2011 NFL Draft: Ranking Each Team's Draft Success Over the Last Decade
The 2011 NFL Draft picture is starting to clear up with playoff positions nearly determined and the NFL season almost complete.
Keep in mind that all players listed from the various draft classes do not reflect their status as good or impact players. Some have had amazing careers and others are notable just on name recognition and little else (e.g. Tim Tebow).
Quality, not quantity, is how the teams will be ranked.
So which team's draft room has been the best on draft day over the last 10 years?
32. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills really have a poor track record in the NFL Draft over the past 10 years.
Looking at the list, there are few, if any, standout players selected in the last 10 years.
In 2003, if they got a fully healthy Willis McGahee. That pick would have ended up being a steal. Right now, seventh round pick from 2008, Steve Johnson, is in the midst of a breakout season. He could be a true steal.
Selected in 2008, Jairus Byrd had an excellent rookie season but hasn't had the same success this year.
C.J. Spiller was a puzzling pick earlier this year, but he is talented no doubt. The team just didn't need a running back in the draft.
2001: Nate Clements
2002: Ryan Denney
2003: Willis McGahee, Terrence McGee
2004: Lee Evans
2005: Roscoe Parrish
2006: Donte Whitner, Kyle Williams
2007: Marshawn Lynch, Paul Posluszny, Trent Edwards
2008: Leodis McKelvin, Chris Ellis, Demetrius Bell, Steve Johnson
2009: Aaron Maybin, Jairus Byrd
2010: C.J. Spiller
31. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have been hit or miss for a good part of this decade
Looking down the list, there really aren't many players who really jump out at you. A lot of solid players have been drafted over the years, but very few studs.
2001: Chris Chambers
2002: Randy McMichael
2003: Donald Lee, Yeremiah Bell
2004: Vernon Carey, Will Poole, Rex Hadnot
2005: Ronnie Brown, Channing Crowder,
2006: Jason Allen, Derek Hagan, Devin Aromashodu
2007: Ted Ginn Jr., Lorenzo Booker
2008: Jake Long, Chad Henne
2009: Vontae Davis, Pat White, Brian Hartline, Chris Clemons
2010: Koa Misi, Nolan Carroll
30. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions have been awful ever since Barry Sanders retired.
However, it doesn't all rest on Sanders' shoulders. The Lions really didn't hit on many of their picks from 2001 to 2006.
Detroit natives can thank Matt Millen for that. How Millen has a job as a broadcaster is beyond me.
The 2007 season marked a turning point in the draft, when they landed freak of nature, Calvin Johnson.
The following year was poor, but they landed Matthew Stafford in 2009 and promising tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
Then 2010 netted them beast defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and electric running back Jahvid Best.
If Stafford can stay healthy, things are looking up for Detroit.
2001: Jeff Backus, Dominic Raiola, Shaun Rogers
2002: Andre' Goodman
2003: Boss Bailey, Cory Redding
2004: Roy E. Williams
2005: Mike Williams, Shaun Cody
2006: Ernie Sims
2007: Calvin Johnson, Drew Stanton
2008: Kevin Smith, Cliff Avril
2009: Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, Louis Delmas
2010: Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best
29. Washington Redskins
From 2001 to 2005, the Washington Redskins have only had two solid draft classes.
The 2004 class produced Sean Taylor and Chris Cooley.
Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell came out of the 2005 class.
Since then, they've had some mediocre picks, but rarely a standout.
However, Brian Orakpo from 2009 has a very bright future ahead of him.
2001: Fred Smoot, Sage Rosenfels
2002: Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright
2004: Sean Taylor, Chris Cooley
2005: Carlos Rogers, Jason Campbell
2006: Rocky McIntosh
2007: LaRon Landry
2008: Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly, Chris Horton
2009: Brian Orakpo
2010: Trent Williams
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In terms of drafting, 2001 to 2006 was not a good period for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, their selection of Gaines Adams in 2007 really changed that streak and they continued the trend the next few seasons.
Aqib Talib has turned into an outstanding defensive back.
Josh Freeman is in the midst of a breakout season and Tampa Bay has a bright future with Freeman and Mike Williams leading the way.
