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20 Year Review of the 1st WR Picked in the Draft (1 Viewer)

cstu

Footballguy
• 1996 - Mike Sherrard (Cowboys 1-18) - Good rookie season, but suffered three

broken legs and a partially dislocated hip during his career.

• 1987 - Haywood Jeffires (Oilers 1-20) - Very solid career with 3 Pro Bowls.

• 1988 - Tim Brown (Raider 1-6) - 9 time Pro Bowler and future HOF'er.

• 1989 - Hart Lee Dykes (Patriots 1-16) - Problem child, injured eye in a barfight

with Irving Fryar and ended his career. Averaged 16.2 YPC the 2 years he played.

• 1990 - Alexander Wright (Cowboys 2-1) - Two-time winner of the NFL's "Fastest

Man" competition and once ran back-to-back 40-yard dashes in a lightning-fast 4.09

seconds for the Dallas Cowboys. Couldn't run routes and catch a ball to save his life.

• 1991 - Herman Moore (Lions 1-10) - Was the fastest WR to 600 receptions.

Injury problems derailed a possible HOF career.

• 1992 - Desmond Howard (Redskins 1-4) - His Heisman trophy and return skills

made him an exciting pick, but he never learned how to play the position he was

drafted for. Carl Pickens and Jimmy Smith slipped in the 2nd round.

• 1993 - Curtis Conway (Bears 1-7) - Had an up and down career hampered by

injuries. Three 1000 yard seasons but never lived up to his draft selection.

• 1994 - Charles Johnson (Steelers 1-17) - Very good hands, but was never

more much more than a possession receiver for the Steelers.

• 1995 - Michael Westbrook (Redskins 1-4) - Ran a 4.47 40 that boosted his draft

stock, but had character issues and never lived up to his draft position. Besides being

known the guy who caught the "Kordell Stewart pass at Michigan", he is also known

for doing this to RB Stephen Davis:

http://bengals.enquirer.com/2002/06/11/westbrook_zoom.jpg

• 1996 - Keyshawn Johnson (Jets 1-1) - has not lived up to his #1 overall

selection, but has had a very solid career including 3 Pro Bowls. His only season

under 800 yards was when he was benched by Tampa and has 600 yards in 10

games. Terry Glenn (#7), Eddie Kennison (#18), Marvin Harrison (#19) and Eric

Moulds (#24) were all drafted in the 1st round.

• 1997 - Ike Hilliard (Giants 1-7) - Cursed with injuries nearly as much as the WR

drafted after him, Yatil Green. Put together some decent seasons but never seemed

to spark he had prior to his rookie year neck injury.

• 1998 - Kevin Dyson (Oilers/Titans 1-16) - Here we are with one of the biggest

draft mistakes of all-time - Dyson over Moss. Character was the reason the Oilers

took him despite Moss being in free-fall at the draft and well worth the risk of the #16

pick at a need position. Dyson had injury problems and only had a couple decent

seasons.

• 1999 - Torry Holt (Rams 1-6) - Not much to say here about a future HOF WR.

• 2000 - Peter Warrick (Bengals 1-4) - Was a decent possession receiver before

his knee injury in 2003. Hasn't been lived up to his draft position.

• 2001 - David Terrell (Bears 1-8) - Another case of a talented WR being drafted

very high despite poor work ethic and attitude problems.

• 2002 - Donte Stallworth (Saints 1-13) - Drafted high because of his unrivaled

talent, he hasn't been able to live up to the hype because he doesn't have great

hands. He did show signs of improvement last year, but still lacks any kind of

consistency.

• 2003 - Charles Rogers (Lions 1-3) - An extremely gifted player whose injuries

and drug issues have curtailed a promising career.

• 2004 - Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals 1-3) - Seemed to be living up the billing so

far of having incredible hands and being a high character guy.

• 2005 - Braylon Edwards (Browns 1-3) - Has the whole package of speed, size,

hands and character. Was putting together a solid rookie year before tearing his

ACL. Should be able to return form in 2007 if not sooner.

• 2006 - Santonio Holmes (Steelers 1-25) - Hasn't had a break-out year in fantasy,

but has been an important part of the Steelers' success, including SB MVP.

• 2007 - Calvin Johnson (Lions 1-2) - Has lived up to all expectations and become

the elite WR people expected he'd be, even on a winless Lions team.

• 2008 - Donnie Avery (Rams 2-2) - The only 2nd round pick on this list surprised

a lot of people with outstanding play from the beginning of the season, finishing very

close to teammate Torry Holt in both catches and yards (tied with 3 TD's).

