2008 NFL Draft Review, 4 years later.

These are the long tedious months between NFL seasons. The draft is over 6 weeks away, free agency is still a week away, and the games have been over for awhile. So, in my football boredom, I figured I’d take a look backwards, at prior drafts, and see what happened, what we’ve learned, and how poor I am at prognosticating. The general rule is that it takes at least 3 years to judge a draft, so, let’s take a quick look at


Things that stick out to me:

Jake Long is everything I want in the first pick of the draft. He’s started almost every game since coming into the league and has made 4 out of 4 Pro Bowls. He’s one of the best in the NFL at his position, and it’s a position that is vital to the team. Fantastic pick.

Matt Ryan has been very good, but not elite. Coming out of college, he had issues with his ability to throw long with any accuracy, and those questions still remain. He’s the best QB from that draft, but that’s not saying much.

Vernon Gholston is clearly the bust of the draft. A guy from Ohio State with nice production, but he jumped to the 6th player taken because of outstanding measureables at the combine. Beware the workout warrior.

Derrick Harvey is a close second. Jacksonville traded away their first rounder, 2 third rounders, and a fourth rounder to move up 10 spots to #8 to grab a guy who has averaged 2 sacks a year. They waived him last year. I named that trade the most egregious pick of the draft.

There is a lot of talent in the second round. Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Flowers, Curtis Lofton, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Calais Campbell, and others are all very good starters in the NFL. Many of them have outshone earlier picks.

Chris Johnson was the surprise of the draft. A speedster from a small school, most people were shocked that he was the 24th player selected in the draft by the Titans. Since then, he’s passed 2,000 yards a year in 2009, passed 1,000 in each of his 4 years, and has a 4.8 ypc. He can still be electric, but is also wildly inconsistent. Still, a great pick.

There were some intriguing guys taken in the 7th round too. Matt Flynn, Demetrius Bell, Stevie Johnson, and Peyton Hillis were all 7th round selections. Some great value.

And, if you’re not already bored out of your skull, Here is the SDMB 2008 NFL draft thread.

I was right about some things: Derrick Harvey, Chris Williams (““Woo Hoo, the Bears select Williams!!! OVER RATED!!! OVER… RATED!!!), wrong about others (“Good move. I like Sam Baker and in most mock drafts, he was falling to the second round. But he’s a solid player.” Matt Forte: “I’m happy to see him in a Bears uniform. My aging grandma can chase him down.”).

One of the big issues in that thread was Joe Flacco. Moriarty nee Atomicktom started it out by saying: ““Mark my words: NFL defenses will one day rue the day that Joe Flacco lines up against them. Matt Ryan, meanwhile, will never earn as much money as he does when he signs his first contract.” Likewise, Omni was effusive in his Flacco praise: “I agree. I think Ryan might be better than you think but I think Flacco is the perfect prospect. I desperately want the Bears to make a trade to land him one way or another.” Meanwhile, I said: ““I would take Ryan over Flacco in a heartbeat, not because I’m smitten with Ryan, but because I don’t think Flacco is going to develop into anything better than, say a JP Losman. And even that is a couple years down the road” and “I don’t think Flacco is a bum. I think Flacco is horribly overrated, unworthy of a first round pick, a huge developmental project and will, at best, be Ben Rothlisberger, but not for a few years.” Flacco, to me, remains a conundrum to this day. He has started every single game for the Ravens since he was drafted, and the team has had some very good success. However, he was only the 18th rated QB last year, he’s never made a Pro Bowl, let alone an All Pro team, he regressed last year, and his time in Baltimore may be running out.

And, my favorite quote from the thread comes from Senor Beef and sums up the entirety of talking about the NFL draft:

“Fuck yeah.

I think.”

There’s a ton more in there, if anyone wants to review/comment on the draft or the SDMB review of it. I just thought I’d get it started in these days of the NFL doldrums.

The Bills have a reputation for crappy drafting, but I think they did alright here- Stevie Johnson has rocks in his head, but he’s pretty good. Meanwhile Smash Stewart has lived up to his draft status with the Panthers, the Jeff Otah trade hasn’t panned out because of injuries.

But Leodis McKelvin, the 11th pick, has been a big disappointment, James Hardy, their 2nd round pick, has less than 100 yard receiving… total for his career. Their 3rd rounder Chris Ellis is out of football, Reggie Corner (4th rounder) is a #4 DB and Derrick Fine is another who is not on a team. While the Bills hit on a couple of their 7th rounders in Bell and Johnson, blowing those early round picks are killing them as a franchise.

Yeah, you scored some points there. I’ve probably given McKelvin too much benefit of the doubt because I thought he looked good his rookie year. Their drafting has been so weak that I suppose I’m overrating the successes.

Well, I think the Vikings would do 1st + 3rd + 3rd for Jared Allen again, and then some. That’s a price you’ll pay any day for someone who very well could end up in the Hall of Fame. And hey, he’s had 4 safeties since joining the Vikings, tying the NFL record. Indeed, I think the humor of watching the Orlovsky safety alone justifies the price paid.

An interesting note is that of the Vikings five picks, every one was obtained via trade. They picked up a serviceable starting center in the 6th round in John Sullivan, but the rest of the draft was bleh. Of the other four, only two are still with the team and they seem to be career backups. (Admittedly Tyrell Johnson has been a starter at safety, but that is only because the Vikings secondary has stunk.)

