Football Outsiders
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2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

by Michael David Smith

What were the Browns thinking when they drafted Gerard Warren in 2001, even though Richard Seymour was still on the board? What were the Bears thinking when they drafted David Terrell, even though Santana Moss was still on the board? With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we present here a review of the 2001 NFL draft, looking at the good picks, the bad picks, and the things every general manager knows now and wishes he had known then.

Quarterback

Conventional wisdom: Everyone agreed that Virginia Tech's Michael Vick was a unique talent, but no one was quite sure whether he was going to be a good enough passer to be an elite NFL player. Six years later, everyone agrees that Michael Vick is a unique talent, but no one is quite sure whether he is ever going to be a good enough passer to be an elite NFL player.

Highest pick: Michael Vick, Virginia Tech, first overall to the Falcons

Best player: Drew Brees, Purdue, 32nd overall to the Chargers. That's an easy choice.

Biggest bust: You could argue that, given how much the Falcons have invested in him, Vick was a bust. But if you don't count Vick, there wasn't any major quarterback bust in the 2001 draft. The closest thing is probably Marques Tuiasosopo, the Raiders' second-round pick, who spent six years in Oakland but started just two games. He recently signed with the Jets.

Best value: Without a doubt, the best value was Brees, as the Chargers' second-round pick.

Other noteworthy picks: Dallas surprised a lot of people by choosing Georgia's Quincy Carter in the second round. Carter looked OK as a rookie but wasn't willing to work hard enough to improve, and after falling into trouble with the league's substance-abuse policy, he was released.

Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke of Florida State lasted until the fourth round, when the Panthers took him. He won the starting job as a rookie but lost it after that.

Running back

Conventional wisdom: Just about everyone agreed that LaDainian Tomlinson was the best back in the draft, although Deuce McAllister of Ole Miss had a few supporters. Some folks thought McAllister was a better all-around player and more ready to step in and contribute immediately.

Highest pick: LaDainian Tomlinson, Texas Christian, fifth overall to the Chargers

Best player: Tomlinson. Chargers general manager John Butler made no attempt to hide that Tomlinson was the highest player on his draft board. So for Butler to trade down from the top spot, pick up Tomlinson with the Falcons' pick (fifth overall), and grab a couple of extra later picks, was an outstanding move and one that helped build the Chargers into the elite team they are today.

Biggest bust: Michael Bennett of Wisconsin wasn't a bad player for the Vikings, but he wasn't as good as Minnesota hoped. The Vikings might have reached a bit to select Bennett, thinking they had to choose a running back to replace the retired Robert Smith.

Best value: The best of the second-day picks was Auburn's Rudi Johnson, whom the Bengals chose in the fourth round.

Other noteworthy picks: The Saints, who already had Ricky Williams, drafted McAllister anyway. That was the first sign that they'd send Williams packing, which they did a year later.

Chicago took Michigan's Anthony Thomas in the second round, and he made an instant impact as a rookie. He never did much of anything after that, but he may get one more chance. As of right now, he's the starter in Buffalo for 2007.

Wide receiver

Conventional wisdom: Everyone loved this wide receiver class, but there was quite a bit of disagreement about who was the best of the bunch. Was it Michigan's David Terrell, North Carolina State's Koren Robinson or Miami's Santana Moss?

Highest pick: Terrell, eighth overall to the Bears

Best player: Too close to call between Oregon State's Chad Johnson, the Cincinnati Bengals' second-round pick, and Utah's Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers' third-round pick. As a rookie Smith made an immediate impact as a kick returner, and he's developed into one of the league's best offensive threats. Johnson was the Bengals' third receiver as a rookie and has been one of the league's elite receivers since winning a starting job his second season.

Biggest bust: There are a lot of choices for this category: Terrell was a bust for the Bears. Robinson's off-field problems kept him from reaching his promise with the Seahawks. UCLA's Freddie Mitchell, the Eagles' first-round pick, talked a bigger game than he played. But if I have to choose one, I choose Terrell.

