Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Each year, teams come together to select hundreds of rookies from across the country. In the past 30 years, we've seen plenty of studs and quite a few duds. This is the first of four in a series that examines the Eagles top draft picks from each decade, starting with the 90s.
7th Round - Koy Detmer (QB) 207th overall in 1997
The options were severely limited here, as the majority of players never played a snap for the Eagles. Detmer spent the majority of his nine-year career backing up Donovan McNabb (you might see his name later). He managed to dress for 104 games and registered 1,944 yards with 10 touchdowns.
6th Round - Andy Harmon (DT) 156th overall in 1991
Harmon spent seven years donning an Eagles uniform. It was not an illustrious career by any means, but Harmon nearly broke 300 tackles and had 39.5 sacks while in Philadelphia (which are the 8th-most in team history). He took the majority of snaps from 1992-1995, but production slowed down in his final two seasons with the team.
5th Round - Calvin Williams (WR) 133rd overall in 1990
Williams spent seven seasons with the Eagles before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens. Williams amassed 34 touchdowns and 3,840 yards receiving while averaging 13 yards per catch. He led the team in receiving touchdowns for three seasons (1990, 1992 and 1993).
4th Round - William Thomas (LB) 104th overall in 1991
This might be more about how dominant I was with Thomas in Madden '97 than anything else. Thomas spent nine seasons with the Eagles, earning two Pro Bowl nods during that time. He finished with 33 sacks and 18 interceptions during his time with the Birds.
3rd Round - Duce Staley (RB) 71st overall in 1997
This was one of the tougher decisions out of the group (Fred Barnett and Jeremiah Trotter were also in the discussion), but there is no denying the impact Staley has had on the organization as both a player and a coach. Staley is well known for his "pickle-juice game" in which he rushed for 201 yards and had 61 yards receiving in a dominant performance against the Cowboys in 2000.
2nd Round - Brian Dawkins (S) 61st overall in 1996
The only Hall of Fame player on this list, and by far the easiest choice. "Weapon X" remains many Eagles fans' favorite player, and there is no denying the impact he had on the organization. Dawkins spent 13 years with the team, earning nine Pro Bowl selections, and was named an All-Pro four times. In 2002, Dawkins completed the "quadfecta," in which he recorded an interception, sack, forced fumble and a touchdown all in the same game.
1st Round - Donovan McNabb (QB) 2nd overall in 1999
Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Cade McNown and Daunte Culpepper were the other four quarterbacks selected in the first round in 1999; the Eagles chose the right one in that group. McNabb led the Eagles to four straight conference championships while becoming the all-time leading passer in Eagles' history. He arguably is the best quarterback in the franchise's almost 90-year history. He amassed 32,873 yards passing and added 2,242 rushing yards during his tenure with the team. McNabb, in my opinion, should be the second Hall of Fame inductee on this list in the coming years.
Check back next week as we look into the 2000s.