The worst draft pick in Eagles franchise history is unfortunately littered with a number of respectable candidates.
For my tastes however, I would choose defensive end Mike Mamula, as many of the other woeful candidates were before my time.
That does not mean that Mike Mamula is not a worthy candidate however.
Mike Mamula's name happens to be synonymous with the "workout warrior" and "draft bust" monikers for good reason.
In 1995, the NFL Combine was not the phenomenon it is today.
Players would generally prepare by doing typical football drills, and there was no NFL network broadcasting every players sideline chat. It was a world of stop watches and clipboards as opposed to cell phones and macbooks.
Mike Mamula however, to his credit, helped to change that. He worked with a cutting-edge personal trainer at his alma mater Boston College who had him specifically train for the individual events featured at the Combine.
This meant that by the time of the event he would have practiced each activity hundreds of times or more, while other players may have been doing some of them for the first time ever. This new method was extremely effective.
Mike ran an outstanding 4.58 40-yard dash, put up an eye-popping 28 225-pound bench press reps, and scored an almost unheard of Wonderlic score of 49. These results signified some of the best performances of all players at the Combine, not just for his defensive end position, and his 49 Wonderlic score (out of a possible 50) remains one of the best scores ever recorded. Unfortunately for the Eagles, all of these amazing scores did not equal an amazing NFL football player.
To obtain Mamula and the seventh pick the Eagles traded the Buccaneers their 12th pick in the first round, plus two second round choices. The Eagles took Mamula with the seventh pick, while the Buccaneers grabbed Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp with the 12th pick they received from the Eagles, as well as Pro Bowler Derrick Brooks with the 28th pick of the first round.
Mike Mamula went on to have a disappointing five year career, which was cut short due to injuries, and which only included 31.5 sacks. By the time Mike Mamula was out of the league in 2000, Warren Sapp had already had 58.5 sacks and made two Pro Bowls.
In the following years after Mamula was out of football Sapp then made two more Pro Bowls, had another 41.5 sacks, and won a Super Bowl. If the Eagles had just given up Mike Mammula for Warren Sapp it would be a massive failure.
If you also include the two second round picks they gave up which netted Tampa Bay Derrick Brooks, another Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner, the deal looks mind-numbingly, tragically, bad. To further add insult there were a number of talented players available in the draft, that the eagles bypassed to take Mamula at number seven.
Some of these players included Pro Bowl and Super Bowl winners such as cornerback Ty Law late in the 1st round, Antonio Freeman in the third round, Hall of Famer Curtis Martin in the third round, and two-time Super Bowl winner Terrell Davis in the sixth round.
In defense of Ray Rhodes, who I respect a great deal, he did pick Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor in the second round that year, and also made some great defensive picks later in his career such as Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter and possible Hall Of Famer Brian Dawkins.
This pick however, was by far Ray Rhodes worst choice as head coach of the Eagles, and definitely one of the worst in franchise history.
Mike Mamula can take solace however in the fact however that there are a number of bad draft choices in Eagles history, so he is not alone. Andy Reid for instance traded the 63rd and 30th overall pick in 2003 to select defensive end Jerome McDougle with the 15th overall pick.
McDougle never started a game for the Eagles and had multiple injury problems. He was later shot and finished his career with 3 sacks. Offensive tackle Kevin Allen also had an illustrious career after being picked ninth overall in the 1986 Draft.
He only lasted one year with the team before testing positive for cocaine use and being arrested for sexual assault. He then spent time in prison and was banned by the NFL for life. While Mike Mamula was a very bad choice, he has not been banned for life so I give him credit for that.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, it does not make it any better of a pick, and remains one of the worst picks in franchise history for what they had to give up to get him, and what they missed out on in taking him.