Best value: A tie between Smith and Oregon State's T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Bengals' seventh-round choice.

Other noteworthy picks: Rod Gardner of Clemson, the Redskins' first-round pick, seems like a Dan Snyder choice: More style than substance. But don't blame Snyder for choosing Gardner. It was actually coach Marty Schottenheimer who was making the decisions in the Redskins' war room on draft day 2001.

Indianapolis took Miami's Reggie Wayne with the 30th pick overall. He had the best season of his career last year.

Tight end

Conventional wisdom: Arizona State's Todd Heap was the clear top choice in a tight end class that was generally considered fairly weak.

Highest pick: Todd Heap, Arizona State, 31st overall to the Ravens

Best player: A close call between Heap and North Carolina's Alge Crumpler, the Falcons' second-round pick, who became Vick's favorite target.

Biggest bust: No true busts, but San Jose State's Sean Brewer, the third tight end off the board, didn't produce as much as the Bengals expected him to when they chose him in the third round.

Best value: Arizona's Brandon Manumaleuna, the Rams' fourth-round pick, was mostly a blocking tight end and therefore seemed like a strange fit in the Mike Martz offense, but he's had a solid NFL career.

Other noteworthy picks: Eric Johnson, the 49ers' seventh-round pick out of Yale, showed promise but had a hard time staying healthy. He recently signed as a free agent with the Saints.

Offensive line

Conventional wisdom: There were two tackles whom every draft analyst loved: the enormous Leonard Davis of Texas and the agile Kenyatta Walker of Florida. Michigan had three offensive linemen who made scouts drool in guard Steve Hutchinson and tackles Jeff Backus and Maurice Williams. Nebraska's Dominic Raiola was the best of a mediocre class of centers.

Highest pick: Leonard Davis, Texas, second overall to the Cardinals

Best player: Hutchinson, the 17th overall pick of the Seahawks, has developed into one of the elite guards in the NFL. He has had a bigger impact than any of the tackles.

Biggest bust: None. You can call all three first-round tackles -- Davis, Walker, Backus -- disappointments because none has turned into a great player. But they've all started plenty of games for the teams that drafted them, so you can't really call any of them busts.

Best value: Purdue's Matt Light was a great choice for the Patriots in the second round, and Georgia's Jonas Jennings was a great choice for the Bills in the third round.

Other noteworthy picks: People were shocked when Walker fell all the way to 14th, where Tampa Bay traded up to draft him. But Walker never developed into the kind of offensive lineman just about everyone expected he would.

Defensive line

Conventional wisdom: It was supposed to be a very deep draft for defensive linemen, and nine of them ended up going in the first round. Scouts thought Florida's Gerard Warren was such a great athlete that he was a can't-miss prospect at defensive tackle. Missouri's Justin Smith was a good pass-rushing end, although opinion was more divided on what kind of pro he would be.

Highest pick: Gerard Warren, Florida, third overall to the Browns

Best player: Richard Seymour, Georgia, sixth overall to the Patriots. There was talk of the Patriots taking one of the wide receivers -- Terrell or Robinson -- with that pick, and there was talk that the Seahawks were praying that Seymour would still be around when they were on the clock. Just think how much worse the Patriots would have been and how much better the Seahawks would have been in recent years if Seymour had gone to Seattle and one of the receiving busts had gone to New England.

Biggest bust: Several options: Warren was a hugely expensive disappointment for Cleveland. Green Bay wanted Seymour but settled for defensive end Jamal Reynolds of Florida State with the 10th overall pick, and he never did much of anything. The Rams took two defensive linemen in the first round: Damione Lewis of Miami No. 12 overall, and Ohio State's Ryan Pickett No. 29 overall. Neither one lived up to expectations.

