Eagles

Eagles

Sixth in a series grading the Eagles' premium-round draft picks over the last 40 years. Today: Offensive tackles. Tomorrow: Interior offensive linemen.

One of the first things Tra Thomas said a few minutes after the Eagles selected him with the 11th pick in the 1998 draft was this: “I’m not going to be another Eagles first-round offensive line bust.”

Ouch.

Thomas was right. He ended years of Eagles first-round o-line disasters with a brilliant career.

Overall? Still more misses than hits.

Let’s take a look at all the offensive tackles the Eagles have drafted in the first three rounds since 1980. Some bad, some good, some more bad.

1st round

Leonard Mitchell [27th pick in 1981]: Didn’t become a starter until his fourth season and then started at right tackle on three terrible offensive lines. Really set the tone for the offensive tackle busts to come over the next 15 years.

Grade: D plus

Kevin Allen [9th pick in 1985]: The less said the better. One of only eight top-10 picks league-wide over the last 40 years to start four or fewer games. Drafted seven picks before Jerry Rice.

Grade: F minus minus minus minus

Antone Davis [8th pick in 1991]: I can’t flunk Antone because he was a five-year starter for the Eagles, including two playoff seasons. But he was just not very good.

Grade: C minus

Bernard Williams [14th pick in 1994]: Impressive rookie year and never played again.

Grade: F

Jermane Mayberry [25th pick in 1996]: Mayberry struggled initially at left tackle, but once he found a home at right guard he became a Pro Bowler – the Eagles’ first Pro Bowl guard in nearly half a century.

 

Grade: B

Tra Thomas [11th pick in 1998]: The first three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman in Eagles history. Thomas held down left tackle from 1998 through 2008. No offensive lineman in franchise history started more games. Only four offensive linemen in the last 30 years have started more playoff games.

Grade: A

Lane Johnson [4th pick in 2013]: Bounced back from suspensions in 2014 and 2016 to earn Pro Bowl honors in each of the last three seasons.

Grade: A

Andre Dillard [22nd pick in 2019]: Played well in three starts at left tackle as a rookie. Benched in his only start at right tackle. Heir apparent to Jason Peters.

Grade: Incomplete

2nd round

Dean Miraldi [55th pick in 1981]: Miraldi could play guard or tackle but neither one very well. Started nine games as an Eagle.

Grade: F

Barrett Brooks [58th pick in 1995]: Forced to start as a rookie after Bernard Williams’ suspension, Brooks was a solid starter for four years and wound up playing 11 NFL seasons. Current whereabouts are unknown.

Grade: B

Winston Justice [39th pick in 2006]: Bounced back from disastrous debut as a rookie to become a starter. But only managed 31 starts in Eagles career before finishing with Colts and Broncos.

Grade: C minus

3rd round

Rusty Russell [60th pick in 1984]: Got into one game as a rookie and never played again.

Grade: F quadruple minus

Matt Patchan [64th pick in 1988]: Never got into a game in his NFL career.

Grade: F quadruple minus

TOTALS:

1st round: C minus

2nd round: C minus

3rd round: F minus minus minus minus

Overall: D plus


Previous Installments:

Defensive ends

Defensive tackles

Linebackers

Safeties

Cornerbacks

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