In the months leading up to the 2011 NFL draft, many experts thought the consensus top two picks would be Nick Fairley or Da’Quan Bowers.
Fairley eventually fell out of the top 10 while a knee injury pushed Bowers down to the second round. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton rose to the first overall selection, and the Carolina Panthers are looking like they made the right decision by selecting him.
Nearly every pick in the top 10 was a phenomenal selection. Von Miller and Patrick Peterson are franchise players on defense. A.J. Green and Julio Jones are bona-fide No. 1 wide receivers. And Tyron Smith could be the Dallas Cowboys’ left tackle for the next decade or more.
Surprisingly, though, the picks from No. 20-32 weren’t nearly as strong. In fact, many of those teams have to be second-guessing themselves. A total of four offensive linemen were picked in the bottom 10, and none has lived up to his potential.
The following ranks the players chosen on the value they’ve given their team so far. A player chosen No. 32 with an equal value to that of a player chosen first overall would grade higher because his team picked him later in the draft. This in no way means the players that receive a poor grade are destined to be busts; it simply grades their value so far. Injuries have to be counted against players because staying healthy is a big part of being a successful NFL player.
For the 2012 version, click here.