Best value: Marcus Stroud, Seymour's college teammate, was seen as a reach when Jacksonville took him 13th overall. And while the scouts were right that Stroud isn't as good as Seymour, he's developed into one of the league's better defensive tackles.

Texas nose tackle Casey Hampton was an excellent choice to the Steelers with the 20th pick overall.

Maryland's Kris Jenkins (Carolina) and Texas's Shaun Rogers (Detroit) were good picks in the second round who might have been great picks if they could stay healthy. Ditto for the Broncos' third-round pick, Iowa State's Reggie Hayward, who's been a very good player when healthy but has played just 63 games.

Other noteworthy picks: The San Francisco 49ers thought Cal defensive end Andre Carter would be a pass-rushing demon when they chose him seventh overall. He spent five good (but not great) years in San Francisco before signing with the Redskins.

Linebacker

Conventional wisdom: If you wanted a linebacker who could step in and start right away, you had to draft Miami's Dan Morgan, who was seen as, by far, the best linebacker in this draft. Morgan had size, speed and toughness. After him there was a huge drop-off in talent in what was seen as a generally weak linebacker class.

Highest pick: Dan Morgan, Miami, 11th overall to the Panthers

Best player: The scouts were right; Morgan was the best linebacker in this draft class -- at least when he could stay on the field. Unfortunately, Morgan has had several injuries, especially some severe concussions, and he's played in just 56 games in six seasons. Morgan has said he wants to keep playing, but when you're dealing with repeated brain injuries, that seems like a bad idea.

Biggest bust: The Eagles' second-round pick, Quinton Caver of Arkansas, was a disappointment. He looked like he had the ideal size and athleticism, but he never made much of an impact in Philadelphia or in his later stints with Dallas and Kansas City.

Best value: Edgerton Hartwell of Western Illinois was a great value for the Ravens in the fourth round, although he later became a terrible value for the Falcons when they paid him $26 million and injuries limited him to just 13 games in Atlanta. Clemson's Keith Adams, the Titans' seventh-round pick, has become a very good player and was a very good value.

Other noteworthy picks: Georgia's Kendrell Bell was the second linebacker off the board, going to the Steelers with the 39th pick. His career got off to a very good start, with nine sacks as a rookie, but he missed 17 games in his next three seasons in Pittsburgh, and hasn't been nearly as good the last two years in Kansas City.

Defensive backs

Conventional wisdom: There wasn't any one defensive back who looked like a sure thing, but it was thought to be a deep class. As it turned out, six defensive backs went in the first round, all between the 20th and 28th picks. Adam Archuleta was a good but not great player at Arizona State, but his workout numbers were incredible: He was fast enough to play safety but stronger than a lot of defensive linemen. That made scouts salivate. Ohio State's Nate Clements had the look of a lockdown corner.

Highest pick: Adam Archuleta, Arizona State, 20th overall to the Rams

Best player: North Carolina safety Adrian Wilson, selected in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals. If he played for any other team, Wilson would be recognized as one of the league's elite defensive players. Wilson narrowly gets the "best player" nod here over Clements. It remains to be seen whether Clements will be worth the enormous free-agent contract he just signed with San Francisco, but he was definitely worth the 21st overall pick for Buffalo.

Biggest bust: Willie Middlebrooks, Minnesota, 24th overall to the Broncos. Middlebrooks played special teams almost exclusively and is now out of the league.

Cornerback Will Allen of Syracuse hasn't had a terrible NFL career, but considering that the Giants gave up their first-, third-, and sixth-round picks to move up and take him, he didn't live up to expectations.

Best value: Wilson. To get such a great player in the third round is positively un-Cardinal-like.

Other noteworthy picks: Mississippi State cornerback Fred Smoot was a great choice for the Redskins in the second round. Smoot at one point looked like a sure-thing first-round pick, but there were concerns about his attitude. He made an instant impact with the Redskins.

Other classics in the Six Years Later series:

Comments

153 comments, Last at 31 Mar 2013, 5:50am

2 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

In case anyone wants to refresh their memory, the entire 2001 draft is linked on my name.

