Here’s what 5 Eagles rookie head coaches did with their first NFL draft choice
The Eagles’ first pick of the Rich Kotite era didn’t live up to the expectations. Then again, neither did Kotite.
In 1991, Rich Kotite took the reins as Birds head coach after the decision was made to fire Buddy Ryan in the offseason. Kotite’s goal was to prove he could lead this talented team to the Super Bowl. Sadly, Ryan had failed to win a playoff game.
The Eagles made a big splash right away, trading their 1991 first-round pick (the 19th overall) AND their 1992 first-round pick to the Green Bay Packers to land 1999’s eighth overall draft choice. Offensive lineman Antone Davis out of the University of Tennessee was the choice.
There was never any traction. Things got off to a nightmarish start. Davis held out for 21 days before drifting in and out of the lineup during the preseason as he was hampered by one injury after another.
The former first-round pick’s rookie season in the NFL was a rollercoaster ride. There were some good moments. There were rough times. The latter came more frequently.
How bad was it for Davis? Oh, it was awful! He gave up sacks. Opposing defenders blew by him with ease. In total, he gave up ten sacks during his first five games in 1991 and was still somehow named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s NFL All-Rookie Team. We still can’t figure out how he pulled that off.
Antone would play four more seasons with the Eagles, but he never improved. He finished his career by playing two more seasons in the NFL as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. He isn’t often remembered as such, but this is one of the great first-round busts of the Eagles’ long history.