Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NFL Draft - Top 5 Players Selected #9 Since 1980 (plus the worst three #9's)

Top 5 Players Selected #9 in the NFL Draft since 1980
5.  Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings, 2003
4.  Fred Taylor, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 1998
3.  Richmond Webb, OT, Miami Dolphins, 1990
2.  Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears, 2000
1.  Bruce Matthews, OG, Houston Oilers, 1983

The top spot at the #9 pick came down to an offensive lineman in Matthews and a linebacker in Urlacher.  Although an OL is hard to quantify, even Urlacher cannot match 14 pro bowls and 7 all-pro selections.  I am not sure there has been a better guard in my time.  Urlacher is no slouch with his play-making ability and impact he has had on some excellent Bears defenses.  Webb was another rock at tackle in the 1990's who goes a bit under-appreciated.  What would have happened if Fred Taylor could have remained healthy?  Even so, he is the NFL's 15th all-time leading rusher.  Williams has been an anchor of the defensive line for a decade in Minnesota and beats out Terry McDaniel for the final spot.

Worst #9 NFL Draft Picks Since 1980
3.   Keith Rivers, LB, Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 (5 seasons, now on Giants, 149 tackles, 2 sacks)
2.   Sammie Smith, RB, Miami Dolphins, 1989 (4 seasons, 1,881 yds, 15 TD)
1.   Kevin Allen, OT, Philadelphia Eagles, 1985 (1 season played)

From Wikipedia on Kevin Allen:

After a subpar rookie season, Allen tested positive for cocaine after reporting to Eagles training camp in 1986. Soon after that, he was charged with sexual assault and spent the next three years in prison.  He was banned from the league for life soon afterward. Buddy Ryan thought so little of Allen that he once described him as someone who could only be useful "if you want someone to stand around and kill the grass."

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