• 2009 - Michael Crabtree (Projected ?) - Normally compared to Larry Fitzgerald,

Crabtree looks to have all the skills needed to be a top WR in the NFL.

 
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wannabee

Footballguy
Great post. It is amazing how few of those WRs picked top of WR class were worth their draft spot. Maybe three or four were worth their draft pot with another three or four being productive WRs.

Once again, great post.

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
:goodposting:

• 1988 - Tim Brown (Raider 1-6) - 9 time Pro Bowler and future HOF'er.

• 1991 - Herman Moore (Lions 1-10) - Was the fastest WR to 600 receptions.

Injury problems derailed a possible HOF career.

• 1993 - Curtis Conway (Bears 1-7) - Had an up and down career hampered by

injuries. Three 1000 yard seasons but never lived up to his draft selection.

• 1995 - Michael Westbrook (Redskins 1-4) - Ran a 4.47 40 that boosted his draft

stock, but had character issues and never lived up to his draft position. Besides being

known the guy who caught the "Kordell Stewart pass at Michigan", he is also known

for doing this to RB Stephen Davis:

http://bengals.enquirer.com/2002/06/11/westbrook_zoom.jpg

• 1996 - Keyshawn Johnson (Jets 1-1) - has not lived up to his #1 overall

selection, but has had a very solid career including 3 Pro Bowls. His only season

under 800 yards was when he was benched by Tampa and has 600 yards in 10

games. Terry Glenn (#7), Eddie Kennison (#18), Marvin Harrison (#19) and Eric

Moulds (#24) were all drafted in the 1st round.

• 1997 - Ike Hilliard (Giants 1-7) - Cursed with injuries nearly as much as the WR drafted after him, Yatil Green. Put together some decent seasons but never seemed to spark he had prior to his rookie year neck injury.

• 1999 - Torry Holt (Rams 1-6) - Not much to say here about a future HOF WR.

• 2000 - Peter Warrick (Bengals 1-4) - Was a decent possession receiver before

his knee injury in 2003. Hasn't been lived up to his draft position.

• 2002 - Donte Stallworth (Saints 1-13) - Drafted high because of his unrivaled

talent, he hasn't been able to live up to the hype because he doesn't have great

hands. He did show signs of improvement last year, but still lacks any kind of

consistency.

• 2004 - Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals 1-3) - Seemed to be living up the billing so

far of having incredible hands and being a high character guy.
10 serviceable or better in 20 years. 5 of these were discussed in passing as future HOFers at one point.

Two good HOF canidates.

Not as bad as I thought, but definetly not a sure thing.

How do the other positions stack up?

 

faulkfan

Footballguy
We all know hindsight is 20/20, but I love reading about the guys who slipped in the draft at the same position, like Harrison after Kennison and Glenn. The picks made sense at the time, but looking back you're like, "What the ...!"

 

Cajun Heat

Footballguy
On a somewhat related note, I heard an interesting comment by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News (NFL draft guru) on the radio the other day. He said that when you see a lot of WRs getting drafted in the first round of a draft, it's a sure sign of an overall weak draft class. I don't have any data or links or anything to confirm or refute, but I thought it was a cool point -- most teams never really want to draft a WR in the first 20 or so picks, but in the absence of other "can't miss" prospects, I guess you go with the guy who runs a 4.40.

 

waylander

Footballguy
How much better is McNair's career if he and Moss were hooking up every Sunday?
I have thought about that a lot being a Titans fan since they came to TN. Would Moss have won that Superbowl for us? Or would we not have even gotten there....
 

BigTex

Don't mess with Texas
On a somewhat related note, I heard an interesting comment by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News (NFL draft guru) on the radio the other day. He said that when you see a lot of WRs getting drafted in the first round of a draft, it's a sure sign of an overall weak draft class. I don't have any data or links or anything to confirm or refute, but I thought it was a cool point -- most teams never really want to draft a WR in the first 20 or so picks, but in the absence of other "can't miss" prospects, I guess you go with the guy who runs a 4.40.
:thumbup: The Goose is the man.
 

The_Man

Footballguy
Ozzie Newsome has had one certified first round bust (though Boller is about to make it two) and that is Travis Taylor at #10.

At least it looks like Mark Clayton might be making up for that. But it's interesting that Clayton is a guy who was a tremendous player in college, but fell pretty deep in the first round (#20) because he lacked the height that vaulted some of those bust WRs listed above to the top of the first round.

The lesson here is clear -- never draft a Florida or Michigan WR with a first round pick.

