A Decade of Drafting-2005

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.

The Eagles take the cake in 2005 with a deep draft that churned out a slew of starters.  The Pats were also excellent.  The Colts had one of their worst drafts of the decade, but still managed to do better than either the Steelers or the Ravens.  It’s always nice when your weakest year still produces several starters.

2005

1.  Eagles

Total picks:  11

Made team: 9

Total Games Played: 395

Total Pro Bowls: 2 (Trent Cole-2)

Best pick:  Trent Cole

Starters drafted: Mike Patterson (4 seasons), Reggie Brown (3 seasons), Matt McCoy (1 season), Sean Considine (2 seasons), Todd Herrmans (4 seasons), Trent Cole (4 seasons)

Summary and grade:  A+ Trent Cole is still making Pro Bowls, the draft as a whole produced 6 starters and 395 games and counting.  The Eagles have had some stinkers in this series, but this one was just a great haul.  Lots of good solid starters and a star.

2.  Patriots

Total picks: 7

Made team :5

Total Games Played: 310

Total Pro Bowls: 2 (Logan Mankins-2)

Best pick:  Mankins

Starters drafted: Logan Mankins (5 seasons), Ellis Hobbs (4 seasons), Nick Kaczur (5 seasons), James Sanders (2 seasons), Matt Cassel (1 season)

Summary and grade:  A. This was a wonderful draft for the Pats.  Not only did all five players who made the team end up becoming starters, but they eventually dealt Cassel in part for a second round pick.  They got depth and star power.  Excellent draft.

3. Colts

Total picks: 10

Made team: 8 (Vincent “Sweet Pea” Burns made the team but was injured and never played)

Total Games Played for Colts: 275

Total Pro Bowls: 0

Best pick:  Kelvin Hayden

Starters drafted: Marlin Jackson (2 seasons), Kelvin Hayden (3 seasons), Dylan Gandy (1 season), Tyjuan Hagler (1 season)

Summary and grade: B-.  Not the strongest draft, in part because of Jackson’s knee problems.  The real air ball was Vincent Burns, who was taken over several players who went on to significant NFL success.  The most frustrating part of the 2005 draft is that there were several excellent pass rushers available who were not selected.  The 2007 and 2009 seasons might have ended very differently if this draft had gone better.  Still, the Colts pulled down several starters and will likely post more than 300 total games played from this class.  It wasn’t a bad draft so much as a missed opportunity.

4.  Steelers

Total picks: 8

Made team: 6

Total Games: 241

Total Pro Bowls: 1 (Heath Miller-1)

Best pick: Heath Miller

Starters drafted: Miller (5 seasons), Bryant McFadden (2 seasons), Trai Essex (1 season), Chris Kemoeatu (2 seasons)

Summary and grade: B- Miller is a solid, though fairly ordinary tight end.  The rest of the draft is utterly forgetable.

5.  Ravens

Total picks: 7

Made team: 6

Total Games Played: 232

Total Pro Bowls: 1 (Derek Anderson with Browns)

Best pick: Jason Brown

Starters drafted: Mark Clayton (5 seasons), Adam Terry (1 season), Jason Brown (3 seasons)

Summary and grade: C-. Not a good haul at all for the Ravens.  Clayton has never had 1,000 yard season or more than 5 TDs.  Brown was a three year starter, now starting in Saint Louis.  About the only interesting pick was Derek Anderson, who never played for them at all.  The Ravens got neither depth nor talent in 2005.

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