PFF's 2008 Second Round Re-draft
Yesterday I spent the day re-drafting the 2008 draft class. In between telling you who should have been selected I found some time to grade each of the picks.
Well, today I’m going to do that for the second round as well.
I’m going to see what they’re up to, look at what they achieved and then hand out the usual PFF grade that goes between a +2.0 and a -2.0.
1. (32) Phillip Merling, DE, Miami Dolphins
Role: After another disappointing season in Miami, a new regime let him go. He went on to play 48 snaps with the Packers in 2012 and is now signed with the Redskins.
Impact: Threatened to be what the Dolphins hoped for when they drafted him with an encouraging sophomore year, but injuries seemed to take away what explosiveness he had.
2. (33) Donnie Avery, WR, St Louis Rams
Role: After his time with the Rams came short spells with the Titans and the Colts. Now signed up to be a deep threat for the Chiefs.
Impact: He had that rookie year where he flashed big-play ability, and followed it up with a second year where you started to cool off on him. Injuries were the final straw, and he wasn’t exactly in demand when he was cut.
3. (34) Devin Thomas, WR, Washington Redskins
Role: After being cut by the Redskins, and not catching on in Carolina, he found himself a special teams ace for the Giants. After briefly flirting with retirement Thomas is now with the Lions.
Impact: When you spend an early second rounder on a receiver, you’re looking at more than 40 receptions for 435 yards, but that’s all the Redskins managed to get from him, even if Thomas did show a talent for forcing missed tackles (13).
4. (35) Brandon Flowers, CB, Kansas City Chiefs
Role: Starting cornerback for the Chiefs.
Impact: Had some difficulties as a rookie, but always flashed the talent. He then started to show-off what he was capable of with an impressive second year, followed by a superb start to the 2010 season. While he hasn’t been able to maintain that pace, Flowers remains one of the top cornerbacks in the league.
5. (36) Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Role: One of a number of Packers receivers Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball to.
Impact: Would Nelson be quite as effective without Aaron Rodgers, or would he be more effective if he didn’t have his snap count impacted so heavily? The two probably balance themselves out and you’re left with a receiver who knows how to get open deep. Tremendously productive.
6. (37) Curtis Lofton, MLB, Atlanta Falcons
Role: Starting linebacker for the Saints after Atlanta weren’t prepared to pay the price to keep him.
Impact: Lofton burst onto the scene with the kind of downhill play that you love to see from a rookie. Unfortunately, he’s struggled to make the same kind of impact with an every-down role expected out of him and that’s what contributed heavily to him leaving Atlanta.
7. (38) John Carlson, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Role: Just taken a pay cut to stay in Minnesota after the Seahawks let him leave at the end of the 2011 season.
Impact: Had that rookie year where his athletic ability caught teams off guard. Since then? Well, he’s regressed as a receiver and he can’t block. He is not what you’re looking for in a tight end, and Seattle are better off without him.
8. (39) Chilo Rachal, G, San Francisco 49ers
Role: Currently a free agent after an unsuccessful stint in Chicago.
Impact: One of these players who can look sublime on one play, and ridiculous the next. In some respects that made him a liability in San Francisco and contributed to a quick exit when Jim Harbaugh took charge. A waste.
9. (40) Tracy Porter, CB, New Orleans Saints
Role: After losing his starting spot for the Broncos now finds himself a free agent.
Impact: An interesting player. Porter has proved a capable corner and of course had himself that interception of Peyton Manning that helped the Saints win their first Super Bowl. However, his recent tape isn’t exactly convincing, and he left New Orleans without them too sad about it.
10. (41) James Hardy, WR, Buffalo Bills
Role: Waived by the Ravens and currently out of the league.
Impact: Physical tools don’t always equal success in the NFL. Hardy is proof of that, as the 6’5’’ receiver managed 318 career snaps where he caught 10 balls and dropped two.
11. (42) Eddie Royal, WR, Denver Broncos
Role: Underutilized receiver for the Chargers.
Impact: A revelation as a rookie, Royal got “McDaniel’d” and has never quite been the same player. Still, there were some pretty big moments where Royal showed himself to be a true game changer.
12. (43) Tyrell Johnson, S, Minnesota Vikings
Role: Backup for the Lions after bouncing around since the Vikings let him go.
Impact: He didn’t look too bad as a rookie and he played quite well in Year 2, but he lost his starting spot in 2010. Still got on the field in 2011 but turned his 336 snaps into a -6.2 grade. That, along with an injury, saw him cut.
13. (44) Matt Forte, HB, Chicago Bears
Role: Starting running back for the Bears.
Impact: Was always good in space, but looked to be a one-year wonder after a horrible second year. Since then has gotten better and better, with him becoming one of the true feature backs in the league. Now, if only Chicago could support him with a decent offensive line.
14. (45) Jordon Dizon, LB, Detroit Lions
Role: Out of the league.
Impact: Little. Even before blowing out his knee in 2010 Dizon struggled to make much of an impact.
