The 2003 and 2004 NFL Drafts
Sixteen picks over two drafts produced only two – yes, TWO – starters: Shawn Andrews and L.J. Smith. And we know how that ended up (Gettin’ my Michael Phelps on, gettin’ my Michael Phelps on…). Look at those two drafts though, and keep in mind, these came at the height of the Reid-era. Without getting into the ridiculous business of naming who they could have taken (hindsight is 20/20 afterall), let’s see what became of the players they did in fact end up with:
- McDougle – After trading up to get him (though not huge price), he held out for two weeks, was hit with the injury bug early, then (unfortunately) a bullet, which he (fortunately) recovered from, but then, after missing almost three full seasons, he (unfortunately) shredded his knee and was done.
- Smith – Oy. Easily the most inconsistent football player ever not named Chris Boniol. I could easily write 1,000 words about the way this guy carried the ball alone, but I’ll spare you. Thankfully, The Walrus spared us and didn’t re-sign him.
- McMullen – Big, strong build and (supposedly) good hands…. never showed it and bounced around the league as a special team-er.
- Green – Showed promise early (at least more so than McDougle), but wasn’t more than a rotation guy for a year or two.
- Bridges and Lejeune – Both hung around for a year or two as practice squad/third-string guys.
- *Simoneau – Traded a sixth and fourth for a veteran who wasn’t worth the sixth… And somehow started for two years?!
- Andrews – A heartbreaking story… until he became an obnoxious baby. Sure,
phantomback and mental problems set him back, but he was on his way to potentially being a Hall of Famer. Damn you, Shawn Andrews, you Michael Phelps-in’ waste of talent.
- Ware – Was he a corner? Was he a safety? Was he a football player? No, no and no.
- Reed – J.R. Reed seemed poised to fill the big shoes left by legendary returnman Brian Mitchell, but weirdly tore a muscle in his leg hopping a fence (?) during his first offseason and never fully recovered.
- Darilek – I vaguely remember him having to make a spot start or two, but think he was last seen in the vicinity of Reid’s mustache and hasn’t been heard from since.
- Tapeh – Was a decent replacement for the underrated Cecil Martin and way-past-his-prime John Ritchie for a season, maybe two, but couldn’t catch the ball… deeming him useless for The Walrus’ 92 to 8 pass-to-run ratio.
- Hall, Wynn, Clarke, Perry, Furio – May as well have been me, you and some day laborers on the practice squad.
Moral of the story: Not one of those guys was on the Eagles in 2010, and aside from the brief flashes of Andrews and Smith, not one of those guys lasted more than three, maybe four years in the NFL. If Andy hits on one of those picks, it could have put the team over the top in 2004, and if more than one pan out, maybe they don’t take a major step back in 2005. Instead they go on to lose the Super Bowl by three points and suffer on a talent-level.
Just another reason to Fire The Walrus.