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Will encouragement of some readers, we’ll do the 04 and 03 drafts as well, mostly for something interesting to write about. Here’s the 2nd round in 2005:

Could this draft have been any weaker in the quarterback slot? Think about this past draft, where numerous teams were reaching for quarterbacks in the 1st round that many considered 2nd round talents. Only 3 QBs were taken in the first two rounds here, and all in the first. Demand wasn’t as high, sure, but it’s still a prime position that had no real talent.

Receiver had some nice additions in the 2nd. Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson was selected 61st to San Diego, where he still sits. Reggie Brown and Roscoe Parrish have provided some good play, but haven’t really been top flight guys. Brown hasn’t found a home since leaving Philly a few years back. Tampa Had worked him out last season but he didn’t seem significant time. Parrish is still on Buffalo, but is a slot guy and returner. Mark Bradley was selected by the Chicago Bears and had trouble staying healthy. He had one semi-productive year and has shuffled teams ever since. Hasn’t seen a starting role since. Receiver Terrence Murphy is another career cut short guy. He saw only three games and suffered a severe neck injury. He was released the in 06 and retired from the NFL in 07.

Running back was thinner in this part, seeing only J.J. Arrington and Eric Shelton drafted. Arrington went to the Cardinals. He helped during their Superbowl run, but never saw much starting time. He’s shuffled through teams since. Eric Shelton was with the Panthers for 2 years before heading to the Redskins. He never saw much time on the field there and hasn’t signed with anyone since 08.

Generally offensive lineman find themselves drafted a bit lower than skill position guys. This round saw a lot of good talent. Top of this round is Michael Roos whose still starting on the Tennessee Titans. He’s been a pro bowl tackle and considered among the best in the NFL. Adam Terry was drafted 64th by the Ravens and was considered a solid right tackle. He left the Ravens in 09 and bounced through a few teams in ’10. Khalif Barnes just signed a nice deal in Oakland. Though not a top tackle, he’s a reliable player who doesn’t get beat often. David Baas, recently signed by the New York Giants, has been a reliable center for the San Francisco 49ers. He hasn’t won an accolades, but most regard him as a reliable interior lineman. Marcus Johnson has been an underwhelming addition to the NFL. The Vikings picked him up for 3 years before he shuffled around. In 2010 he was playing for the Hartford Colonials.

Linebackers had a bright spots in Lofa Tatupu and Barrett Ruud. Tatupu has been a standout linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. He’s been recently released by the Seahawks due to contract concerns. His play has dropped some but he still remains a solid linebacker. Ruud hasn’t excelled, but had run the Tampa Bay cover 2 scheme effectively as a coverage guy. Odell Thurman was picked up by the Bengals. His early years had him in the consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Sadly he was suspended multiple times, both by the Bengals and the NFL for violations of their substance abuse policy. He was suspended indefinitely in 2008 for another failed drug test. He played in the UFL in 2010 with the Florida Tuskers / Virginia Destroyers. The less notable linebackers consist of Kevin Burnett and Matt McCoy. Both have been serviceable but unremarkable. Burnett has bounced from a few teams and now is in Miami, McCoy has likewise shuffled his way to Seattle.

Defensive ends / linebackers consist of mostly unremarkable players. Dan Cody was a very hyped end that the Ravens attempted to convert to linebacker. He could never stay healthy and was cut in 2007. He never found another team to hang on to. Matt Roth’s name has floated up on occasion after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He was run out of Miami after their change to the 3-4. He’s current in Cleveland working to maintain a starting role either as linebacker or defensive end.

The interior defensive line also lacks some punch. Jonathan Babineaux is probably the best name in this round, out of 2. He’s been on the Falcons his whole career. His best year, 2009, featured 6 sacks – tops among defensive tackles. Shaun Cody was a hyped USC product who has been an under performer. The Lions had him for his first three years before he left to go to the Texans. He’ll likely find a role in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense, either at nose tackle or end.

