As we near the 2020 NFL draft, the Eagles are expected to have 10 selections and a real opportunity to pick up some important young players for the future of the franchise.
During his time as GM (2010-14, 2016-present), Howie Roseman has had some hits and he’s had some misses.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to rank all of his draft picks (excluding the 2015 year when Chip Kelly was in charge) by round.
We’ll start with his eight first-round picks:
1. Fletcher Cox (2012, No. 12)
After eight years in the NFL, Cox is still playing at an extremely high level and is having they type of career that will eventually end with a discussion about Canton. He has made the last five Pro Bowls and doesn’t appear close to slowing down even at 29. He has unfortunately played in an era with some other great interior rushers so he has just one All-Pro nod but that doesn’t make him any less great.
2. Carson Wentz (2016, No. 2)
If you want to argue this spot belongs to Lane Johnson, I certainly understand that. But the move for Roseman to go from 13 to 8 to 2 to draft his franchise quarterback was a masterstroke and it came off his yearlong demotion. And in Year 2, Wentz was having an MVP season before he tore his ACL. Sure, some opinions are split on Wentz but I still think he’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the game.
3. Lane Johnson (2013, No. 4)
The year after landing Cox, the Eagles took Johnson with the No. 4 pick and while he’s never made the switch to left tackle, he has grown into the best right tackle in the NFL. Sure, the two PED suspensions leave a blemish on his resume but he’s a Pro Bowler in the last three years and was an All Pro in the Super Bowl season. He’s also the first Eagles player signed through the 2025 season.
4. Brandon Graham (2010, No. 13)
It’s been a long time now since someone has mentioned the names Earl Thomas and Jason Pierre-Paul when mentioning Graham. Once thought to be a bust, Graham’s Eagles career has been a story of redemption. He has grown into one of their best and longest-tenured players and a leader of the defense. He grew into all that with a smile on his face.
5. Derek Barnett (2017, No. 14)
It’s fair to think the guy who broke Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential but he’s been a solid player. While he’s struggled with injuries the last couple years, Barnett has 14.0 sacks in three seasons and the Eagles will likely pick up his fifth-year option for 2021 this offseason.
6. Andre Dillard (2019, No. 22)
There’s a chance Dillard will climb up this list quickly but we don’t have much to go on just yet. The Eagles traded up to get him in 2019 but he sat behind Jason Peters. In the three games Peters missed, Dillard filled in admirably. While Dillard struggled badly at right tackle, the Eagles drafted him to play on the left side and he will likely have his opportunity in 2020.
7. Marcus Smith (2014, No. 26)
It seemed like a stretch at the time and it was. Smith lasted just three years in Philadelphia and never even started a game. He played in 37 games with the Eagles and had just four sacks. He last played in the NFL in 2018. He was an awful pick, a no-doubt-about-it bust but at least he wanted to play football.
8. Danny Watkins (2011, No. 23)
The Eagles drafted the 26-year-old fireman back in 2011 and the sell then was that he was a plug-and-play guy. Sure, he was older than every other rookie but he was a guard who would play immediately and solidify the position. Didn’t happen. In two years, he played in 23 games (18 starts) with the Eagles but wasn’t good. He played just one game for the Dolphins in 2013 and has been out of the league ever since. Last we heard of Watkins he was back doing what he loved to do … fighting fires.
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