Thursday, April 19, 2007

Top 10 defensive picks are not a sure thing

Earlier this week we looked at the offensive players who picked in the top 10 in the NFL Draft since 2000.....today we go to the flip side of the ball and look at the defense.....remember, each player will receive a grade of A, B, C, D, F.....I added two more grades for those who were recently drafted and I was unable to give a grade.....IP means "incomplete, but moving in a positive direction"......IN means "incomplete, but moving in a negative direction".....

Defensive line - there have been 15 defensive linemen chosen in the first 10 picks since 2000.....

2000 - Courtney Brown - F; Corey Simon - C
2001 - Gerard Warren - C; Justin Smith - B; R. Seymour - A; Andre Carter - C+; Jamal Reynolds - F
2002 - Julius Peppers - A; Ryan Sims - B-; John Henderson - B+
2003 - Dewayne Robertson - C; Johnathan Sullivan - F; Kevin Williams - A; Terrell Suggs - A
2004 - none - 1st dl selected was Tommie Harris at #14
2005 - none - 1st dl selected was Travis Johnson at #16
2006 - Mario Williams - IN

Linebacker - there have been 4 linebackers chosen in the first 10 picks since 2000....

2000 - Lavar Arrington - C; Brian Urlacher - A+
2001 - none - 1st lb selected was Dan Morgan at #11
2002 - none - 1st lb selected was Napolean Harris at #23
2003 - none - 1st lb selected was Calvin Pace at #18
2004 - none - 1st lb selected was Jonathan Vilma at #12
2005 - none - 1st lb selected was DeMarcus Ware at #11
2006 - A.J. Hawk - IP; Ernie Sims - IP

Secondary - there have been 11 secondary chosen in the first 10 picks since 2000....

2000 - none - 1st sec. selected was Deltha O'Neal at #15
2001 - none - 1st sec. selected was Adam Archuleta at #20
2002 - Quintin Jammer - D; Roy Williams - B
2003 - Terence Newman - C
2004 - Sean Taylor - A; DeAngelo Hall - A; Dunta Robinson - C
2005 - Pacman Jones - D; Antrel Rolle - C; Carlos Rogers - C
2006 - Michael Huff - IP; Donte Whitner - IP

Summary - I was surprised that only 4 linebackers were selected during this time.....probably the biggest miss at this position was Shawne Merriman going at #13 in 2005 to San Diego....overall it's hard to judge this position being that only 4 players were drafted in the top 10 over the last 7 years....

In the secondary, I gave Pacman Jones a D because of his off-the-field problems....on the field I would have given him an A or B+, but it just kills a team when their cornerback is suspended for a whole season just two years into his playing career.....probably the biggest miss at this position came in 2002 when safety Ed Reed slid all the way to #24 to Baltimore....

Up front, the line has had its share of hits and misses....Courtney Brown was supposed to anchor the Browns defensive the same way Joe Greene did with the Steelers....yeh, right!!!....Dwight Freeney is the best lineman not taken in the first 10 picks....and at that, he just missed out when he went #11 in 2002 to the Colts....in 2004, Vince Wilfork went #21 to New England and Will Smith went #18 to New Orleans – those were two nice grabs....and if not for the steroid issue, Luis Castillo would have went higher than #28 to San Diego in 2005....


Guest Horse Racing Columnist - with the Triple Crown season fast approaching, I was able to secure a horse racing expert to take us through the big races.....former (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reporter Railbird Bob Roberts has agreed to provide his thoughts.....Roberts recently retired from The Plain Dealer and is now working for Thistledown Race Track in Cleveland.....I want to thank Railbird for wanting to help out.....

1 comment:

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

is it wrong that i have a total man-crush on laron landry?