The most number of any one position drafted in the 2nd round was cornerback. Stanford Routt, Corey Webster, Ron Bartell, Darrent Williams, Justin Miller, Kelvin Hayden, and Bryant McFadden found their way into the 2nd round. Routt is likely the Raiders number one corner since Asomugha’s departure. Webster, Bartell, McFadden, and Hayden have all been reliable corners for their respective teams. McFadden shuffled from Pittsburgh to Arizona, while there rest have remained on their drafted teams. The four of them are not considered top the line corners, but solid number 2s and nickel cornerbacks. Justin Miller is the only pro bowler, but he received the honor as a return man. He’s floated from team to team in that same role. The saddest story is Darrent Williams. A very talented corner who played opposite Champ Bailey, he was tragically killed in 2007 in an incident featuring other Broncos at a night club. He would’ve likely been the best of this group had he not gotten mixed up in the fights that eventually took his life.

The last major position is Safety. Antrel Rolle was drafted in the first as a corner that shifted to safety, but he’s probably not the best in this class. Nick Collins was taken midway through the 2nd by Green Bay. He’s a three-time pro bowl, all pro selection along with 21 interceptions and 400 tackles. Brodney Pool also found his way into the 2nd round, drafted by the Cleveland Browns. He remained there for 4 years before jumping to the New York Jets. He struggled to win the starting job in Cleveland, and has been solid in New York since. He tends to start opposite Jim Leonhard. The last safety taken was Josh Bullocks. Spending 3 years in New Orleans, he had a decent time. In 2009 he jumped to Chicago where he’s hasn’t made a huge impact.

Last but not least, Mike Nugent, who was selected by the New York Jets with the 47th overall pick. A generally wasted pick, he spent 3 years with New York, moved through Tampa and Arizona and now plays for the Bengals. He’s been a solid kicker, but probably not 2nd round talent, and with other big names on the boards its tough to justify taking a kicker there.

I thought it might be interesting to see other productive players selected later as well.

Frank Gore with the 1st pick in the 3rd round and has been a very good running back when healthy.
Justin Tuck was taken by the Giants with the 74th pick, providing a pro bowl and many sacks.
Kirk Morrison went 78th to the Raiders and just signed a big contract with them. He’s been a reliable linebacker.
Dominique Foxworth was selected by Denver and has floated through a couple of teams, generally being considered a solid corner. Signed with Ravens in 09
Marion Barber was taken by the Cowboys 109th (4th round) and has provided them a reliable back. He’s signed on to split time with Matt Forte in Chicago
Trent Cole was drafted by Philadelphia 146th and has been a pro bowl defensive end for them, tough to come by so late in the draft.
Jay Ratliff was taken in the 7th and has produced as the nose tackle in Dallas.
Matt Cassell was taken in the 7th as well and has fought his way to a starting gig in Kansas City by replacing Tom Brady when he was injured.
Last is Cameron Wake, selected by the Giants as an undrafted free agent. He didn’t make the team and played in the CFL for 2 years before signing with the Dolphins and exploding into a renown pass rusher.

So what did we learn? This was a particularly weak draft class. The Quarterback class was woeful and the pass rushers were simply not found. Offensive line seems to have been the strength. Even later there are many solid lineman who are still circulating the league. Wide receiver is another weak aspect, finding only Vincent Jackson and Braylon Edwards as really viable targets (and Edwards is probably pretty questionable there given his pressing legal condition).

Best Drafts (only notables listed):

Dallas Cowboys:
1 – Demarcus Ware
2. Marcus Spears
2. Kevin Burnett
4. Marion barber
4. Chris Canty
7. Jay Ratliff

New England Patriots:
1. Logan Mankins
3. Ellis Hobbs
3. Nick Kaczur
4. James Sanders
7. Matt Cassel

San Diego Chargers:
1. Shawne Merriman
1. Luis Castillo
2. Vincent Jackson
4. Darren Sproles

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