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Old 12-30-2004   #1
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Default An article that makes ya think.

here is the article.. out of Jag land.

Lets look back at draft
12/29/04
By Vic Ketchman, jaguars.com senior editor

If the preseason is a good time to look ahead, then the last week of the season should be a great time to look back. All right, let's take a look back at this year's draft.

Let's start with the Jaguars, who drafted wide receiver Reggie Williams with the ninth overall pick. Was it a good pick for the Jaguars? Well, early returns would definitely indicate the Jaguars did not get the punch from Williams they hoped they would. With one game to play, Williams has caught 27 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. That's not what any of us had in mind when we spoke of the Jaguars' need for a playmaker at wide receiver.

Young players, of course, require time. Just look at the players who looked like busts as rookies or even through the early years of their careers but have since taken steps into or toward stardom. How about Drew Brees and Larry Johnson? Was there any guarantee Willis McGahee would ever play again? Now he's over a thousand yards and has scored 11 touchdowns in little more than half a season of full-time action. Maybe Williams will turn into that same kind of impact player next year.

Let's take a look at the rest of this year's first-round crop.

Were Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers good picks? Manning is showing signs of coming to life, but was it smart for the Giants to trade away multiple picks to draft Manning when Ben Roethlisberger wouldn't have cost them anything more than their own pick? Isn't drafting a crystal-ball business?

San Diego ended up with Rivers in the exchange with the Giants. Is that a good deal? Drew Brees has gone start to finish for the Chargers and he's led them to the AFC West title. What if he takes them to the Super Bowl?

Brees' contract voids this winter, which means the Chargers could lose Brees and find themselves with an unknown quantity at quarterback next season. All of a sudden, the Chargers would be right back to where they started. Hey, this can't be what the Chargers had in mind.

Oakland picked Robert Gallery number two and he's a good player, but couldn't the Raiders have used Roethlisberger? Arizona took Larry Fitzgerald and he's got 55 catches and eight touchdowns, but wouldn't Roethlisberger have been a better pick for the Cardinals, too?

Washington went with a safety, Sean Taylor, at number five, and the Redskins chose to trade a third-round pick and spend $8 million on Mark Brunell. Taylor's a good player but he's a safety. Roethlisberger could've saved the Redskins a lot of money and embarrassment and given the Redskins a player around whom they could've built their team for the future.

Cleveland's draft performance literally laid the groundwork for Butch Davis' demise. He traded up one spot to draft a player who would've been there had the Browns stayed where they were. Goodbye second-round pick! Then the Browns drafted a tight end, Kellen Winslow, who missed nearly the whole season with a broken leg. Roethlisberger, an Ohio guy, would've been a much better pick for the Browns, too.

Detroit went for wide receiver Roy Williams at seven. They claimed he was the number one guy on their board. Yeah, Williams has flashed some talent, but the real rookie star for Detroit is running back Kevin Jones, who the Lions picked at number 30. Jones is the top rookie rusher and may be the most exciting player the Lions have drafted since Barry Sanders. Clearly, the Lions need a new board.

Atlanta's selection of cornerback DeAngelo Hall was a no-brainer. He was just what the Falcons needed and he was great value at number eight. Unfortunately, he suffered a hip injury that has ruined his rookie season.

At 10, Houston made a great choice, cornerback Dunta Robinson. He may be the defensive rookie of the year.

Pittsburgh, at 11, came away with the plum, Roethlisberger. Wow, those Steelers sure are geniuses, right? Wrong. How about lucky? They were willing to allow Buffalo to trade up to draft Roethlisberger. Who would the Steelers have drafted if Buffalo had moved up? Offensive tackle Shawn Andrews. As it turned out, the Steelers offensive line was a strength of the team this year.

In retrospect, it is with that 11th pick of the draft that the great drama ended. Looking back on it, if they had known then what Roethlisberger would become this season, how many of the teams in the top 10 picks would've selected the rookie sensation ahead of the Steelers? Probably six; the first six. Of course, Roethlisberger would probably still be on the bench in San Diego.

Aren't they supposed to see what's going to happen? Is that the whole idea of scouting and drafting?

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma at 12 is OK and Buffalo did well at 13 with wide receiver Lee Evans, who has 46 catches for 780 yards and nine touchdowns. Evans started out slowly and there were concerns he wasn't worth the choice, but there are no complaints in Buffalo now.

Chicago made a great pick at 14 in Tommie Harris, Michael Clayton was an outstanding selection by Tampa at 15, D.J. Williams was a home run at 17 for Denver and Will Smith is a worthy choice at 18 by New Orleans. Andrews went to Philadelphia at 16 but was lost for the season to injury. Carolina made a great down-the-line pick in Chris Gamble at 28.

In final evaluation of this year's draft, the best stretch of drafting was picks 10-18. In each case other than for the Andrews pick value was returned and the player addressed an immediate need.