 

wannabee

Footballguy
Ozzie Newsome has had one certified first round bust (though Boller is about to make it two) and that is Travis Taylor at #10.

At least it looks like Mark Clayton might be making up for that. But it's interesting that Clayton is a guy who was a tremendous player in college, but fell pretty deep in the first round (#20) because he lacked the height that vaulted some of those bust WRs listed above to the top of the first round.

The lesson here is clear -- never draft a Florida or Michigan WR with a first round pick.
Chad Jackson? Braylon Edwards? Maybe too early to tell.
 

UnknownCoach

Footballguy
What's important to us is that only about 1 out of 4 have lived up to the fantasy expectations of a high first round rookie pick in a dynasty league.

 

hobbes4

Footballguy
How much better is McNair's career if he and Moss were hooking up every Sunday?
I have thought about that a lot being a Titans fan since they came to TN. Would Moss have won that Superbowl for us? Or would we not have even gotten there....
Well if his reach is more than a yard longer than Dyson I would say yes. You would think McNair would have been a good role model for Moss. He is a class guy. And you can't tell me Fisher wouldnt have squezzed Moss for everything... Anyway, hindsight...
 

cstu

Footballguy
How much better is McNair's career if he and Moss were hooking up every Sunday?
I have thought about that a lot being a Titans fan since they came to TN. Would Moss have won that Superbowl for us? Or would we not have even gotten there....
Well if his reach is more than a yard longer than Dyson I would say yes. You would think McNair would have been a good role model for Moss. He is a class guy. And you can't tell me Fisher wouldnt have squezzed Moss for everything... Anyway, hindsight...
You didn't need hindsight to figure that one out. From what I recall, Kiper was shocked by the Dyson pick. By that time, Moss was all they were talking about and why teams were still passing on him.
 

Lehigh98

Footballguy
• 1996 - Mike Sherrard (Cowboys 1-18) - Good rookie season, but suffered three

broken legs and a partially dislocated hip during his career.
Three legs? Dude must have been fast... and unlucky.
 

cstu

Footballguy
• 1996 - Mike Sherrard (Cowboys 1-18) - Good rookie season, but suffered three

broken legs and a partially dislocated hip during his career.
Three legs? Dude must have been fast... and unlucky.
90's version of Charles Rogers.
 

Family Matters

Footballguy
What's important to us is that only about 1 out of 4 have lived up to the fantasy expectations of a high first round rookie pick in a dynasty league.
Could also be translated to "known" quantity is better than rookie prospect. IOW-don't trade away a sure thing for a 1 in 4 chance of a first rounder working out.
 

Davej626

5.56 solves all
• 1996 - Keyshawn Johnson (Jets 1-1) - has not lived up to his #1 overall

selection, but has had a very solid career including 3 Pro Bowls. His only season

under 800 yards was when he was benched by Tampa and has 600 yards in 10

games.
REally? Holy Crap!!! :eek: :excited:
 

Bailiver

Footballguy
• 1996 - Keyshawn Johnson (Jets 1-1) - has not lived up to his #1 overall

selection, but has had a very solid career including 3 Pro Bowls.  His only season

under 800 yards was when he was benched by Tampa and has 600 yards in 10

games.
REally? Holy Crap!!! :eek: :excited:
:confused:
 

Jeff Tefertiller

Footballguy
This seems like a good place to plug the p-f-r draft querier. Makes it real easy to build lists like this. E.g.

All first-round QBs from the Pac 10

All 2nd-round offensive linemen drafted during the 80s

Then you can sort the resulting lists via any column you want, so you can find, e.g., what 4th-round RB had the most career rushing yards (Stephen Davis), or what 3rd-round-or-later Big 10 defensive lineman has made the most pro bowls (Earl Faison).
:sehorn:
 

az_prof

Footballguy
Am I missing something? Shouldn't this be Ginn Jr.?

"• 2008 - Donnie Avery (Rams 2-2) - The only 2nd round pick on this list surprised

a lot of people with outstanding play from the beginning of the season, finishing very

close to teammate Torry Holt in both catches and yards (tied with 3 TD's)."

 

dotman

Footballguy
Am I missing something? Shouldn't this be Ginn Jr.? "• 2008 - Donnie Avery (Rams 2-2) - The only 2nd round pick on this list surpriseda lot of people with outstanding play from the beginning of the season, finishing veryclose to teammate Torry Holt in both catches and yards (tied with 3 TD's)."
Ginn was drafted in '07
 
Am I missing something? Shouldn't this be Ginn Jr.? "• 2008 - Donnie Avery (Rams 2-2) - The only 2nd round pick on this list surpriseda lot of people with outstanding play from the beginning of the season, finishing veryclose to teammate Torry Holt in both catches and yards (tied with 3 TD's)."
No, Ginn was drafted in 2007.
 