2001: Russ Hochstein
2002: Jermaine Phillips
2003: Chris Simms
2004: Michael Clayton, Will Allen
2005: Cadillac Williams, Anthony Bryant
2006: Jeremy Trueblood, Maurice Stovall, Bruce Gradkowski
2007: Gaines Adams, Adam Hayward, Kenneth Darby
2008: Aqib Talib, Josh Johnson
2009: Josh Freeman, Roy Miller, Sammie Stroughter
2010: Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Arrelious Benn, Mike Williams
27. Cleveland Browns
Unsurprisingly, the Cleveland Browns have not had sustained success in the draft over the last 10 years. They've chosen some solid players, but not many that really stand above the rest of their peers.
Kellen Winslow in 2004 and Braylon Edwards in 2005 could have really made a great combination to help the Browns have consistent success, but they became problems for the organization and were ultimately shipped out of town.
Kamerion Wimbley was a great pick in 2006.
In 2007, the Browns did get tackle Joe Thomas, who is one of the best in the game today.
Since then, the team has had fleeting success in the draft.
2001: Gerard Warren
2002: Kevin Bentley, Andra Davis
2004: Kellen Winslow Jr., Sean Jones
2005: Braylon Edwards, Brodney Pool
2006: Kamerion Wimbley, Leon Williams, Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers
2007: Joe Thomas, Eric Wright, Brandon McDonald
2009: Alex Mack, Brian Robiskie, Mohammed Massaquoi, James Davis
2010: Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, Colt McCoy
26. Oakland Raiders
Al Davis, what would the NFL do without you?
Davis is notorious for drafting players based on pure physical abilities alone.
If a player is projected to go in the fifth round, but he posts an amazing 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, you can mark Davis down for drafting that player in the first round.
Aside from a handful of standout picks like Nnamdi Asomugha, Darren McFadden and Zach Miller, the Raiders have been awful in the draft for a large part of the past 10 years.
2002: Phillip Buchanon, Kenyon Coleman
2003: Nnamdi Asomugha, Justin Fargas
2004: Robert Gallery
2005: Fabian Washington, Kirk Morrison
2006: Michael Huff
2007: Zach Miller, Michael Bush
2008: Darren McFadden
2009: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy
2010: Rolando McClain, Jacoby Ford
25. San Francisco 49ers
The early half of 2000 was not kind to the San Francisco 49ers in the draft.
The team caught a break in 2005 when it thought it found its franchise quarterback in Alex Smith. Clearly he was not the answer, but the 49ers did end up with Frank Gore in that draft too, so not all was lost.
Vernon Davis came the following year and while he was thought to be a bust for many years, he has blossomed into a star tight end.
Patrick Willis anchors the defense and is arguably the best linebacker in the NFL today.
Michael Crabtree can still turn into the playmaking wide receiver they drafted him to be, so while the 49ers record indicates otherwise, they have a solid team in place.
Now all they need is a quarterback.
2001: Andre Carter, Jamie Winborn
2002: Kyle Kosier
2003: Anthony Adams, Brandon Lloyd, Arnaz Battle
2004: Shawntae Spencer, Isaac Sopoaga
2005: Alex Smith, Frank Gore
2006: Vernon Davis, Manny Lawson
2007: Patrick Willis, Joe Staley
2008: Josh Morgan
2009: Michael Crabtree, Glen Coffee, Bear Pascoe, Curtis Taylor
2010: Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Taylor Mays, Anthony Dixon
24. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has been fairly consistent over the past decade when it comes to drafting.
The Seahawks have seen a steady stream of prospects join the team over the years and they've had a good amount of success this decade because of it.
While they're not much of a team now, they've picked up some very nice prospects in the last couple of drafts. They just need to find a new quarterback to replace Matt Hasselbeck and they should have a brighter future ahead.
2001: Steve Hutchinson, Heath Evans
2002: Jerramy Stevens, Maurice Morris, Rocky Bernard
2003: Marcus Trufant, Ken Hamlin, Seneca Wallace
2004: Sean Locklear
2005: Chris Spencer, Lofa Tatupu
2006: Darryl Tapp, Ben Obomanu
2007: Josh WIlson
2008: John Carlson, Justin Forsett
2009: Aaron Curry, Deon Butler
2010: Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate
23. St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams had some tough years after "The Greatest Show on Turf" ended.
