NFL Draft Results: Top 25 Most Unforgivable FAILS of the 2011 NFL Draft

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent IMay 2, 2011

NFL Draft Results: Top 25 Most Unforgivable FAILS of the 2011 NFL Draft

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    Is it not amazing that after every year it always seems like the fans have more sense than most of the general managers when it comes to evaluating draft selections?

    We may sit around at our computers and endlessly blog our way towards having undeniably in depth knowledge that rivals Mel Kiper's and Todd McShay's, but on the other hand, it appears the people who are actually doing the drafting sometimes get caught up like deer in headlights.

    In hindsight, here's a look at the 25 biggest failures of this year's NFL draft.

25. Not Taking Mark Herzlich

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    Woah, wait a minute.

    How in the world did Mark Herzlich stay on the board for seven rounds? Let's get real, by Rounds 6 and 7, you might as well start picking out of a hat.

    The fact that none of the 32 general managers had a soft spot for this guy is quite baffling. Herzlich became a celebrity and role model during his battle with a rare bone cancer and came back in 2010 to play his final season with the Boston College Eagles.

    He has the perfect NFL personality and a track record of toughness and leadership that should have been rewarded with a draft pick.

    He couldn't even be Mr. Irrelevant? Peesh.

24. Goodell's Quiet the Crowd Mishap

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    So we definitely knew, going into the first night of the NFL draft, that commissioner Roger Goodell was going to face some serious criticism and boos when he got to the podium.

    His first step onto the stage for the night was aired on ESPN's Draft Preview show, and things got a little awkward.

    With all due respect to the victims of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the entire Southeast from the storms that passed through last week, the moment of silence for those victims probably should not have been part of the first time Goddell took the stage.

    As he walked on to commemorate the tragedy in Alabama, fans began to chant "We want football! We want football" and would not stop, as the respective Alabama and Auburn players stood waiting for silence.

    It was kind of a diluted moment because of that. With no harsh criticism intended either way, you think they would have scheduled that moment for a time when fans weren't unleashing months of frustration on the commissioner.

23. Ryan Mallett

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    I'm still not positive why the New England Patriots drafted Ryan Mallett.

    He just doesn't seem to fit the mold of New England's philosophy, though I understand he's a project for the future.

    But, the Patriots are a darn good football team and are a few players at key positions away from being Super Bowl bound yet again.

    So, the fact they spent a high value pick on a guy who won't take snaps for half a decade is a little head scratching.

    Though, he might have trade value; so, I could be wrong about this one in the coming years.

22: Falcons Taking Cliff Matthews in 7th Round

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    The Falcons definitely had the most baffling draft class.

    Heading into night one, just about every Falcons fan had projected a defensive end would come off the board with our first draft pick (if they didn't trade down to get A.J. Green or Julio Jones).

    Considering Atlanta got Jones, and gave up a lot for it, it was pretty much set in stone that they would take a defensive end with their very next pick.

    Instead, the Falcons waited until their last pick to take the raw and developing Cliff Matthews out of South Carolina.

    Atlanta desperately needs a pass-rusher to accommodate them when John Abraham is off the field, or retired. Matthews may not be the guy for that.

21. Daniel Thomas to Miami

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    Many believe the Dolphins need a fresh new face at running back.

    Many also believe that taking Daniel Thomas was not the answer.

    Thomas is a former quarterback, who ran well at Kansas State but also doesn't have great speed or agility. As the NFL draft got closer and closer, more and more convinced themselves that Thomas might not be as good as a fourth or fifth round pick.

    The Dolphins took him with their second overall pick. 

20. Eagles Taking Alex Henery

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    Anytime you draft a kicker in the fourth round, you are out of your mind, unless of course he has proven to be a deadly and rare weapon, especially from long range.

    Well, Henery was 3-for-8 on field goals from 50 or more yards in college. He's not a special, once-in-a-lifetime kicker.

    What were the Eagles thinking?

19. Kelvin Sheppard to Buffalo

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    Buffalo's rushing defense has been horrendous, ranking 32nd last year in that category.