15. (46) Jerome Simpson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Role: Trying to better a poor first year in Minnesota as a starting receiver.
Impact: His best memory remains an acrobatic flip-come-touchdown as he’s struggled to develop into a rounded receiver. Has the kind of physical skill set that earned him a look from the Bengals consistently, but they eventually soured on him as legal issues mounted.
16. (47) Trevor Laws, DT, Philadelphia Eagles
Role: Current free agent after spending all of 2012 on injured reserve with the Rams.
Impact: If you draft a guy in the second round, you want him to become an eventual starter. Laws never worked his way into being that guy for the Eagles and was instead a purely situational talent who never looked worthy of the snaps he got.
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17. (48) Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
Role: Currently being wined and dined by a selection of teams interested in his services.
Impact: Spent the early portion of his career in the shadow of Chris Cooley, but with some impressive after the catch ability really looked to be building a nice highlight reel of his own. As the Redskins revolution got underway he looked to be a big part of it before an Achilles injury disrupted that.
18. (49) DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Role: Still starting for the Eagles.
Impact: Because of all the struggles the Eagles had in 2012 people seemed to have ignored a nice bounce back year from Jackson after a disastrous 2011. His speed and ability to get in behind defenses have made him one of the league’s scariest receivers.
19. (50) Calais Campbell, DE, Arizona Cardinals
Role: Starting DE for the Cardinals.
Impact: Big. When he’s not on the field the Cardinals are much worse for it. Has developed into a destructive player against the run and pass, who teams need to account for. A lot of teams regret letting him fall this far.
20. (51) Malcolm Kelly, WR, Washington Redskins
Role: Out of the league after 636 snaps.
Impact: It takes something special to pick up two wide receivers in the second round, and both of them fail. The Redskins are just that special. Had his injury problems but was never productive when healthy.
21. (52) Quentin Groves, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Role: Recently signed for the Browns after a spell on the West Coast.
Impact: The Jags tried everything with Groves to turn him into an impact player, but it never worked — 4-3 defensive end, 3-4 OLB, even 3-4 end. None of it led to success.
22. (53) Limas Sweed, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Role: Often called in for a workout, but never signed since Pittsburgh parted ways. Out of the league.
Impact: Before Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders there was Limas Sweed. See, the Steelers aren’t perfect at scouting wide receivers. Sweed managed just 162 snaps.
23. (54) Jason Jones, DT, Tennessee Titans
Role: Signed for the Lions after a successful situational role in Seattle.
Impact: Talent was never in question with Jones. However, the Titans had problems with him staying healthy and then for some reason decided moving him to defensive end would get the best out of him. It didn’t. Was good while it lasted.
24. (55) Ray Rice, HB, Baltimore Ravens
Role: Starting running back for the Ravens.
Impact: A real danger in the open field. Rice has never proven to be the best back when it comes to running between the tackles, but when you get him in space he’s just so dangerous.
25. (56) Brian Brohm, QB, Green Bay Packers
Role: After being cut by the Packers and dumped by the Bills, couldn’t catch on in the Saints minicamp last offseason.
Impact: Looked intelligent while holding a clipboard.
26. (57) Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins
Role: Looks set to continue backing up in Jacksonville.
Impact: What do you expect out of the 57th pick of the draft? Henne was a decent starter and rarely any more, but he’s not the reason the Dolphins didn’t win games. He’s also not a reason they were winning them.
27. (58) Dexter Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Role: A special kind of undersized, he managed just six offensive snaps for the Bucs.
28. (59) Mike Pollak, G, Indianapolis Colts
Role: Current free agent after missing most of 2012 on injured reserve.
Impact: Became a marginal starter for the Colts before he hit free agency in 2012. Struggled to consistently get push in the run game, and was part of an offensive line that constantly disappointed.
29. (60) Patrick Lee, CB, Green Bay Packers
Role: Picked up by the Lions late in 2012 after starting for the Raiders earlier in the year. Now a free agent.
Impact: Just 123 snaps on defense in his career? Even the Packers get it wrong sometimes.
30. (61) Martellus Bennett, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Role: Just earned himself a big new contract with the Bears.
Impact: Bennett was meant to be this physical mismatch as a receiver. The Cowboys Jason Witten never slowed down and so a spot for Bennett never showed up. Still proved a fantastic run blocker in that time.
31. (62) Terrence Wheatley, CB, New England Patriots
Role: Out of the league, waived by the Bills in November.
Impact: Far be it from me to give the Patriots any advice, but picking up lots of draft picks is only useful if you actually pick up good players who contribute. I don’t think the 100 snaps of Wheatley constitutes contributing.
32. (63) Terrell Thomas, CB, New York Giants
Role: Just signed to a new deal with the Giants for one year.
Impact: Had a real nice 2009 but responded by giving up seven touchdowns in 2010, where he generally looked all over the place. Since then it’s been a lot of bad luck for Thomas with a couple of serious injuries that make a position change look on the cards.
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