The Eagles have had some well documented lapses in judgment when it comes to the first round of the draft, though it’s hardly a problem solelyfaced by the Birds.
Despite this, they’veshown a real knack for finding difference makers in the later rounds.Here are some of the Eagles’ best late round selections over the last 30 years.
Jason Kelce, C, Cincinnati – Round 6, Pick 191, 2011
The Birds’ current center began his career by supplanting an undrafted gem –Jamaal Jackson. Kelce’s 14 game absence in 2012 was notable when the team struggled to 4-12 in Andy Reid’s final season.
Kelce, however, hung around and was able to rebound in 2013 before being named to his first Pro Bowl in 2014.
Brent Celek, TE, Cincinnati – Round 5, Pick 162, 2007
Next up is another Cincinnati Bearcat and another active Eagle.When this season begins, Celek will be working with his fifth different opening day starting quarterback in nine years.
That hasn’t prevented him from becoming the second most productive tight end in team history, trailing Pete Retzlaff in catches (344,) yards (4,315,) and touchdowns (27.)
Trent Cole, DE, Cincinnati – Round 5, Pick 146, 2004
Okay, maybe Andy Reid had a pretty good thing going with Cincinnati. The Eagles nabbed Cole with the selection they received from Washington for James Thrash — not a bad deal.
Cole went on to become a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2007 and 2009) and rack up 85.5 sacks in 155 games with the team, good for second in team history behind the venerable Reggie White.
Cole will be back in Philadelphia when Indianapolis comes to town for the first pre-season game.
Seth Joyner, LB, Texas El-Paso — Round 8, Pick 208, 1986
A cornerstone on one of the league’s all-time greatest defenses, Joyner was actually cut during his rookie training camp.Later that season he was resigned.He went on to three Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl Championship with the Broncos in 1998.
Joyner is a member of the NFL’s exclusive 20-20 club, having finished his career with at least 20 sacks (52) and 20 interceptions (20.)
Clyde Simmons, DE, Western Carolina – Round 9, Pick 233, 1986
It’s easy to see how that defense got so good.Simmons would star on the defensive line with Jerome Brown and Reggie White. He played eight seasons with Philadelphia and made two Pro Bowls.
When Simmons retired, he was 11th in NFL history with 121.5 career sacks and second in Eagles’ history with 76.5.
Two players the Eagles had the smarts to draft but not to keep:
Raheem Brock, DE, Temple – Round 7, Pick 238, 2002
Brock would go on to start 104 games and record 28.5 sacks — for the Indianapolis Colts after the Eagles failed to sign Brock as a rookie.Unlike Joyner, they didn’t get a second shot at him.
Cris Carter, WR, Ohio State – Round 4 Supplemental Draft, 1987
At least Carter, the only Hall of Fame Supplemental Draft pick, made the team.But eventually the Eagles cut him due to off-the-field issues.As Buddy Ryan infamously said, “All he does is catch touchdown passes.”In the end, he caught 130 of them, fourth most in league history.