2009 NFL Draft: The Biggest Busts and Winners: Post-Draft Edition
Before the draft, I wrote an article on the top players who I deemed as immediate busts into the NFL as well as players that will succeed in any position they're brought into.
After the draft, my views have changed thanks to a rather odd draft order. I don't think anybody expected Maclin to fall to the 10th spot or Oher to fall to the Ravens at 23.
With the draft over with and players settling into their new teams, we'll take a look at some of the biggest potential busts of 2009.
BUST: Mark Sanchez: New York Jets (five overall)
Before the draft, I had this one pegged as an immediate bust. That hasn't changed a bit.
He only started one season before getting a chance in 2008. He put up amazing numbers, but people should always be weary of USC quarterbacks, especially underclassman. He decided to forgo his senior season and enter the draft, mistake number one.
The last USC underclassman quarterback to declare for the draft was Todd Marinovich back in the early 1990s. He is now a recovering junkie who still has run-ins with the law. I'm in no way saying he'll end up in the same shoes, just pointing out the facts.
From the looks of it, he'll end up starting the season for the Jets. There's mistake No. 2. The Jets need to develop this kid slowly and not throw him into the fire right away. Make him sit for a year or two before starting him.
Honestly, I think the only reason he left early was because of the weak quarterback class. With players like McCoy and Bradford next season, Sanchez could have found himself in round two, even three.
The only good thing to come out of this is the amount of money Sanchez will be making. Well, it's good for Sanchez at least. He'll suck $40 million plus from the Jets before his young career is over.
He has all the tools to be great, but his ego is a little too big for me. He's already posing for magazines like GQ? Come one now. He hasn't even played a down in the NFL yet. He'll be a mirror image of Alex Smith, maybe a tish better.
I'm expecting a 3,000 yard season, 13 touchdowns, and at least 15 interceptions. It don't see it getting any better than that.
BUST: Donald Brown: Indianapolis Colts (27 overall)
He was a tremendous player for the Huskies and will be sorely missed.
In Indianapolis, he'll have one of the better offensive lines to work with. The problem is, they aren't known for their run-blocking abilities.
He'll struggle getting time with Joseph Addai in the mix. I don't like this pick whatsoever. In fact, I think it was probably the worst in the first round.
When you have Peyton Manning on your team, your running game should be respected enough to allow descent yardage. That hasn't happened since the Colts let James walk several years ago.
I think the Colts could have been better off picking Evander Hood. He could have provided needed help to the defensive tackle position, one of the few on the Colts' roster that should have been addressed in the first round.
They were able to pick up Fili Moala in the second, but I think it was a little too late. The Colts essentially got two picks wasted right away.
Your team has Joseph Addai and he may not be in the mix with Peterson or Williams, but he is still a quality back. Picking up his replacement only three years into the league is just wrong.
He hasn't played terrible and is one of the reasons the Colts won the Super Bowl a couple years ago.
While Brown may have had success in Connecticut, he probably won't have the same in Indy. The Colts don't like to run the ball and with Manning, why would you?
Brown has marginal size and speed, but I think he resembles Addai way too much. I don't see him being as effective as Addai. I hardly see him getting any playing time at all next season.
He'll maybe get 92 carries, 295 yards, and a touchdown. I'm not expecting anything spectacular from him for several years.
BUST: Tyson Jackson: Kansas City Chiefs (3 overall)
This one is new.
It breaks my heart to put him here, but I can't see him succeeding on the Chief's defense. I thought the Chiefs would go with Aaron Curry here as did much of the NFL world, but that's what makes the draft so great. You never know where your favorite players will end up.
He's an amazing player and was dubbed as the best 3-4 defensive end in the draft. It was definitely a shocking pick.
He's not known for his pass rushing abilities, anymore at least. He had 8.5 sacks his sophomore season before recording just eight total sacks his last two seasons.
He is a big guy though at 6'4" and 295 pounds. But will that be enough to propel the Chiefs to the next level? This writer doesn't think so.
I think he'd better fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle, but he doesn't really have that choice. The same situation happened last season for the Jets when they selected Gholston.
They tried to convert him to a 3-4 linebacker, but it failed last season. He needs to go back to his natural position to be successful.
Jackson isn't going to be surround by a lot of talent by any means. The Chiefs lacked the big playmaker on defense last season after they traded away the pass-rushing stud Jared Allen to the Vikings. I can't see Jackson filling the void left by Allen a year ago.
He lacks consistency at the point of attack and takes plays off. I only hope that he goes to a 4-3 team to show what he's made of.
