Monday, April 23, 2007

I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime

The draft is this weekend, and I'd like to get the bad karma out of the way early. Shanahan has been criticized harshly, and rightly so, for some of his draft day flubs. He's improved a little bit the last couple of years (excluding one monumental, insane fuck-up in '05 - more later) but overall, his track record w/ drafts is weak (although he seems to do pretty well with linebackers).

So here's a list of the 5 worst draft choices during the Shanahan era. I'm limiting it to the first 3 rounds, because later picks are pretty much a crapshoot for everyone. Sometimes you'll find a Terrell Davis, but you're more likely to find a Kevin Kasper.

5. Terry Pierce, LB (2nd round pick - 51st overall, 2003). What can we say about Terry? How about 8 total tackles and 1 pass deflection for his entire 3 year stay w/ the Broncos. That's the exact opposite of productive. He was injured for a portion of his career, so I cant knock him too much. LB's taken after Pierce? Lance Briggs, Cato June, Hunter Hillenmeyer.

4. Paul Toviessi, DE (2nd round pick - 51st overall, 2001). Toviessi never suited up, never played a down and was out of the league after one year. We're getting pretty good value w/ that 51st overall pick. Again, he was injured, but I still cant cut these guys that much slack. Why draft an injury risk? DE's taken after Toviessi? Well, there's Derek Burgess. Obviously this was a piss poor draft for DE's, but guys available after 51 included: Chris Chambers, Travis Henry and Edge Hartwell.

3. Willie Middlebrooks, CB (1st round pick - 24th overall, 2001). The absolute worst draft Shanny's overseen. Middlebrooks, Toviessi, Reggie Hayward, Ben Hamilton, Nick Harris and Kevin Kasper. Ouch. That's a horrifying line-up right there. Only Hayward and Hamilton were productive and only Hamilton is still on the team. Hayward parlayed one overrated year into a monster deal w/ Jacksonville only to get hurt after a couple of games. Harris was a fuckin' punter (and 4th round pick - two rounds before anyone else would have taken him) and he couldn't even beat out Tommy Rouen. Kasper is white. Middlebrooks, drafted to be a shut down corner and explosive return man, was neither. Here's a look at his career path: Never started here and barely played on defense, was a poor returner, got traded to SF for the wildly underrated John Engleberger, got cut by SF, re-signed here and got cut again. CB's taken after Willie? Ken Lucas, Fred Smoot and Andre Dyson. Lets forget this draft ever happened.

2. Marcus Nash, WR (1st round pick - 30th overall, 1998). Ah, Marcus. You and your 4 catches for 76 yards were invaluable in helping the team obtain that stellar 6-10 record in '99. The next year you were traded to Baltimore, where you never suited up. Now you're with the Dallas Desperados of the Arena League. WR's taken after Nash? Hines Ward, Az Hakim and Germane Crowell.

1. Maurice Clarett, RB (3rd round pick - 101st overall, 2005). The story leading up to the draft was who would be willing to take a chance on Clarett. Shanny shocked everyone by picking him with the last pick of the 3rd round. Rumor was that Miami was going to take him w/ the 104th overall pick, so Shanny snatched him up. Clarett turned out to be an unmitigated disaster in every sense. He barely practiced due to an ankle injury, which a lot of veterans insisted he was faking. He clashed with the strength coach and even had the balls to demand that he be fired. He supposedly got caught drinking liquor in the weight room. Not surprisingly, he was part of the first cuts in training camp. After being cut, his life went into a free-fall: a felony armed robbery conviction and a bizarre incident where he was allegedly going to take out one of the witnesses to said armed robbery. He's currently behind bars.

So that's the list. There are other shitty choices, however. Just missing the cut were: Deltha O'Neal, Lennie Friedman, Mark Campbell, Jeremy LaSueur, Dorsett Davis, Chris Watson, Travis McGriff and Chris Cole.

I'll fire off the good karma list later on this week.


Hallux Valgus said...

far be it from me to argue with anyone on this list, but I feel that any Broncos draft bust list isn't complete without Eric Brown. Granted, he played, but I always felt he should've lined up with his back to the line of scrimmage so he was in better position to catch the slot receivers and tight ends that would inevitably run past him.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Yeah. He was a decent run-stopper though. And he used to lay the wood to people.

Commish CH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Commish CH said...

Last I heard Marcus Nash is some sort of superstar in the Arena League(?)

How Kasper has bounced around the league to this day is beyond me. I remember they used to call him Romo's shadow b/c he followed him with the same "vitmains" and workouts, etc.

Old schoolers might remember the worst Broncos pick ever- Ted Gregory. Yuck.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Yeah, Ted Gregory was a joke. The guy we traded him for was a joke too. I can't even remember his name.