Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's a bit drafty again

Ok, draft review time. Basically I wanna go back and have a look at the 2007 and 2008 draft classes and see what they're up to, and how far they've come. Now there's a lot of names, so I'm gonna keep to the first round of both drafts. The overarching thing that I'm looking for; is how much production have we seen from these players? I ask this simply because I sat down the other day and went back through a ton of clips of around 100 players who entered the 2010 draft. And looking at them - and I mean really looking close - you can't help but wonder how many of them are truly going to go on and have the kind of Pro Bowl careers that we expect these days of first rounders. So this is why I wanna go back and look at these two draft classes. What can we realistically expect from first rounders in their first two to three seasons? Now I understand that much of it depends on who they were drafted by, but we can at least get a rough idea, so lets get on with it. (NB: All numbers are career tallies). 2007: 1. QB, JaMarcus Russell -- Maybe this was a bad idea after all. 2. WR, Calvin Johnson -- A little over 3,000 yards and 21 TDs. 3. OT, Joe Thomas -- Pro Bowl Left Tackle. 4. DE, Gaines Adams -- R.I.P 5. OT, Levi Brown -- So far, pretty good with the Cardinals. 6. S, LaRon Landry -- 239 tackles, three INTs and elected a Pro Bowl alternate. 7. RB, Adrian Peterson -- Anyone heard of this guy? 8. DE, Jamaal Anderson -- 84 tackles, 2.5 sacks 9. WR, Ted Ginn, JR -- Almost double as many return yards as receiving. 10. DT, Amobi Okoye -- 94 tckles, 8 sacks. 11. LB, Patrick Willis -- Never heard of him. 12. RB, Marshawn Lynch -- Made the Pro Bowl. Now on the trade block. 13. DT, Adam Carriker -- 53 tackles, 2 sacks. 14. CB, Darrelle Revis -- Some guy who plays for the Jets. 15. LB, Lawrence Timmons -- 156 tackles, 12 sacks. Maturing beautifully. 16. DT, Justin Harrell -- 28 tackles. 2 starts. 17. DE, Jarvis Moss -- 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks 18. CB, Leon Hall -- 214 tackles, 60 pDef, 14 INTs, 3 FF, 19. S, Michael Griffin -- Pro Bowl, 206 tackles, 25 pDef, 11 INTs, 4 FF, 20. CB, Aaron Ross -- Was progressing well till injury. 21. S, Reggie Nelson -- 187 tackles, 20 pDef, 7 INTs, 1 FF 22. QB, Brady Quinn -- Maybe Denver will be better for him. 23. WR, Dwayne Bowe -- Production hurt by clashes with coach. 24. S, Brandon Meriweather -- Pro Bowl, 193 tackles, 21 pDef, 9 INTs, 5 FF, 25. LB, Jon Beason -- Pro Bowl, shame about being a Panther. 26. DE, Anthony Spencer -- 10.5 sacks, 6 last year. Has matured into a starter. 27. WR, Robert Meachem -- Rotation receiver with the Saints. 28. OT, Joe Staley -- Starting LT with 49ers. 29. OG, Ben Grubbs -- Starter on solid O-line. 30. WR, Craig Davis -- 1 career start. 31. TE, Greg Olsen -- Pro Bowl alternate, 15 TDs. 32. WR, Anthony Gonzalez -- 7 TDs in two years. Injured last year. 2008: 1. OT, Jake Long -- Pro Bowl, starting LT. 2. DE, Chris Long -- 83 tackles, 9 sacks 3. QB, Matt Ryan -- Named AP NFL Rookie of the year. Says it all. 4. RB, Darren McFadden -- Hasn't had the carries. 5. DT, Glenn Dorsey -- 100 tackles, 2 sacks. 6. DE, Vernon Gholston -- 30 tackles, 0 sacks. 7. DT, Sedrick Ellis -- 64 tackles, 6 sacks. 8. DE, Derrick Harvey -- 76 tackles, 5.5 sacks. 9. LB, Keith Rivers -- 109 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 2 INTs. 10. LB, Jerod Mayo -- 231 tackles, 1.5 sacks. 11. CB, Leodis McKelvin -- Injury last year makes comparisons difficult. 12. OT, Ryan Clady -- Pro Bowl. 13. RB, Jonathan Stewart -- Near 2000 yards and 10 TDs from limited carries. 14. OT, Chris Williams -- Shut down Jared Allen in 2009. 15. OG, Branden Albert -- Moved to Tackle. Inconsistent. 16. CB, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- Almost matched Revis statistically in 2009. 17. OT, Gosder Cherilus -- Starter. For the Lions.... 18. QB, Joe Flacco -- Enough said. 19. OT, Jeff Otah -- Consistent Starter. Shame about being a Panther. 20. CB, Aqib Talib -- 87 tackles, 24 pDef, 9 INT. Almost there. 21. OT, Sam Baker -- Developing into a starter. 22. RB, Felix Jones -- Will get his chance this year. 23. RB, Rashard Mendenhall -- Set to become the starter this year. 24. RB, Chris Johnson -- Do I really need to go into it? 25. CB, Mike Jenkins -- Pro Bowl alternate, replaced Antoine Winfield. 26. OT, Duane Brown -- Consistent starter for the Texans. 27. CB, Antoine Cason -- 4 starts, 4 INTs, 10 pDef. 28. DE, Lawrence Jackson -- 61 tackles, 6.5 sacks. 29. DE, Kentwan Balmer -- 0 starts, 0 sacks, 19 tackles. 30. TE, Dustin Keller -- Average TE so far. 31. -- The pick lost by New England for "Spygate". 32. S, Kenny Phillips -- Missed whole of last season with injury. So, that's all the first round picks from 2007 and 2008. But what have we learned? In general, most of the offensive tackles and guards have gone on to have very solid careers so far. First round receivers seem to struggle while defensive backs in general come off quite well. Defensive linemen? A mixed bag. Some ends do pretty well, others tend to be a bit flat. First round running backs seem to excel (as long as they don't end up in Oakland). Again, obviously it has a huge impact who you're drafted by. It certainly helps when you're inserted onto a winning team providing the depth at your position isn't too, well, deep. I think though, perspective is the main thing we've developed. Yes, some first rounders do go on and perform very well. Many just seem to creep along slowly, developing themselves for future years. Some bomb out in spectacular fashion. So from now on we should be a little more cautious with our predictions of first rounders. Expecting a rookie DE to walk onto a team and post 10 sacks is being incredibly optimistic. With any luck, we'll all be a little bit wiser and a little bit more reserved with our judgements from now on. It also highlights the need to really do your homework when it comes to picking first rounders! Tomorrow, we'll carry on looking around the training camps by moving to the NFC East. Have a great day everyone.

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