Top 15 draft picks taken in Philadelphia Eagles history

Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Steve Van Buren, Philadelphia Eagles
Steve Van Buren, Philadelphia Eagles (L) Photo by Vic Stein/Getty Images) /

54. . . . Steve Van Buren (1944). 3. player

Steve Van Buren just sounds like a name that should be given to one of the greatest Philadelphia Eagles ever.

Even if you knew nothing about football, if someone showed you a photograph of Steve Van Buren, you’d probably just assume he was a star in the NFL anyway. And, how about that name? Just say it out loud… Steve Van Buren…

Yeah, with a name like that, it just sounds like football was a game he was supposed to be playing. He just sounds like someone who should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (and he is).

To the uninitiated, if you’re a little younger, you’ve probably seen his highlights all of your life and didn’t know that this was the man you were watching. It was Steve Van Buren that plunged into the end zone during a blizzard in the 1948 NFL Championship Game to give the Eagles a 7-0 win.

In 1949, while earning a base salary of $15,000 (that isn’t a misprint), Van Buren helped lead the Birds to another championship. That price tag sounds like highway robbery now, doesn’t it?

Van Buren is an Eagle through and through because, like Jason Kelce, he was homegrown. His number 15 jersey is retired. He was drafted by Philadelphia, and every one of his eight seasons was played in an Eagles ensemble.

He’s a member of the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team, the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame, and, again, the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

We could go on and on, but you get the idea. The guy was pretty good. That’s exactly what you want when you take a guy with the fifth-overall selection.