ESPN writer Rick Reilly released a very interesting article in May, examining the NFL players drafted in the last few years. The team that conceived this project re-drafted every player from 2006 to 2008, basing their new positions on how they’ve panned out on the field.
Tennessee defensive back Cortland Finnegan, for example, went 215th in the ’06 draft. But his now-proven ability would place Finnegan as the 15th best player picked that year. So he’d have a plus/minus score of +200.
The Seahawks, wrote Reilly, are the re-draft chumps. Picks like defensive end Lawrence Jackson and corner Kelly Jennings were two prime examples. Both of them fell more than 160 places in the reshuffling. Jackson was sent to Detroit after two seasons, while Jennings hasn’t yet lived up to first-round pick status.
But at least few fans know who these players are. Quarterback Matt Leinart, who went 10th to the Cardinals in ’06, would have gone undrafted if the re-draft had its way. Vince Young, the third pick that year, fell all the way to 118th. In 2007, big-time names like Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell now have fans crying out, “False advertising!”
Still, Seahawk supporters are probably chewing the insides of their mouths over these revelations. When it comes to team totals over those three drafts, it should be no shocker that the Saints’ picks top the NFL. New Orleans choices over this period earn a +266, meaning that their prognosticators have been very accurate. The Saints Super Bowl appearance last year makes even more sense now.
Tennessee and Green Bay round out the top three. The Titans are better than their recent play–the locker room drama in Nashville has killed their chemistry. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had no such issues; they followed the Saints as title winners.
Meanwhile, Seattle is in dead last from 2006-08, at -377. Are you surprised?