NFL Draft: A Brief History of Pick No. 243

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NFL Draft: A Brief History of Pick No. 243
In its charity and wisdom, the National Football League has awarded the Washington Redskins one compensatory draft pick in the upcoming 2009 NFL Draft. Meaning, in addition to their other bounty, Washington now owns the 243rd selection in the April NFL Draft as well.  
The gift of Brunell just keeps on giving.
So, why do a piece on the 243rd pick?  
Because a whole lot of jawing and gnashing of teeth goes on amongst serious pro football fans about the value of late-round draft picks. And more often that not, it is largely done devoid of context. You may have participated in such a conversation yourself—I know I have.
"Smith? Sucks. I can't believe they gave up Jones and next years' seventh for that (loser)."
So, fresh off compiling a serious piece about the history of the 13th pick in the NFL draft (the Redskins first round pick in April), I thought we might amuse ourselves with quick look at just what kind of success the league has had with pick number 243.  
Below, you will find a list of the last 30 players chosen with the 243rd selection in the draft.
Why 30? Two reasons.
One, I have a job. And two, because it allows a ten-year period for players whose careers are still in progress, while still covering 20 additional years, a full generation, from which to draw data.
If anyone would like to go farther, by all means please feel free to do so.  If you want I’ll even append it here. Word to the wise, however—The NFL's records are great, but don't rely on them 100 percent. For example, they didn't start keeping official sack records until 1983, or tackles until 2001.
I went into the exercise with no preconceived notions, but did target some obvious questions:
Please note:
1) I am a writer, not a statistician.  I have made every effort to nail the numbers, but if I have erred, please let me know and I’ll make it right.
2) Again, as of this writing there are three active 243rd picks in the league. I have taken that into account in answering the following. 
Let's get to it.

How many of those picks washed out without ever making an NFL roster? 
Answer: 8 of 30 (26.6%)  

How many have played at least two years? 
Answer: 15 of 29 (51.7%)

How many played at least five years?
Answer: 10 of 25 (40%)

How many started 10 or more games in their career? 
Answer: 9 of 27 (33.3%) 

Who were these diamonds in the rough, and how many starts did each have?
125 - JEFF HERROD, LB, IND (1988)
107 - JASON FISK, DT, MIN (1995)
85 - KEITH UECKER, OT, DEN (1982)
61 -  AVON RILEY, LB, HOU (1981)
52 - KELVIN GARMON, OG, DAL (1999) 
33 - ADAM SCHREIBER, OG, SEA (1984) 
29 - GREG BRACELIN, LB, DEN (1980)
21 - DOUG BEAUDOIN, DB, NE (1976)
13 - TERDELL SANDS,* DT, KC (2001; active) 
(Pretty good run there in the early 80's.  Of course, that could just mean the pro talent pool didn’t run as deep then, and it was “easier” for late-rounders to hang on...)

How many of the 30 have made the Pro Bowl? 
Answer: None, though three remain active and hopeful.

Notes/Observations

■  Pick #243,  by Position:
9 - Offensive Line
7 - Linebacker
4 - Running Back
4 - Defensive Line
3 - Defensive Back
1 - Quarterback
1 - Wide receiver
1 - Tight End

■  You know those nine players listed above who started double and triple-digit games? Check what positions all but one played. I'm not making this stuff up, Mr. Cerrato.

■  Washington has made the 243rd selection three times in the past 30 drafts: 
1991 - CHARLES BELL, DB, WAS 
1990 - TIM MOXLEY, OG, WAS
1978 - JOHN HURLEY, QB, WAS
None made an NFL roster.
Conclusions

No hard ones, really. A study like this would be far more meaningful broadening the field to more than just one particular-numbered pick, even over a 30 year time period. If we were to analyze all seventh round picks, say, over that period (approx. 1000 players), the results would obviously carry more weight. 
But as a general feeling, I walked away thinking that while you aren't likely to stumble into a Hall of Famer or even a Pro Bowler (though a few guys, like Herrod, Fisk and Uecker, proved outstanding value as late-round picks), you do have a better chance of landing a player who can provide productive depth for a few years than you do a player whose name you end up peeling off a locker before the leaves turn.
And of course, the more picks you have—be they late-round, first-day or in between—the better your odds of finding gold in them thar hills.  But then…we already knew that.  
Didn’t we? 
***
NOTES:
* There were no 243rd picks in 1998, 1997, 1994, 1993
* NFL.com does not record tackles prior to 2001
* NFL started tracking sacks in 1982
* Stats not broken down OFF/DEF vs Special Teams
* "Out of NFL" = not on NFL roster in 2008
* Where NFL stats incomplete, filled in w/ PFR 

KEY:
DNP = did not play
plyd = games played in
strt = games started
tckls = tackles
scks = sacks

2008 - JOEY LAROCQUE LB,* CHI
1 YR CHI - plyd 14 gms 
Career-to-date: 1 yr, 14 gms, 6 tckls

