Garbage. Seriously. Gar-BAHZGE.
That was my thought after looking over the 2009 NFL Draft. My esteemed editor asked (mandated) that I redo the entire first round. Truth be told, I had never fully examined this four-year-old raid of the great college marketplace.
I wasn't missing anything.
Neither are the Dallas Cowboys, who, after seeing Victor Butler depart last week, also took a last look at their 2009 draft class. The 'Boys made a league-high 12 selections in '09 -- none of those players remain on the roster today. That's horrible.
Then again, so was the rest of the draft. None of the first 25 players taken have ever been named first-team All-Pro. (Matthew Stafford, Brian Orakpo and Brian Cushing have come the closest.) Only one guy from the entire first round has received the honor: Clay Matthews (26th overall pick) following the 2010 season. In fact, the saving grace of this draft might be the number of decent players who came after Pick 200, including Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Succop.
Sure, there are some quality names below. And we did our best to fill each team's needs (except for the Cowboys, Patriots and Bears, who didn't have first-round picks). Still, compared to say, the 2008 NFL Draft, the '09 version bites the big one. That year boasted Jake Long, Chris Long, Matt Ryan, Jerod Mayo, Ryan Clady, Joe Flacco, Chris Johnson, Duane Brown, Brandon Flowers, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Cliff Avril, Brandon Carr, Carl Nicks and Stevie Johnson, to name a few.
So with that in mind, please hesitate before complaining about your team's do-over pick lacking typical first-round flashiness -- there just wasn't much of it to go around in 2009. That is, unless you have a Mark Sanchez Fathead on your wall.
Without further ado, let's re-draft that first round from four years ago. Per the usual, your thoughts are welcome ... @Harrison_NFL is the dropbox.
1) Detroit Lions
Pick: Matthew Stafford, QB
By and large, Stafford has been an excellent top pick. Yes, he was hurt for much of his first two seasons, but over the last two, he's started every game and proven incredibly productive. He took the Lions to their first playoff berth since 1999 on the strength of 41 touchdown passes in 2011.
2) St. Louis Rams
Pick: Jason Smith, OT
Do-over: Mike Wallace, WR
Seriously, how long have the Rams needed help at wide receiver, specifically a deep threat? No. 2 overall might seem a little steep for Wallace, who has his problems holding onto the ball, but not when you see how thin the 2009 draft was/is. By the way, the Rams' leading wideout that year (Donnie Avery) had all of 589 yards receiving.
3) Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Tyson Jackson, DEDo-over: Josh Freeman, QB
Just think, if the Chiefs made the move on the somewhat-local K-State QB, they could have averted signing Matt Cassel to a $60 million contract that returned about $6 mill in dividends.
4) Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Aaron Curry, LB
Do-over: Brian Cushing, LB
Curry was a bust. The choice at linebacker comes down to Cushing and Clay Matthews, two of the prizes of the '09 draft. Cushing's ability to play inside or outside makes him the choice here. Seattle has made hay as a high-pressure 4-3 team, whereas Matthews fits better as an outside backer in the 3-4.
5) New York Jets
Pick: Mark Sanchez, QB
Do-over: Percy Harvin, WR
The Jets certainly needed a quarterback in 2009, yet the only two decent QBs -- Stafford and Freeman -- are off the board. Enter Harvin, who would have eliminated the need to acquire Santonio Holmes in 2010. Let's be honest: Holmes has been mostly a distraction in New York without the production to offset it.
6) Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Andre Smith, OT
Do-over: Arian Foster, RB
Foster, who amazingly went undrafted in 2009, goes sixth overall in the re-draft. Still too low? Well, I have my reasons ... Steven Jackson was outstanding in 2009 for the Rams, Jamaal Charles has been a great pick for the Chiefs, and the Marshawn Lynch deal worked well for the Seahawks. The issue: theJets. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene provided a real 1-2 punch for a club that landed in the AFC Championship Game. It's the passing game that's been the HUGE problem. Thus, the Jets snag Harvin, and Foster lands in Cincy, which ultimately makes re-signing Cedric Benson unnecessary. Or, Foster beats out Benson sometime in 2010, allowing the Bengals to shop Benson for extra picks.
