Wednesday, April 13, 2011 0
Photos: Barber & Strahan were probably two of the "Greatest Ever"second round selections...Tiki Barber Photo by David Shankbone via Wikipedia-Strahan(shown "schooling" a Youngster) By Victor Pagan for Football Reporters)
(Eds. Note: this is the first installment of Football Reporters Online's "Pro Draft Report" for 2011, reposted here with permission. It will run every Day until the Draft on April 28th)
PICKING SECOND IS SOMETIMES A GOOD THING
By Don Stokes Senior Writer Mid-West Football Reporters Online
I can truly relate to being second. I was born the second of two boys. I got the hand-me downs clothes and shoes from my one year older brother. So I can really understand to being number two. No with the upcoming 2011 NFL draft just weeks away every team is crossing their collective fingers that they make the best 1st round choice. As every football executive knows making the wrong 1st rounder can put your franchise in a serious tailspin which can take many years to recover.
Ask the San Diego Chargers who chose QB Ryan Leaf with their 1st round pick in 1998. Or the more recent 1st round flop JaMarcus Russell by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. While no team has been totally picture perfect with their 1st picks this piece is not about that. But what of the second round pick? For this is about the 2nd round choices that some NFL executives have made and for some have ultimately lost their good reputations (or jobs) over. I have taken the time and looked for 30 years of data to choose the best and the worst of each NFL teams 2nd round picks.
First let’s go over my criteria:
A) These 2nd round picks are a 30 year (1980 thru 2010) period. For some teams like Carolina, Jacksonville, Baltimore and Houston their NFL existence is a shorter time span.
B) The player MUST have contributed for that team in some manner which he was the choice (ex. In 1991 with their 2nd pick Atlanta chose QB Brett Favre, a future hall of famer but didn’t contribute much for the Falcons during his brief stay with them)
C) A Pro Football Hall of famer tops any all-pro choice (see my example later)
D) A pro bowler tops a player who had a solid career (ex. seasoned veteran).
E) Playing in the NFL is extremely difficult so if you managed to have played at least 20 NFL games during your career you are not considered the worst pick for that or any team.
F) Regardless of injury and you played NO games in your career but you were a 2nd round pick of that club you WILL be considered the best of the worst.
E) Finally, if you made the ultimate sacrifice you will be considered the best 2nd round choice of that team.
With that in mind some of these choices were very challenging. For some teams (Cowboys, Dolphins and Patriots) they had many players to pick from while others (Redskins, Chiefs and Jets) the pickings were slim at best. Some of my choices you may disagree with but here they are:
DALLAS COWBOYS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Larry Allen G 1994 Somona State
IN CONSIDERATION: Steve Wisniewski G 1989 Penn State
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Shane Hannah 1995 G Michigan State
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Brian Dawkins DB 1996 Clemson
IN CONSIDERATION: Randall Cunningham QB 1985 UNLV
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Mike Bellamy WR 1990 Illinois
NEW YORK GIANTS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Michael Strahan DE 1993 Texas Southern
IN CONSIDERATION: Tiki Barber RB 1997 Virginia
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Joe Montgomery RB 1999 Ohio State
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Chip Lohmiller PK 1988 Minnesota
IN CONSIDERATION: Tre’ Johnson G 1994 Temple
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Bob Slater DT 1984 Oklahoma
It’s interesting that the Redskins best 2nd round choice during the past 30 has been a place kicker. Lohmiller was the only 2nd rounder for Washington who developed into a Pro Bowl player. Although both had great careers choosing Michael Strahan (A SB win) over Tiki Barber wasn’t as difficult is it appears. Philadelphia with the 2nd round Brian Dawkins was a tough choice over Randall Cunningham.
CHICAGO BEARS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Mike Singletary LB 1981 Baylor
IN CONSIDERATION: Devin Hester DB 2006 Miami
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Dan Bazuin DE 2007 Central Michigan
DETROIT LIONS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Chris Spielmann 1987 LB Ohio State
IN CONSIDERATION: Jason Hanson K 1992 Washington State
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: John Ford WR 1989 Virginia
GREEN BAY PACKERS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Le Roy Butler DB 1990 Florida State
IN CONSIDERATION: Darren Sharper DB 1997 William and Mary
WORSE 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Mark D’ Onofrio 1992 LB Penn State
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 1980-2010
BEST 2nd ROUND PICK: Sidney Rice WR 2007 South Carolina
IN CONSIDERATION: EJ Henderson LB 2003 Maryland
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: James Manley DT 1996 Vanderbilt
Singletary was a no brainer over Devin Hester since one is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and one is not (yet). The choice of Le Roy Butler over Darren Sharper was a bit more difficult. It’s interesting that the Vikings two best 2nd rounders were drafted within the last 10 years.
ATLANTA FALCONS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Alge Crumpler TE 2001 North Carolina
IN CONSIDERATION: Scott Case DB 1984 Oklahoma
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Nathan Davis DE 1997 Indiana
CAROLINA PANTHERS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Muhsin Mohammed WR 1996 Michigan State
IN CONSIDERATION: Kris Jenkins DT 2001 Maryland
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Eric Shelton RB 2005 Alabama
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Rickey Jackson LB 1981 Pittsburgh
IN CONSIDERATION: Roman Harper SS 2006 Alabama
WORST 2ND ROUND PICK: Reggie Freeman LB 1993 Florida State
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Mike Alstott RB 1996 Purdue
IN CONSIDERATION: James Wilder RB 1981 Missouri
WORST 2ND ROUND PICK Dexter Jackson WR 2006 Appalachian State
The Buccaneers running backs Mike Alstott and James Wilder both had outstanding careers for Tampa. Mohammed, who recently retired had a solid NFL. The Saints Ricky Jackson, of course is a Pro Football HOF so that was an easy choice.
ARIZONA CARDINALS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Aeneas Williams DB 1991 Saginaw Valley State
IN CONSIDERATION: Tim McDonald DB 1987 USC
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Tony Jeffery RB 1988 TCU
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1980-1994
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Roger Craig RB 1983 Nebraska
IN CONSIDERATION: Ricky Watters RB 1991 Notre Dame
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Israel Ifeanyi DE 1996 USC
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Kevin Mawae C 1994 LSU
IN CONSIDERATION: Lofa Tatupu LB 2005 USC
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Andre Hinds T 1980 Stanford
ST.LOUIS RAMS 1980-2010
BEST 2ND ROUND PICK: Isaac Bruce WR 1994 Memphis
IN CONSIDERATION: Henry Elliard WR 1983 Fresno State
WORST 2ND ROUND CHOICE: Jesse James C 1995 Mississippi State
With St. Louis this was my toughest decision, Isaac Bruce vs. Henry Elliard. Both had great careers with the Rams as wide outs. But the nod went to Bruce (a Super Bowl title) who could be voted in the Hall before Henry Elliard. The 49ers RB’s Roger Craig against Ricky Watters wasn’t that tough. Both had solid careers but three Super Bowl rings (Craig) to one (Watters) was the deciding factor.