Top 5 Players Selected #11 in the NFL Draft since 1980
5. Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts, 2002
4. Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers, 2007
3. DeMarcus Ware, LB, Dallas Cowboys, 2005
2. Michael Irvin, WR, Dallas Cowboys, 1988
1. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004
The #11 pick isn't half bad. I went back-and-forth whether Big Ben deserved the top spot here, as his raw stats would not be deserving of the spot on their own. There are some intangibles that he brings to the table, plus two Super Bowl rings that he had a very large part in. Irvin was a great receiver, but part of me struggled with him at #2 because he was never the best player on his offense. He stays at the spot because Ware, who in 8 years is already 19th in career sacks and Willis, who is a monster tackler, have yet to complete their careers and have yet to achieve the team success that Irvin achieved. Dwight Freeney and his 107.5 sacks (21st all-time), beats out Wilber Marshall for the final spot. Freeney may just be keeping a spot warm for J.J. Watt based on two seasons.
Worst #11 NFL Draft Picks Since 1980
3. Michael Booker, DB, Atlanta Falcons, 1997 (5 seasons, 10 starts, 8 Int, 97 tackles)
2. Anthony Hancock, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, 1982 (5 seasons, 8 starts, 73 rec, 1,266 yds, 5 TD)
1. Shawn Knight, DT, New Orleans Saints, 1987 (3 seasons, 1 start, 1 fumble recovery)
Reportedly, when the Saints drafted Shawn Knight, the other two players under consideration were Haywood Jeffires and Harris Barton. They were thrown a curve when the Steelers drafted Rod Woodson the pick before despite a lack of need at corner. They swung and missed with Knight.