Steven Jackson was a godsend to the franchise in 2004 and the Rams followed that year up with a solid draft class in 2005.
However, they hit a rough patch in terms of franchise success and finally ended up with the first pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
Sam Bradford was chosen to lead their franchise and he has quickly become an impact rookie, turning the fortunes of the franchise around.
2001: Ryan Pickett, Brandon Manumaleuna
2002: Chris Massey
2003: Pisa Tinoisamoa, Kevin Curtis, Scott Shanle
2004: Steven Jackson, Anthony Hargrove, Brandon Chillar
2005: Alex Barron, Ronald Bartell, O.J. Atogwe, Richie Incognito, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Madison Hedgecock
2006: Tye Hill, Joe Klopfenstein
2007: Brian Leonard, Clifton Ryan
2008: Chris Long, Justin King
2009: Jason Smith, James Laurinaitis
2010: Sam Bradford, Mardy Gilyard, Michael Hoomanawanui
22. New Orleans Saints
New Orleans was hit or miss from 2001 to 2005. The Saints had some great picks in that span, like Deuce McAllister, but plenty of duds.
The 2006 class would have been far greater if Reggie Bush lived up to the hype. Luckily, Marques Colston came out of nowhere. He was drafted No. 252 overall in the seventh round and he was a huge steal that year.
They've had more success since then, but not by a whole lot.
2001: Deuce McAllister
2002: Donte Stallworth, Charles Grant
2003: Jon Stinchcomb
2004: Will Smith, Devery Henderson, Mike Karney
2005: Jammal Brown, Josh Bullocks
2006: Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Marques Colston
2007: Robert Meachem, David Jones
2008: Sedrick Ellis, Tracy Porter
2009: Malcolm Jenkins
2010: Jimmy Graham
21. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons traded up in 2001 to select Michael Vick. While Vick brought some excitement to the franchise, we all know how his tenure ended there. If the Falcons kept their pick, they could've had LaDainian Tomlinson instead.
The next two years weren't great, but they found some redemption the following two years.
While Schaub played backup in Atlanta for the most part, he has turned into a great find for a third-round pick. Too bad it's with another team.
One of the team's current most coveted assets is premier wide receiver, Roddy White. He was picked in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and he has blossomed into a star.
The two preceding years turned out a number of solid players, but no standouts.
However, 2008 was a turning point for the franchise. The Falcons selected Matt Ryan with the first overall pick and he has developed into a stud. Ryan has turned the fortunes of the franchise around and they currently sport the best record in the NFC.
2001: Michael Vick, Alge Crumpler
2002: T.J. Duckett
2003: Bryan Scott
2004: DeAngelo Hall, Matt Schaub
2005: Roddy White, Justin Babineaux
2006: Jerious Norwood
2007: Jamaal Anderson, Justin Blalock, Chris Houston, Laurent Robinson, Jason Snelling
2008: Matt Ryan, Curtis Lofton, Thomas DeCoud, Kroy Biermann
20. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City drafted standout linebacker Scott Fujita in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft and they got Larry Johnson the following year in the first.
While the Chiefs drafted Jared Allen in the fourth round of the 2004 draft, he turned into one of the best defensive ends in the NFL over the past couple of years.
Tamba Hali from the 2006 class has turned into an outstanding defensive end.
Dwayne Bowe has had his issues, but he's had a strong career and he's in the midst of a career year.
While Glenn Dorsey was a miss in 2008, Brandon Flowers and Jamaal Charles have turned into outstanding players.
Their latest crop of players look promising, and the Chiefs look like they have a bright future ahead.
2002: Ryan Sims, Scott Fujita
2003: Larry Johnson, Kawika Mitchell, Jimmy Wilkerson
2004: Jared Allen
2005: Derrick Johnson
2006: Tamba Hali, Bernard Pollard, Jarrad Page
2007: Dwayne Bowe
2008: Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Carr
2010: Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Tony Moeaki
19. Tennessee Titans
Tennessee has had a few strong draft classes over the past decade.
However, the one pick that really stands out is Mr. 2000 himself, Chris Johnson.
