During the 2011 NFL offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles were busy constructing their now-infamous “Dream Team”. They seemed to be signing every top defensive free agent that was available that summer. The offense at the time was led by a newly-resurrected Michael Vick and had major weapons in LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. The multiple acquisitions of defensive talent was supposed to put Philadelphia in the category of serious contender.
But things didn’t work out as planned, and the most impressive signing turned out to be the one that was least talked about at the same. Evan Mathis was a 3rd-round pick by the Panthers who bounced around the league (also playing for the Dolphins and Bengals). After only getting 22 starts in his first six years as a pro, Mathis shook off his ‘bust’ status with his play as a member of the Eagles. Every legitimate statistical source had Mathis listed as an elite NFL guard. His success continued when in 2015 he became a Super Bowl champion as a starter with the Denver Broncos.