7) Oakland Raiders
Pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Do-over: Hakeem Nicks, WR
Trying to stay true to the Raiders' M.O. under Al Davis, Oakland takes Nicks, a wide receiver who excels in both the short and long games. Of course, Nicks' main problem has been staying healthy. Nonetheless, 60 percent of him has been better than 100 percent of DHB.
Pick: Eugene Monroe, OT
Do-over: Sebastian Vollmer, OT
Vollmer gets the nod here, as he has been more consistent over the course of his young career than Monroe. The consistently struggling Jaguars need players to be effective sooner than later. Monroe and Andre Smith have become fine football players now, but both struggled early on.
9) Green Bay Packers
Pick: B.J. Raji, NT
Do-over: Clay Matthews, LB
Matthews is probably the top player on the board when the Packers come around turn nine. So instead of taking Raji, they select the long-haired pass rusher, he of the 42.5 career sacks. Ironically, Matthews actually was taken by the Packers later in the first round (26th overall).
10) San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Michael Crabtree, WR
The 49ers stick with Crabtree in our 2009 NFL Draft Do-Over. Crabtree also began his career at a snail's pace, but boy has he turned it on. Over the last five games of 2012, Crabtree caught 35 balls for 538 yards and four touchdowns. Overall he caught 85 passes in a power-running offense. And he didn't fare too poorly in last season's playoffs, either, with a pair of 100-yard games and three touchdowns.
11) Buffalo Bills
Pick: Aaron Maybin, DE
Do-over: Brian Orakpo, DE
The Bills switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and back again in 2012. The beauty of drafting Orakpo is he can excel in either, as a defensive end or outside linebacker. The two-time Pro Bowler's only downside in his young career is last year's season-ending injury.
12) Denver Broncos
Pick: Knowshon Moreno, RB
Do-over: LeSean McCoy, RB
Guessing Broncos fans would support this draft alteration after watching Moreno's first four seasons in the league. McCoy has played in 14 more games and racked up 2,171 more yards from scrimmage.
13) Washington Redskins
Pick: Brian Orakpo, DE
Do-over: Jairus Byrd, S
After the death of Sean Taylor, the Redskins tried to fit in several safeties with LaRon Landry before the latter's departure last year. In a related note: The Redskins' secondary got torched for 4,720 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012. Byrd would give Washington one of the best free safeties in pro football.
14) New Orleans Saints
Pick: Malcolm Jenkins, DB
Do-over: Lardarius Webb, CB
Webb has been thrown at 227 times in his career, allowing a grand total of three touchdowns. Jenkins shows flashes, but lacks consistency. Webb would be an upgrade to the secondary.
15) Houston Texans
Pick: Brian Cushing, ILB
Do-over: Jeremy Maclin, WR
With Cushing off the board, Houston makes a "need" pick. How long have the Texans lacked a legit threat at WR2? Since Maclin has been in the league.
16) San Diego Chargers
Pick: Larry English, LB
Do-over: Andre Smith, OT
Smith has become a quality tackle in the NFL. His presence would have been a luxury during the Marcus McNeill-A.J. Smith contract staredown in 2010 ... and then a necessity when injuries sent McNeill into early retirement. Left tackle has been a tough spot to fill in at The Murph (still can't say Qualcomm). Problem solved.17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Josh Freeman, QB
Do-over: Henry Melton, DT
Selecting Melton 17th in 2009 prevents the Buccaneers from having to take Brian Price 35th overall in 2010. Enough said.
...see the rest at the link.
"Still, compared to say, the 2008 NFL Draft, the '09 version bites the big one." <-- will we be feeling that about this draft compared to last year's?