History of the Eagles and the 4th Overall Pick in the NFL Draft

Kenny Jackson was the last player the Philadelphia Eagles drafted at 4th overall.Well believe it or not, it is almost time for the NFL draft again.  Our beloved Philadelphia Eagles are sitting pretty with the number 4 pick in the draft, and we are all anxiously waiting for the announcement of who they selected.  What is important is that no matter what, the fourth pick overall should give them an immediate boost, and perhaps an instant starter that can contribute… right ? We will see about that.

Let’s go over the list of 4th overall picks the Eagles have had in their history.

  1. Davey O’Brien (1939): Yes, the same guy whose award is given out to the best QB in the college football; the list includes: RG3, Cam Newton, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Vince Young… every good QB ever.  So Davey must have been a first ballot hall of famer right? Wrong.  After being taken 4th overall, he threw a total of 2614 yards, 11 tds, and 34 ints – over TWO seasons.  Must have been a career ending injury right? Wrong again he left the NFL to become an FBI agent… this is the truth.
  2. Bob Pellegrini (1956): I can pretend like I know anything about this guy, but I won’t bother.  It is hard to look up how successful a LB no one has heard of was when they didn’t even record tackles or sacks as a stat in ‘56.  He did have 7 INTs with the Eagles in 5 years, and I bet if you ask your dad “Hey Pa, what do you know about Bob Pellegrini” he will reply “ Well son/daughter, that Bob Pellegrini was a heck of a ball player”
  3. Ed Budde (1963): You MAY (big emphasis on MAY) read this and say “wow a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame was once an Eagle?” Wrong yet again… Ed Budde was taken by the Eagles AND the Chiefs in 1963, and of course he chose the Chiefs and went on to have a nice 14 year career there.  That is all I have on Mr Budde.
  4. Randy Beisler (1966): This guy was an offensive lineman who played for the Eagles for 2 years, the 49ers for 5 years, and the Chiefs for one.  His real name was Randall Lee, and his friends called him Randy.  His career ended when he broke his neck in a game in 1978, NFL doctors then in 1990 determined that he was then 80% disabled.  Sad story, but he did not work out as a great NFL player
  5. Kenny Jackson (1984): Kenny was a local boy who was born in NJ, went to Penn State where he became their first All-American WR In 1982.  Was taken by the eagles and underperformed by averaging 29 catches for 517 yds and under 3 TDs a year.  He actually retired so he could run his restaurant in Camden NJ, but ended up signing another deal with the Houston Oilers where he went on to underperform for them as well.  After catching 4 passes with the Oilers in 1 season, he came back to the Eagles to catch 5 more passes over the next two seasons, and then finally hung up the cleats.  I probably wrote more about Kenny Jackson today than has be written about him since 1986.

Needless to say, the number 4 pick has not given the Eagles any first ballot hall of famers, or even any sort of contributor what-so-ever.  Maybe some other teams have had better luck? Let’s have a gander at the last 15 4th overall picks.

2012: Matt Kalil OT USC

2011: A.J. Green WR Georgia

2010: Trent Williams OT Oklahoma

2009: Aaron Curry LB Wake Forest

2008: Darren McFadden RB Arkansas

2007: Gaines Adams DE Clemson

2006: D’Brickashaw Ferguson OT Virginia

2005: Cedric Benson RB Texas

2004: Philip Rivers QB NC State

2003: Dewayne Robertson DT Kentucky

2002: Mike Williams OT Texas

2001: Justin Smith DE Missouri

2000: Peter Warrick WR Florida State

1999: Edgerrin James RB Miami

1998: Charles Woodson CB Michigan

From the above list, there are stars in AJ Green, McFadden (if he ever stayed on the field), Justin Smith, Edgerrin James, Charles Woodson… Decent players like Trent Williams, Kalil, Ferguson, Rivers, Benson. However there are many busts like Curry, Robertson, Mike Williams, and Warrick.

What have we learned from this article? Probably not a whole lot, if anything you heard some names you haven’t heard in a while… or ever.  The main purpose of this article is to add pressure to the Eagles, like they need it, by stating the obvious… nothing is a sure thing in the draft, especially not the 4th pick.  No Eagle you have ever heard of came out of the 4th pick, and honestly not a whole lot of star power in the 4th pick, even before 98 (Derrick Thomas was one of my favorite players of all time, and probably yours… was 4th overall in 89.  Just ignore that).  What the Eagles have working in their favor is they have needs at a few positions, so I don’t see them reaching for talent at 4 and could end up with a great player… however they could also end up with another Kenny Jackson.  Who do I think they will take? more importantly who do you think they will take? You will find out my thoughts when I write my draft preview next week.

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Mike Zoltek

Hi there, I am Mike Zoltek and I enjoy Sports, Food, Movies, Fantasy [insert any sport here], Bourbon, Music, and Golf. I Hate: Pants, Big Bang Theory, Olives, Country Music, and Bobby Clarke. I have grown up watching and suffering with the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, and Sixers... I had a break-up with the flyers in 97 due to how Bobby Clarke decided to break up the legion of doom and has been trying to rekindle his relationship with them since. I may not use proper grammar or punctuation, but hopefully you at least stay awake and finish reading my ramblings. I would like it if you followed me on twitter @MikeZoltek, if you do... I promise to be your best friend.