Philadelphia Eagles News

Countdown To The Draft: 26 Days

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The clock is ticking, Eagles fans.

On April 30th, the NFL Draft will kick off from Chicago, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the latest class of NFL talent. To make sure that you're all set for when the Eagles are on the clock for the first time, we're counting down each day with look at each number from 100-1 and the significance that the number holds in Eagles history.

Without further ado, let's continue the countdown…

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Holding the 26th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, the Eagles knew that they needed to get younger in their secondary. So with that pick, the Eagles took a cornerback out of the University of Florida- Lito Sheppard. We'll come back to Shepard in a minute, but it's notable that the Eagles drafted three-fourths of the eventual starting secondary in the first three rounds of that draft, taking Sheppard, Michael Lewis and Sheldon Brown.

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First Eagle To Wear No. 26: G/T Joseph Kresky (1933-35)

Current Eagle Wearing No. 26: CB Walter Thurmond III (2015-present)

CB Lito Sheppard

There are certain players in Eagles history who are always remembered by one signature play. Herm Edwards had the original Miracle at the Meadowlands. Chuck Bednarik had The Hit, and then years later, Sheldon Brown had another hit. Another one of those players was Lito Sheppard.

A first-round pick out of the University of Florida in 2002 (26th overall, interestingly enough), Sheppard played his first eight seasons in Philadelphia. He lived up to his first-round draft status, making the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2006, while also taking home All-Pro honors in 2004. He intercepted 19 passes in Eagles green, but none more famous than his 2006 Week 5 interception off of Dallas' Drew Bledsoe. The Eagles led Dallas 31-24 with less than one minute remaining, but the Cowboys were just six yards away from a game-tying score. Bledsoe dropped back and fired a pass towards tight end Jason Witten, but Sheppard had other ideas. He stepped in front of the pass and ran 102 yards to paydirt, ensuring the Eagles victory and electrifying the Lincoln Financial Field crowd.

Sheppard's final season with the Eagles was 2008, when a crowded secondary caused his playing time to decrease. He would play for three teams over the next three seasons (New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, and Oakland Raiders) before retiring after the 2011 season, but he will always be remembered in Philadelphia as the man who gave new meaning to the "Lito Shuffle."

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