At the time, of course, the decisions caused enormous reaction and great debate. The Eagles made the moves to trade out of the first round of the NFL draft in both 2007 and 2008 after careful consideration and a sudden opportunity to do what they felt would reap great rewards in the near future. Now is the time to find out just how prudent those decisions truly were.
The Eagles can point to some successes in the immediate aftermath of each move, and critics can ask whether the moves to bypass first-round talent damaged the Eagles' short-range chances to win a Super Bowl.
As the team prepares for its full-team OTA sessions starting on Tuesday, let's go back in time and re-visit the moves of 2007 and 2008 and how they affect the Eagles in 2010 ...
**2007 DRAFT OVERVIEW
Late in the afternoon on Saturday, April 28, 2010, the Eagles traded the 26th overall pick in the draft to the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys, who then selected linebacker Anthony Spencer. The Eagles received three draft picks in return, the 36th overall (QB Kevin Kolb), the 87th overall (LB Stewart Bradley) and the 159th overall (S C.J. Gaddis). Spencer struggled for two seasons before emerging as a force for Dallas in the second half of the 2009 campaign.
The Eagles are about to find out just how valuable that 36th pick in the 2007 draft was.
There were some out-and-out mistakes made in this draft. Running back Tony Hunt was a washout as a third-round draft pick. Gaddis never made the team. Cornerback Rashad Barksdale had some time in Kansas City after the Eagles selected him in the sixth round. Running back Nate Ilaoa never made the team after his selection in Round 7.
**KEVIN KOLB, QUARTERBACK, 2nd ROUND
After three years of waiting patiently for his turn, Kevin Kolb is the starter for the Eagles now. He has appeared extremely comfortable in the role since Donovan McNabb was traded and his performance in the spring has been impressive. Kolb, of course, started two games in 2009 and passed for more than 300 yards in each outing. He appears well-equipped to handle the responsibility of running this offense.
**VICTOR ABIAMIRI, DEFENSIVE END, 2nd ROUND
Injuries have hampered any progress made by Victor Abiamiri, and he appears to be a long shot to contribute much to the team this year after undergoing mircrofracture surgery on his knee in the off-season. Abiamiri is talented, a hard worker and a smart kid, but he has not been on the field long enough to gain any kind of traction.
**STEWART BRADLEY, LINEABCKER, 3rd ROUND
One of the key storylines of 2010 is how well Stewart Bradley rebounds after missing last season with a knee injury. Bradley was on the verge of becoming a Pro Bowl player after a very fine 2008 campaign. He is rangy, he is a leader, and he is a force at middle linebacker. And if he returns to 100 percent health and has his timing down and makes big plays, the defense will benefit greatly.
If Bradley gets back to where he was, this will go down as a great Eagles draft pick. There are very few middle linebackers in the league who are capable of playing such physical football against the run and also staying on the field in coverage. Bradley is a true three-down linebacker and his health is critical to the team's success this season.
**BRENT CELEK, TIGHT END, 5th ROUND
A great draft pick, Brent Celek has emerged as one of the game's best tight ends. In his first year as a starter, Celek last season led the team with 76 receptions that went for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns. Celek is the complete package at tight end, and the Eagles rewarded him with a long-term contract midway through 2009.
Look for Celek to be a staple of this offense for years to come. You don't find too many players of his caliber in the fifth round of the draft, but the Eagles did. And while Gaddis was a bust, having that extra draft pick allowed the Eagles to use their second pick in the round on Celek. He has Pro Bowl written all over his career.
**2008 DRAFT OVERVIEW
Once again the Eagles were in wheeler-and-dealer mode when they dealt the 19th pick in the first round to Carolina and received the 43rd overall pick, which they traded to move back to 47th overall (DT Trevor Laws), the 109th overall pick (OL Mike McGlynn) and a first-round draft pick in 2009 (a pick that enabled the Eagles to trade for LT Jason Peters, who made the Pro Bowl in 2009).
The returns so far in the draft have been mixed. The Eagles dealt a fourth-round draft pick that year to Miami for running back Lorenzo Booker, who was a disappointment here. Laws has yet to make an impact. Third-round draft pick Bryan Smith was unable to contribute. Fourth-round pick Jack Ikegwuonu spent a year on Injured Reserve and then was cut before he ever played in a regular season game. Offensive guard Mike Gibson played in Seattle last year and sixth-round pick Andy Studebaker is a linebacker prospect in Kansas City.
The Eagles are hoping a couple of the players from that draft blossom this year. Of course, second-round draft pick DeSean Jackson is a standout, Pro Bowl player in the league. He has made an immediate impact, and then some.
**TREVOR LAWS, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, 2nd ROUND
It sure seems like 2010 is a make-or-break season for Trevor Laws, who showed some promise as a rookie before fading into oblivion last season. Laws lost his spot in the tackle rotation to Antonio Dixon last year. Can Laws rebound and show the quickness and the play-making ability that the Eagles liked so much when they scouted him at Notre Dame?
There is some competition. The Eagles drafted Jeff Owens from Georgia in the seventh round in April, and they like the way Dixon is developing. Laws realizes his situation and has been a diligent worker in the off-season strength and conditioning program.
**DeSEAN JACKSON, WIDE RECEIVER, 2nd ROUND
What more is there to say about DeSean Jackson? They don't come much more dynamic as Jackson, one of the most dangerous players in the league. Jackson became an instant contributor as has gotten better and better as a football player. He has enjoyed a terrific off-season and is, clearly, a huge part of the plans in 2010 and beyond.
**MIKE McGLYNN, OFFENSIVE LINE, 4th ROUND
What the Eagles like about McGlynn is his ability to play across the line of scrimmage. He is going to have a shot to win the center job this year with Jamaal Jackson out, and he can play both guard spots. McGlynn is so well versed in the offense that he could probably play OK at tackle in a jam, too. But McGlynn has not yet cracked the lineup as a starter and he has a lot of talent in front of him now.
This is an important year for McGlynn to demonstrate his value to the team. Is he a starter here, or does he stay with the Eagles as a valuable reserve?
**QUINTIN DEMPS, SAFETY, 4th ROUND
This is clearly a crossroads season for Quintin Demps, who was unable last season to hold on to his starting safety job. Then the Eagles went out and signed Marlin Jackson in free agency and selected Nate Allen in the second round of the draft. How does Demps fit? That's a good question. He has some ground to make up, and he has to convince the coaches that he is worthy of starting -- and contributing -- at safety.
Demps helps on special teams in coverage and as a return man, but he wants more. He was so close last year, and now he has been knocked down the depth chart. What's next?
**JOE MAYS, LINEBACKER, 6th ROUND
Last season was a learning experience, and the lesson Joe Mays learned was that he wasn't ready to be a starting middle linebacker for the Eagles. He was lost at times after Bradley was injured and that was disappointing for Mays. At the same time, he applied himself and became a standout on special teams.
Now, Mays is looking to become a capable linebacker in this system and show the coaches that he can step in for Bradley. Mays could also be a core member of Bobby April's special teams. Mays faces a very, very important summer.
**KING DUNLAP, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, 7th ROUND
A project who spent his rookie season on IR, King Dunlap played sparingly for the Eagles at left tackle in 2009. He had his ups and downs against Oakland and then went directly to the weight room after the season to work out and put on some pounds. Dunlap is up about 30 pounds to 335 pounds and he is much stronger.
The Eagles are looking at Dunlap at both tackle positions to see how he comes along. The more versatile Dunlap can be, the better chance he has of helping this football team.