The Philadelphia Eagles are a storied franchise with some of the most passionate fans in the league.
They play in the NFC East, which was the elite division in football for many years, including a run from 1986 to 1993 in which six of the eight Super Bowl champions came out of their dominant division.
But as each of their hated rivals collected Lombardi trophies, the Eagles continued to disappoint fans by falling short in the playoffs.
Despite putting together one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history led by superstars such as Reggie White, Jerome Brown and Eric Allen, along with coaching mastermind Buddy Ryan, the Philadelphia offense could not put up points when it counted the most in the playoffs.
Although he was remembered as one of the original running quarterbacks with countless highlight reel plays over his Eagles career, longtime quarterback Randall Cunningham struggled against playoff competition and was eventually cast aside when newly hired coach Ray Rhodes installed a West Coast offense in 1995.
After a couple of promising seasons under Rhodes in the mid-90s, the wheels fell off and the Eagles were forced to rebuild. The dominant defenses of the former Philadelphia teams were a distant memory, and the organization went in a different direction when hiring a new coach in 1999.
They brought in Andy Reid, a quarterbacks coach from Green Bay who had mentored Brett Favre, to give them an offensive mind to help groom their next quarterback, which was clearly their biggest need. They drafted Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick in 1999, much to the dismay of Philly fans that attended the NFL draft and coveted Ricky Williams.
With Reid and McNabb at the helm, a new culture was established in Philadelphia. In his first full season as the starting quarterback, McNabb led the Eagles to the playoffs and the following season in 2001, they began a streak of four straight NFC championship appearances.
While McNabb got most of the headlines, the defense also held its own and became known as a disruptive and attacking unit led by the schemes of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. With holdovers from the defensive-minded Rhodes' regime such as hard-hitting safety Brian Dawkins, the pieces were in place for a sustained run of success.
But after one Super Bowl appearance in 2004 which resulted in a loss to the New England Patriots, things started to unravel. Bringing in Terrell Owens before the 2004 season gave them a much needed jolt on offense, but it also had damaging consequences in the locker room.
But in reality, as with most organizations, the product on the field defines success or failure, and the talent was not being replenished as the most important Eagles began to age. While the Tom Heckert and Joe Banner era was far more successful than Tom Modrak, their GM predecessor, both had a few draft picks that were miserable failures.
This list will count down the five biggest draft day regrets in Philadelphia Eagles franchise history. Hopefully current general manager Howie Roseman has learned from these past mistakes and helps the Eagles continue to build on the promise of Chip Kelly's first season in which they won the NFC East.
Honorable Mention: Second-rounder Trevor Laws was the first player taken by the Eagles in the 2008 draft and the defensive tackle never became a regular starter. He was with the team for several years and in the defensive line rotation, but considering he was drafted two picks AHEAD of DeSean Jackson, he did not provide the necessary impact during a time when the defense needed young talent to keep it competitive as former stars like Hugh Douglas and Brian Dawkins began to age.
5. Jon Harris (1997 - 27th overall pick) - In two seasons with the Eagles, defensive end Jon Harris was supposed to provide a pass-rushing spark from the edge on defense. But instead, Tom Modrak's first draft pick as GM posted two career sacks and never had the impact that was expected of him a few years after Reggie White left the team to join the Green Bay Packers as a free agent. This was especially disappointing because the Eagles had already swung and missed on a different pass rushing prospect just two years earlier.
4. Jerome McDougle (2003 - 15th overall pick) - Perhaps they had a different Jerome in mind when selecting McDougle, who also attended the University of Miami like former defensive tackle and Eagles legend Jerome Brown who tragically passed away in a car accident in 1992. McDougle had little in common with the dominant Brown, and his career in Philadelphia was pretty underwhelming with just three sacks in five seasons, none as a full-time starter.
3. Bernard Williams and Kevin Allen, tie (1994 and 1985 - 14th and 9th overall picks) - Offensive linemen are generally regarded as safer picks when franchises are evaluating draft prospects, but in these cases, they were outright disasters. Williams was one of several offensive linemen drafted in the '90s to try to get the offense closer to the defense in terms of dominating the trenches. He lasted one season in Philadelphia.
Kevin Allen was brought in to protect holdover quarterback Ron Jaworski, who was relentlessly under pressure, but he only lasted one season as well and the Eagles eventually replaced Jaworski with the more mobile Cunningham, who was drafted in the second round of the 1985 draft.
2. Freddie Mitchell (2001 - 25th overall pick) - Mitchell was with the team for longer than some of his competitors for this dubious distinction, but his mouth alone moves him up the charts. He famously thanked his hands after his two-touchdown performance in the 2004 NFC Championship victory, and clashed with McNabb over a lack of touches, to the point of calling him out for throwing up in the huddle late in the Super Bowl loss.
He talked his way out of Philly after 2004, and got little interest from other teams despite having the talent that made him a first rounder from UCLA back in 2001. Back in college, he had a Cris Carter-like ability to make acrobatic catches on the sidelines. Now, he has been relegated to appearances on reality TV shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker and currently sits in federal prison for tax evasion.
1. Mike Mamula (1995 - 7th overall pick) - One of the original combine risers, Mamula was an athletic freak who ran a 4.58 forty-yard dash and showed impressive strength in the bench press and other drills. But on the field, he was an undersized defensive end that struggled to live up to the massive hype, and became another defensive linemen on the list of busts that followed the dominant era of Reggie White, Jerome Brown and Clyde Simmons.
The worst thing about those picks is that they traded other picks to move up for McDougle and Mamula. Even more depressing for Philly fans is that the Eagles could have stood pat in 1995 and drafted future Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp, but instead went with the athletically-gifted but limited Mamula, who was gone after a few impactless seasons.