Johnson was a widely unheralded pick that was known for his pure speed. He has quickly vaulted up the ladder of running backs to be in the conversation for best in the NFL.
Kenny Britt also looks to have a bright future ahead. If only the Titans had a consistent quarterback to get him the ball.
2001: Andre Dyson, Justin McCareins
2002: Albert Haynesworth, Justin Hartwig
2003: Chris Brown
2004: Travis LaBoy, Antwan Odom, Randy Starks, Eugene Amano
2005: Pacman Jones, Bo Scaife
2006: Vince Young, LenDale White, Stephen Tulloch, Cortland Finnegan, Quinton Ganther
2007: Michael Griffin, Chris Henry
2008: Chris Johnson
2009: Kenny Britt, Javon Ringer, Jason McCourty
2010: Derrick Morgan, Rusty Smith
18. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a number of solid picks throughout the last decade, but not a whole lot of stars.
Regardless, they've been pretty consistent over the years.
Of course, there was the Matt Jones gaffe in 2005, but Jones measured off the charts at the NFL combine.
The little bowling ball Maurice Jones-Drew was a steal for the Jaguars at the end of the second round in the 2006 draft. Even first-rounder, Marcedes Lewis, is finally starting to live up to his potential.
Jacksonville has really been trying to shore up their defense and offensive line in the last couple of drafts and they've made some strides in upgrading.
2001: Marcus Stroud, Maurice Williams, Marlin McCree
2002: John Henderson, Akim Ayodele, David Garrard
2003: Byron Leftwich, Rashean Mathis, Vince Manuwai
2004: Reggie Williams, Daryl Smith, Ernest Wilford, Josh Scobee
2005: Matt Jones, Khalif Barnes, Gerald Sensabaugh
2006: Marcedes Lewis, Maurice Jones-Drew
2007: Reggie Nelson, Mike Sims-Walker
2008: Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves
2009: Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, Mike Thomas, Rashad Jennings
2010: Tyson Alualu, Deji Karim
17. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati has had a fair amount of success in the last 10 years.
Chad Johnson—or should I say Chad Ochocinco—and T.J. Houshmandzadeh proved to be a formidable duo for many years.
When Carson Palmer came in 2003, he developed into one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and the Bengals really thrived. While he's not playing awful right now, he was never been the same after his injury and the Bengals are going nowhere fast this season.
The 2009 and 2010 classes were both good years for the Bengals. Rey Maualuga looks like a steal from 2009.
In 2010, the Bengals found two promising young wide receivers in Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. Carlos Dunlap also looks to be a solid defensive end with a lot of upside.
2001: Justin Smith, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh
2002: Levi Jones
2003: Carson Palmer, Eric Steinbach
2004: Madieu Williams, Landon Johnson, Robert Geathers, Stacy Andrews
2005: Chris Henry
2006: Johnathan Joseph, Andrew Whitworth
2007: Leon Hall, Nedu Ndukwe
2008: Keith Rivers
2009: Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, Bernard Scott
2010: Jermaine Gresham, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Shipley
16. Houston Texans
As an expansion team in 2002, the Houston Texans have taken great strides since their inaugural season.
In 2003, they landed arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL today, Andre Johnson.
They followed that draft up with a solid corner and linebacker in Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin.
While 2005 was completely forgettable, they really changed the team's fortunes in 2006. The team was highly criticized for passing up on Reggie Bush and selecting Mario Williams with the No. 1 overall pick.
Well, that move turned out to be genius, as Williams has been an animal and Bush has had limited success.
Amobi Okoye was a great pick and he really helps to solidify the trenches for the Texans.
Steve Slaton looked like a huge steal in the 2008 draft as a third round pick, but he has fallen into obscurity.
Even though Brian Cushing was caught taking PEDs, he still won Defensive Rookie of the Year.
2002: David Carr, Jabar Gaffney
2003: Andre Johnson
2004: Dunta Robinson, Jason Babin
2006: Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston, Owen Daniels
2007: Amobi Okoye, Jacoby Jones
2008: Steve Slaton
2009: Brian Cushing, Glover Quinn, James Casey
2010: Kareem Jackson, Ben Tate
15. Denver Broncos
Clinton Portis and D.J. Williams were the only two studs drafted from 2001 to 2004.
