Ranking the Eagles last 15 first-round draft picks

Just for kicks, we stacked the Eagles' 15 most recent first-round picks versus one another. Here's what we came up with once we finished.

Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles / Al Bello/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is a crap shoot. Raise your hands if you've heard that before. We spend years watching collegiate prospects. We analyze them heavily for months, and in the end, we often find out we didn't learn anything. Just look at our Philadelphia Eagles.

Another selection meeting approaches. They come every year. We've beaten our heads against the wall in an attempt to detail every prospects value. We get it right sometimes. We get it wrong sometimes, and we try again the following offseason.

Here's a look at the 15 players the Eagles selected in Round 1 between 2009 and 2023. You'll find future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. You'll find first-round busts and guys who were underrated but are still franchise legends.

We take a walk down memory lane. Here's a look at some very special Birds. We're stacking some very recognizable, beloved, and disappointing Eagles.

Here are the Eagles first-round draft choices from 2009 to 2023 ranked from top to bottom.

List are subjective, but they're fun. Here, we introduce another. Who are the best and worst first-round draft choices of a decade and a half that began in 2009 and concluded in 2023.

15 Eagles... Who topped the list? Who only made the list by default. We 're glad you asked. Let the debates begin.

1. Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle (2012)

A dozen NFL seasons... Fletcher Cox racked up a spot on the Pro Football Writers of America's 2012 All-Rookie Team. He earned a First-Team All-Pro nod in 2018. He's a three-time Second-Team All-Pro (2014, 2015, 2017).

In addition, he's a six-time Pro Bowl nod (2015–2020), a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, and a Super Bowl champion (LII). The countdown to induction into Canton has begun. Immortality is calling.

2. Lane Johnson, offensive tackle (2013)

We stopped keeping up with the numbers concerning Philly's record with and without Lane Johnson a long time ago. Here's what we know. When he played, Philly won more often than not. They lost when he didn't.

He's aged like a fine wine and has gotten better as he has gotten older. Two First-Team All-Pro nods (2017, 2022), two Second-team All-Pro nominations (2021, 2023), and five Pro Bowl mentions might be enough to catapult him into the Hall of Fame discussion (2017–2019, 2022, 2023)

3. Brandon Graham, defensive end (2010)

Two letters... B.G. ... Say them, and everyone knows who you're referencing. There's only one Brandon Graham, and he's long earned his wings. His legacy isn't one of Pro Bowl nods and personal accolades, but we can guarantee he's a shoo-in for the Eagles Hall of Fame.

Frankly we think he was robbed of three deserved Pro Bowl mentions (2017,2019, and 2022) AND a Comeback Player of the Year Award (2022), but who's counting. Here's what can't be denied. He's responsible for the greatest strip-sack in Super Bowl history.

4. DeVonta Smith, wide receiver (2021)

DeVonta Smith, barring injury, has a lot of good football left in him. He's already proven to be one of the best wideouts to ever wear the jersey.

In year one, his 916 yards set the franchise rookie record for most receiving yards in a single season. In year two, he set the franchise record for receptions by a wide receiver (Zach Ertz still owns the single-season reception by any player).

DeVonta is something special, and we hope he's an Eagle for life. We're witnessing the maturation of another great Eagle.

5. Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver (2009)

Andy Reid often selected an offensive or a defensive lineman in Round 1. In 2009, he took a flier on a wideout. We're glad he did.

Jeremy Maclin wasn't here long (2009-2014), but he certaiinly left his mark. He isn't forgotten. He appeared in 77 career games with 75 starts. That includes two postseason starts.

He snagged 343 receptions during the regular season. That resulted in 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns. A pair of playoff appearances produced ten more snags for 219 yards and another trip to the end zone.

Maclin isn't just one of the top first-round draftees of a 15-year era of Eagles football. He's one of the best wideouts the franchise has fielded. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2014.

6. Carson Wentz, quarterback (2016)

Say what you will about Carson Wentz. The Eagles don't raise their first Super Bowl trophy without him. Sure, he had his issues and fell of the wagon, but he was insanely gifted.

