NFL Team’s BEST and WORST Draft Pick of the 21st Century

NFC East edition

New York Giants

Best: Philip Rivers (Round 1, Pick 4) (2004-2020)

Although Saquon Barkley, Justin Tuck, and Odell Beckham Jr. come to mind when discussing the best-drafted Giants, not one has the resume of Philip Rivers. Although he didn’t play a down for the New York Giants, what Rivers did for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers may have him in Canton one day.

During his 18-year career, he amassed 63,440 passing yards, 421 touchdowns, 8 Pro Bowls, and the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year and he’s seen as one of the greatest Chargers ever. Although Eli Manning has carved out a legendary career in New York, it was the 4th overall selection of Rivers that gets the nod from me.

Worst: DeAndre Baker (Round 1, Pick 30) (2019-2021)

David Wilson gets a pass from me due to injury and while Ron Dayne was underwhelming, nothing screams bigger New York bust than DeAndre Baker. The former Georgia defensive back only played in New York for one season before being placed on the Commissioner’s List following a May 2020 arrest. He was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs later that year where he played in 10 games and recorded 20 tackles and 0 interceptions. He was waived in August 2022 and is currently out of the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles

Best: Jason Kelce (Round 6, Pick 191) (2011-Present)

Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, Jason Peters, and LeSean McCoy were all great Eagles but I’m giving it to Jason Kelce based on tenure and overall impact. One of the best centers to ever play, Kelce will go down in history as one of the best late-round picks in NFL History. The 6x Pro Bowler is a 4x First Team All-Pro and helped the Eagles win Super Bowl 52. With 176 career games started, Kelce will go down as one of the greatest Eagles to ever play. A future Hall of Famer without a doubt.

Worst: Marcus Smith II (Round 1, Pick 26) (2014-2018)

The Eagles have numerous busts to choose from. Freddie Mitchell, Trevor Laws, Jalen Smith, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside are all names that come to mind but none of these men made less of an impact than Marcus Smith. The Eagles selected Smith looking for the next great pass rusher to lockdown their D Line but Smith was nothing they expected.

In his rookie season he only played in half the team’s games and by 2017, the Eagles declined his fifth-year option. Smith was released later that offseason and after quick stints with the Seahawks and Washington and with 6.5 career sacks to his name, Smith is currently out of football.

Washington Commanders

Best: Trent Williams (Round 1, Pick 4) (2010-Present)

The Commanders have had some great players drafted since 2000. The names that come to mind are Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, Brandon Scherff, and the late great Sean Taylor but future Hall of Fame Trent Williams gets my nod for the best pick of the century.

Williams is a 2x All-Pro and a 10x Pro Bowler who fortified the Commander’s offensive line for the whole 2010s decade. Despite minimal playoff trips, Williams was seen as arguably the best tackle in football and is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Worst: Dwayne Haskins (RIP) (Round 1, Pick 15) (2019-2020)

Although Josh Doctson, Devin Thomas, and Robert Griffin III couldn’t put it together, at least they all lasted more than one season. Derrius Guice and Dwayne Haskins didn’t even make it past their rookie contracts. I’m giving the nod to Haskins because he was picked higher.

The late Haskins couldn’t quite put it together in DC. Haskins would have struggles in Washington going 3-10 as a starter, throwing for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Although Haskins was named team captain at the start of his 2nd season, he was benched by Week 5 and never became a full-time starter again. He would play a season in Pittsburgh before his untimely passing at age 24.

Dallas Cowboys

Best: DeMarcus Ware (Round 1, Pick 11) (2005-2016)

Although great players like Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Micah Parsons have all rocked the blue star of Dallas, this choice really came down to Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. While both are Hall of Fame worthy, I put Ware just slightly above Witten. Ware wreaked havoc in Dallas notching 138.5 career sacks and 654 tackles.

One of the best pass rushers of the 2000s, Ware is a 7x All-Pro (4x First Team), 9x Pro Bowler, led the league in sacks twice, helped the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 Championship, and is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. One of the greatest 3-4 linebackers to ever play the game, Ware is due for his Canton enshrinement.

Worst: Bobby Carpenter (Round 1, Pick 18) (2006-2012)

Although Morris Claiborne, Quincy Carter, and Dwayne Goodrich were disastrous choices for America’s team, this bum that I selected didn’t even manage to get a starting role. After nailing DeMarcus Ware in 2005, the Cowboys decided to double dip and nab Carpenter, hoping to make a formidable duo to bolster their defense. Carpenter never became a starter and stayed on special teams his entire Cowboys tenure.

When the Cowboys were featured on the 2008 rendition of “Hard Knocks”, Carpenter was continually challenged by right tackle Marc Colombo. Carpenter was so soft that many of his teammates began calling him “Barbie Carpenter.” Carpenter was off the team by 2010 and after failed stints with the Rams, Dolphins, Lions, and Patriots, Carpenter retired from football after the 2012 season.

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