Philadelphia Eagles News

The Best Fifth-Round Picks Of The Reid Era

3. QB A.J. Feeley, 2001Edging out valuable linebacker Omar Gaither, Feeley gets the nod because of the importance of his position and the valuable insurance he provided as a quality backup – not to mention the return he provided when he was eventually dealt to the Miami Dolphins. Feeley was an unknown commodity in 2002, his second year in the league, when he was forced into action after both Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer went down with injuries. Charged with taking over an Eagles' team with aspiration of going to the playoffs and beyond, Feeley led the team to a 4-1 record in the final five games of the season before McNabb took over in the playoffs. That showcase led to the Dolphins acquisition of Feeley in 2004 in exchange for a second-round draft pick (which eventually became wide receiver Reggie Brown). Feeley would later return to the Eagles in 2006, and spent three more seasons providing the assurance of a capable signal-caller behind McNabb.

2. TE Brent Celek, 2007There must be something about fifth-round picks from Cincinnati, because the Eagles have twice struck gold by nabbing Bearcats in the round. Celek's rise to the upper echelon of tight ends in the league is a testament to his hard work. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder first hinted at his upside when he scored the first touchdown of his career in the final game of his rookie season. Then, in 2008, Celek would break out on a national stage with a postseason performance to remember, including a 10-catch two-touchdown performance in the NFC Championship game. The following year, 2009, would exhibit Celek's upside as a top target in the passing game as he caught 76 balls for an impressive 971 yards and eight touchdowns – all three of which were second-best in franchise history for a tight end. Celek's totals dipped a bit in 2010 as he was asked to pitch in more in the blocking phase of the game, but the Eagles are certainly happy moving forward knowing they have the reliable Celek signed through the 2016 season.

1. DE Trent Cole, 2005Now we arrive at what is, inarguably, the best value pick since Andy Reid took over the Eagles in 1999. In a league where pass rushers are often overdrafted because of the premium nature of the position, Cole somehow slid all the way to the fifth round because he was considered a "tweener" who didn't naturally fit either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Well imagine just how productive Cole would be if he were a "prototype" 4-3 end. The hunter, as he is often affectionately called, has proved himself to be one of the league's elite defensive ends and one of the most prolific sack artists in Eagles' history. Since 2006, Cole's 52 sacks are third-best in the NFL, and he's already climbed to third on the Eagles' career sack list, behind only Reggie White and Clyde Simmons. It's almost criminal that he's only made two Pro Bowls (2007 and 2009), but he's often underrated because of his two-way contributions. As much as any other sack-heavy defensive end in the league, Cole is also a force against the run. And he doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon, as Cole is chomping at the bit to get to work in new defensive line coach Jim Washburn's attack-heavy scheme.

So there you have it, the best fifth-round picks of the Reid era. Next up, the fourth round, which features a great small-school hidden gem.

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