A Decade of Drafting-2004

Due to popular request, I’m expanding my look at the Colts’ drafts to include some other teams.  Each day, we’ll look how the Colts, Steelers, Patriots, Eagles and Ravens drafted this decade.  We’ll start with the year 2000.  I’m ranking the teams based on this criteria:  would you trade one entire draft for another?  The team whose draft you would definitely trade the others for gets top billing.

2004 can be argued.  The Colts had the deepest draft, producing four starters (though one of them sucked worse than any player in history).  The Steelers get the top grade for selected in Roethlisberger, though I suppose the wisdom of that could be debated.  Still, two world titles later, it’s hard to debate his impact.  The Pats and Eagles had relatively poor (and shallow) drafts, and the Ravens were a mess.  A reader questioned my grade of “B” for the Colts draft, but I think that now you can see it in context, B might have been too low a grade.

2004

1. Steelers

Total picks: 8

Made team: 4

Total Games Played: 205

Total Pro Bowls:  1 (Roethlisberger)

Best pick:  Ben Roethlisberger

Starters drafted: Roethlisberger (6 seasons), Max Starks (3 seasons)

Summary and Grade: A. All the nonsense aside, if you draft a quarterback who leads your team to two Super Bowls while being one of the highest rated passers all time, you get an A.  The rest of the draft was empty for the Steelers, but hitting on a quarterback is the toughest thing to do right

2. Colts

Total picks: 9

Made team: 8

Total Games Played for Colts: 251

Total Pro Bowls:  2 (Bob Sanders-2)

Best pick:  Bob Sanders

Starters drafted: Bob Sanders (4 seasons), Gilbert Gardner (1 season), Jason David (3 seasons), Jake Scott (4 seasons)

Summary and Grade: B.  This was a solid draft that produced four starters, including Bob Sanders.  It was a top heavy draft, but the Colts largely maximized their picks.  Hartsock over Cooley was a bit of a whiff.  It’s easy to understand why the Colts took Gardner over Schaub in third round, but that was obviously disastrous.  The only pick that I’m sure Polian would like back was Kendyll Pope over Jerad Allen in the fourth round, but I think a lot of people would like that pick back  Jim Sorgi was in this draft as well.  Overall, this draft gets down graded because despite producing a game changer, on the whole the Colts got fewer games out of it than any of the others, and because there were a couple of obvious misses.

3.  Patriots

Total picks: 8

Made team: 7

Total Games Played: 193

Total Pro Bowls: 2 (Vince Wilfork-2)

Best pick: Wilfork

Starters drafted: Wilfork (5 seasons), Ben Watson (5 seasons)

Summary and Grade:C+ Wilfork was a good first round pick, and Watson proved a competent, if disappointing tight end.  They were the only players of note for the Pats that came out of this draft.  Not a strong effort at all.

4. Eagles

Total picks: 10

Made team: 8

Total Games Played: 217

Total Pro Bowls: 2 (Shawn Andrews-2)

Best pick:  Shawn Andrews

Starters drafted: Andrews (3 seasons), Thomas Tapheh (2 seasons)

Summary and Grade: C Andrews turned in two Pro Bowl seasons to justify his selection at guard, although he missed all of 2009 and has already been released by the team.  The only other player to contribute at all was Tapheh who chipped in at full back for a couple of seasons.  Not a good draft at all for the Eagles.

5. Ravens

Total picks: 7

Made team: 5

Total Games Played: 154

Total Pro Bowls: 0

Best pick: No one

Starters drafted: Dwan Edwards (1 season)

Summary and Grade: D- Wow, drafts don’t come much worse than this for the Ravens.  They had no first round pick (I believe it was a consequence of the Boller acquisition the year before).  No one from this draft is any good, and only second round pick Dwan Edwards ever started at all.  The tackle has 2 sacks and fewer than 100 tackles in five years…and he was the best player they picked.  Ouch.

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