The discussion on the Vikings’ OL has proved to be right on, however that was something that was a worry. McKinnie was always overrated at LT, it’s just that there were more pressing holes to fill.

It’s been a great trade for them. I remember being very leery of Allen with his DUI’s and iffy attitude, but he’s been an outstanding player for them. Well worth the trade. Depleted their depth a bit, which was very telling this year, but I’d do that trade in a heartbeat.

It was a pretty awful draft for the Bengals. Keith Rivers has not become an impact LB and now apparently has a degenerative wrist condition, Jerome Simpson is inconsistent at best (TD FLIP!! TD FLIP!!) and is going to be suspended/going to jail for a big marijuana bust, Andre Caldwell is a marginal WR, Jason Shirley was an experiment that didn’t pan out, I don’t remember who Harrington even was and Mario Urrutia was never going to crack the roster.

The Pack did reasonably well in this draft.

No 1st round pick (traded down with the Jets).

They had three picks in the second round: Jordy Nelson has become a starter at WR, and doesn’t seem to have peaked yet, but QB Brian Brohm only lasted one season as Rodgers’ backup (he went to the Bills, was cut, and was in the UFL in 2011), and CB Patrick Lee has never been able to progress past being a dime back.

In the later rounds, they picked up starters in TE Jermichael Finley (3rd) and G Josh Sitton (4th). Finley, unfortunately, is maddeningly inconsistent, and has yet to really live up to his potential. Sitton is one of the best starters on the line, and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010.

And, of course, they picked up QB Matt Flynn in the 7th, who’s going to be starting for some team next season.

The other picks:
DE Jeremy Thompson (4th) played sparingly in '08 and '09, suffered a neck injury, and is now retired.

OT Breno Giacomini (5th) went to Seattle after a year, and started half of 2011’s games for the Seahawks.

WR Brett Swain (7th) stuck for three seasons as a situational player, was cut in training camp last year, and wound up playing for the Niners in 2011.

So, overall: no home runs, but three solid starters, plus Flynn. The only real “whiff” is Brohm.

Simpson was taken 3 picks before DeSean Jackson. Imagine having AJ Green and DeSean Jackson as your WR’s.

Actually don’t. I don’t want to see you cry.

Allen is one of those players whose talents I respect, and who I’d probably like a lot if he were on my team, but whom I hate because he’s on the other team (that said, he doesn’t seem to rise to A.J. Pierzynski levels of dickishness :wink: ). I really wish he wasn’t on a divisional rival.

They did. What cracked me up reviewing the draft was looking at my in time reactions. I thought Nelson was taken too high (well worth it now), Brohm was a great pick (he’s out of the NFL), I loved the Pat Lee (he’s not developed) pick, I wasn’t a fan of the Finley pick (his immaturity was and is a problem, but he was well worth a 3rd rounder), I wanted two other guys who are out of football rather than Sitton, and I thought Flynn wouldn’t develop into an NFL caliber QB. Wow, thank God the Packers listen to TT and not me.

I know…I’d also like to imagine having Chris Henry along with them. Unstoppable.

He rose mostly on the strength of the combine. I’m skeptical of workout warriors, too, but he’s example #1 of the value of them.

You sure you want to use the term “unstoppable” and “Chris Henry” in the same post? Why not just throw the word “pick up” in there too.

By all accounts he was turning his life around. The way he died seems to fly in the face of that, but…he did have an unbelievable combination of size and speed, despite living and dying like a knucklehead.

Thank you so much for taking us on a stroll back to the Matt Millen Years. :mad:
Although Kevin Smith and Avril, make it far from the worst of those days.

Oh, Lions. I think this was Matt Millen’s last draft.

1 17 Gosder Cherilus T Boston College
Started at RT since he was drafted, but has been benched for poor performance a couple of times. Not a good pick for a 1st rounder.

2 45 Jordon Dizon OLB Colorado
No longer with the team.

3 64 Kevin Smith RB Central Florida
Injury prone, so was cut before training camp last year. Made a miraculous comeback when re-signed after Jahvid Best went down, but got hurt again. His absence really hurt in the playoff game.

3 87 Andre Fluellen DT Florida State
Decent rotational DT. 11 tackles, no sacks in limited play.

3 92 Cliff Avril DE Purdue
Made the Pro Bowl and was just franchise tagged. Great pick in the 3rd.

5 136 Kenny Moore WR Wake Forest

5 146 Jerome Felton FB Furman
Cut this past off season, as the team no longer uses a FB.

7 216 Landon Cohen DE Ohio U.
21 career tackles with three different teams. Plays for the Pats now.

7 218 Caleb Campbell DB Army
Had to fulfill his Army term and struggled to return to football after that. Recorded one tackle while playing for the Chiefs last year.

The Steelers typically draft well, but that draft was Bust Central. The only person that produced anything notable was Rashard Mendenhall, and he’s just about to be shown the door after his knee blowout last year. Limas Sweed? He stole his paychecks. Dennis Dixon had potential, but he was never going to see any significant time behind Roethlisberger. Is he even in the league anymore?

That was pretty much a wasted year in the long term, and given that Mendenhall’s butterfingers in the Super Bowl cost the Steelers a shot at the win I don’t know that anything good really came of it.

Still on the Steelers’ roster.

Hmmm… Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?