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Eagles History of Picking in Top-Six

This April the Eagles will be selecting a draft pick in the top-six for the 25th time in their history (9th time since the AFL-NFL merger which created 26 teams). Their history in the top-six can be described as rocky. They have picked plenty of players who went on to become enshrined in their Hall of Fame (and even the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio), but they have also selected quite a few players that barely made any impact in the league. There are even a few players they selected that never ended up playing a single game in an Eagles uniform.


Here's a breakdown of the previous 24 Eagles who had the pressure that comes with being one of the top picks in the draft:

2016: QB Carson Wentz (2nd overall)

Wentz is currently 4th in franchise history in completions (1,562), passing yards (16,811), passing touchdowns (113), 4th quarter comebacks (9), game-winning drives (10) and has the second-best QB Rating (89.2). His play was instrumental in the team earning its first Super Bowl victory, and has led the Eagles to two division titles since 2016.


2013: OT Lane Johnson (4th overall)

Johnson has played the sixth-most games by a tackle in Eagles history. His three Pro Bowl selections, one All-Pro selection, and Super Bowl ring speaks for itself. There is no question he's a future Eagles Hall of Famer


2000: DT Corey Simon (6th overall)

Simon had a pretty solid NFL career, playing in 95 total games (78 with the Eagles). His 32.0 sacks in midnight green are the third-most in franchise history.


1999: QB Donovan McNabb (2nd overall)

McNabb quarterbacked the Eagles through one of their most successful eras. He is the franchise leader in almost all major categories: completions (2,801), passing yards (32,873), passing touchdowns (216), game-winning drives (22), and QB wins (92). He didn't get the Super Bowl trophy fans desperately wanted, but his #5 is retired and is recognized by a vast majority as the best quarterback in franchise history.


1984: WR Kenny Jackson (4th overall)

Jackson was an Eagle for a long time (92 games) but they certainly didn't get the production they were hoping for when they made this early pick. He finished his Eagles career with just 122 receptions for 2,139 yards and 11 touchdowns.


1973: T Jerry Sisemore (3rd overall)

Sisemore suited up for 156 games with the Birds, which are the 11th-most in franchise history, and the second-most by a tackle. For his consistency and reliability, he was rewarded with two Pro Bowl nominations and is in the Eagles Hall of Fame.

1971: DE Richard Harris (5th overall)

Harris only spent three years in Philadelphia, playing in 39 total games. After leaving Philly he spent four more years in the NFL with Chicago and Seattle, adding another 54 games played.


1970 LB/TE Steve Zabel (6th overall)

Zabel had versatility and played on both sides of the ball, but after a two year experiment at tight end he shifted full focus at linebacker. He carved out a five-year career in Philadelphia (60 games) before eventually playing in 64 more games with New England and Baltimore.


1969 RB/DB Leroy Keyes (3rd overall)

Keyes started out at running back for the Birds (three rushing touchdowns his rookie year), but he then converted to safety. He was even better in the secondary, grabbing eight interceptions in just two seasons. Those three seasons were the only ones he spent in Philadelphia. After those 45 games in Philly, he joined the Kansas City Chiefs and played just three games with them in 1973 and never played a NFL game again.


1966: OL/DL Randy Beisler (4th overall)

Beisler played on both sides of the line. He played just three seasons in Philadelphia (36 games) before having a long career in San Francisco. He finished his NFL career with 118 games played with the Eagles, 49ers and Chiefs.


1964: T Bob Brown (2nd overall)

Brown spent five years with the Eagles (64 games), and in those seasons he was voted an All-Pro and Pro Bowler three times each. He eventually played 62 more games with the Rams and Raiders. He made the 1960s All-Decade Team, and is currently enshrined in both the Eagles Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


1963: G Ed Budde (4th overall)

The AFL's Kansas City Chiefs selected Budde 8th overall in their draft, and even though the Eagles selected Budde with the 4th overall pick in the NFL draft, Budde went on to spend his entire 14-year career with the Chiefs. He was a 2x AFL champion, a Super Bowl champion, a 2x Pro Bowler, and is in the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

1958: FB/DB Walt Kowalczyk (6th overall)

Kowalczyk ended up playing a backup role both on offense and on defense. He spent just two seasons in Philly before being traded in 1960 to the Detroit Lions for Jerry Reichow.Kowalczyk was out of the league by 1961.


1956: LB Bob Pellegrini (4th overall)

Pellegrini was a contributor on defense, picking off seven passes in 59 games as an Eagle. He was also on the 1960 NFL Championship squad. He left the Eagles