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2002 draft mess.... shockey a rare success in the draft


jambrosio
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In reviewing any draft, the standard waiting period for making a fair and thorough analysis has historically been three seasons. But in the case of the 2002 lottery, even adding an extra year to the normal review period can't camouflage the reality of how abnormally bad that draft looks when evaluated by any measure.

 

The substandard quality of the '02 draft was further demonstrated this week when the Detroit Lions signed free-agent quarterbacks Jon Kitna and Josh McCown, two moves that have set the stage for the imminent departure of Joey Harrington, either via trade or attrition. The player selected third overall in the '02 draft, Harrington will join former Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Mike Williams, who was chosen one spot later, as top-five picks from four years ago who went bust with their original franchises.

 

"There sure were some expensive [mistakes] in that draft," agreed the personnel director from one team whose 2002 first-round selection remains with the club, but has rarely played up to his potential. "A lot of teams threw good money at bad [suspect] players."

 

That's for sure. Harrington and Williams earned nearly $40 million between them in their four seasons with the Lions and the Bills, respectively, and never made it to a Pro Bowl. After four seasons, they should be cornerstones for the teams that chose them, but will be regrettably recalled as millstones instead. Their failures, though, are indicative of a first round that, in retrospect, was anything but memorable.

 

And of a draft that generally produced spotty results.

 

Scouts are quick to remind people (especially after bad drafts) that the process is an inexact science. But the 2002 draft was more like a laboratory experiment gone awry, one that blew up in a lot of teams' faces. And the first round, as the recent demises of Harrington and Williams reflect, was particularly dubious.

 

Of the 32 players chosen in the first round in 2002, only eight have been to the Pro Bowl, and just four have made the trip to Hawaii more than once. By the time Harrington and Washington quarterback Patrick Ramsey are either traded or released, eight of the 2002 first-rounders will have bombed with their initial franchises. Counting defensive tackle Wendell Bryant, chosen by Arizona and currently out of the game because of a repeat violation of the NFL substance abuse policy, three of the top dozen players can be deemed busts for now.

 

Four other first-round picks -- cornerback Phillip Buchanon (Oakland), linebackers Robert Thomas (St. Louis) and Napoleon Harris (Oakland), and offensive tackle Marc Colombo (Chicago) -- are now with teams other than the ones that drafted them. Of that group, only Colombo, who suffered a catastrophic leg injury as a rookie that nearly ended his career and required almost two full years of rigorous rehabilitation, can claim mitigating circumstances. The rest simply weren't very good, or, more benignly, perhaps, did not live up to their lofty expectations.

 

 

 

AP

Joey Harrington, like many 2002 first-round picks, has failed to live up to expectations.

Unfortunately, that has been the case for too many of the players taken in the first round in 2002.

 

"There just seemed to be a lot of uncertainty in that draft," said Jack Bushofsky, a retired personnel director who ran the Carolina draft in 2002, when the Panthers chose defensive end Julius Peppers in the second slot overall. "I mean, it seemed like everyone had the [best] players identified, but there wasn't a consensus as to how they'd come off the board. And there were rumors about [internal] disagreements at some places."

 

Indeed, the exit of Harrington is certain to dredge up old stories about how the Detroit football brain trust was split between taking the quarterback or cornerback Quentin Jammer. In hindsight, the Lions, it seems, would have been better off making the defensive pick. But not much better off. Despite being billed as one of the top cornerback prospects in years, Jammer, who went to San Diego with the fifth overall selection, has been pretty ordinary. In four seasons, Jammer has just six interceptions, and there are some personnel people who still contend the Chargers should move him to safety.

 

Certainly it would be unfair to denigrate the entire first round in 2002, because the opening stanza of that draft did produce some excellent players, with Indianapolis defensive end and three-time Pro Bowl player Dwight Freeney arguably the best of them. New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey and Dallas safety Roy Williams, like Freeney, have been to three Pro Bowls, and Peppers has played in two.

