NFL Draft Fun…….

Well….all this talk about the draft made me want to play a little game. What if you went back


to the 2005 NFL Draft and looked at the top 15 picks (as just a small sample) and rated where they SHOULD have gone based on the production, or lack thereof, of the player. This seems like a fair amount of time to judge a player, four years to adjust, learn the system, condition and train under the watchful eye of some of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world and be taught by some of the best head coaches and coordinators in the world. So I will list the player in order they were drafted and list a comment or two and then state my “unofficial” adjusted value (if we were drafting today, knowing what they would do – how unfair, I know, but still fun) And, here we go……….

1. San Francisco 49ers – Alex Smith, QB (Utah)
 – 4 seasons, 4 coordinators; re-structured contract to avoid being released by team.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 5th Round Pick

2. Miami Dolphins – Ronnie Brown, RB (Auburn)
 – 67.3 yards per game, overcame major knee injury to be solid contributor.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Late 1st Round Pick

3. Cleveland Browns – Braylon Edwards, WR (Michigan)
 – Pro Bowl in 2007, took step back last season, still a dangerous playmaker.

4. Chicago Bears – Cedric Benson, RB (Texas)
 – 2,340 career rushing yards, released by team after multiple arrests.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Undrafted rookie free agent

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, RB (Auburn)
 – NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, knee injuries slowed him; a feature back when healthy.

6. Tennessee Titans – Adam “Pac Man” Jones, DB (West Virginia)
 – Well known story here. NO COMMENT.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 6th Round pick

7. Minnesota Vikings – Troy Williamson, WR (South Carolina)
 –  4 seasons, 4 career touchdown receptions, penchant for dropped passes.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 5th Round pick

8. Arizona Cardinals – Antrell Rolle, CB (Miami)
 – Starter for NFC Champs, top 10 in interceptions in 2007.

9. Washington Redskins – Carlos Rogers, CB (Auburn)
 – Part-time starter for ‘Skins, 5 career interceptions.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

10. Detroit Lions – Mike Williams, WR (USC)
 – 2 career touchdowns, released by Titans; out of football.
ADJUSTED VALUE: Undrafted rookie free agent

11. Dallas Cowboys – Demarcus Ware, OLB (Troy)
 – All-Pro, 2nd in Defensive player of the Year voting in 2008, dominant force in the game.

12. San Diego Chargers – Shawne Merriman, OLB (Maryland)
 – Pro Bowl and All Pro player, injured last year but one of the top sack artists in the game.

13. New Orleans Saints – Jamaal Brown, OL (Oklahoma)
 – 2 time Pro Bowl lineman, solid starter for Saints.

14. Carolina Panthers – Thomas Davis, LB (Georgia)
 – Starter for Panthers’ D, 9.5 career sacks.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

15. Kansas City Chiefs – Derrick Johnson, LB (Texas)
 – Starter for Chiefs’ D, solid tackler and contributor.
ADJUSTED VALUE: 2nd Round pick

So, that’s just the TOP 15. And just my opinion, but only a total of 5 Pro-Bowl players in that group, a 33% percent rate, which is very bad compared to the amount of guaranteed money paid to all of those players. 

Here is the Pro-Bowl breakdown by rounds:

  • 1st Round: 7
  • 2nd Round: 4
  • 3rd Round: 2
  • 4th Round: 2 (including Marion Barber III)
  • 5th – 7th Round: 3 (including Jay Ratliff)

Some of the other notable players drafted that year include Lofa Tatupu, LB, Seattle Seahawks (2nd Round), Frank Gore, RB, SF 49ers (3rd Round), Justin Tuck, DE, NY Giants (3rd Round) and Matt Cassell, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (7th Round).

Just a fun little thing to do, it is so easy to look back in hindsight, whether you are scrutinizing Jerry Jones as a General Manager, or any other NFL General Manager. It is the product of scouting departments, hype, desire, money and a multitude of other things that determine which players get drafted where, and why they succeed or fail.

All in all, a CRAP SHOOT!! I am just glad our picks for the 2005 draft: D-Ware, MB3 and Jay Ratliff turned out so well!


The Secondary Is A Primary Concern

With the draft just around the corner, some feel it’s time to start thinking about a corner. It certainly seems that the deal for Tennessee Titan Adam Jones is inevitable but, considering his past antics, that brings little security at the position.

The Dallas secondary isn’t nearly as inept as some "experts" would have you believe. Pro Bowl CB Terence Newman is coming in healthy this year which is huge. Anthony Henry holds his own most of the time. Henry had 6 interceptions in 13 games last season. While not stellar, that is still more than the two previous seasons(28 starts) combined. Newman had 4 INT’s in as many games.

This "lacking secondary" had 19 INT’s last year. Tied for 4th in the NFL in INT’s doesn’t seem lacking or inept to me. The secondary was and is above average in every category. Things have a tendency to get skewed because of the occasional big play given up by the secondary. Just keep in mind the injuries suffered by Newman and Henry throughout the season. Newman fought through foot and knee injuries throughout the 2007 campaign. Henry had a nasty ankle late last season. So the alarm about the Dallas secondary- at least the CB’s- is much ado about nothing.

We all know Roy Williams isn’t a traditional safety. I’ve been a huge critic of Williams over the last 2 seasons. Williams is a great run defender. He had 30 more tackles in 2007 than in the previous season. But I’m sure everyone will agree that if there is a hole in the secondary. That hole wears the number 31. He can’t cover TE’s like Shockey or Cooley consistently.

A 2/28/2008 report in the Star-Telegram brings up concerns about Williams’ behavior in relations to the players and staff. The Star- Telegram reports: " He has become a bit of enigma in the locker room; the defense normally goes out to eat as a unit on Thursdays during game weeks, but Williams seldom attends. He has displayed a tendency to blame others for pass coverage breakdowns, something his teammates have noticed… Coaches, former coaches, teammates and ex-teammates have tried to talk to Williams, but they often receive the same defiant and defensive posturing he takes with his "friends" in the media."

Why not trade Williams? Nobody is going to take the salary cap hit that Williams would bring to the table. He signed a 4 year, $25 million extension in 2006. Trade him? Not gonna happen.

So as we approach the April 26 2008 draft, do we need go to after a corner? Maybe we consider a safety instead? Maybe use Williams in short-yardage and goal line situations in 2008? I don’t pretend to know all the answers to these questions. What I do know is this team is so so close to that illusive 6th trophy. It’s there for the taking. Right around the corner.