We also shouldn't forget his play down the stretch in 2019. That helped catapult Philly to another postseason appearance. Carson never won a playoff game, but looking back, now that the past is behind us, we appreciate him for his efforts.

7. Jalen Carter, defensive tackle (2023)

Jalen Carter sits outside of this list's top five for now. Something tells us that he'll climb as his career moves on.

He hit a bit of a rookie wall in year one and still wound up as a finalist for the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy after the 2023-2024 season. Keep watching. Enjoy the show. None of us are going to be disappointed.

8. Nelson Agholor, wide receiver (2015)

Nelson Agholor sandwiched two disappointing showings in an Eagles jersey between a nice run in 2017 and 2018. Maybe we can thank Mike Groh for that as Nelson surprisingly became a key contributor to Philly's Super Bowl run.

We'll never forget the 89 yards he stacked on nine receptions in Super Bowl LII. He had a couple of key snags down the stretch in that one. That's what we think about when we think of Agholor. That's so much more fun than discussing all of the dropped passes.

9. Derek Barnett. defensive end (2017)

Derek Barnett gets a bad rap for obvious reasons. In fairness, however, he came up big in a couple of big spots.

He recovered the fumble after Brandon Graham's strip-sack in Super Bowl LII. Two weeks prior he came up with a strip-sack of his own versus the Minnesota Vikings while the game was still in question. Chris Long jumped on that one.

In Week 3 of the 2018 Eagles season, he came up with a game-ending sack on Andrew Luck. Sure, he never lived up to his first-round draft selection, but thankfully, he wasn't a total bust either.

10. Jordan Davis, defensive tackle (2022)

Jordan Davis, like Jalen Carter, has an opportunity to climb this list. You know what? We think he's going to do so.

Time flies, and his selection in 2022 still has an opportunity to yield delicious fruit. Keep chugging along big fella! Huge showings are ahead. Yes, the pun was intended.

11. Nolan Smith, EDGE/linebacker

We're sure that Nolan Smith's former teammates Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter will climb our list. We're hoping he does the same. Philly didn't need to rush him onto the field in year one, so we're telling ourselves to throw this Dawg a bone.

One, of the many former UGA stars on the Eagles roster, Smith has to show and prove in year two. It's too early to sound alarms, but we aren't ruling out the possibility either.

12. Andre Dillard, left tackle (2019)

Andre Dillard was drafted to be the heir apparent to Jason Peters in 2019. Unfortunately, he never reached those heights and eventually lost his job to an Australian rugby player that never played American football before.

Don't get us wrong. We love Jordan Mailata. We just wish things had gone better for Andre. He was last seen with the Tennessee Titans in 2023, and they gave up on him after a single season.

13. Danny Watkins, guard (2011)

Wow... Danny Watkins... Drafted 23rd overall by the Birds in 2011. He was 26 at the time. Philly ignored Cameron Jordan, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Cameron Heyward by taking him.

Calling Danny Watkins a draft bust is an insult to other draft busts. It seems wrong to place him in their category. He appeared in 23 games with 18 starts and never justified his selection. He's a nice guy, but we would have preferred a road grader with a mean streak or a sack artist.

14. Marcus Smith, defensive end (2014)

Marcus Smith is one of those names we bring up when discussing the nightmare that was Chip Kelly's coaching era. Philly ignored

Smith was the 2013 AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He also snagged First-team All-AAC honors that year and was a Third-team All-American. He only saw 37 games in an Eagles jersey over three seasons. He tallied 23 tackles and four sacks. Frankly, we have e hard time remembering any of them.

15. Jalen Reagor, wide receiver (2020)

As time passes, we continue to heal from the Jalen Reagor selection. Sure, Philly ignored Justin Jefferson, but on the flip side, DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown probably aren't here if Reagor isn't taken.

Reagor remains a sore spot though, even more so than Carson Wentz's exit, Danny Watkins' forgettable career, and the failed selections that were Marcus Smith and Andre Dillard.

It's for that reason that Reagor's seection lands at the bottom of our list. This one was all-time bad, almost as bad as taking Mike Mamula over Warren Sapp.

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