I'm predicting a 26 tackle season with a sack, but the sack probably won't come until the end of the season making many Kansas City fans more than angry. I just hope he can prove me wrong.
Bust: Michael Crabtree: San Francisco 49ers (10 overall)
He was expected to be the top receiver picked in the draft. Well, the crazed owner that is Al Davis wasn't going to let that happen snatching one of the fastest players in the draft instead, Darrius Heyward-Bey.
This is another pick that hasn't changed. If anything, he's even further down the list than before.
He doesn't have a quarterback to throw to him. That will be the biggest problem for him. He'll get agitated by the lack of consistency from the quarterback position.
Until he gets a descent quarterback under center, Crabtree will struggle.
He was able to beat defenders by snatching the ball with his naturally gifted hands all season long. He won't get that in the NFL.
The cornerbacks are much better and way more physical. Some say that cornerbacks are the most improved position from the college to pro levels.
He doesn't have the speed to beat defenders nor does he have the desire to block for his running backs. He doesn't get to the defender fast enough and is very easy to shed away.
When he does finally get the ball in his hands, he likes to dance and shimmy around a little too much. This is going to cause him problems. He needs to utilize his strength instead of relying on his mediocre dancing abilities to get away from defenders.
Unless he gets a quarterback who can confidently throw him the ball, he could end up with 41 receptions, 393 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
BUST: Peria Jerry: Atlanta Falcons (24 overall)
My relentless attack against AFC rookies officially ends.
It's no secret that the Falcons needed defensive lineman. They got the best defensive tackle in the draft at pick 24.
Unfortunately, I don't think it'll be enough.
Jerry had a monster season after knee surgery last August, but I'm not sold yet.
Jerry has an upright playing style that will cause opposing offensive lineman to over-power him and drive him from the line-of-scrimmage. As long as he continues to stand up off the line, he will not be able to work against bigger NFL guards.
While he was responsible for a great defensive turnaround in his senior season, I can't get myself to believe he will be an elite NFL lineman. He takes plays off and finds himself out of place on a routine basis.
Peria was listed just under 300 pounds at the combine. Usually NFL teams like to see their standout lineman over that plateau, but a few months in the NFL workout program should fix that.
He also has a well-documented history with injury problems. While I'm one to say that college injuries don't necessarily mean injury problems in the NFL, I can't see Jerry breaking out of his lengthy history.
SUCCEED: Aaron Curry: Seattle Seahawks (4 overall)
Yeah, I'm still bitter the Chiefs didn't take him, even though I'm really not a fan of the Chiefs. He could have been a huge impact player for them, but he'll have to do that in Seattle.
He'll be Julian Peterson's replacement. Those are some massive shoes to fill. Peterson was dominant for the Seahawks before they traded him to Detroit this past offseason.
Curry was my favorite player heading into the draft. His combination of size, speed, and athleticism are second to none at the linebacker position. It wouldn't have mattered where this guy went. He'll be a starter for any NFL team.
He had a fantastic career at Wake Forrest and should continue that in the NFL. Along with Tatupu and Hill, the Seahawks will have a nice-sized dent in their salary cap for a little while. That is, until they let Hill walk and replace him.
Curry is a pass-rushing machine, though his sack totals don't show it. He consistantly put pressure on the quarterback forcing bad throws. He also does very well in coverage.
He has above-average hands for the position and always seems to be around the ball-carrier. He is able to shed blocks with ease and get to his position.
He shouldn't have a hard time fighting for a starting position. He will be able to learn from a great linebacking duo for a several months before hitting his way through a weak division.
If he doesn't end the season with at least 90 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 interception, I'll be shocked. This guy is that good and could be the center for a very good defense for years to come.
SUCCEED: Jeremy Maclin: Philadelphia Eagles (19 overall)
Ah yes, Donovan finally gets his playmaking receiver. They traded a couple of spots to 19 just to be sure to snag him. The question is, is it enough to make Donovan happy in Philly.
The answer should be yes. He'll pair up with the very underrated Kevin Curtis and rookie sensation DeSean Jackson.
Going into the draft, Maclin was rated as the second best receiver. He wasn't expected to go in the top 10, but it was going to be close. Well, he fell down a few spots and the Eagles had their man.
Maclin had a great college career at Missouri where he became only the third player in NCAA history to average over 200 yards per game (202.4 YPG). That's a very good stat to have on your resume.
He might not return too many kicks for the Eagles, but he'll get his fair share on the offensive side of the ball.
