Jerome McDougle (philadelphiaeagles.com)

McDougle Will Continue To Haunt Philadelphia

Defensive end Jerome McDougle can arguably go down as the biggest draft bust in Philadelphia Eagles history. In 2003 the Birds traded up from the 30th pick to the 15th pick to select Jerome, and gave up their 2nd round pick to do so. High expectations were placed the talented pass rusher from Miami, and Jerome was the player the front office picked to replace veteran Hugh Douglas.

McDougle not only never filled those shoes, but he rarely even stepped on the field. His NFL career so far is full of injuries, misfortune, and very little production.

In 2003 ankle, hip, and knee injuries kept him out of 8 games. In 2004 Jerome was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat which made him miss one game, and seemed to affect him on the field. He later suffered a knee sprain which kept him out of the final 4 games of the season. Then in 2005 McDougle was penciled in as the starting RDE, but he was shot in the abdomen during a robbery in Miami just days before training camp. He was luckily able to survive being shot, but further complications from the shooting called for emergency surgery and landed McDougle on the IR for the season. In 2006 McDougle suffered fractured ribs that kept him out of action for 3 weeks. In 2007 McDougle was yet again injured. He tore his triceps in the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens, and was then placed on the injured reserve again.

McDougle’s most memorable play as an Eagle is a really bad one. Against the Buccaneers in 2006, Jerome appeared to have a sack on Bucs’ QB Bruce Gradkowski, but was flagged 15 yards for grabbing his facemask. To make matters worse McDougle kicked the flag in disgust, and was then flagged an additional 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, for a total of 30 yards in penalties. The Eagles ended up losing the game 23-21.

Now despite years of not working out for the Iggles, I think letting him go was a huge mistake. This year he actually made it through an entire preseason healthy, and looked great. In every game McDougle was getting constant pressure, sacks, batting passes down, and just constantly hustling. all preseason coaches praised Jerome.

“He’s stepped up,” head coach Andy Reid said last week. “He looks strong and fast and quick. I think he’s playing very good right now.”

McDougle’s impressive camp and preseason was not enough for him to stay on the Eagles roster. He was released on the final cuts, and now the Birds will likely face McDougle twice this season. As predicted by many, he was signed by the New York Giants, and should help the Giants out. The division rival was in desperate need of a DE with Osi Umenyiora lost for the season due to injury, and Michael Strahan‘s retirement.

What makes no sense to me, is why did the Eagles keep an injured Victor Abiamiri over McDougle? VA dislocated his wrist, and suffered ligament damage. The injury required surgery to repair, and could cause him to miss up to 7 games this season. Abiamiri is a promising prospect, but really did not show that he was this valuable during his rookie year. A healthy focused McDougle for 16 weeks would be much better than an unproven Abiamiri for 10 weeks. At least that is how I look at it.

My biggest problem with this move is, the Eagles could have possibly bailed out the GMen. They lost their two best DE’s, and seemed to be in a near crisis situation. Now they have a former first round pick, looking better now than he ever did as valuable depth. In Steve Spagnuolo‘s defense McDougle should be used often in a rotation, and especially in 3rd and long nickle situations. I don’t expect big numbers, but I do think he could be a solid addition to the Giants.

I think this move was a big mistake for the Eagles. Everybody knew the Giants needed an end, and they could have prevented them from getting Jerome. I think they should have accepted that Abiamiri’s injury was too serious to keep on the roster, and placed him on IR. This would have given McDougle one final shot to prove his worth.

I really feel like Jerome has just been snake bitten thus far in his career. Every time he seemed ready to make name in the NFL something unfortunate happened to him. The biggest one of course was being shot in the gut in 2005. That is something that is just completely out of his control, and he is very lucky to even be alive. That fact that he is still playing football is a near miracle.

After years of not producing for the Eagles, I think Jerome McDougle will continue to be a pain to Philadelphia, by playing big for the division rival Giants.

Tags: 2003 NFL Draft Bruce Gradkowski Hugh Douglas Jerome McDougle Michael Strahan New York Giants Osi Umenyiora Philadelphia Eagles Retirement Roster Cuts Steve Spagnuolo Tampa Bay Buccaneers Victor Abiamiri

  • Coatesvillain

    The move I would’ve made was to release AJ Feeley, and keep extra DEs.  I know people would say how risky it is to go with two QBs but with AJ’s performance as of late there would’ve been no danger of someone else picking him up (plus if he was resigned later his contract wouldn’t be guaranteed for the season).

    As it stands right now the Eagles have both Clemons and Abiamiri who are injured which leaves them short handed at DE.

    Or they could’ve just cut Darren Howard who is most impressive in write-ups on the official Eagles webpage.

  • http://glassesofjoe.blogspot.com jd

    unfortunately,the performance of mcdougle combined with my eagles-induced sense of fatalism tells me that the above predictions will come to fruition.

  • Tracer Bullet

    So the guy is possibly the biggest bust in team history . . . yet you’re upset he’s not sticking around?! McDougle was going to get cut <i>last year</i> until going on IR and we would have been happy to see him go. If you’re going to be upset about anything, be upset that Reid and Banner didn’t trade McDougle and get something out of the five wasted years he’s been here.

  • http://insidetheiggles.com/ Ian

    Coatsvillain – I agree that Feeley is basically a wasted roster spot. At this point of his career, he is what he is, and in fact I think he has only gotten worse as the years go by. If the Eagles ever have to actually count on him their season is over. I think McNabb’s injury history is the main reason they kept him around. I also agree that McDougle outplayed Darren Howard big time. The only reason Howard is still around, is that he can play some DT which makes him “more valuable”. He doesn’t play DE or DT very well, and I think he has been a major free agent bust.

    jd – I could be completely wrong on this one, but I just have a feeling that he may be another Derrick Burgess. A talented end who had a ton of injuries, left, and then become a great player with another team.

    Tracer – I think the main reason McDougle has been such a major bust, is because he is always injured. Then the one year he looks to be in great shape, and has been playing well. Even though it was the preseason, he gave off an appearance of finally being ready to be a productive NFL defensive end. I think McDougle is finally ready to break out, and they pull the plug.

    I agree that last year the injury saved him from being cut, but he also was not looking this good last year. Prior to training camp I was certain he would be cut, and I thought that he had fought hard enough to make the team. I know the Eagles track record has been pretty good with letting players go, but there are a few that have blown up in their face. I wonder if McDougle will become the next Derrick Burgess.

  • Tracer Bullet

    Burgess was 26 when he left, McDougle is 30. His chance for a breakout is long past. He’ll be the fourth DE in New York and he might play well, but it’s not like Runyan or Thomas are losing sleep at the prospect of facing Jerome McDougle. Let’s not forget was feasting on guys who, like him, were out of a job Saturday night. When he’s facing a first-team offensive linemen we’ll see just how good he really is.