3 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

I would call Quincy Carter a bigger bust than Marques de Tuiasososopopomofo. The latter is still in the league, the former, bumming around Arena ball.

4 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Interesting note: The NFL has apparently made Will James' name change retroactive. On the link I posted above to NFL.com, it lists "Will James" as the Giants' 3rd round pick, even though the name the Commissioner read was "Will Peterson."

5 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

I took great pride in predicting the Chargers would take trade the #1 overall pick, draft Tomlinson at #5 and snag Brees in the second round. I wasn't nearly so happy after the first day was over and the Eagles had drafted Mitchell. Woof.

6 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

I can't resist. Let's hear what Ron Borges had to say about the Patriots 2001 draft:

"On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson or the second-best tackle in the draft in Kenyatta Walker, they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon."

Yes, Ron Borges really is that stupid.

7 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

These articles are too depressing to read. They just remind me exactly how many first round picks the Broncos have wasted on DB's and WR's through the Shanahan era.

Please God draft a pass rusher in the first on Saturday. That's all I ask.

8 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

"Rod Gardner of Clemson, the Redskins’ first-round pick, seems like a Dan Snyder choice: More style than substance. But don’t blame Snyder for choosing Gardner. It was actually coach Marty Schottenheimer who was making the decisions in the Redskins’ war room on draft day 2001."

In a Draft Briefing today, when asked which move upset Dan Snyder as an owner the most, he noted Marty's pick of Rod Gardner. Dan (allegedly) wanted Santana Moss (who he got later anyways).

9 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

In the interest of being fair to then Bears personel chief, the late Mark Hatley, he had a trade worked out (to either three or four) to take LT. Apparently he was blown aaway by him and wanted to trade up using a pick from the next year's draft. Team president Ted Philips vetoed the move as the decision had already been made to appoint a general manager the following year and it was felt that it might be more difficult to attract their first choice GM with an incomplete set of draft picks. Trade attempts kiboshed the Bears stayed put and prepared to select Andre Carter (who fitted their scheme well playing alongside giants like Washington and Traylor). Then the 49ers swoop in and take Carter and the Bears are left taking Terrell.

The choice was made the General Manager over Tomlinson.

10 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Man, there were a lot of good defensive linemen that year, and looking at the list d-lineman reminds me of how draft outcomes depend on unknowable injury futures. The Vikings 2nd rounder, Willie Howard from Stanford, looked to have an extremely promising future, and then destroyed his knee in the third game of the regular season, and never played again.

Bennett looked like a good pick through 2002, and then started to get nicked up, was never quite the same, and now is a good backup to Larry Johnson.

11 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Picks like the Keith Adams one leave me sort of conflicted. He didn't make the Titans out of training camp, so he provided to the team that drafted him precisely the amount of value you'd expect from a 7th round pick, i.e., none, even if he was later a decent player for the Eagles.

Odd thing about the 2001 draft: check out picks 60-64: Andre Dyson, Shaun Rogers, Gary Baxter, Derrick Burgess, and Adrian Wilson. For five straight defensive players coming off the board, at that spot in the draft, that's a pretty impressive grouping.

Shad Meier, taken at the end of the third round, was a really crappy TE, but I guess he did more than Brewer. I mean, not just anybody could catch 9 passes for 31 yards.

Tui has to be the biggest QB bust. Six years in the league, but why? He's shown no hints he's capable of being even a mediocre starter in the NFL.

Still, these are minor quibbles, just nits. I look forward to seeing this piece every year.

12 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

His career got off to a very good start

That's an understatement. He was DROY and played that season like a star.
Only then after injuries he became what he is today, a role player on the KC defense.

13 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Steve Smith, Chad Johnson, Reggie Wayne, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Santana Moss. That's a great group of receivers, and that's in the same class when Freddie, Terrell, Robinson, and Gardner were chosen in the 1st round. No real insight here, just wow.

15 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re #4
I noticed that reviewing old drafts this past weekend with Domanick Williams, nee Davis.

16 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

James C: I knew the Bears had a trade worked out to move up and draft Tomlinson, but I read somewhere that the move was vetoed by the McCaskeys because they didn't want to cough up the extra dough it would take to sign a pick that high. Maybe your information about wanting to keep a complete set of picks for the 2002 draft so they could attract a GM is correct. Perhaps both of these things played a part in the decision.

I doubt that either of these concerns would have been deal breakers if they could somehow have known that (1) the Bears would win 13 games in 2001, meaning that their draft picks in 2002 would be near the bottom of each round, and the Bears would end up wasting their first two picks in 2002 on Marc Colombo and Roosevelt Williams; and (2) the Bears would end up drafting a RB #4 overall (Cedric Benson) a few years later, have to deal with a nasty holdout and then have to pay Benson a lot more money than they would have had to pay LdT in 2001.

But since all of this helped lead to the hiring of Jerry Angelo, I guess it all worked out OK for the Bears.

17 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Kendrell Bell's rookie season was the stuff of legend in Pittsburgh. He not only won the Defensive Rookie Of The Year, but he friggin' destroyed people in the process.

I remember the game in Kansas City that season where he nearly cut Trent Green in half on two seperate sacks. Just insane hits.

He came into training camp and put on a clinic every single day, was amazing in the pre-season games and took over the starting job early in week two (He overthrew Mike Jones...yes, THE Mike Jones). Then he started cracking skulls.

I remember during that season the local media was saying he'd be a Ray Lewis type player racking up 200 tackles a year with huge sack totals. It was like people were expecting him to be a modern day Jack Lambert or something.

I believe it was his second season where he suffered that High Ankle Sprain and was hardly ever on the field after that.

Disappointing it ended that way, because that rookie season was incredible.

19 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Not to be snippy, but to answer people that blindly talk about how the Patriots never offer extensions to any of their good players, condiser that both Patriots draftees mentioned positively in this article are still with the team, while many of the other positively mentioned players have been allowed to leave.

20 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

John Butler was a good guy. The wisdom he had to NOT take the over hyped Ron Mexico and instead wait on Brees in round 2, and LdT instead.

Do you remember when they were talking about Freddy Mitchell, they were talking about his friendship with A.C. Slater from saved by the bell? They were talking about how has a livly personality and can deal with being a pro? The Eagles drafted Leon from the budweiser commericals.

No love for Derrick Burgess in round 3? Wilson is a good player no doubt, but Clements plays a tougher position.

21 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

I know I'm late with this, but great stuff. It's one of my favortive recurring articles.

Keep up the good work boys.

22 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

17.
I remember a player saying that in training camp, when Bell tackled Bettis, it was the first time he saw the Bus in reverse.

He was that good. Too bad he got injured.

23 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re: Offensive line

But they’ve all started plenty of games for the teams that drafted them, so you can’t really call any of them busts.

First of all, I don't like to call any player a bust because I think it's an inappropriately judgmental term given the large amount of chance involved in whether a player works out for a given team. I prefer to call the pick of the player that didn't work out a bust. That said, I disagree with your logic here. Robert Gallery, for instance, has started 41 of 48 possible games for the Raiders. That probably counts as "plenty." Actually, I'm sure most Raiders fans would say that it's way more than plenty. Yet I would call the Raiders' pick of Robert Gallery one of the biggest draft busts of all time. I tend to agree that none of the 2001 picks was a bust, but that's not because of the mere fact that the players in question all started a lot of games for the teams that drafted them.

24 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

6., 13., 18.

That shows why it pays off to advise people who are ignorant.

25 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re #17/22
And Dr.Z that year picked Seymour over Bell as his DRoY. I remember him taking a lot of guff for it at the time, but time provides the best validation. Still, I wonder what would have happened if Bell hadn't gotten hurt.

26 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

#23: Imagine if Gallery hadn't started those games. Imagine if he was so bad he couldn't beat out, say, a UDFA in training camp. Wouldn't that version of Gallery be worse?

I mean, I guess it's possible the Raiders are continuing to start him even though he's worse than other players on the roster. But I doubt it.

27 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

The talk of Gerard Warren as a bust led me to research the Browns 2.0 first round picks:

1999 - Tim Couch
2000 - Courtney Brown
2001 - Gerard Warren
2002 - William Green
2003 - Jeff Faine
2004 - Kellen Winslow Jr.
2005 - Braylon Edwards
2006 - Kamerion Wembley

I guess their first 4 picks were all just bad. I don't know much about Faine or Wembley to judge them, but Faine is no longer on the team. Winslow and Edwards have not lived up to their picks, but mainly due to injury.

For a team to have a high first round pick and blow it so often makes me wonder if the players were really that bad, or if the situation in Cleveland was just that bad, making it difficult for these guys to succeed.

It sure would be nice if there was some way to plug NFL players into an alternate universe to see what could have been.

28 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Well, depth chart decisions aren't always clear-cut, and a tie will usually go to a young player in whom a lot of money has been invested; teams need to find out whether such a player will improve or not. I wouldn't be shocked to learn that somebody actually outplayed Gallery in practice, but Gallery still started, but I wouldn't expect that to last into his fourth year. I suspect they are moving him back to right tackle and teling him it is sink or swim time, especially if they invest a lot of money in a qb. They aren't going to be too happy about letting their bad pick from 2004 kill the future of their highly paid pick of 2007.

29 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

#3:
Carter's career was certainly disappointing, but he still accomplished more in one year (2003) than Tui did in his entire stint with the Raiders.

#25:
Bell was probably better than Semour *as a rookie*, although Seymour has obviously ended up having the better career.

30 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Good read.

And to think that 6 years after, conventional wisdom still thinks Calvin Johnson is a sure thing.

31 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Well, I think we fool ourselves when we pretend as if most injury histories are forseeable. No, Brown and Couch didn't set the world on fire when healthy, but if they had been injury-free, or much more so, it likely is the case that they wouldn't be seen as such clear cut examples of bad picks. The same might be said about Winslow, although some of his injury issue were due to stupidity, which there was some indication of.

32 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

In 2001, Seymour didn't start the season on fire, but by the time the Super Bowl was played, there weren't too many, if any, better defensive linemen in the league. Part of the reason why the Patriots were given far too little chance against the Rams (other than the likelihood of Martz outsmarting himself) was due to the fact that week by week, in the latter part of the season, Seymour was making huge strides, and this was not sufficiently recognized.

33 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re #31
Will Allen, I can't believe you would show such disrespect to our men in uniform. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Maybe I should save this question for next year, but I'll throw it out now... who's drafted worse: the Houston Texans, or the Cleveland Browns v.2.0?

34 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

#26: I actually think the scenario you described does occur, to some extent. Teams feel the need to justify their investment of money and draft picks, so many times a highly drafted player starts over less heralded, but more effective, players. Maybe they're hoping that Joe First-rounder will start to live up to his potential, but a lot of times it seems like they're trying to justify crappy scouting or bad luck.

I'm not saying this is necessarily true in the case of Gallery. But I'm pretty sure it happens.

37 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re # 5 -

Considering the success that San Diego enjoyed by taking Tomlinson and then getting Brees in round 2, why is the idea of the Raiders trading down then taking CJ in Rd 1 and getting a QB in Rd 2 being universally panned?

38 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Oakland can't trade down and take Calvin Johnson. If they got someone to trade up to #1, the team trading up to #1 would have done it specifically to grab Johnson.

40 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

It is interesting how a player can become representative of something larger than any one person (whether positive or negative). I'm curious about how many of you have carefully reviewed the film of Robert Gallery over the past few years. How many national games have the Raiders played since Gallery was picked?

The idea that he is one of the biggest busts ever is beyond ridiculous. He is a 4th year player who has started 41 games in 3 years!

41 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

re: 27

In a similar vein, I read a while back that there was a strong sentiment in the Cleveland office to take Seymour at #3, but Davis was in love with Warren. Another story I read on Cleveland, this time about Warren and Brown, was that despite the ineffectiveness of both of them, Warren was flat out lazy. They'd both come off the field after practice, and Brown would be covered in sweat, and Warren would be fresh as a daisy.

Kind of makes you wonder if Seymour had been picked by Cleveland, would he have been as good. Also makes me wonder what the fuck Davis was smoking when he decided that Warren was worthy of the 3rd overall pick.

42 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Man, I do miss seeing Bell play. My wife and I used to love waiting for the "Bell play" that seemed to happen every game. Some running back or wide receiver would turn down field, eyes lit up because he had an open field. Just then, Bell shoots on screen, three feet off the ground, completely horizontal, laying a massive hit on the ball carrier. One or both usually ended up off screen, and it would take about 10 seconds before the two players could pull their arms and legs away from each other.

43 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Derek, Tony Mandarich had over 60 starts in his career. He stunk. Badly. So does Gallery; it is almost embarassing to watch his pass blocking performance.

Being a huge part of the most inept offensive performance in the league is not proof that one has avoided bust-dom. Now, he wouldn't be the first player to salvage a career after three lousy seasons, but it ain't lookin' good at this point.

44 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

I will say this, however. Gallery hasn't been as bad as offensive guard Mike Williams, who tends to get overlooked sometimes when listing hideously bad offensive line picks at the top of the first round.

Acttually, that isn't a bad trivia question; identify two first round busts with the same name.

45 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Just about everyone agreed that LaDainian Tomlinson was the best back in the draft, although Deuce McAllister of Ole Miss had a few supporters. Some folks thought McAllister was a better all-around player and more ready to step in and contribute immediately.

I think this is because people think merely playing in the SEC (or any BCS conference) automatically makes a player better than someone who played in a Coalition conference.

Clearly, that is not accurate.

46 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

#33

I am upset the Lions do not get to be mentioned in the horrible draft picks discussion.

47 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

though to be fair this is Millen's best draft so far: 3 starters in Backus, Raiola, and Shaun Rogers. While 2nd day picks McMahon and Scotty Anderson produced something for the Lions

48 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Will,

I fail to see how your assertion, no matter how conclusively you phrase it, is proof of anything.

It seems to me that anyone who wants to argue that Gallery is one of the biggest draft busts ever has quite a bit to prove, especially considering how much Gallery has played. Feel free to try and do that but you haven't really done that yet.

49 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Man, I'd almost forgotten about Kendrell Bell. If he had managed to stay healthy and effective, he probably would have been able to hang around in Pittsburgh, and their current linebacker situation would be a lot more palatable.

50 Re: 2001 NFL Draft: Six Years Later

Re #48
Will has not said that Gallery is one of the biggest draft busts of all time; the fact that he's started 41 games removes him from that category, in my opinion.

But that he's started in 41 games does not make him a good player. My subjective observation of Gallery, gained watching with varying degrees of intensity perhaps 4-6 of the Raiders' games this past season thanks to Sunday Ticket, is that at the NFL level he's a generally poor pass blocker and a worse run blocker at the LT position than I expected from his performance at Iowa. This past year, he fluctuated between some absolutely miserable games, most notably in the season opener in the second MNF game, to games where he looked like the best Raider lineman (admittedly, not much of a feat). For a #2 overall pick, you expect above average performance for an extended period of time, and don't anticipate such valleys in performance the player's third year in the league. He has not been a bust on the level of Art Schlichter, Ryan Leaf, Charles Rogers, or Andre Wadsworth, to name some notable busts, but nor has he been a good player.