He has the top-end speed to outrun most defenders and the agility to scoot by anyone. He doesn't have the ideal size at 6'0" 195 pounds, but his abilities are too good pass up at this point.
The only knock on this guy is that he takes his eye of the ball before its caught and doesn't like to make contact. He ends up dropping some easy balls, but Donovan should be able to work with the young rookie.
McNabb finally has a playmaker at the wide receiver position. The Eagles will look to have one of the more dominant passing attacks in the NFL if Donovan can play smart. and Maclin meets the hype.
Philly fans are known for being a little unforgiving, so Maclin will have to make the most out of every opportunity. He should manage around 65 catches, 764 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
Succeed: Percy Harvin: Minnesota Vikings (22 overall)
I'll admit it, when my Vikings took this pick, I swore real loud. With Michael Oher on the board, I thought it was a no-brainer. I was wrong.
I hated the pick initially and have criticized the Vikings for it, but after I've had time to settle down and think of what he could add to a lack-luster offense, I warmed up to the idea.
Despite his "character issues", the Vikings thought it'd be worth the risk. The organization has done a great job of cleaning up their team and ridding the locker room of any distractions. The veteran Vikings' defense won't put up with it though.
He was a dual-threat playmaker for the Gators last season shattering school records across the board. His 9.8 yards-per-carry average is nothing to snicker at.
He won't get too many carries out of the backfield with Peterson and Taylor, but he should get a chance, nonetheless.
He's a do-it-all player with all the skills necessary to be a top ten pick. He is a threat to score at any time and makes people miss with every move of his body. He also underrated strength and was one of the fastest players at the combine.
He did have a Heisman winner throwing the ball to him, something he obviously won't get in Minnesota. But with Peterson commanding so much attention and Berrian scaring the defense from burning them deep, Harvin will take control over the middle.
He is my surprise pick for the upcoming year. Had he gone to a different team, I probably won't have bothered even mentioning it. The fact that he's playing for arguably the best run-blocking offensive lines and Peterson alone is enough to ward consideration.
I think he'll manage to get 49 catches, 700 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He might get a few runs in the newly installed Wildcat formation with 28 carries, 184 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Succeed: Malcolm Jenkins: New Orleans Saints (14 overall)
Malcolm Jenkins was an easy pick to predict for the Saints. The standout corner from Ohio State is said to be the best defensive back prospect out of the Big Ten in the last decade.
His entire career was focused on getting into the receivers heads and letting them know that they don't stand a chance against him. He was a great player year after year and surprised everyone when he elected to return for his senior season in 2008.
Though he's not known for grabbing the interception, he'd rather just knock the ball to the ground or ready the big hit. It worked well in college and should work fine in the Pros.
He's got good size for an NFL corner and should bulk up in his first couple seasons. Jenkins is very fast and agile and should adjust to the NFL very fast.
The comparisons to Charles Woodson of the Packers is scary. Woodson has been a shutdown corner his entire career. To have his name thrown into the fire is truly an honor.
The All-American corner may be even better than advertised when he gets thrown into the starting lineup come September. He won't have much competition on the lowly Saints roster.
He sometimes throws his head down and leans into the ball carrier causing missed tackles, but that should improve with time. He's a shutdown corner first which is a must in the NFL.
Look for about 58 tackles and 3 interceptions out of the rookie from Ohio State.
SUCCEED: Chris Wells: Arizona Cardinals (31 overall)
Wells goes to a team that has one of the best passing attacks in the NFL. The only problem is running backs have struggled in Arizona for many years.
With Wells, that should all change.
Regarded as the most physical running back in college, Wells brings power to a terrible rushing attack that featured a strong Hall of Fame candidate in Edgerrin James.
Defenses have to respect the passing attack of the Cardinals. The running game didn't kick in until late last season and it sure paid off. The Cardinals made a surprising trip to the Super Bowl where they were inches away from beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wells will be the likely starter. With Hightower averaging less than three yards-per-carry, it's tough to imagine he'll be able to hold back Wells from the starting role.
In his college career, Wells was injured farily often. This is the main reason for his drop in the draft, but as recent history has shown, injury in college doesn't mean much.
He has above-average size for an NFL running back and will use that size to plow over defenders. I think of Wells as a slightly faster Michael Turner. He could have a great season as long as he remains healthy.
Wells was able to rush for nearly 3,400 yards at Ohio State and will look to carry that success into the Cardinals high-flying offense.
I don't think 258 carries, 1,122 yards, and 7 touchdowns is completely out of the picture for the former standout Buckeye.