2003-2004 Draft’s Have Crippled the Birds

19 11 2008

By Mike Gill

Following the Eagles 13-13 tie with the now 1-8-1 Cincinnati Benglas, fans all around the Delaware Valley have been searching for answers.  They want to know what happened to the Birds.  As I have stated before, a lot of this mess starts with the draft, but take a closer look at those draft classes and you really find where a huge problem lies – The 2003 and 2004 draft classes.

Andrews is the only player left from the 2004 draft.

Andrews is the only player left from the 2004 draft.

These players are now coming into their primes, they are four-and-five year players now.  The problem is, out of the 16 players the Eagles selected, only two of them are still on the team, one of which is injured.

That’s right 16 selected players and LJ Smith and Shawn Andrews are the only two players that still are on the team.  Smith has been public enemy number one for most of his career as the Birds tight end, while Andrews has battled depression and a back injury that has forced him to miss most of the season.

In fact an even closer look at those two draft classes shows how bad they really did.

2004

1.16 OG Shawn Andrews – Injured
3.26 CB Matt Ware – Back-up in Arizona
4.33 FS J.R. Reed – Out of the NFL
4.35 OC Trey Darilek – Playing in the CFL
5.30 RB Thomas Tapeh – Out of the NFL
6.20 QB Andy Hall – In the Arena League
6.27 CB Dexter Wynn – Out of the NFL
7.26 OG Adrien Clarke – Out of the NFL
7.41 RB Bruce Perry – Out of the NFL
7.42 OC Dominic Furio – Paying in the AAFL

2003

1.15 DE Jerome McDougle – Inactive with the Giants
2.29 TE L.J. Smith – Starting tight end for the Eagles
3.31 WR Billy McMullen – Out of the NFL
4.34 DE Jamaal Green – Redskins practice squad
6.12 OG Jeremy Bridges – Reserve guard, Panthers 
7.30 DB Norman LeJeune – Playing in the Arena League

McDougle never helped from the class of 2003

McDougle never helped from the class of 2003

There you have it, 16 players drafted, two that still are with the Eagles, four are still in the league (one is inactive and one is on the practice squad), none (other then Smith and Andrews) are starters and 11 are out of the league.

That’s two drafts, where you build your team and they have a grand total of18 catches for 157 yards and three touchdowns from those two classes combined this season.  Know you have a better understanding of why this team is struggling so bad.

Andy Reid the GM is hurting this team just as much if not more then Andy Reid the play-caller/head coach.  None of the consistent, elite teams, which the Eagles have not been since 2004, have two year gaps like this in production from their draft class. 

Teams like the Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Colts don’t have such hideous drafts.

  • 2003 – Giants added Osi Umenyiora, David Diehl, Frank Walker, David Tyree and Kevin Walter (now leads Houston in TD catches).
  • 2004 – Giants added Eli Manning, Chris Snee, Reggie Torbor and Gibril Wilson.  
  • 2003 – Patriots added Ty Warren, Asante Samuel, Eugene Wilson, Dan Klecko, Dan Koppen
  • 2004 – Patriots added Vince Wilfrok and Ben Watson
  • 2003 – Steelers added Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor (only had 5 picks)
  • 2004 – Steelers added Ben Roethlisberger
  • 2003 – Colts added Dallas Clark, Robert Mathis, Mike Doss, Donald Strickland, Cato June
  • 2004 – Colts added Bob Sanders, Jason David, Jake Scott

These teams are the last four Super winners and all of them have drafted well and have multiple players from those two drafts that are helping their teams win in 2008, the Eagles simply do not.

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5 responses

19 11 2008
Michael DeLuca

The 2003 draft was atrocious. I’d call the 2004 draft a success on the drafting of Andrews alone. Can’t call it a bad pick because he’s injured currently and the depression hasn’t affected us on the field (unless you want to get into the deeper issue of whether more training camp conditioning could have prevented the injury.)

When healthy, Andrews may be the most dominating run blocking offensive linemen in the entire league. He is the key component missing from this offense currently. It’s become obvious in recent weeks that our biggest deficiency is in short yardage (3rd and 1, 4th and 1) situations. I honestly feel this team would have at least two more wins and a 7-3 record if Andrews were healthy.

19 11 2008
Michael Gill

I agree that Andrews is a stud and they are missing him big time. But As I mentioned, this year the team is a mess, mainly b/c they have 1 guy from those drafts playing this season – Andrews is not. If he was playing as you said they might be 7-3 and this article would not be written. But he is not there, they are 5-41 and 1 guy is helping this team from 03-04. Maybe if they added another guy from 2003 or 2004 Andrews absence wouldnt hurt as much.

19 11 2008
Michael DeLuca

Agreed. Again, the 2003 draft was brutal. I was also surprised that we didn’t get any real help on the offensive line in this past draft. With Thomas and Runyan getting up there in age, we will need to find their eventual replacements and the depth would have certainly helped. I’m not a huge fan of Herremans either, so I woulnd’t have minded seeing him replaced.

19 11 2008
Michael Gill

They tired to get Thomas and Runyans replacment…Winston Justice. Another failure.

19 11 2008
Joey Murphy

Those drafts were definitely bad. Firedforwinning.com had the same story yesterday too. From 2002 to 2007, Reid botched things bad.

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