OK.. so I read that, and my first thought was "wow, what a fool.. apparently everyone should have drafted big ben." But then i got to thinking about it.. it is pretty interesting looking at picks 1-9. All these players drafted were "the big boys".. they were the guys that were gonna come in and set the league on fire. But look at how it turned out... the picks from 10 on are the ones that really made a difference on the field. they are the ones being talked about now.. while all those first picks are either in hiding, injured, or just "so-so".

SO.. this has made me really consider the wisdom of trading up for DJ.. I mean, yah he seems like he would be a great pick.. but give up your draft for it? Maybe it ISNT so smart a move considering how hard it is to say whether or not a player will make a difference or get injured or just disappear. Perhaps we would be better off just taking the best player available to us at whatever position we are at.. if last years draft is any indication, he has a better chance of being a playmaker than those top 10 guys.
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Old 12-30-2004   #2
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couple of things,

Casserly specifically has seemed to do his best drafting when he has stayed at his position and picked the guy that they have liked at the spot.

Overall, at the top of the draft i think teams go more for homeruns than take the more solid pick. Nothing to prove with facts, just the feel i get. As you get lower in the first the players get less risky, but are still guys who are good football players. In my mind an example is Clayton for tampa Bay. I don't have intimate knowledge of thier draft board, but he was the last WR left in the early first round run. Nothing left to do but take the best one left. Decision easier than Jacksonville who went for Reggie williams the physical marvel with the highest upside, but missed on Lee Evans and Clayton who are better football players.
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Old 12-30-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grid
here is the article.. out of Jag land.



OK.. so I read that, and my first thought was "wow, what a fool.. apparently everyone should have drafted big ben." But then i got to thinking about it.. it is pretty interesting looking at picks 1-9. All these players drafted were "the big boys".. they were the guys that were gonna come in and set the league on fire. But look at how it turned out... the picks from 10 on are the ones that really made a difference on the field. they are the ones being talked about now.. while all those first picks are either in hiding, injured, or just "so-so".

At the time of the draft, there were four bonehead picks that I thought were obvious mistakes:
#3 AZ - Larry Fitzgerald - Not a bad player, but at a position of strength on an otherwise weak team. If Boldin and their first-round pick from 2003 couldn't make them win, why would another rookie wideout help?
#4 SD - Phillip Rivers - the #3 QB (by a lot) when they really needed a receiver (TE Gates gave them this receiving threat in the end, but at this pick no one knew that was coming)
#6 Clev - Kellen Winslow, Jr. - Between the attitude bigger than TO and Meshawn put together and being overrated skill-wise, this guy would have been a poor pick at #16, much less #6 plus a 2nd rounder.
#9 Jax - Reggie Williams - Before Mike Williams got axed from the draft, he was a distant 4th at best on WR value rankings and 7th on some. Guess what, he's been about the 5th best WR from this draft! Go figure.

The key point here is that I was hardly alone in this analysis. It was just plain bad drafting - the teams involved screwed up. It wasn't that elite prospects didn't perform, it was teams picking non-elite prospects or prospects in positions they didn't need. Sean Taylor could be added to this latter list, as he's produced pretty well in the latter half of the season but the Redskins didn't really need a safety.

I'd venture to say that the only two top 10 picks who underperformed vs my expectations were #1 Manning and #2 Gallery and neither has been completely worthless. #8 Hall had a nasty injury that's prevented him from performing - but there's no way to predict that pre-draft.

#7 Roy Williams was a great pick for Detroit. The only problem the article had with this pick is they're saying Kevin Jones was better - well, Detroit GOT Kevin Jones, too. In my book that just makes the pick all the better because they still filled their biggest need through a later trade-up and got an impact player at WR.
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Old 12-31-2004   #4
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i just found it funny that every team could have used big ben. but the fact is that not every team has the steelers d and if ben was on the giants than he would probably have to same record as eli does give or take a win. i'm not trying to take away from what he has done because he has had times when he has stepped up in the clutch (jacksonville), but the giants don't have a trio of great wrs (great as a whole), two good backs, and half the line that steel town does. so before we give big ben the mvp lets remember that the steelers are the only team in the top 11 that could be at 14-1 with big ben, maybe the chargers also.

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At the time of the draft, there were four bonehead picks that I thought were obvious mistakes:
if you're calling the chargers pick of a qb a bonehead pick than i have to ask if you watched them a year ago because they needed a qb. everyone lost faith in drew and san diego was sick of rolling floute out in a wheelchair. in hindsight they should have taken roy williams, instead they have to probably let go of the player that lead them to a division title and start over with pretty much a rookie qb. before you start calling winslow a no talent *** clown we have to remember what he can bring to a team. i can tell that you probably don't like him, but that doesn't mean that he is a bad player. its pretty easy to say that he isn't worth the 16th pick when he played in one game so far. as for sean taylor i think that he was the best player for the redskins. they didn't need a qb because they thought they had their guy for the moment, they didn't need a rb, they had a pro-bowl wr, no o-linemen worth the 5th pick, they have good lb and cbs. the only guy that they could have taken instead was winslow, but why pick a guy 11 spots early. the defense is playing good because of him, now they have themselves set up to take a o-lineman or d-lineman this year. their safties weren't bad, but they weren't the players that sean is. yes they could have traded down, but at the 5th pick they got one of the best values outside of dunta.
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Old 12-31-2004   #5
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enjoyed the read Grid, Jags are either still rationalizing or in denial it seems I know they wanted Roy Williams and seemed set on a WR thats why they drafted Reggie when they should have taken a DE either Udeze or Will Smith.