 

Baltimore safety Ed Reed won Defensive Player of the Year honors only two years ago. John Henderson of Jacksonville and Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth are standout defensive tackles. Cincinnati's Levi Jones, for whom the Bengals were ridiculed when they chose him in the No. 10 slot, has become a top pass protector, and fellow left tackle Bryant McKinnie of Minnesota should someday join him in that group. When healthy, Pittsburgh guard Kendall Simmons is a powerful in-line blocker. Lito Sheppard of Philadelphia is a solid cornerback with one Pro Bowl on his résumé. And New Orleans defensive end Charles Grant, when motivated, is one tough defender.

 

Houston quarterback David Carr, the first overall choice in 2002, still might develop into a franchise-type player. But no one will know unless the Texans surround him with an offensive line that can allow him to stay perpendicular once in a while, and upgrade the skill position players around him.

 

Surveying the first round as a whole, however, some clever trading card manufacturer could issue an entire series based on players from 2002 who have so far come up short. Call it "Topps Flopps '02" or something.

 

"Sometimes you have to be in the right place, at the right time, in the right situation," said Williams, who hopes he has found all three of those elements in Jacksonville, where he signed a two-year contract just days after the Bills released him.

 

True enough. But too many first-round choices in 2002 have turned out wrong.

 

Defensive tackle Ryan Sims (Kansas City) has missed 21 games in four seasons, first to a holdout as a rookie, then to injuries. Wide receivers Ashley Lelie (Denver) and Donte' Stallworth (New Orleans) have battled injuries and inconsistency. Green Bay wide receiver Javon Walker posted a huge season in 2004, tried to renegotiate his contract, then blew out his knee and missed all of 2005. He's still trying to get the Packers to either upgrade his contract or release him. Cleveland tailback Will Green went through a series of off-field woes. The problems for Atlanta tailback T.J. Duckett have been on the field, where he has been overshadowed by Warrick Dunn and not productive enough with the carries he's gotten. Tight end Jerramy Stevens (Seattle) has fought through alcohol problems and too many dropped passes. Four years into Mike Rumph's career, the 49ers still can't figure out whether he is a cornerback or a safety.

 

"You never want to paint a first round or a draft with the same broad brush," one AFC college scout said in assessing the suspect class of 2002. "But you look at that draft four years later and kind of cringe now at the results of the thing. The Harrington thing really brought that home this week. And the point will be made again when [the Redskins] get around to dumping Ramsey."

 

But it wasn't only the first round of the 2002 draft that, in retrospect, has some teams longing for a do-over.

 

Of the 135 prospects selected in the first four rounds that year, players who should have a pretty reasonable expectation of enjoying prosperous careers, 33 are out of the league altogether right now and another 45 are playing for teams other than the ones that drafted them. The second figure is a bit skewed, since it includes players who departed in free agency. Still, good teams tend to keep good players around. So that's a 57.8 percent failure rate over four years.

 

Buffalo is left with just two of the 10 players it chose that season. Oakland has only two of the eight that it took that year. Of eight players selected by Tampa Bay, just safety Jermaine Phillips remains. At the other end of the spectrum, the Philadelphia Eagles' first four choices were defensive backs Sheppard, Michael Lewis and Sheldon Brown and tailback Brian Westbrook. All are key starters. Such success stories from the 2002 draft, however, are scarce.

 

And this week provided another painful reminder of that.

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Guest Nutty Sack

I anxiously await 2008 so that we can look back to the 2004 draft and examine the number one picks career and the kings ransom that team paid for another Joey Harrington.

