1st Round Picks Destined to be Busts

Graeme ThorntonCorrespondent IMay 16, 2008


When looking back at April's draft it is hard to find many draft picks destined to fail, fewer than normal because all of the offensive linemen, eight total, taken. Statistically offensive linemen are a safe pick, so I excluded any of them from my list (mainly because I'm not a wizard and can't just guess at which linemen will fail, however I do think that Gosder Cherilus was a bit of a reach.)

I also believe that all five running backs went into systems were they can thrive, except maybe Darren McFadden, but he should develop over time.

LB is usually a safe pick, and both Jerod Mayo and Keith Rivers should fit in well with their respective teams.

Both DTs should at least be starters in the future, and I believe that Glenn Dorsey will thrive in Kansas City.

Lawrence Jackson and Derrick Harvey will be the only successful DEs, because they won't be counted on as the only pass rusher.

I am one of the few that is sold on Joe Flacco and not on Matt Ryan at QB.

What would have made this easier is if even one WR had been taken...where were the Lions?

Of the six DBs, I think that the only safety, Kenny Phillips, will have the best rookie season, because of the Giant's pass rushing ability. Most of the others should be OK early on.

So here's my list:

1.      Matt Ryan; QB; Atlanta Falcons...If Matt Ryan is starting by week five, the way I believe he will, then he is destined to fail. With Michael Turner as the Falcons only other offensive weapon, he will have little time and no receivers.


2.      Vernon Gholston; DE; New Yorks Jets...Gholston's stock rose right before the draft due to his combine numbers, and if it weren't for them he would never have gone as high as 6th overall. He might fit into the Jets 3-4 defense, but who is going to compliment him. He simply doesn't have the talent to beat a double team in the NFL yet.


3.      Kentwan Balmer; DE; San Francisco 49ers... Again, if he were going to a different team, one that already had a pass rusher then he would be fine.  However San Francisco will put too much pressure on him to get the QB, though not as much as defenses will put on him as his team's only option to do so. This is an awful combination for a rookie.


4.      Dustin Keller; TE; New York Jets...Keller should be a decent pass catching TE, but you don't draft a TE in the first round who you don't expect to run and pass block as well. Therefore, Keller's stats will be fine, but only because there is no stat that can show how well you run block.


5.      Aqib Talib; CB; Tampa Bay Buccaneers...Ronde Barber, the Buccs other CB, is a phenom, which could hurt Talib. QBs will be throwing in his direction more than he can handle. If he is up to the challenge then Tampa Bay could end up with a great CB duo, but I doubt it. He is also prone to over committing when he thinks he knows a WR's route, which means he can be easily shaken with a double move.