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(Article also published at www.chicksinthehuddle.com)
In an attempt to bring some perspective to the NFL draft and to get some message board a-holes to calm the “f” down, we’ve decided to do a reunion show a` la “Happy Days” to see just what’s become of some recent NFL #1 draft picks. What we’ve discovered is that contrary to popular and douche-baggy beliefs, it’s not always that top pick that makes the team. In fact sometimes, that top pick breaks the team. (No David Carr, of course we don’t mean you.)
2000: Courtney Brown, Cleveland Browns
In his first year, he logged 70 tackles and 4.5 sacks. In his second season, he suffered a serious injury. He went on to play only 26 games from 2002-2004, recording 8 sacks. In 2005, the Browns traded his ass to the Denver Broncos, where he celebrated a successful first year with the team. Then, he tore a ligament. Last year, he got cut.
To put it plainly, “Ask not what Brown can do for you, but what your local unemployment agency can do for Brown.”
2001: Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons
Um, need we say more?
2002: David Carr, Houston Texans
His crowning glory was winning the Texans' first home game in history against the Dallas Cowboys. The Texans finished that season 4-12. After a few more dismal years, Carr was sent packing to the Carolina Panthers. His shot at redemption came last season when he stepped in for the injured Jake Delhomme. That worked out so swimmingly that they ended up cutting Carr from the team last month.
2003: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
This Heisman trophy winner has had his ups and downs with a team that has rotted in the pit of NFL oblivion for more than a decade. Although he has only led the Bengals to one winning season since taking the starting job in 2004, he did help produce two 8-8 seasons, which is like going undefeated in Bengal Country. Not to mention he overcame a potentially career ending knee injury in 2006 in heroic fashion. He made two pro-bowl appearances and holds several Bengals team records. Needless to say, last year his team finished 7-9. He’s hardly been at the heart of the Bengals’ struggles. (You can thank the parolees for that!)
Palmer did manage to hit a major milestone on his own in 2007: 20 interceptions…a career high. You go boy!
Had we written this in December of last year, we may have choked on our own snarkiness over the Eli debacle in the making. But then the bastard had to go and win a Super Bowl…
2005: Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Smarty pants Smith got one of the highest scores of his draft class on the NFL intelligence test known as the Wonderlic. He scored 40 out of 50 on the test. (We hear that’s about 40 points more than Aaron Brooks.) Sadly, the Wonderlic proved to be about as good a predictor for Smith’s success in the NFL as the ball lick he presumably got from a gang of University of Utah sorority girls on graduation night.
Despite being surrounded by weapons in his sophomore year in the forms of Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Kevan Barlow, Smith continued to struggle and ended the season with a 74.8 QB rating. He had an injury plagued season last year and will likely find himself competing for a starting job in 2008.
2006: Mario Williams, Houston Texans
The Texans made up for the David Carr fiasco by picking up a talented defensive end from North Carolina State University a few years back. Many considered the team’s decision to draft Mario Williams over Reggie Bush to be one of the dumbest moves in draft history. Mario responded to the criticisms with 106 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in a mere two seasons. We’d like to consider that the football equivalent of erecting a Texas-sized middle finger outside Reliant Stadium.
2007: JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders
Sure, the guy can throw a ball 40 yards from his ass, but can he help win clutch games in the NFL? We’ll have to wait and see. This former Tiger didn’t get his start for a full game with the Raiders until the final game of last season, where he threw for more than 200 yards, and logged one touchdown and one interception. Russell will start for the Raiders in 2008.
What’s the point of this little walk down memory lane? It’s that one player who doesn’t necessarily equate to a sudden transformation from worst to first for an NFL team nor does going first in the draft dictate a player will be the second coming of Joe Montana. After all, there are guys like [[Marques Colston, who don’t get picked up until round seven, that end up being some of the biggest playmakers in the NFL.
So settle down dillweed Dolphins fans in the sports forum who can no longer hide his stiffy at the prospect of which talented stud might come his way. There’s a good chance that when it’s all said and done, your team and your precious first round pick will suck like a lady of the night in the back of former Governor Spitzer’s limo.