The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL dating back to 2000—ranking top 10 in winning percentage and playoff appearances/wins. Their dominance doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon either as they currently have the third best Super Bowl odds (according to DraftKings) heading into the 2023/24 season. Much of this success can be attributed to the way the team has drafted since the turn of the century. Here, we are ranking the top 10 best Philadelphia Eagles draft picks of the 21st century:
Ok Eagles fans here us out, would Philly have won Super Bowl 52 without Carson Wentz? The answer is no. The North Dakota State product guided the team to the NFC’s top seed, which granted them a first-round bye as well as home field advantage throughout the postseason. Without that, it’s more than likely that Nick Foles doesn’t lead them to their first Lombardi trophy.
Wentz was utterly electric in his second NFL season, posting 33 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions in 13 games. The gunslinger was well on his way to winning the league MVP prior to his season-ending knee injury. Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman made the right choice trading up to take Wentz, despite it not working out in the long run.
Ranking right ahead of Wentz is his successor, Jalen Hurts, who the Eagles selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. At first, most fans despised the pick as it appeared to undermine the current franchise QB. Now, Hurts has solidified his place as the future of the Philadelphia Eagles, leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance in just his second full season at the helm. Expect Hurts to receive a big contract extension prior to the 2023-24 season kicks off. Hurts possesses the fifth shortest future odds to win the 2023 MVP at +1200 on FanDuel.
At his peak, LeSean McCoy was one of the best running backs in the NFL. Few backs since 2000 have been more shifty and electric than the former Pittsburgh Panther, who rushed for over 11,000 yards to go along with 89 total touchdowns.
‘Shady’ was named to the All-Pro First Team on two different occasions in addition to making three Pro Bowls while in Philly. In 2013, McCoy tallied over 2,100 total yards on 5.9 yards per touch.
While some of his stats don’t blow you away, Zach Ertz was the epitome of consistency for the Eagles during his eight full seasons in midnight green. The tight end made big plays in key spots, highlighted by his go-ahead 11-yard touchdown catch with two minutes left to go in Super Bowl 52.
The Stanford talent’s biggest year came in 2018 when he caught 116 passes for 1,163 yards and 8 touchdowns. Ertz may have been dealt to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2021 season, but he’ll always be a beloved member of the city of Philadelphia.
Nick Foles has had one of the strangest careers of any player in NFL history. The big-armed pocket passer has been mediocre his entire career aside from his Pro Bowl season in 2013 and his unforgettable Super Bowl run. If he were more consistent, Foles would rank higher on the list of best Eagles draft picks, but six is as high as we could place him.
In 2013, Foles stepped in for an injured Michael Vick and threw 27 TDs to a mere 2 INTs, leading to his lone Pro Bowl appearance. He then came back to Philly in a backup role in 2017, but was inserted for a hurt Carson Wentz—and the rest is history. Overall, Foles went 21-11 in Philly and 4-2 in the postseason.
Perhaps one of the most underrated players in Philadelphia Eagles history is pass rusher Trent Cole, who was the 146th player taken in the 2005 NFL Draft. Cole played a decade for the Eagles, and is second all-time in sacks for the franchise, only trailing Reggie White.
The former Cincinnati Bearcat amassed 10+ sacks in four separate seasons, while also forcing multiple fumbles five different times for the Eagles. Versatile, fast, explosive, and a draft steal are the best ways to describe Trent Cole as a Philadelphia Eagle.
Similar to Ertz, Brandon Graham’s stats aren’t mind-blowing. However, consistency and big plays at key moments put BG in the top five of best Eagles draft picks since 2000. The defensive end is equally as good defending the run as he is rushing the passer, which has allowed him to stay productive into his 30s.
Graham’s biggest moment came in Super Bowl 52 when he recorded a strip-sack on Tom Brady to essentially seal the game. Surprisingly, Graham racked up 10+ sacks for the very first time in his career this past year (11). Expect the number 55 jersey to be retired by the Eagles one day down the line.
Graham’s running mate on the d-line is dominant defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who has made four All-Pro teams as well as six Pro Bowls. Cox never misses games and he has ranked behind only Aaron Donald as the league’s top defensive tackle for most of his NFL career.
The Mississippi State product’s biggest season came in 2018 when he recorded career highs in both sacks (10.5), tackles for loss (12), and QB hits (34). Cox’s production has fallen off as he has gotten older, but his status as one of Philadelphia’s best draft picks since 2000 remains.
Offensive tackle Lane Johnson still doesn’t get the credit he deserves as he enters his 11th NFL season. The stalwart recently set a league record for most snaps without allowing a sack—928 snaps (more than 500 pass-blocking) over 27 games—an unbelievable feat. The right tackle has been named to a trio of All-Pro teams to go along with four Pro Bowls. Johnson is inching his way closer to having a spot in Canton when he hangs up the cleats.
1. Jason Kelce, Center (Round 6 / Pick 191 / 2011)
The very best Philadelphia Eagles draft pick since 2000 isn’t a quarterback nor does he play defense. No, it’s center Jason Kelce who was the 191st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati. You have to be incredible to be a center who’s a household name—and that’s exactly what Jason Kelce is at this point in his career.
Being undersized for the position has never slowed Kelce down from making five First Team All-Pro selections and six Pro Bowls. The center has started every game in 10 of his 12 NFL seasons, and he is perhaps the most beloved Philadelphia Eagle of the 2000s.
Honorable mentions: DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook, Jordan Mailata, Jeremy Maclin, Lito Shepherd, Sheldon Brown, and DeVonta Smith.
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