RhymesMcJuice

Footballguy
2009 - Demaryius Thomas (Broncos 1-22)

2011 - A.J. Green (Bengals 1-4)

The first WR drafted still continues to disappoint. We'll see if A.J. Green turns that around.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
2009 - Demaryius Thomas (Broncos 1-22)2011 - A.J. Green (Bengals 1-4)The first WR drafted still continues to disappoint. We'll see if A.J. Green turns that around.
Donnie Avery hasn't delivered much results in 3 years either. The jury is still out on Crabtree, but so far it seems like the 10th pick was too high for him. While Braylon isn't a bust, he has been very inconsistent. Over the last few years, Holmes and Calvin are clearly the top performers who have lived up to the hype.
 
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jdswan922

Footballguy
2009 - Demaryius Thomas (Broncos 1-22)2011 - A.J. Green (Bengals 1-4)The first WR drafted still continues to disappoint. We'll see if A.J. Green turns that around.
Donnie Avery hasn't delivered much results in 3 years either. The jury is still out on Crabtree, but so far it seems like the 10th pick was too high for him.
Crabtree does not fit the criteria, he was the second that year, DHB was drafted before him. DHB is even closer to a bust than Crabtree though.
 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
2009 - Demaryius Thomas (Broncos 1-22)2011 - A.J. Green (Bengals 1-4)The first WR drafted still continues to disappoint. We'll see if A.J. Green turns that around.
Donnie Avery hasn't delivered much results in 3 years either. The jury is still out on Crabtree, but so far it seems like the 10th pick was too high for him.
Crabtree does not fit the criteria, he was the second that year, DHB was drafted before him. DHB is even closer to a bust than Crabtree though.
Yeah, you're right. I was just reading the OP and not thinking. DHB is most definitely a bust- he has a lot of work to do to overcome that.
 

Defending Champs

Footballguy
2009 - Demaryius Thomas (Broncos 1-22)2011 - A.J. Green (Bengals 1-4)The first WR drafted still continues to disappoint. We'll see if A.J. Green turns that around.
Donnie Avery hasn't delivered much results in 3 years either. The jury is still out on Crabtree, but so far it seems like the 10th pick was too high for him.
Crabtree does not fit the criteria, he was the second that year, DHB was drafted before him. DHB is even closer to a bust than Crabtree though.
I'd say there is an asterisk for this one since it was an Al Davis selection.Great post, enjoyed reading.
 

guderian

Footballguy
Interesting, but I'm not sure how relevant it is to compare a high pick like AJ Green (1.04) or Julio Jones (1.06) to WRs that were taking as late as the 2nd round merely because they were the first one drafted.

I took a look at it early this year, but the recent WRs that were drafted in the top 8 picks has a higher hit rate than indicated by the above study.

DHB

Calvin Johnson

Braylon Edwards

Troy Williamson

Larry Fitzgerald

Roy Williams

Charles Rogers

Andre Johnson

I don't recall either DHB or Williamson being hyped as much as the others--in fact I recall there was a lot of skepticism. In fact, looking back at the old Scouts ratings shows that all of those WRs except for DHB (90) and Williamson (94) had ratings north of 96. That leaves the below as players that were both drafted very high in the first round that were generally considered to be worthy of their draft slot:

Calvin Johnson (currently ranked #2 by FBGs)

Braylon Edwards (43)

Larry Fitzgerald (5)

Roy Williams (50)

Charles Rogers (NA)

Andre Johnson (1)

So looking at this admittedly small sample, you had about a 50% chance of landing a top 5 WR, a 33% chance of a marginal starter and a 17% chance of a bust.

 

az_prof

Footballguy
Great post. It is amazing how few of those WRs picked top of WR class were worth their draft spot. Maybe three or four were worth their draft pot with another three or four being productive WRs. Once again, great post.
Yes, and this is why I always say that people need to show some caution in evaluating rookie WRs. Alot of these guys were "sure things" who turned out not to be sure things. My guess is that a similar list of the first RB drafted would look better--their success rate is higher. But there are so many variables that effect WR play and it is not just a physical position--and so predicting future success is more difficult than predicting RB success.
 

sbonomo

Footballguy
also, the game is a lot different now than it was 10 and 20 years ago....The last few years have seen a huge premium on passing...still a fun post.

 

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