The NFL draft is this weekend, and it provides hope for many fans who watched teams suffer through bad years. It is a coincidence that it is held in the Spring, but it is truly symbolic of the rebirth of hope. Easter is very similar to the NFL Draft.
Look at the Dolphins...they have a proud history, they were favored to make a run at the playoffs, they had picked up some new talent, and big things were expected from the Fish. Then, Ricky Williams goes all 4:20 on them, and before you can say "awful season," the team has stunk it up to the tune of the #2 pick overall.
Miami now gets to pick pretty much whoever they'd like. The 49ers, with a similar sob story, own the #1 pick. They get their choice of the top players in the nation. If things work out right, both proud franchises will be on the road to recovery. But things don't always work out right.
The worst draft ever was conducted in 1993, by the Indianapolis Colts. They were coming off a year when they had drafted mega-failure Jeff George with the #1 overall. They decided to shore up their defense the next season, and had the #1 and #2 overall picks to do so with.
They selected a DE, Washington's Steve Emtman, and Texas A+M linebacker Quentin Coryatt. They could fill holes in their D, and give George Jeff game situations where he didn't HAVE to throw every down. The future was bright for the Baltimore Horses.
Instead- in what may have been the ugly side of Karma in relation to the Colts sneaking away to Indianapolis in the middle of the night- both players were injured. Emtman was out of the league in 3 years, and Coryatt had a career almost entirely devoid of distinction.
NFL teams spend a lot of money researching the top players in the college ranks. They run a detailed scouting combine, where they test how fast/strong/smart a player is. They send scouts to watch certain guys play every college game. It should almost be as easy as cooking a microwave dinner.
It isn't. Cooking times may vary, as they write in the instructions of most Hungry Man, Swanson and Stouffers meals. Likewise, some QBs won't be able to make quick decisions in the face of an NFL blitz, some offensive guards simply can't handle a pro rusher, and some cornerbacks go to the NFL and get torched like a Waco cult building.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the really bad draft picks since 1980 or so.
- 1982....The Patriots take Ken Sims #1 overall. He flops out of the league, even breaking his own leg on a play where he had fallen and attempted to leg whip a 250 pound fullback.
Taken ahead of Marcus Allen and Jim McMahon, "Game Day" Sims sets the standard we'll be using in this article- he was a high pick that flopped. If some Hall of Famer was hanging around the draft board when the Flopper was chosen, it just hurts that much more.
- 1983.....Keeping it New England, the Pats pass on Dan Marino to take Tony Eason- who John Hannah suggested play in a skirt.
- 1985.......Our Patriots trade down with San Francisco to select Trevor Matich. SF takes Jerry Rice with the NE pick.
- 1989.....In the worst individual draft move ever, Green Bay passes on Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas to draft eventual flop Tony Mandarich.
- 1990........Jeff George and Blair Thomas go 1 and 2. Both are flops of the highest order. They are both taken before certain HOFer Junior Seau. The Patriots, continuing their woes, trade down from #1 to get Chris Singleton and Ray Agnew....passing twice on Emmitt Smith todo so.
- 1991........The Pats trade down again, getting Pat Harlow and Leonard Russell. In doing so, they twice pass on Brett Favre.
- 1993.....Seattle takes Rick Mirer- called "the second coming of Joe Montana," according to Bill Walsh- and he sucks up the NFL for SEattle and Chicago. They pass on Micheal Strahan to take Mirer.
- 1995......The Benglas take Big Daddy Wilkinson ahead of Marshall Foch, and Heath Shuler and Trev Alberts are yanked off the board before anyone bothers picking the score of Pro Bowlers from that particular draft class.
1996.......St. Louis refuses to buy into the hype, and drafts troubled RB Lawerence Phillips ahead of Eddie George, Marvin Harrison, and Eric Moulds. I think Lawerence actually ended up sexually assaulting himself, he was so twisted.
- 1998....tough year. Ryan Leaf goes ahead of Charles Woodson. Curtis Enis goes ahead of Takeo Spikes. New England takes Robert Edwards ahead of Randy Moss. NE then takes Tebucky Jones ahead of Patrick Surtain.
- 1999....Teams needed QBs. Tim Couch goes ahead of Donovan McNabb. Akili Smith walks to the podium before Egderrin James or Ricky Williams or Duante Culpepper do. Cade McNown goes ahead of the Freak.
- 2000........198 teams pass on Super Bowl factory Tom Brady.
- 2001....Gerald Warren and Justin Smith go ahead of LaDanian Tomlinson and Richard Seymour.
- New England was the worst drafting team of the 1980s, while Indianapolis has it covered for the 1990s.
- Never take a Penn State running back. In just 20 years, three of them (Curtis Enis, Ki-Jana Carter and Blair Thomas) all flopped out of the league.
- Warren Sapp and Randy Moss both fell into the teens of the draft because of marijuana use. Both then proceeded to tear up the NFL. Drugs are good, kids.
"I'm gonna need a lot of painkillers if this 300 pound pothead ever catches me."