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Guest Lockhart

Accorsi is more consistent - his first round picks always suck. Shockey never plays a whole season and he drops passes constantly while conplaining incessantly - he also refuses to attend off season work outs - Eli lack of athletic ability was bared for all to see in 2005. The Giants will not improve dramatically until Accorsi is fired. George Young was the Giants GM that brought in LT, Mark Bavaro, Phil Simms and free agents such as Carl Banks and OJ Anderson - along with two Super Bowl wins. It was when he left, the Giants fell into disrepair and have lacked a quality GM since Young's departure. This off season is just a repeat of so many wasted off seasons for the NY Giants under the inept leadership of Ernie Accorsi. Instead of Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms, the Giants now opt for busts such as Ron Dayne and William Joseph in the first round, while throwing away future draft picks for a mediocre Eli Manning when a Super Bowl champion caliber QB in Ben Roethlisberger was free for the taking.

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Accorsi is more consistent - his first round picks always suck. Shockey never plays a whole season and he drops passes constantly while conplaining incessantly - he also refuses to attend off season work outs - Eli lack of athletic ability was bared for all to see in 2005. The Giants will not improve dramatically until Accorsi is fired. George Young was the Giants GM that brought in LT, Mark Bavaro, Phil Simms and free agents such as Carl Banks and OJ Anderson - along with two Super Bowl wins. It was when he left, the Giants fell into disrepair and have lacked a quality GM since Young's departure. This off season is just a repeat of so many wasted off seasons for the NY Giants under the inept leadership of Ernie Accorsi. Instead of Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms, the Giants now opt for busts such as Ron Dayne and William Joseph in the first round, while throwing away future draft picks for a mediocre Eli Manning when a Super Bowl champion caliber QB in Ben Roethlisberger was free for the taking.

 

 

In other words, you missed the point and have no idea what you are talking about like usual.

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Accorsi is more consistent - his first round picks always suck. Shockey never plays a whole season and he drops passes constantly while conplaining incessantly - he also refuses to attend off season work outs - Eli lack of athletic ability was bared for all to see in 2005. The Giants will not improve dramatically until Accorsi is fired. George Young was the Giants GM that brought in LT, Mark Bavaro, Phil Simms and free agents such as Carl Banks and OJ Anderson - along with two Super Bowl wins. It was when he left, the Giants fell into disrepair and have lacked a quality GM since Young's departure. This off season is just a repeat of so many wasted off seasons for the NY Giants under the inept leadership of Ernie Accorsi. Instead of Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms, the Giants now opt for busts such as Ron Dayne and William Joseph in the first round, while throwing away future draft picks for a mediocre Eli Manning when a Super Bowl champion caliber QB in Ben Roethlisberger was free for the taking.

Umm - didn't we draft Carl Banks?

 

6 drop balls (Well actually 5) is alot of drop balls? It's a good thing J. Rice never played for us. Sure J. Rice put up good numbers, but all those drop ruined his career.

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Guest moose

Just realize that you guys do not know what you are talking about. Rothlesburger a superbowl caliber QB. Lucky he was on a good team. He didn't lead that team anywhere. He had parker, Ward, Miller, Porter, Hope, Townsend, VO, Randel El, Morgan, Fanica, Hagens, Washington, Krieder, ect.. Do you get my point morons or do I have to explain it again. You guys think he carried that whole team. Well he didn't. Don't be so niave.

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Guest Lockhart
Just realize that you guys do not know what you are talking about. Rothlesburger a superbowl caliber QB. Lucky he was on a good team. He didn't lead that team anywhere. He had parker, Ward, Miller, Porter, Hope, Townsend, VO, Randel El, Morgan, Fanica, Hagens, Washington, Krieder, ect.. Do you get my point morons or do I have to explain it again. You guys think he carried that whole team. Well he didn't. Don't be so niave.

 

 

Wrong - Big Ben won three road games in the playoffs and had the best QB rating of all playoff QBs entering the Super Bowl Game. He is the youngest in history to win the Super Bowl as the starting QB - Eli "Barney Fife" Manning had the worst rating with a complete collapse against the Panthers. The Giants loss at home was the 5th worst for a home team in the playoffs in NFL history - that from a Number 1 that cost a fortune in money and draft picks. Ben Roethlisberger is a championship QB with a stringer , more accurate arm, and he doesn't shrink in thepocket like all Mannings do when playoff time comes. Just another example of a bonehead Accorsi first round pick - he passes up the best QB in the draft to take Peyton's little brother - what a dope.

