5 Interesting Facts About the 2011 Draft for the Philadelphia Eagles

By Bryn Swartz

1. Philly.com mentioned that Danny Watkins is the oldest first-round draft pick in the NFL since the 1980 draft, when the Detroit Lions took running back Billy Sims with the first overall pick. But Sims turned 25 during the 1980 season. Watkins is 26 already and will be 27 during the season next year. I wasn’t able to find confirmation but I have very strong feelings that Danny Watkins is the oldest first-round draft pick in NFL history.

2. Dion Lewis will be 20 years and 11 and a half months when he first plays in an NFL game, assuming he plays in the team’s first game. When he does, he will be the youngest player for the Philadelphia Eagles since the 1943 season, when halfback Dean Steward and quarterback Allie Sherman were barely 20 years old. However, the team then was called the Phil-Pitt Steagles, as the Eagles combined with the Steelers due to a shortage of players caused by World War II. Other than that, Lewis will be the youngest player in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles.

3. The Eagles have now traded with the New England Patriots every year since 2000. Andy Reid and Bill Belichick pulled off a crazy trade in this past year’s draft, swapping sixth-round picks. The Patriots, at pick 193, traded with the Eagles, at pick 194.

4. The Eagles drafted three players whose father played in the league: cornerback Curtis Marsh Jr., linebacker Casey Matthews, and linebacker Greg Lloyd Jr. Marsh’s father played three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Matthews’ father, Clay Sr., played 19 seasons as a star linebacker with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons, earning four Pro Bowl selections. And Lloyd’s father was a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Casey’s brother, Clay, is a star linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, his uncle is a 14-time Pro Bowl lineman for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans, and his grandfather, also named Clay, is a former defensive end with the San Francisco 49ers.

5. Alex Henery is the first kicker drafted by the Eagles since 1984, when the team selected kicker Manny Matsakis in the eighth round and Paul McFadden in the twelfth round. (I wish I knew why they felt the need to draft two kickers in the same draft.)

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