The 2010’s were a roller coaster ride for Eagles fans everywhere. The decade started with the belief the team was in a restructuring period. Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins had been let go and Kevin Kolb was thought of as the future of the franchise. Through the ups and downs of the roster reconstruction, the Eagles have hit and missed on many draft picks. Here is a list of the Top 10 players the Eagles have drafted in this decade.
10. Miles Sanders (2019 2nd Round Pick)
Years with team: One Stats: 818 Yards rushing, 50 catches: 509 yards receiving
Starting off the list is the rookie phenom from last season. From a purely statistical standpoint, Sanders has been the best rookie skill position player the team has drafted in the 2010’s. While Wentz was the leader of the teams run to the playoffs last season, Sanders was the team’s weapon of destruction. Some might say it’s a little too early to put him on this list, but Sanders is the future of this team’s offensive firepower and a fresh sight to see.
9. Nick Foles (2012 3rd Round Pick)
Years with Team: Four Accolades: 1x Pro Bowl, SB LII MVP
The nine spot for #9 is an appropriate ranking for a number of reasons. He only went to one pro bowl after throwing for 27 TD’s and only 2 Int’s in a 2013 season that had him leading the team to a division title. After that though, he was not the same QB.
Add in the incredible heroics of the 2017 postseason and people will ask “why isn’t our hero ranked higher”? The answer is simple. Before his incredible postseason run in 2017 his numbers were less than extraordinary. The reason the team was an underdog in the divisional round against Atlanta was that the games in which Foles started, he looked more scared than anything. Nevertheless, Foles belongs on this list for 2013 and the 2017 postseason run.
8. Mychal Kendricks (2012 2nd Round Pick)
Years with Team: Six Combined Stats: 458 Tackles, 3 Int’s, 2017 Super Bowl Champion
“How could you list Mychal Kendricks ahead of Nick Foles?!?!?” Kendricks was an important piece to the Eagles Super Bowl defense. The most athletic linebacker on the roster, Kendricks was the best linebacker the team had drafted since Jeremiah Trotter. In full transparency, this spot was a debate between Jordan Hicks and Kendricks. Kendricks played with the team longer and thus is more deserving of this spot.
7. Jalen Mills (2016 Draft 7th Round Pick)
Years with Team: Four Overall Stats: 4 Ints, 2017 Super Bowl Champion
Jalen Mills has been the best corner the Eagles have had since Asante Samuel due to an abysmal history of missed draft picks and horrendous signings. The fact that Jalen Mills has been a consistent player in the secondary has been nothing of a steal as a 7th round pick. He hasn’t been the most talented player in the secondary but when the team has needed someone to guard the league’s best corners, Mills has been up to the task. Of course there’s always this standout play from Mills to cement his legacy as the best corner the team has drafted this decade:
6. Lane Johnson (2013 1st Round Pick)
Years with Team: Seven Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 1x First Team All-Pro
A spiritual leader and stud for the Eagles since he was drafted by the team in 2013, Lane Johnson has been the best Right Tackle in the NFL. Yes, failed drug tests hurt his overall ranking here, he will be remembered as a great player in Eagles history. If anything but going up against the league’s top pass rushers and making them look plain silly. Exhibit A. against Von Miller:
Exhibit B. against Khalil Mack:
Johnson is the best Right Tackle in the game. Plain and simple.
5. Brandon Graham (2010 First Round Pick)
Years with Team: 10 Accolades: 2017 Super Bowl Champion, 2016 2nd Team All-Pro
The longest-tenured defensive player on the Eagles roster, pretty much Graham belongs on this list because of one play:
In all honesty, ranking Graham was incredibly difficult. He has not been as dominating as Lane Johnson has. For many years, Eagles fans considered him a bust, yet he has been one of the most disruptive defensive edge rushers when it comes to pressure on the QB. Add in his relentless motor and the play of the century for the Eagles and you have an all-time great in midnight green.
4. Carson Wentz (2016 1st Round Pick)
Years with Team: Four Accolades: 2017 Super Bowl Champ, 2017 2nd Team All-Pro
Wentz haters will say he doesn’t belong on this list because he hasn’t won a playoff game yet. Wentz lovers will say he’s too low for being as great as he is. From a purely objective point of view, Carson Wentz is by far the most talented QB the team has drafted since McNabb. Yes, the injuries do put him lower on the list than many would expect, but the numbers speak for themselves. 97 TDs, 35 Int’s and a flair for the big play. Wentz has brought stability and consistency to the Quarterback position for a team that went through Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford. Leading his team to the 2019 division title will also help his case as well.
3. Zach Ertz (2013 2nd Round Pick)
Years with team: Seven Accolades: 3x Pro Bowler, 2017 Super Bowl Champion
Now we get to the most difficult part of this list. Ertz is a difficult player to place in a top 10 list like this. He set the all-time TE record for catches in 2018 and is 2nd on the Eagles’ all-time receptions list, trailing only future Pro Football Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael. The numbers don’t lie, Ertz has been on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory as the most consistent receiver the Eagles have had in the 2010’s. And of course the game-winning score in the teams biggest game:
2. Fletcher Cox (2012 1st Round Pick)
Years with Team: Eight Accolades: 5x Pro Bowler, 1x All-Pro, 2010 All-Decade Team
The most dominant interior defender outside of Aaron Donald this decade, Fletcher Cox is another player on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory. He’s been the best interior defender the Eagles have had since the great Jerome Brown and has ushered in an age where defensive line play has been the calling card of the 2010 Eagles. The only reason he isn’t #1 on this list is because Aaron Donald exists. #1 on this list belongs to a player that has been the best at his position for the majority of the decade
Jason Kelce (2011 6th Round Pick)
Years with Team: Nine Accolades: 3x Pro Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro
Probably the most blasphemous announcement recently was that Jason Kelce did not become a member of the 2010 All-Decade team by the NFL. The only Center this decade with three separate All-Pros, Kelce has been the best center and leader of the best offensive line over the last ten years. Kelce has been a model of consistency for the Eagles and one of their most decorated characters like the speech heard around the country:
While Kelce has been mulling retirement for the last couple of years, his athletic ability and play has not shown any sign of slowing down. In a debate between Kelce and Cox, the scale turns to the player who has been the best at his position.
The draft is a week away. The decade ahead is difficult to see but with the players on the roster already, the chance for another title remains. All eyes now turn to Howie Roseman for the next great players in Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports