Opinion: Looking back at the NFL Draft



Michael Moses

Michael Moses

There’s a lot of stuff going on today.

For one, it’s the 2011 NFL Draft. Two, it’s my last official day as a junior columnist, which means I’m three years removed from high school. Class of 2008 all the way, baby.

They say you need three years to officially evaluate an NFL draft. Given my situation, three years into college, I think it’s time to check out the 2008 NFL Draft class. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-do this with a look of what “could have been”:

Miami Dolphins originally selected Jake Long, T, Michigan

Should have selected: Nobody else
Long made the Pro Bowl his rookie season and has started every game in his career so far. I think it’s safe to say that Miami made the right decision here.

St. Louis Rams originally selected Chris Long, DE, Virginia

Should have selected: Matt Ryan, current QB for Atlanta
Marc Bulger was old; the Rams should have taken a QB. Selecting Matt Ryan here would have made sense. The offensive power with him and RB Steven Jackson – who knows if this would have turned them around or not? Ryan surely helped Atlanta.

Atlanta Falcons originally selected Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

Should have selected: Desean Jackson, current WR for Philadelphia
If they had hung on to Matt Schaub, the Falcons offense would have fielded Schaub at QB, Michael Turner at RB, then this little speedster, Jackson, opposite Pro Bowler Roddy White at WR. Hmmm. Well, they say hindsight is always 20/20…

Oakland Raiders, originally selected Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

Should have selected: Joe Flacco, current QB for Baltimore
?They were still holding on to hope for Jamarcus Russell. Ha, good call, Al Davis. If the first 17 teams drafting knew how good Flacco would eventually turn out, he surely wouldn’t have went #18 overall and the Raiders almost certainly would be in a better place.

Kansas City Chiefs originally selected Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

Should have selected: Chris Johnson, current RB for Tennessee
They would later draft their current RB Jamaal Charles at #73 overall, but they could have grabbed the man who he is often compared to right here.

New York Jets originally selected Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

Should have selected: Darren McFadden, current RB for Oakland
McFadden’s talents behind this offensive line? Thomas Jones ran for 1,300+ yards. Imagine what this young stud would have done.

New Orleans Saints, originally selected Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

Should have selected: Jermichael Finley, current TE for Green Bay
Jeremy Shockey? Who cares. Finley would have been a gem if he were matched with Drew Brees. Easily the most talented TE from this draft class, the 6’6” Finley was selected 91th overall. Every team is kicking themselves right now.

Jacksonville Jaguars originally selected Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

Should have selected: Aqib Talib, current CB for Tampa Bay
During the past three seasons, the Jaguars have ranked 24th or worse vs. the pass. In 41 career games, Talib has 15 interceptions. Harvey has just eight career sacks. Who wants to rewind?

Cincinnati Bengals originally selected Keith Rivers, LB, USC

Should have selected: Jonathan Stewart, current RB for Carolina
Rivers has played in just 35 games and recorded 2 career sacks. On the other hand, Stewart has recorded over 2,700 career rushing yards and 22 touchdowns in a timeshare with DeAngelo Williams. Imagine what he could do as a featured back?

New England Patriots originally selected Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee

Should have selected: Nobody else
Mayo was the Defensive Rookie of the Year and has proved to be a stud throughout his career. The 2010 All-Pro was a perfect selection by Bill Belicheck and staff.

Notable picks: Matt Forte (44th overall), Ray Rice (55th), Tim Hightower (149th), Pierre Garcon (205th), and of course, your newest Madden cover boy, Peyton Hillis (7th round, 227th overall by Denver).

Contact Michael Moses at [email protected].