sarg01 I like the point you make it was teams picking non-elite prospects or prospects in positions they didn't need. as to a common mistake among losing organiaztions. The Texans needed a CB and were in perfect position to be patient just as the latter teams who had success. Casserly did not press the panic button and attempt to move up like the Browns did for instance with Winslow.

also in agreement with arlington there is more pressure to not screw up the higher the pick, therefore it makes selecting prospects later more focused & pratical based on need.

ah yes the Chargers they screwed things up (or was it Manning?)
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Old 12-31-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerlover
Casserly did not press the panic button and attempt to move up like the Browns did for instance with Winslow.
No, he waited to do that with our second pick and the move up into the first round to select Babin. Actually, my criticism of the price paid for Babin is
sofening, but I still think we still paid a premium.
"At 10, Houston made a great choice, cornerback Dunta Robinson. He may be the defensive rookie of the year."
And I second that. D-Rob would have been worthy of a top 5 pick.
The only major screw up Cass has made so far re. the college draft was his
pick of Hollings.
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Old 12-31-2004   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
No, he waited to do that with our second pick and the move up into the first round to select Babin. Actually, my criticism of the price paid for Babin is
sofening, but I still think we still paid a premium.
"At 10, Houston made a great choice, cornerback Dunta Robinson. He may be the defensive rookie of the year."
And I second that. D-Rob would have been worthy of a top 5 pick.
The only major screw up Cass has made so far re. the college draft was his
pick of Hollings.

I am going to play the "if and buts" game a bit with this. More me having fun than really getting on Casserly.

The Hollings trade made the Babin happen. If the Texans do not make the pick for Hollings then the Texans are sitting at the top of the 2nd round with that pick. That is 10 spots. Assuming that the Texans want Babin then here are the options:

They take more of a chance that he is going to last 4 or 5 more spots.
They trade from the spot ten picks higher giving fewer picks.
They make the same trade with the 33rd pick still in their pocket.

Of course, they would have had bring another player to "replace" Hollings either in FA or the 2004 draft, but in the offseason approaching 2005 effectively the Texans may still need to pick up RB to compliment DomDavis.
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Old 12-31-2004   #8
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The first draft that we had, scared me alot because in the second round we picked pitts over portis, my mouth dropped and I lost a lot of faith in our drafting team. But then after wards we've made up for it with Johnson, Davis, Robinson, Babin so it's all good. I was also completely irrate when we drafted Joppru. Let's hope that this year we have another big draft like the one last year. (Adding Robinson, Babin and Earl).

I hope we can add a Ball Hawk Safety/ Pass Rushin Lineman / or Inside Linebacker.

also nunusguy said something about Hollings being a bad pick, in my opinion that's only because Davis was a diamond in the rough that he can now be considered a bust or bad pick, but what if Davis wasn't the back he turned out to be now. Then would you want the running game resting on Well's shoulders?
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Old 12-31-2004   #9
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Babin would have gone to the Pats at 32, i think that is obvious by now. He was who they were targeting, and ended up getting BPA in Ben Watson, someone who in all honestly won't be needed for a good 6 years
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Old 12-31-2004   #10
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Originally Posted by texansfan88
Babin would have gone to the Pats at 32, i think that is obvious by now. He was who they were targeting, and ended up getting BPA in Ben Watson, someone who in all honestly won't be needed for a good 6 years
Really, considering that I don't have knowledge of the Pats draft board that fact is not obvious to me.

What i do know is that Fuaria and Flemster are FA after this year so Watson has a chance to be an important part of that teams multiple TE 2005 not 6 year down the road.
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Old 12-31-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
No, he waited to do that with our second pick and the move up into the first round to select Babin. Actually, my criticism of the price paid for Babin is
sofening, but I still think we still paid a premium.
"At 10, Houston made a great choice, cornerback Dunta Robinson. He may be the defensive rookie of the year."
And I second that. D-Rob would have been worthy of a top 5 pick.
The only major screw up Cass has made so far re. the college draft was his
pick of Hollings.

well I'll agree to disagree with you on this Babin was not a panic pick but a stroke of genius. the fact that the Titans bleed us a little to get him still did not lessen the fact he is in process of becoming everything envisioned as a 3-4 OLB.

looking at this years candiates or crop of linebackers/defensive ends that could convert to OLB Pollack comes the closest & I would expect him to be gone by pick 17. So the Texans really got great value in the Babin pick despite all the draft picks they traded away.

speaking of Pollack I think he would be an outstanding selection if still available when the Texans select. Imagine Babin LOLB and Pollack ROLB. Surely with the mix of linebackers Peek, Sharper, Wong & Foreman that would be a formidable group capable of filling all the gaps.
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