    Taking Marcell Dareus obviously was smart and addressed that area of concern with a big-time player.

    But, Shepard was the third straight defensive player to be selected by the Bills, and many don't believe he comes anywhere close to being an impact player at the next level.

    Shepard went in the third round, where most Bills fans think they should have looked towards drafting for offense.

18. Jonas Mouton Goes to San Diego

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    As the 61st overall pick, you would assume linebacker Jonass Mouton would be a pretty solid player with tons of success at his position.

    Well, he's not.

    In fact, the Michigan product comes from arguably the worst defense in the country in 2010. He's a tweener between linebacker and safety and was seen as a late-round pick who'd contribute on special teams.

    Nothing like picking a designated special teamer with your second-round pick.

17. Reggie Bush Can't Keep His Fingers off the Tweeter

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    So apparently New Orleans Saints star runningback/returner Reggie Bush tweeted, "It's been fun New Orleans," after seeing that the Saints selected Mark Ingram with their first-round pick.

    First, does Bush not have a concept of tailback by committee? I mean, he's been in that position his entire NFL career so far, mainly because he's definitely not an every down tailback. He's a utility player.

    Two, his lack of classiness just contrasted so drastically against the always classy Mark Ingram, making him look even more foolish.

    Also, there's nothing like tweeting your way into hot water with your organization. A lot of people likely lost respect for Bush.

16. Seattle Fails to Get Draft Needs

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    Many thought the Seahawks would need to take a quarterback with their first overall pick, whoever that quarterback might be.

    Instead, they went after two offensive lineman who were not projected to be taken nearly as high as Seattle took them.

    James Carpenter was definitely a questionable first-round selection by the Seahawks.

    And, highly acclaimed "sleeper" pick Andy Dalton was still waiting in the wings when their first pick came around.

15. Bills Select Aaron Williams

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    I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the Buffalo Bills took Aaron Williams with their second overall pick in the draft.

    Williams was never that highly rated of a cornerback, and many think he's a tweener between safety and corner.

    Plus, the Bills didn't need a lick of help in their secondary, which finished ranked third in the entire league last year in pass defense.

    The Bills needed offensive help and help in the front seven and passed up on it to draft for a position they didn't need to, taking a player who doesn't even fit a position.

14. Justin Houston Drops to Third Round Because of Drug Use

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    Georgia pass-rusher Justin Houston was projected to be a first-round selection in this year's draft, however, just days before the first pick, we found out that he failed an NFL mandated drug test, admitting later to marijauna use.

    If you're just days away from the day you've been working towards your entire life, why in the name of all things good would you go for a hit of marijauna? 

    Do I think Houston is a bad person? Or not worthy? Not really. Remember, Calvin Johnson did the same thing (but still was selected early because he's a freak of nature). Houston will still be great, and overall, he has good character and means well.

    He just hit himself with the dumb stick—and hard.

13. Auburn Receiver Darvin Adams Doesn't Get Picked

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    National champion receiver Darvin Adams took a risk and left for the NFL draft as a junior at Auburn.

    He might be regretting that decision now.

    Adams was one of the most productive receivers in the SEC for the past two years, but his lack of size and other raw areas led to him getting completely overlooked during the draft weekend.

    Many criticized Adams' choice to leave early, especially with the deep receiving group in this year's class, but he did anyways.

12. 49ers Trade Up for Kaepernick

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    I had convinced myself that Alex Smith was finally starting to build a future with the 49ers.

    Well, after we found out San Francisco was going to shoot for a quarterback in the draft, we all assumed they would draft one early.

    They passed up on taking Blaine Gabbert, who at one point was the highest-rated quarterback in the class.

    Instead, they ended up trading up to take Colin Kaepernick?

    Not sure how smart that move was.

11. Jon Baldwin Goes to Chiefs Early

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    This is a pretty easy call here.

    Jon Baldwin is a raw and awkward receiving prospect, for one.

    And, two, Baldwin has some apparent character issues.