They got a solid defensive back in Dominique Foxworth and a guard in Chris Myers in 2005.
Then 2006 was a good year for Denver. They got Jay Cutler in the first round, and a steal in Brandon Marshall in the fourth and Elvis Dumervil a little after him.
The following year was mostly forgettable.
However, they've had strong picks in 2008 and 2009. The team really hit on a number of picks. But they actually traded away the steal of the 2008 NFL Draft, Peyton Hillis.
Demaryius Thomas was an excellent choice for Denver, but Tim Tebow was a colossal reach and mistake.
2001: Ben Hamilton, Reggie Hayward
2002: Ashley Lelie, Clinton Portis
2003: George Foster
2004: D.J. Williams, Tatum Bell
2005: Dominique Foxworth, Chris Myers
2006: Jay Cutler, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, Domenik Hixon, Chris Kuper
2007: Jarvis Moss, Tim Crowder, Marcus Thomas
2008: Ryan Clady, Eddie Royal, Ryan Torain, Peyton Hillis
2009: Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Alphonso Smith
2010: Demaryius Thomas, Tim Tebow
14. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals walked away with three standout players in the 2001 draft class.
But 2002 was an uneventful draft for the Cardinals.
However, 2003 and 2004 were two very good draft classes for the Cardinals. The team walked away with a number of high profile players, many of which helped take the team to the Super Bowl.
Antrelle Rolle was the only impact player taken the following year and he had some good seasons with the Cardinals before signing a big free agent contract with the Giants this past summer.
Matt Leinart was drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft and he was seen as the team's franchise quarterback of the future, but he clearly failed that test. Leinart is currently backing up Matt Schaub in Houston.
The 2007 and 2008 classes produced a bruising offensive tackle, two solid receivers and a running back, with the standout player being cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Last season, the team picked up Beanie Wells, who was projected as a higher pick but fell to them in the draft. While he has shown flashes of great potential, he's far from being consistent.
2001: Leonard Davis, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Adrian Wilson
2003: Calvin Pace, Anquan Boldin, Reggie Wells
2004: Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby, Darnell Docket, Antonio Smith
2005: Antrelle Rolle
2006: Matt Leinart, Leonard Pope
2007: Levi Brown, Steve Breaston
2008: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Early Doucet, Tim Hightower
2009: Beanie Wells
13. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings founded a good part of their defense through the first six of the last 10 seasons.
In 2007, they changed their strategy when they grabbed Adrian Peterson in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft.
Peterson has really been an impact player from Day 1 and he has turned the fortunes of the franchise around.
However, you can't forget about Sidney Rice being selected that same year. He has become one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL.
Finally, they added Percy Harvin to the mix and he too made an immediate impact. After all, he did win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2001: Michael Bennett
2002: Bryant McKinnie, Brian Williams
2003: Kevin Williams, E.J. Henderson, Nate Burleson
2004: Kenechi Udeze, Medwelde Moore
2005: Troy Williamson, C.J. Mosley
2006: Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Tavaris Jackson, Ray Edwards
2007: Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Tyler Thigpen
2008: Tyrell Johnson, John Sullivan
2009: Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, Asher Allen, Jasper Brinkley
2010: Toby Gerhart, Everson Griffen
12. New York Jets
The New York Jets had some solid picks from 2001 to 2004, with players like Santana Moss, Kreem McKenzie and Jonathan Vilma.
However, it wasn't until 2006 that they started to hit some home runs with some of their picks. They drafted two staples of their offensive line then that gives the team one of the best front fives in the NFL today.
They followed up the strong 2006 draft class with Revis Island in 2007. He alone makes that a successful year.
Dustin Keller and Dwight Lowery have been nice from the 2008 class.
2001: Santana Moss, LaMont Jordan, Kareem McKenzie
2002: Bryan Thomas
2004: Jonathan Vilma, Jerricho Cotchery
2005: Kerry Rhodes, Joel Dreesen
2006: D'Brichashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Eric Smith, Brad Smith, Leon Washington
2007: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Chansi Stuckey
2008: Vernon Gholston, Dustin Keller, Dwight Lowery
2009: Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene
2010: Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight
11. Green Bay Packers
The Packers draft history wasn't great from 2001 to 2004, but it wasn't bad either.
