In 2002, with an excellent (although aging) CB duo of Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor already in place, the Eagles drafted Lito Sheppard in the 1st round and Sheldon Brown in the 2nd. Lito and Sheldon took over as the starting corners in 2004, and remained there until 2008, when the Eagles brought in Asante Samuel in free agency. Sheppard would be the odd man out, and in the midst of a contract squabble, would eventually be traded to the Jets for a 5 and a conditional pick.
It remained Samuel and Brown until 2010, when again, the Eagles dealt Brown, in the midst of a contract squabble, to the Browns. It then became Samuel and Ellis Hobbs. Samuel and Hobbs were a CB tandem that went to a Super Bowl in New England, but that duo lasted just one year, as Hobbs suffered a serious neck injury and his career ended.
In 2011, the Eagles traded Kevin Kolb for a 2 and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and later shocked the football world by signing Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. The Samuel-Asomugha-DRC trio was in effect for one year, before Asante Samuel was shipped off to the Falcons for pennies on the dollar in a salary dump. This year it will be Nnamdi and DRC.
Here’s what all of that looks like in chart form:
|2012||Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie||Nnamdi Asomugha|
|2011||Asante Samuel||Nnamdi Asomugha|
|2010||Asante Samuel||Ellis Hobbs|
|2009||Asante Samuel||Sheldon Brown|
|2008||Asante Samuel||Sheldon Brown|
|2007||Lito Sheppard||Sheldon Brown|
|2006||Lito Sheppard||Sheldon Brown|
|2005||Lito Sheppard||Sheldon Brown|
|2004||Lito Sheppard||Sheldon Brown|
|2003||Troy Vincent||Bobby Taylor|
The Eagles have had a good CB duo for the last decade+. Really, the only year the Eagles had questionable talent at CB was 2010, with Hobbs as a starter. Otherwise, there has never really been much urgency to hit on a CB in the draft. And that’s a good thing for the Eagles, because they have been missing on corners ever since they drafted Sheldon Brown in 2003. We don’t yet know what will become of Curtis Marsh (2011) and Brandon Boykin (2012), so we’ll omit them from the following list, but here’s a quick rundown of the corners the Eagles have drafted since 2003:
|Trevard Lindley||2010||4||Forced to play his rookie year when Asante Samuel got hurt, didn’t play well, cut the following training camp, and is now back with the team. Longshot to make the 53-man roster.|
|Macho Harris||2009||5||Played CB in college at Virginia Tech, made a transition to safety with the Eagles because of a lack of personnel there in the wake of Brian Dawkins leaving for Denver. Beat out Quintin Demps for the starting spot his rookie season, did not play well, was cut the following training camp, and has bounced around ever since. Currenty playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.|
|Jack Ikegwuonu||2008||4||Viewed as a “first round talent,” but was recovering from a serious leg injury and had legal issues, which dropped him to the 4th round. The Eagles drafted him knowing he’d sit on the shelf for a year or two, but were hoping for a long term home run. It didn’t pan out. Ikegwuonu played one game in 2009, was cut two days later, and has never seen an NFL field since.|
|Rashad Barksdale||2007||6||Never made the team, was picked up by the Chiefs, and appeared in 8 games with them.|
|Matt Ware||2004||3||In 2005, Quintin Mikell blocked a FG attempt by San Diego, which bounced perfectly into Ware’s hands, who ran it back for a score (and a win). That was Ware’s one notable play as an Eagle. I’ve never re-watched the Eagles-Pats Super Bowl, but if memory serves me correctly, the Pats utilized a ton of 4 WR sets because they wanted Ware on the field. He lasted two years in Philly, eventually being released before the 2006 season. He was picked up by the Cardinals where he played some safety and CB in a reserve role until 2010, when he was released.|
|Dexter Wynn||2004||6||Wynn actually lasted longer with the Eagles than anyone on this list. He appeared in 28 games for Philly, before brief stops in Houston and Detroit. Has been out of the league since 2008.|
To be determined what will become of Curtis Marsh and Brandon Boykin. With Nnamdi turning 31 in July, Joselio Hanson turning 31 in August, and DRC becoming a free agent after the 2012 season, the Eagles badly need Marsh and/or Boykin to be a hit. Training camp will be huge for both guys.