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By Michael Lipinski, Section 247 Show
Let’s get right into it, Mike Mamula gets a bad rap as the Philadelphia Eagles biggest draft bust of all-time. The 8th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft is often called a workout warrior, combine superstar, a waste of a pick, and a bust. Some choose to call Mamula the worst draft pick in Eagles history but it is not the case.
A brief history lesson for those not in the know.
The Eagles traded their first (12th overall) and third round picks to Tampa Bay in order to move up to the eighth pick and take Mamula. The Boston College star was coming off a senior year in which he compiled 73-tackles, 17-sacks and a unanimous All Big East selection. He followed with a record setting combine where outperformed almost everyone athletically. He was considered the perfect complement to defensive stalwarts William Fuller, Andy Harmon and the replacement for Reggie White who left two-seasons prior.
Through his first four season in Philadelphia, Mamula played in 62-games, 58-games started, recorded 186 total tackles, 26.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, one interception, and two defensive touchdowns. He added 23-tackles and 5.5 sacks through an injury plagued 2000 season which was his last in the NFL.
Pro Football Reference compares Mamula’s first four years to former Dolphins star and NFL Hall of Famer Jason Taylor. If you include the injury riddled 2000 season, Mamula’s 5-year’s compares to Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue.
That is the same Yannick Ngakoue that many Eagles fans were begging for earlier in the off-season.
Yes, the Eagles should’ve drafted Warren Sapp but they didn’t. The truth is Mike Mamula was not that bad of a draft pick.
In no order here are ten Eagles draft picks that are much worse than Mamula. We are talking REALLY bad even some criminals.
OT Kevin Allen, 1985 1st Round (8th overall)- Kevin Allen lasted one season in the NFL and calling it an epic disaster might be too nice. Allen gave up eight sacks to the New York Giants in his first start. Former coach Buddy Ryan termed Allen a “USFL reject.” Allen was suspended from the NFL before the 1986 season for repeated cocaine use. He was subsequently jailed for rape, serving 15-months of a 33-year sentence. The Eagles drafted Allen ahead of Pro Bowlers Al Toon, Jim Lachey, Eddie Brown, and Jerry Gray. Allen was also selected ahead of a wide receiver from little known Mississippi Valley State. Jerry Rice went on to be the greatest wide receiver of all-time.
OT Bernard Williams, 1994 1st Round (14th overall)- Bernard Williams started 16-games for the Eagles on his way to being named to the NFL’s 1994 All-Rookie team. His success in South Philadelphia was short lived however. Williams never played another NFL game after his rookie season due to failed drug tests. He never played in the NFL again.
DE Jon Harris, 1997 1st Round (25th overall)- Jon Harris played 24-games in the NFL over two seasons and did nothing. He was traded by the Eagles after the 1998 season and never played another game. Notable players drafted after Harris include Pro Bowlers Trevor Pryce (28th), Tiki Barber (36th), and Sam Madison (44th).
DT Leonard Renfro, 1993 1st Round (24th overall)- Leonard Renfro played 23-games with the Eagles recording a whopping 19 total tackles. The Eagles could have drafted Pro Bowl defensive linemen Dana Stubblefield (26th) or Chris Slade (31st) but they chose Renfro.
OG Danny Watkins, 2011 1st Round (23rd overall)- Danny Watkins never wanted to be a football player but rather wanted to be a career firefighter (cannot blame him). Perhaps the Eagles should have known that before using the 23rd overall pick. Watkins lasted two-years with the Eagles playing in 23-games with 18-games started. Four Pro Bowlers, Cameron Jordan (24th), Mark Ingram (28th), Muhammad Wilkerson (30th), and Cameron Heyward (31st), were drafted immediately following Watkins.
DE Jerome McDougle, 2003 1st Round (15th overall)- The Eagles traded their first (30th) and second (62nd) round picks to the Chargers in order to move up and draft Jerome McDougle. McDougle played 33-games with the Eagles and was hurt through out most of his career including an irregular heartbeat, a triceps tear, a knee injury, and a gunshot wound.
DE Marcus Smith, 2014 1st Round (26th overall)- Marcus Smith started exactly ZERO games for the Eagles. Zero. In fact, Smith never started a game in the NFL. That is remarkable when you think about. Notable players drafted after Smith include Kelvin Benjamin (28th), DeMarcus Lawrence (34th) and Kyle Van Noy (40th).
RB Michael Haddix, 1983 1st Round (8th overall)- Michael Haddix played six seasons with the Eagles bouncing back and forth between tailback and fullback. Haddix scored three touchdowns in those six seasons. Four Hall of Famers were selected after Haddix in the first round including OT Bruce Matthews who was selected 9th by Houston.
WR Freddie Mitchell, 2001 1st Round (25th overall)- Freddie Mitchell is best known for his tremendous 4th & 26 catch against the Green Bay Packers in the 2003 NFC Divisional game. 2003 turned out to be the best year of FredEx’s NFL career with 59-catches for 498-yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell might be best known for his comments about Rodney Harrison and the Patriots secondary prior to Super Bowl XXXIX. The Eagles drafted Mitchell ahead of future Hall of Famer’s Reggie Wayne (30th) and Chad Johnson (36th).
QB Kevin Kolb, 2007 2nd Round (36th overall)– The Eagles traded out of the first round in 2007 and selected Kevin Kolb with their first pick in the second round. Kolb was the heir apparent to Donovan McNabb but suffered a concussion in his first start and subsequently lost the starting job to Michael Vick. Kolb was traded to Arizona after the 2010 season.