PHILADELPHIA - Recently Rick Gosselin of the Talk of Fame Network here on SI.com put together the "All-time NFL draft," identifying the best player selected in each of the first 259 slots in the 86-year history of the process.
Every talent evaluator is always searching for the home run and here are the yardsticks that the 2021 Eagles draft class will be measured against.
Current No. 10 overall - WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Best Ever - Rod Woodson, CB, Pittsburgh, 1987. (17 seasons, 238 games) Hall of Fame. NFL’s 100th-anniversary team. All-decade. 11 Pro Bowls. One Super Bowl ring. 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Two-time NFL interception champion. 1989 NFL kickoff return champion. 71 career interceptions, which is third all-time.
Current No. 37 overall - OL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
Best Ever - Norm Van Brocklin, QB, LA Rams, 1949. (12, 140) Hall of Fame. NFL’s 50th-anniversary team. All-decade. Two championship rings. 1960 NFL MVP. Nine Pro Bowls. Three-time NFL passing champion. Played for the Eagles from 1958-60.
Current No. 73 overall - DT Milton Williams
Best Ever - Jason Taylor, DE, Miami, 1997. (15, 133) Hall of Fame. All-decade. Six Pro Bowls. 2007 NFL Man of the Year. 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 2002 NFL sack champion. 138.5 career sacks.
Current No. 123 overall - CB Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech
Best Ever - Alex Webster, FB, Washington, 1954. (10, 109) Two Pro Bowls. Two championship rings. Started for the New York Giants in six NFL championship games. 4,638 career rushing yards, 39 touchdowns.
Current No. 150 overall - RB Kenny Gainwell, Memphis
Best Ever - Greg Lloyd, OLB, Pittsburgh, 1987. (11, 147) Five Pro Bowls. 2-time Steelers’ MVP. 10 sacks in 1994, 54½ in his career.
Current No. 189 overll - DT Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
Best Ever - Tom Banks, C, STL Cardinals, 1970. (10, 116) Four Pro Bowls. Went to his first three Pro Bowls in the mid-1970s off a team with Don Coryell as a coach and Jim Hart as a quarterback.
Current No. 191 overall - DE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
Best Ever - Larry Brown, HB, Washington, 1969. (8, 102) 1972 NFL MVP. Four Pro Bowls. 1970 NFL rushing champion. Started for Washington in the 1973 Super Bowl. Voted one of the 50 greatest players in franchise history.
Current No. 224 overall - LB JaCoby Stevens, LSU
Best Ever - Jay Ratliff, DT, Dallas, 2005. (11, 123) Four Pro Bowls. 35 career sacks.
Current No. 234 overall - LB Patrick Johnson, Tulane
Best Ever - Will Montgomery, C, Carolina, 2006. (9, 110) Starting center on Washington’s 2012 NFC East champions.
The Eagles have been the best ever at 10 different spots in the draft, per Gosselin, although four of the players reached their heights elsewhere. They are:
No. 43. Sonny Jurgensen, QB, Philadelphia, 1957. (18, 218) Hall of Fame. All-decade. Five Pro Bowls. One championship ring. 2-time NFL passing champion with most of the damage done with Washington.
No. 61. Brian Dawkins, S, Philadelphia, 1996. (16, 224) Hall of Fame. Nine Pro Bowls. 37 career interceptions, 26 sacks. His jersey number 20 retired by the Eagles.
No. 72. Jeremiah Trotter, ILB, Philadelphia, 1998. (11, 147) Four Pro Bowls. 908 career tackles. Member of the Eagles’ Hall of Fame.
No. 161. Harold Carmichael, WR, Philadelphia, 1967. (14, 182) Hall of Fame. All-decade. Four Pro Bowls. 1980 NFL Man of the Year. 1973 NFL receiving champion. Three 1,000-yard seasons. 590 career catches, 8,985 yards, and 79 touchdowns.
No. 174. Bruce Van Dyke, G, Philadelphia, 1966. (11, 128) Pro Bowl. He began his career as a right guard for the Eagles, finishing 11 years later as a left guard for the Packers.
No. 208. Seth Joyner, OLB, Philadelphia, 1986. (13, 195) Three Pro Bowls. One Super Bowl ring. 1,123 career tackles, 52 sacks, 24 interceptions. Philadelphia Eagles’ 75th-anniversary team.
No. 210. Stan Walters, OT, Philadelphia, 1972. (12, 153) Two Pro Bowls. Started in one Super Bowl. A member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Hall of Fame.
No. 233. Clyde Simmons, DE, Philadelphia, 1986. (15, 236) Two Pro Bowls. 1992 NFL sack champion. 121½ career sacks. Member of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame.
No. 243. Lou Creekmur, OT, Philadelphia, 1948. (10, 116) Hall of Fame. Eight Pro Bowls. Three championship rings. Protected the blind side of QBs Bobby Layne and Tobin Rote in championship seasons for the Lions.
No. 244. John Madden, OT, Philadelphia, 1958. (0, 0) Hall of Fame. The only player on this list who never played a game. His football career ended before it could start with a training camp knee injury as a rookie. But few on this list have had the impact on football that Madden has had as a Hall of Fame coach with Oakland, TV commentator, and namesake of a video game.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.