Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid will be entering his 14th season in 2012. That is quite a run. In fact, longer than any other current NFL coach. In the thirteen previous seasons, Reid has been the pivotal decision-maker behind the Eagles draft. Typically, the first round is where an organization either makes or breaks their draft. Believe it or not, Andy Reid is not as predictable as one may think when choosing his first round selection.
In 2007 and 2008, the Eagles forfeited their first round selections by trading them away to acquire more overall picks. In 2007, their first pick was the fourth selection in the second round (36th overall). Andy chose Donovan McNabb’s heir apparent, University of Houston quarterback, Kevin Kolb. The Eagles fell back even farther in 2008 when they traded out of the first round, and selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws with the 15th pick in the second round.
That leaves 11 seasons Andy Reid selected in the first round. Reid’s position of choice? That would be defensive linemen. In those 11 seasons, Andy has selected five defensive linemen. Those picks include: Florida State defensive end Corey Simon ( 6th overall in 2000), University of Miami defensive end Jerome McDougle (15th overall in 2003), University of Southern California defensive tackle Mike Patterson (31st overall in 2005), Florida State defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley (14th overall in 2006) and University of Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham (13th overall in 2010). How many of these first round picks were worth their lofty selection? I say only one, Corey Simon.
Most fans believe that Andy Reid has an affinity for offensive linemen. Well, Reid has only selected two in the first round. In 2004, Andy selected Arkansas tackle Shawn Andrews with the 16th overall pick. Andrews was a beast…..for a short time. I cannot blame Reid for what happened. Andrews ended up being a mental case. Last year, with the 23rd overall pick, the Eagles chose Baylor guard Danny Watkins. The book is still out.
A surprise to many, is that Andy Reid has chosen two wide receivers in the first round. In 2001, the Eagles selected with the 25th overall pick UCLA standout wide receiver, Freddie Mitchell. Big time bust. With the 19th pick in 2009, Reid made Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin his choice. Great selection.
Coach Reid threw in a cornerback in 2002. Andy chose highly regarded Florida cornerback Lito Sheppard with the 26th overall pick. Another spot on selection.
And, of course, the Reid coaching era began in 1999 with Andys first draft selection, Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb as the second overall pick. The correct decision.
In my book, that leaves Reid with five sound first round choices, compared to six questionable ones. One thing is for sure (besides 1999), 2012 will be Andy Reids most critical year concerning the Eagles first round selection. After coaching 13 seasons in the same town, an immediate impact must be made with Reids first overall pick.