tore his Achilles in 2011 and he lost his job to Luke Kuechly the following season. He went to the Giants, where he was still pretty good when healthy, but he couldn’t stay healthy. He played 21 games in three years with the Giants and was forced to retire early.
2006: WR Santonio Holmes
The Ohio State product played his first four seasons in Pittsburgh. His best season came in 2009, when he caught 79 passes for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns. He was also the Super Bowl MVP that year; he caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. From there, he went to the Jets for four years and finished his career with a season in Chicago in 2014.
2005: QB Jason Campbell
The pick after Aaron Rodgers wasn’t as great. Still, Campbell played four seasons for Washington after being drafted out of Auburn. He went 20-32 in those four years and had a passer rating of 82.3. It’s not that Campbell was a bad QB, but he certainly wasn’t a franchise QB. If he was a backup in the league, he would have been OK.
2004: CB Ahmad Carroll
The Packers took the track star from Arkansas and he didn’t have much of an NFL career. He spent two full seasons in Green Bay and didn’t make it through his third. He had three interceptions in 34 games. He played a couple seasons with the Jets and bounced around in the CFL and other leagues.
2003: DT Wiliam Joseph
After getting drafted out of Miami, he played out his first four years with the New York Giants. He started 17 games and had seven sacks. He spent two pretty unimpressive years with the Raiders in 2008 and 2009. In 2012, he was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for his part in a tax fraud scheme.
2002: DE Charles Grant
He never became an All-Pro but Grant was a decently productive player for the Saints after they took him out of Georgia. He had two double-digit sack seasons and finished with 47 over his eight NFL seasons. He started all 16 games in 2009, but went on IR for the playoffs and missed the Super Bowl run. He never played another NFL game.
2001: WR Freddie Mitchell
No, Mitchell didn’t work out for the Eagles after they drafted him out of UCLA. FredEx played just four unimpressive seasons with the Birds, but did end up making two of the biggest plays in franchise history. And then he thanked his hands for being so great.
2000: DT Chris Hovan
The big defensive lineman out of Boston College played five years for the Vikings, starting 70 games and piling up 17 sacks. He wasn’t as good for the Bucs, but did play another five seasons, giving him a 10-year career.
1999: S Antuan Edwards
Drafted out of Clemson, Edwards played five seasons for the Packers. He also played for the Falcons, Dolphins and Rams. In all, he played 71 games with 32 starts and had seven career interceptions (all with the Packers).