Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Philadelphia Eagles All-Millennial 53 Man Roster

Eagle of the Millennium - Safety - #20 Brian Dawkins: There is little doubt that Brian Dawkins is the All-Millennium Eagle.  He's destined for the Hall of Fame and his hard nosed attitude along with defensive leadership embodied Philadelphia football for the better part of the 2000s.

After being drafted in 1996, Dawkins earned nine Pro-Bowl appearances, four time first team All-Pro honors, Playoffs... Super Bowl... Dawkins came one big-game short of a picture perfect NFL playing career. His number '20' was retired in 2012. He's the Eagle Player of the Millennium--Weapon X!

QB - #5 Donovan McNabb, #7 Mike Vick, #9 Nick Foles: First-Team All-Millennial, Donovan McNabb, was drafted by the Eagles in 1999. He became the Eagles all-time statistical leader in every passing category over his 11 year tenure with the birds. McNabb led the Eagles offense to four NFC Championship Games and a Super bowl from 2001-2008 and was sent to the Pro-Bowl 6 times as an Eagle.  His number '5' was retired in 2013. I want you to know, "... number 5 will always love you!"

RB - #36 Brian Westbrook, #25 Lesean McCoy, #22 Duce Staley, #43 Leonard Weaver: First Team All-Millennial, Brian Westbrook, was drafted by the Eagles in 2002. He became the Eagles all-time leader in yards from scrimmage during his eight year run in Philadelphia. In 2007 he went over 2,100 yards from scrimmage on the season. Westbrook represented the Eagles in two Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro. Take a ride on route 36!

WR - #10 Desean Jackson, #18 Jeremy Maclin, #81 Terrell Owens, #81 Jason Avant, #81 Jordan Matthews: First Team All-Millennial receivers, Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, combined for over 10,000 yards after being drafted by the Eagles in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Both receivers have recently left the nest in distasteful fashion, but Jackson was within 100 yards of becoming the Eagles all-time leader in receiving yardage prior to his departure.

TE - #89 Chad Lewis, #87 Brent Celek: First Team All-Millennial, Chad Lewis was drafted by the Eagles in 1997.  A traditional workman-like tight end, Lewis was McNabb's security blanket from 2000 to 2004 earning three Pro Bowl appearances during that four year span.

LT - #71 Jason Peters, #72 Tra Thomas: On any given Sunday, Jason Peters may be the best football player on the field. He's Hall of Fame worthy in my book.  Peters is simply a monster--he's size, speed and tenacity at a premier position.  The Eagles traded a first round pick for Peters in 2009 after he earned two Pro Bowl berths in Buffalo.  Since then Peters has been a first team all-pro left tackle twice and added four more Pro Bowl appearances to his resume.

LG - #69 Evan Mathis, #79 Todd Herremans: After seven inauspicious years in the league, Mathis landed in Philadelphia via free agency in 2011. Starting only 22 games in seven seasons prior to his run with the Eagles, Mathis earned two Pro Bowl appearances to go along with a first team all-pro 2013 season. He is currently considered one of the top interior linemen in the league at 34 years of age.

C - #62 Jason Kelce, #67 Jamaal Jackson: First Team All-Millennial, Jason Kelce, was drafted by the Eagles in 2011. Since his first game, Kelce has been a dynamic player on the offensive line. Kelce earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2014.

RG - #73 Shawn Andrews, #71 Jermane Mayberry: The Eagles drafted "the Big Kid" in 2004. His career was abbreviated by back injury and possibly a lack of work ethic, but Andrews paved the way for Brian Westbrook's best years, earning two Pro Bowl selections and a first team All-Pro honor during his five year tenure with the birds.

RT - #69 Jon Runyan, #65 Lane Johnson: The Eagles acquired First Team All Millennial Congressman, Jon Runyan, in 2000. He was a starting right tackle for the Eagles for nine years (in which he started every game-bad knees and all). A true warrior, its somewhat surprising that he only had one Pro Bowl appearance.

S - #20 Brian Dawkins, #27 Quintin Mikell, #32 Michael Lewis, #27 Malcolm Jenkins: First Team All-Millennial safeties, Brian Dawkins and Quintin Mikell were a dynamic duo. Mikell was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Seven years later he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance. Dawkins is a legend.

CB - #23 Troy Vincent, #21 Bobby Taylor, #22 Asante Samuel, #24 Sheldon Brown, #26 Lito Sheppard, #22 Brandon Boykin: Troy Vincent, the man who suspended Tom Brady, spent most of his career in the 1990s. He signed with the Eagles in 1996 as a free agent from the Dolphins. But he earned four Pro Bowl appearances and a first team all-pro selection from 2000 to 2004 with the Eagles. Vincent should find a place in the Hall of Fame at some point. Co-First-Team-All-Millennial cornerback, Bobby Taylor also spent most of his career in 90s after being drafted by the Eagles in 1995, but earned his only Pro Bowl selection in 2002.

These two player changed the league-wide perspective on what a cornerback could be.  At 6'1" and 6'3" respectively, Vincent and Taylor ushered in the new breed of "long-tall" cornerbacks.

ILB/OLB - #54 Jeremiah Trotter, #95 Mychal Kendricks, #51 Demeco Ryans, #55 Stewart Bradley, #56 Akeem Jordan: First Team All-Millennial linebackers Jeremiah "Axe Man" Trotter and Mychal Kendricks can start inside in a 3-4 or play the Mike and Will in a 4-3. After being drafted by the Eagles in 1998, Trotter earned two Pro Bowl appearances and a first team All-Pro selection in the new millennium. He then left for two seasons and returned to earn two more Pro Bowl appearances as an Eagle.

While Trotter was a true downhill run-stuffing linebacker, Mychal Kendricks is a fast and versatile young veteran that is poised to earn his first Pro Bowl. Drafted in 2012, Kendricks became an instant starter, impact player and has not let go of the job yet.

OLB/DE - #58 Trent Cole, #98 Connor Barwin, #53 Hugh Douglas, #93 Jevon Kearse, #75 Vinny Curry: Starting at OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3, I'd take Cole or Barwin either way. Drafted in 2005, Cole has quietly been stout against the run while finishing second on the Eagles all-time sack list behind the great Reggie White. Barwin joined Cole via free agency in 2013. The versatile linebacker/lineman earned his first Pro Bowl honor in 2014.

DT/DE - #91 Fletcher Cox, #90 Corey Simon, #97 Darwin Walker #72 Cedric Thornton, #98 Mike Patterson: Drafted in 2012 and 2000 respectively, First Team All-Millennial linemen Cox and Simon made immediate impacts on their respective defenses. Simon earned one Pro Bowl appearance and Cox is poised to earn his first soon.

K - #2 David Akers

P - #8 Donnie Jones

LS - #46 Jon Dorenbos

KR - #30 Brian Mitchell

HEAD COACH: Chip Kelly

Author's Note: It is worth mentioning that to date, the early millennium was marked by a workman-like offense with steady conservative quarterback play and a distinguished defensive roll call (4 NFCCG and a Super Bowl appearance). While the latter years are marked by a quarterback carousel, electrifying play-makers and an unbalanced defense (2 Playoff Appearances).

2015 has the look and feel of a defense about to take shape and an offense led by a McNabb-like quarterback that will have dynamic receiving targets, a similarly solid offensive line and a dangerous stable of running backs... could be the best of both worlds.

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