However, they drafted a franchise changing quarterback in 2005 with Aaron Rodgers.
They followed that up with a deep draft class in 2006, with beast wide receiver Greg Jennings leading that year.
Green Bay has continued their strong drafting with Jermichael Finley and Clay Matthews headlining the next two seasons.
2001: David Martin
2002: Javon Walker, Aaron Kampman
2003: Nick Barnett, Chris Johnson
2004: Corey Williams
2005: Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins, Brady Poppinga
2006: A.J. Hawk, Daryn Colledge, Greg Jennings, Will Blackmon, Dave Tollefson
2007: Brandon Jackson, James Jones, David Clowney, Mason Crosby
2008: Jordy Nelson, Patrick Lee, Jermichael Finley
2009: B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews
2010: Bryan Bulaga, Mike Neal, Morgan Burnett, Andrew Quarless
10. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears didn't have great picks early on, but they picked a number of good players from 2003 to 2005.
Charles Tilman and Lance Briggs from 2003 have become staples of the Bears defense.
Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson and Bernard Berrian from 2004 have also had solid careers. Nathan Vasher had three good seasons, but he has tailed off considerably since then.
Cedric Benson and Kyle Orton didn't have a whole lot of success with the team, but they've found a place with other teams.
The following four years weren't all that bad either. They have one of the premier punt and kick returners in Devin Hester, along with Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox.
2001: Anthony Thomas, Mike Gandy
2002: Marc Colombo, James Brown
2003: Charles Tilman, Lance Briggs, Bobby Wade, Justin Gage
2004: Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson, Bernard Berrian, Nathan Vasher
2005: Cedric Benson, Kyle Orton, Chris Harris, Rod Wilson
2006: Danieal Manning, Devin Hester
2007: Greg Olsen, Corey Graham
2008: Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, Zackary Bowman
2009: Johnny Knox
9. Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have been fairly consistent over the last decade in the draft.
The 2002 class stands out in the early half of the decade, and they didn't find a whole lot of stars aside from that one year, but they picked it up down the road.
The 2008 and 2009 draft classes really gave the team a big boost.
The team's core offensive weapons were all drafted in that two year span, with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy joining the team.
2001: Derrick Burgess, Correll Buckhalter
2002: Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, Brian Westbrook
2003: L.J. Smith
2004: Shawn Andrews, Matt Ware
2005: Mike Patterson, Reggie Brown, Sean Considine, Trent Cole
2006: Brodrick Bunkley, Chris Gocong, Jason Avant, Omar Gaither
2007: Kevin Kolb, Stewart Bradley, Brent Celek
2008: DeSean Jackson, Mike McGlynn
2009: Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy
2010: Brandon Graham, Nate Allen
8. Carolina Panthers
From 2001 to 2004, the Panthers didn't draft impact players in numbers, but they found a group of stars with their picks. Some are still with the team, while others have moved on to sign massive contracts elsewhere. But the one thing they all have in common is that they've all had very successful careers in the NFL.
DeAngelo Williams from 2006 has turned into a stud running back. Injuries have derailed his season, but he was an animal in 2008 and 2009.
In 2007, the Panthers selected a franchise linebacker in Jon Beason. He's one of the best linebackers in the NFL today, and someone I would want leading my defense.
The following year, they drafted "the Daily Show", who really flourishes when given the opportunity. Jeff Otah has turned into a mauling offensive lineman that opens up gaping holes for Stewart and Williams and to some extent their 2009 pick, Mike Goodson.
2001: Kris Jenkins, Steve Smith
2002: Julius Peppers, DeShaun Foster, Will Witherspoon
2003: Jordan Gross
2004: Chris Gamble
2006: DeAngelo Williams, Richard Marshall
2007: Jon Beason, Ryan Kalil, Charles Johnson, Dante Rosario
2008: Jonathan Stewart, Jeff Otah, Charles Godrey
2009: Everette Brown, Mike Goodson
2010: Jimmy Clausen, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards
7. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have been the model of consistency over the last decade. Most of that can be attributed to Peyton Manning, but the team has been drafting very well under Bill Polian.