    He called his own college team out when declaring to enter the draft.

    If I was Kansas City, I wouldn't find a lot of things appealing about this guy, but I guess he was appealing enough to be taken with a high pick.

10. Patriots Take Shane Vereen over DeMarco Murray and Mikel LeShoure

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    This pick definitely bothered me.

    The Patriots sure could use a tailback, but why not go after Mikel Leshoure or DeMarco Murray?

    Instead, they went for Shane Vereen, who wasn't even ranked in the top 10 on most pundit's running back rankings.

9. Aldon Smith to San Francisco

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    Here's another 49ers head scratcher.

    Yes, the 49ers needed a pass-rusher, but why did they go after Aldon Smith?

    They should have gone with Blaine Gabbert, and they didn't even take the best defensive lineman available with the seventh overall selection.

    Big whif here by San Francisco.

8. Baltimore Ravens Let Clock Expire

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    This was a fun little moment.

    For the first time since I can remember, I sat and watched as the clock literally expired on one of the Raven's draft picks.

    Turns out, there really isn't a consequence for that at all, because they sat and waited until the Ravens got the pick in. No harm was done.

7. Jake Locker Goes to Titans

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    This pack had everyone dropping their jaws.

    Yes, the Tennessee Titans definitely need a solid, new quarterback.

    But, what were they thinking by taking Jake Locker?

    He's not a proven winner. Sure, he's tough and can run, but he's nowhere near developed when it comes to throwing the rock.

6. Atlanta Trades a Ton of Picks for Julio Jones

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    A.J. Green and Julio Jones aren't on the same talent level or level of value.

    Don't tell that to the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta tried to trade up with Cincinnati to take A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick, but it fell through at the last minute.

    So, instead, they immediately dug into the sixth spot, trading a hand full of future picks to Cleveland, to take Julio Jones.

    With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez already in place, it's unlikely Jones will be a Pro Bowl receiver anytime soon. 

    Many would have rather Atlanta taken a defensive player, even after trading up that much.

5: Cleveland Trading Away That Pick

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    On the flip side, it's just as puzzling that a team with so many struggles as the Cleveland Browns would surrender a sixth overall pick, especially with the talent that was there for the plucking.

    They got some nice draft picks out of it, but unlike Atlanta, Cleveland could have really, really used Julio Jones.

4: Falcons Taking Akeem Dent

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    The Falcons second overall selection came in the third round.

    Considering they had just gone for a draft want in the first round, over a draft need, most Falcons fans were positive they would take a defensive end or tailback to complement Michael Turner with the next immediate pick.


    They took an undersized middle linebacker who will be playing either behind Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon, Mike Peterson or current linebacker backup Stephen Nicholas.

3: Jarvis Jenkins Goes to Washington

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    This pick has been highly criticized.

    Why did the Washington Redskins take Jarvis Jenkins over Marvin Austin? Or, Stephen Paea?

    Washington does need help on the defensive line, but they definitely went for the weaker option considering who was on the board when the pick rolled around.

2: Stephen Ridley to New England

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    So, the New England Patriots followed up drafting an overrated running back, by, well, drafting another overrated running back.

    Why would the Pats want to take two tailbacks in the mid rounds of the draft?

    Considering they were second and third-round picks, respectively, you would assume that Bill Belichick has a serious plan for the two guys.

    But, what about Danny Woodhead? Why would Belichick really need three tailbacks?

    Notice I don't have answers, but a lot of questions here. 

1: Christian Ponder to Vikings

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    Is Christian Ponder a bad fit for the Vikings? No, in fact he had a solid Senior Bowl performance and has never really given anyone reason to think he's not capable of being a good NFL quarterback in the future.

    But, Ponder could have very likely been around just a round later.

    The fact Minnesota took him 12th overall is mind blowing. He's nowhere near 12th overall talent, and so many other hugely impactful players were on the board and ready to be plucked by the Vikings.

    Instead, the Vikings drafted a quarterback that they very well could have snagged in a later round or at least found an equivalent to.