A Decade of Drafting-2008

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 2008 draft was awful for most teams.  The Ravens hit a home run in the first two rounds and immediately vaulted toward the top of the AFC.  The Colts did ok, but the Pats, Eagles and especially the Steelers had forgettable seasons.

1.  Ravens

Total picks: 10

Made team: 8

Total Games Played: 167

Total Pro Bowls:  1 (Ray Rice-1)

Best pick:  Joe Flacco

Starters drafted: Tavares Gooden (1 season), Ray Rice (1 season), Joe Flacco (2 seasons)

Summary and Grade: A It’s hard to argue with the production the Ravens have had out of their 2008 class. Anytime a team lands a legitimate starting quarterback AND a top of the league runner in the first two rounds, the draft is going to get a good grade.  The Ravens got lots of depth out of this class as well, however.  Should Flacco ultimately not pan out, this grade will drop, but through two seasons the Ravens have to be thrilled with where he is at.

2.  Colts

Total picks: 9

Made team: 9

Total Games Played: 166

Total Pro Bowls:  0

Best pick:  Pierre Garcon

Starters drafted: Pollak (1 season), Wheeler (1 season), Garcon (1 season), Richard (1 season)

Summary and Grade:  B. This should be lower but Garcon may turn out to be the single best pick in the entire draft.  At the time, people said the 2008 draft was weak, but in hindsight, it was SUPER weak.  Remarkably few of the players in the draft have managed to even earn starting jobs, let alone become stars. The jury is still out on Wheeler, who I thought improved as the season went along.  Garcon was a steal.  Pollak has been disappointing to say the least.  Looking at how bad this draft was, it’s now clear why teams like the Colts and Patriots actively traded out of it both before and during the draft.  This was just a weak, weak crop of players.

3 (tie). Eagles

Total picks: 10

Made team: 5

Total Games Played: 99

Total Pro Bowls:  1 (DeSean Jackson-1)

Best pick: Jackson

Starters drafted: DeSean Jackson (1 season)

Summary and Grade: C- This draft is a mirror image of the Patriots.  Precious little production by volume or by star power.  DeSean Jackson did make a Pro Bowl, but now with the move to Kevin Kolb, you have to wonder if his career might wind up coming up short.

3 (tie). Patriots

Total picks:7

Made team: 5

Total Games Played:  100

Total Pro Bowls:  0

Best pick:  Jerod Mayo

Starters drafted: Jerod Mayo (2 seasons)

Summary and Grade: C- The Pats draft was utterly without star power or depth.  Only Mayo and Jonathan Wilhite have played much at all.  Mayo looked like a potential star after winning the Rookie of the Year award, but faded in his second year as he was hampered by injuries.

5. Steelers

Total picks: 7

Made team: 4

Total Games Played: 47

Total Pro Bowls:  0

Best pick: Rashard Mendenhall

Starters drafted: Rashard Mendenhall (1 season)

Summary and Grade:  D. Mendenhall battled injuries in his rookie year, but had a solid YPC in his second year.  This class may go down as one of the worst drafts of the decade by any of the teams.  Mendenhall could still rescue it by having a nice career, or I’d give it an F.

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