The 2001 season marked a new era after they drafted Colts' staples, Reggie Wayne and Ryan Diem.
The team built upon that success the next year by getting pass-rushing monster, Dwight Freeney.
They got Freeney a partner in crime in 2003 with Robert Mathis and they gave Manning one of his deadliest weapons in Dallas Clark.
Bob Sanders in 2004 and Antoine Bethea in 2006 gave them a strong pairing of safeties.
While the Colts haven't been as strong selecting in the early rounds over the last few years, Polian has found some gems deep in the draft. Jacob Tamme, Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie come to mind.
2001: Reggie Wayne, Ryan Diem
2002: Dwight Freeney
2003: Dallas Clark, Donald Strickland, Robert Mathis, Cato June
2004: Bob Sanders
2005: Kelvin Hayden
2006: Joseph Addai, Tim Jennings, Antoine Bethea
2007: Anthony Gonzalez, Clint Session
2008: Mike Pollak, Jacob Tamme, Mike Hart, Pierre Garcon
2009: Donald Brown, Jerraud Powers, Austin Collie
6. Dallas Cowboys
The 2002 class produced some solid players with Roy "horse collar tackle" Williams leading the way.
Jason Witten was a steal in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Dallas struck gold in 2005 with Bill Parcells calling the shots. They grabbed a number of key defensive players, highlighted by the selection of DeMarcus Ware. Marion Barber was a great pick in the fourth round too.
The next two years were solid, but no real distinguishing players.
The Cowboys had a lot of picks in the 2009 NFL Draft, but none in the first two rounds. This was definitely a forgettable draft for the franchise.
They did find redemption in 2010 with wide receiver Dez Bryant. He has quickly become a stud.
2002: Roy Williams, Andre Gurode, Antonio Bryant
2003: Terrence Newman, Jason Witten, Bradie James
2004: Julius Jones, Patrick Crayton
2005: DeMarcus Ware, Marcus R. Spears, Kevin Burnett, Marion Barber, Chris Canty, Jay Ratliff
2006: Bobby Carpenter, Anthony Fasano
2007: Anthony Spencer, Alan Ball
2008: Felix Jones, Mike Jenkins, Martellus Bennett, Tashard Choice, Orlando Scandrick
2009: David Buehler
2010: Dez Bryant
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh has been drafting well for the last 10 years. The Steelers have come out of nearly every draft class with at least one stud.
The Steelers draft defensive players particularly well, which makes sense when you watch their suffocating Steel Curtain.
Ben Roethlisberger, for all his faults, has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the past couple of seasons.
The team consistently finds gems where no one else sees them.
2001: Casey Hampton
2002: Antwaan Randle El, Larry Foote, Brett Keisel
2003: Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor
2004: Ben Roethlisberger, Max Starks
2005: Heath Miller, Bryant McFadden, Chris Kemoeatu
2006: Santonio Holmes, Anthony Smith
2007: Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, William Gay
2008: Rashard Mendenhall, Bruce Davis
2009: Mike Wallace
2010: Maurkice Pouncey, Emmanuel Sanders
4. Baltimore Ravens
Todd Heap was drafted in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft and he's had a solid and lengthy career, all with the Ravens.
Baltimore found two absolute studs in 2003 and 2004. They got arguably one of the greatest safeties in NFL history in Ed Reed and one of the premier linebackers today in Terrell Suggs.
The 2004 class on the other hand didn't really produce any standouts.
They got a reliable receiver in Mark Clayton in 2005 and the monstrous Haloti Ngata in 2006.
Bruising full back Le'Ron McClain has become one of the best in the game today.
The 2008 season was where the team had two great first picks. The team's current top offensive weapons were taken that year. Joe Flacco is moving up the chain of quarterbacks and he'll be a staple in Baltimore for some time. The same goes for the versatile Ray Rice, who has become one of the most dangerous weapons in the game.
In 2009, the Ravens took the famous Michael Oher and he has paid great dividends for the team.