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Wrong - Big Ben won three road games in the playoffs and had the best QB rating of all playoff QBs entering the Super Bowl Game. He is the youngest in history to win the Super Bowl as the starting QB - Eli "Barney Fife" Manning had the worst rating with a complete collapse against the Panthers. The Giants loss at home was the 5th worst for a home team in the playoffs in NFL history - that from a Number 1 that cost a fortune in money and draft picks. Ben Roethlisberger is a championship QB with a stringer , more accurate arm, and he doesn't shrink in thepocket like all Mannings do when playoff time comes. Just another example of a bonehead Accorsi first round pick - he passes up the best QB in the draft to take Peyton's little brother - what a dope.

 

 

GO ROOT FOR THE STEELERS THEN, THEY NEED SOME MORE SUNSHINE FANS LIKE YOU GUYS

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Guest Lockhart
Umm - didn't we draft Carl Banks?

 

6 drop balls (Well actually 5) is alot of drop balls? It's a good thing J. Rice never played for us. Sure J. Rice put up good numbers, but all those drop ruined his career.

 

 

don't forget the two Shockey bonehead plays where he is complaining to the refs and showing off for the crowd while the ball is stillalive - what a child. Will he and TO -Lite join the Giants for the off season program? NO, they are too busy attending fashion shows in Miami.

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Guest Lockhart
GO ROOT FOR THE STEELERS THEN, THEY NEED SOME MORE SUNSHINE FANS LIKE YOU GUYS

 

 

I am rooting for the Giants to get a REAL GM so they can again select quality players in the draft and free agency - here's another stupid ACcorsi pick - third round of 2003 with pick 97 he takes Shiancoe...............Tampa takes Chris Simms with pick # 100 - there was another QB better than Eli the Giants could have had cheap.

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Guest Lockhart
Just realize that you guys do not know what you are talking about. Rothlesburger a superbowl caliber QB. Lucky he was on a good team. He didn't lead that team anywhere. He had parker, Ward, Miller, Porter, Hope, Townsend, VO, Randel El, Morgan, Fanica, Hagens, Washington, Krieder, ect.. Do you get my point morons or do I have to explain it again. You guys think he carried that whole team. Well he didn't. Don't be so niave.

 

 

Noone said Eli had to win the Super Bowl - but he looked like a high scholl JV QB against Carolina - just as he looked for over the last month of the season. When it counted he folded - something all Mannings do quite well.

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Umm - didn't we draft Carl Banks?

 

6 drop balls (Well actually 5) is alot of drop balls? It's a good thing J. Rice never played for us. Sure J. Rice put up good numbers, but all those drop ruined his career.

Six was actually one of the most in the NFL but considering how often he was thrown at and sometimes with poor accuracy, six drops are extremely reasonable, much better then in 2004.

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Guest moose
Wrong - Big Ben won three road games in the playoffs and had the best QB rating of all playoff QBs entering the Super Bowl Game. He is the youngest in history to win the Super Bowl as the starting QB - Eli "Barney Fife" Manning had the worst rating with a complete collapse against the Panthers. The Giants loss at home was the 5th worst for a home team in the playoffs in NFL history - that from a Number 1 that cost a fortune in money and draft picks. Ben Roethlisberger is a championship QB with a stringer , more accurate arm, and he doesn't shrink in thepocket like all Mannings do when playoff time comes. Just another example of a bonehead Accorsi first round pick - he passes up the best QB in the draft to take Peyton's little brother - what a dope.

Get over it then. Who the hell cares anymore. If you like him that much go root for them. I don't want to hear, ooooooo I just don't like EA. It is over and done with and your constant bitching is not going to do a damn thing.

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Six was actually one of the most in the NFL but considering how often he was thrown at and sometimes with poor accuracy, six drops are extremely reasonable, much better then in 2004.

<_>

 

He had 6 in 2004 too.

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