2020 NFL draft: How have the Eagles fared drafting defensive tackles?


This piece continues our series of grading the Eagles' draft picks over the last 40 years. To check out our previous installment on defensive ends, read it here. Tomorrow: the linebackers. 

The Eagles have had some spectacular misses over the years drafting defensive tackles.

Anybody seen Bruce Walker lately?

But they’ve also drafted two Hall of Fame-caliber interior defensive linemen since 1980, a Pro Bowler and another long-term starter.

In the second installment of our look at how the Eagles have drafted at each position, we grade every premium-round defensive tackle the Eagles have selected since 1980. Here's a look at their hits and misses:

1st-round picks

Fletcher Cox (12th pick in 2012): Just named to the all-decade team after making his fifth Pro Bowl in a row. A few more and he’s headed to Canton. 

Grade: A-plus

Brodrick Bunkley (14th pick in 2006): Bunkley was a functional starter in his three years as a starter for the Eagles – 2007 through 2009 – but as the 14th pick you’re looking for a heck of a lot more.

Grade: D-plus

Mike Patterson (31st pick in 2005): Hard-working and consistent interior lineman who started for most of the 2005 through 2011 seasons. Was never great but always showed up and gave everything he had.

Grade: B

Corey Simon (6th pick in 2000): Very good but very short career. Simon was a beast as a run stuffer and averaged 6 ½ sacks from 2000 through 2004, 6th-most among all NFL defensive tackles, and made a Pro Bowl in 2003. But his last productive year was 2004, when he was only 27. 

Grade: B

Leonard Renfro (24th pick in 1993): One of the worst players in NFL history. Started two games as a rookie with catastrophic results and was out of the league a year later. 

Grade: F-quadruple minus.

Jerome Brown (9th pick in 1987): Astonishing talent who was only 27 when he died in a car crash in Florida. He packed a lot into his five seasons – 29 ½ sacks, some monstrous run stuffing, two Pro Bowls and two all-pros. He would have been a Hall of Famer.

Grade: A-plus

2nd-round picks

Trevor Laws (47th pick in 2008): Massive disappointment as a top-50 pick. Laws started two games in his career and was out of the league at 26.

Grade: F

Bruce Walker (37th pick in 1994): He was a top-40 pick and didn’t even make it through his rookie training camp. One of the worst second-round draft picks in NFL history. The only Eagles' 2nd-round pick in the last 48 years to never play for the Eagles.

Grade: F-minus-minus-minus-minus-minus-minus-minus-minus

3rd-round picks

Bennie Logan (67th pick in 2013): Serviceable player who started 51 games in four years with the Eagles. Decent against the run.

Grade: C

Tommy Jeter (75th pick in 1992): Made no impact in three years as a backup defensive tackle. Had 16 career tackles and a sack. Was 25 when Eagles released him.

Grade: F

Final Grades

1st round: B-minus (2.6 GPA)
2nd round: F (0.0 GPA)
3rd round: D (1.0 GPA)
Overall: C-minus (1.7 GPA)

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