2001: Todd Heap, Casey Rabach
2002: Ed Reed, Chester Taylor
2003: Terrell Suggs, Ovie Mughelli, Jaret Johnson
2005: Mark Clayton, Dan Body
2006: Haloti Ngata, Jason Brown, Dawan Landry
2007: Le'Ron McClain
2008: Joe Flacco, Ray Rice
2009: Michael Oher, Paul Kruger, Lardarius Webb
3. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have been one of the model franchises in the NFL for well over a decade.
As much as I hate to say it, the organization is top notch from top to bottom, even if they have a scandal or two along the way.
The team's draft track record is impeccable and they continue to set themselves up for continued success.
2001: Richard Seymour, Matt Light
2002: Daniel Graham, Deion Branch, Jarvis Green
2003: Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, Tully Banta-Cain
2004: Vince Wilfork, Ben Watson
2005: Ellis Hobbs, James Sanders, Matt Cassel
2006: Laurence Maroney, Stephen Gostkowski
2007: Brandon Meriweather
2008: Jerod Mayo
2009: Patrick Chung, Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman
2010: Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez
2. New York Giants
Over the past decade, it was Ernie Accorsi who laid the foundation and Jerry Reese who has built upon it.
The 2001 class was a rather uneventful draft for the New York Giants. The only notable player taken in that draft was their first round pick, Will Allen. Allen had a solid, if unspectacular career with the Giants and currently plays for the Miami Dolphins.
The following year, the Giants didn't have a whole lot of success either. They did walk away with Jeremy Shockey in the first round and he was a beast for the six seasons they had him.
But 2003 was a redemption year for New York. They walked away with two real studs in the draft. Osi Umenyiora was taken in the second round and he has become one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL today. David Diehl dropped into the fifth round and he immediately made an impact for the team. Perhaps the most unheralded pick of the group was David Tyree, Super Bowl XLII hero, but also one-hit wonder.
Finally, the controversial 2004 NFL draft in which Eli Manning orchestrated a forced trade to New York. While Manning helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl victory, Phillip Rivers—the player involved in the trade—has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Chris Snee was also taken in the second round and he has become a force in the trenches.
Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs highlight another great draft for the Giants in 2005 followed up by two more studs the year after.
The 2007 and 2008 seasons is where the Giants struck gold with a number of great finds. Aaron Ross hasn't been the impact player he was expected to be, but Steve Smith has turned into a great possession receiver and Ahmad Bradshaw may be the steal of the 2007 draft.
Four of the their first five picks in the 2008 draft are all paying dividends for the team right now.
However, the Giants most recent prized possession is playmaker Hakeem Nicks who has quickly turned into one of the best receivers in the league.
2001: Will Allen
2002: Jeremy Shockey
2003: Osi Umenyiora, Vishante Shiancoe, David Diehl, David Tyree
2004: Eli Manning, Chris Snee
2005: Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs
2006: Mathias Kiwanuka, Barry Cofield
2007: Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Ahmad Bradshaw
2008: Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas, Mario Manningham, Jonathan Goff
2009: Hakeem Nicks
2010: Jason Pierre-Paul
1. San Diego Chargers
San Diego has been as consistent as they come over the past 10 years when it comes to drafting quality talent.
The Chargers have found some true diamonds in the rough and they've been fortunate to capitalize on the mistakes of other teams.
LaDainian Tomlinson came to the Chargers through a draft swap with the Atlanta Falcons that landed the Falcons Michael Vick.
Let's just say it turned out quite nicely for San Diego.
They also managed to pick up Drew Brees in that same draft after he was overlooked by many teams.
The same goes for 2004, when New York traded up to get Eli Manning in exchange for Phillip Rivers and another draft pick. That pick turned into Shawne Merriman.
The 2007 to 2010 classes weren't their best years, but they weren't bad either.
2001: LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees
2002: Quentin Jammer, Ben Leber
2003: Drayton Florence, Matt Wilhelm
2004: Phillip Rivers, Igor Olshansky, Nate Kaeding, Nick Hardwick, Shaun Phillips, Michael Turner
2005: Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles
2006: Antonio Cromartie, Marcus McNeill
2007: Eric Weddle, Anthony Waters, Legedu Naanee
2008: Antoine Cason, Jacob Hester
2009: Larry English, Vaughn Martin
2010: Ryan Mathews
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