2007 - CLARK HARRIS, TE, HOU
1 YR HOU - plyd 4 gms (no stats)
Out of NFL

2006 - TONY PALMER, OG STL/GB
2 YRS GB - plyd 8 gms
Out of NFL 

2005 - ANTHONY DAVIS, RB, IND 
Out of NFL

2004 - DOMINIC FURIO, C PHI 
1 YR PHI - DNP
Out of NFL 

2003 - ETHAN KELLEY, NT NE 
1 YR NE - plyd 1 
3 YRS CLE - plyd 35, strt 9
Career: 4 yrs, 9 strt, 2 scks, 63 tckls
(Out of NFL)

2002 - CHRIS MASSEY,* C STL
Career-to-date: 7 YRS STL - plyd 112, strt 1 (rookie)

2001 - TERDELL SANDS,* DT, KC
1 YR KC - DNP
1 YR GB - plyd 1 
6 YRS OAK - plyd 76 gms, 13 strts
Career-to-date: 7 yrs, 77 gms, 13 strt, 129 Tckls, 4 scks, 1 INT

2000 - SHYRONE STITH, RB, JAX
1 YR JAX - plyd 14
2 YRS IND - plyd 1
Career: 3 yrs, 15 gms, 20 carr., 55 yds, 1 TD 

1999 - KELVIN GARMON, OG, DAL
4 YRS DAL - plyd/strt 21
2 YRS SD - plyd 23, strt 21
1 YR CLE - plyd/strt 8 
Career: 6 yrs, 52 gms, 50 strt

1996 - RYAN WOOD, RB, DAL
Out of NFL

1995 - JASON FISK, DT, MIN
4 YRS MIN - plyd 54, strt 16
3 YRS TEN - plyd/strt 47
3 YRS SD - plyd 47, strt 30
1 YR CLE - plyd 16, strt 14
1 YR STL - plyd 16
Career: 12 yrs, 180 gms, 107 strt, 280 tckls, 19 scks, 3 INT

1992 - KEITH ALEX, OT, ATL
1 YR ATL - plyd 14
1 YR MIN - DNP
Career: 2 yrs, 14 gms

1991 - CHARLES BELL, DB, WAS
Out of NFL

1990 - TIM MOXLEY, OG, WAS
Out of NFL

1989 - LASALLE HARPER, LB, CHI
1 YR NYG - plyd 1
1 YR CHI - plyd 3
Career: 2 yrs, 4 gms (no stats listed)

1988 - JEFF HERROD, LB, IND
9 YRS IND - plyd 133, 89 strt
1 YR PHI - plyd 10, strt 2
1 YR IND - plyd 10, strt 7
Career: 11 yrs, 153 gms, 125 strt, 14.5 scks, 5 INT, 1 TD, ? tckls

1987 - M.L. JOHNSON, LB, SEA
3 YRS SEA - plyd 37
Career: 3 yrs, 37 gms (no stats listed)

1986 - ELBERT WATTS, DB, LA Rams
1 YR GB - plyd 9 
Career: 1 yr, 9 gms, 1 sack, 1 INT

1985 - SCOTT STRASBURGER, LB, DAL
Out of NFL

1984 - ADAM SCHREIBER, OG, SEA
1 YR SEA - plyd 6
1 YR NO - plyd 1
3 YRS PHI - plyd 27, strt 12
2 YRS NYJ - plyd 23
4 YRS MIN - plyd 63, strt 17 (16 in '93)
3 YRS NYG - plyd 47, strt 4
3 YRS ATL - plyd 35
Career: 17 yrs, 202 gms, 33 strt

1983 - ROBIN HAM, C, GB
Out of NFL

1982 - KEITH UECKER, OT, DEN
2 YRS DEN - plyd 21, strt 2
6 YRS GB - plyd 64, strt 47
Career: 8 yrs, 85 gms, 49 strt

1981 - AVON RILEY, LB, HOU
6 YRS HOU - plyd 88, 61 strt
1 YR PIT - plyd 3
Career: 7 yrs, 91 gms, 61 strt, 6.5 scks, 3 INT, ? tckls

1980 - GREG BRACELIN, LB, DEN
1 YR DEN - plyd 12
1 YR OAK - plyd 15
3 YRS BAL/IND - plyd 41, strt 29
Career: 5 yrs, 68 gms, 29 strt, 9.5 scks, 3 INT, ? tckls

1979 - RICH ELLENDER, WR HOU
1 YR HOU - plyd 13 
Career: 1 yr, 13 gms, 1 rec, 15 yds

1978 - JOHN HURLEY, QB, WAS
Out of League

1977 - JOHNNY JACKSON, DT, STL
1 YR PHI - plyd 2 
Career: 1 yr, 2 gms (no stats listed)

1976 - DOUG BEAUDOIN, DB, NE
4 YRS NE - plyd 45, strt 21
1 YR MIA - plyd 10
1 YR SD - plyd 4
Career: 7 yrs, 59 gms, 21 strt, 4 INT, ? tckls

1975 - DONNE LAYTON, RB, SF
Out of League

 

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