1998 Eagles draftees from the Ray Rhodes tree who panned out nicely

Jeremiah Trotter. Philadelphia Eagles(Photo by Hunter Martin/NFLPhotoLibrary)
Jeremiah Trotter. Philadelphia Eagles(Photo by Hunter Martin/NFLPhotoLibrary) /
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William ‘Tra’ Thomas #72, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Tra Thomas. 72. player. 54. . .

Tra Thomas was most certainly worthy of the first-round selection the Eagles used to select him.

During the 1998 NFL Draft, Philadelphia only used two of its eight selections on the offensive side of the ball. They most certainly made the first one count. Offensive tackle Tra Thomas, a product of Florida State University was the 11th player taken overall.

He’d eventually be charged with protecting quarterback Donovan McNabb’s blind side. He did so brilliantly from 1998 until 2008. It can be argued that, from 2000 to 2008, no NFL team had a better tackle duo than Philly had with Thomas and Jon Runyan. With those two stalwarts on the offensive line and running back Brian Westbrook in the backfield, McNabb put up Pro Bowl-level numbers. Five conference championship game appearances were the result as was one Super Bowl appearance, the 39th.

Tra earned three trips to Pro Bowl during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia (2001, 2002, 2004). He was named Second-Team All-Pro in 2002. He owns the second most playoff appearances by any player of the Andy Reid era (17). Only Brian Dawkins and David Akers have more (18).

Thomas would end his playing career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s an Eagle through and through. He’s a member of the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team. He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2021.