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:
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.