It’s Friday, so you know what time it is.
Time for the another installment of the award-winning “Friday Mount Rushmore” column.
This time, in honor of the Eagles this week being awarded two compensatory 6th round draft picks, that Howie Roseman will probably screw up, we’re going to honor players who were selected in the sixth round by your team, your town, your Birds.
Oddly enough, the Eagles seem to do better pulling talent out of the 7th round than the sixth round, finding Jalen Mills, Jordan Mailata, Beau Allen, and Kurt Coleman over the past ten drafts.
The sixth round has been mostly swing and miss territory, except for Jason Kelce, who is one of just seven Eagles Pro Bowlers to come through the draft dating back to 2010.
In his time with the Birds, Kelce has earned himself four Pro Bowl selections, three All-Pro honors, and a Super Bowl ring. He’s played 142 games and has not missed a start dating back to 2014, when he had sports hernia surgery. He is a fan favorite who will go down as the best center in Eagles history.
Over the years, the NFL draft rules have changed on a number of occasions. It’s seven rounds now, but back in 1977 it was 12 rounds, and the Eagles used their sixth rounder on a running back out of Abilene Christian named Wilbert Montgomery.
He would go on to play eight of his nine seasons in Philadelphia, earning Pro Bowl selections in 1978 and 1979 and finishing with 6,538 rushing yards, a record that held for many years until it was broken by Shady McCoy in 2014.
Montgomery had 45 rushing touchdowns for the Birds and played on the 1979 squad that went to the Super Bowl, scoring 14 touchdowns and logging more than 2,000 regular scrimmage yards.
He was an unstoppable force in the 1980 NFC Championship game victory:
1980 NFC Championship game. #Cowboys at #Eagles. Philly chooses to wear white at home for the first time all season, forcing Dallas to wear their "unlucky" blue jerseys. Wilbert Montgomery had 194 yards on the ground as the Eagles rolled, 20-7.#DALvsPHI pic.twitter.com/4qIYiFXZzP
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) November 12, 2018
Harmon was selected out Kent State in the sixth round of the 1991 draft.
He was somewhat small for a defensive tackle, but entered the league with Pro Bowlers in Reggie White and Clyde Simmons on either side of him, and later, in 1994, would go on to record 11.5 sacks, which really is crazy for an interior lineman.
Harmon said this in an interview with the Eagles website dating back to 2015:
“Nowadays, the tackles are kind of there to just clog things up, and the ends are the ones that are making the plays typically,” said Harmon. “In our defense, that was fine. But also, I think part of it was just hustling. I got a lot of cleanup sacks also. But even getting cleanup sacks, people don’t get 11, right? You might pick one or two up here and there.”
“I was undersized for a defensive tackle, but I was able to play with enough leverage and whatever to make some decent things happen. And then, of course, being surrounded by two All-Pro defensive ends doesn’t hurt.”
In his Eagles tenure, he logged 296 tackles, 39.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and an interception. A knee injury cut his career short and he was forced to retire in 1997.
Coming out a small-town Texas A&M branch campus, Sherman played for the Birds at the end of the Buddy Ryan era, which led into Richie Kotite’s years.
Those were the Randall Cunningham days, with one season of Jim McMahon in there, and as such, the Eagles running backs and full backs didn’t log a ton of carries. Sherman also found himself down on the depth chart, oftentimes a second or third option behind the likes of Keith Byars and Herschel Walker.
The interesting thing about Sherman is that he eclipsed Walker in that 1992 season, and began to carry more of the load, literally and figuratively. He had 802 regular season scrimmage yards, and in the playoff win against the Saints, which was uber-rare at the time, pounded the ball 21 times for 105 yards and a touchdown, while catching 3 passes for 29 yards. He was a beast in that game, and finished his Eagles career with 612 touches for 2,738 yards and 14 scores. Played special teams, too.
— All About The Birds (@AATBirds) December 3, 2020
honorable mention: Mel Tom, Ken Reeves, Bob Picard, Matt Pryor, Dexter Wynn, Cecil Martin, Ed Jasper
not honorable mention: Marvin McNutt