Thursday, April 30, 2009

Revisiting The 1999 NFL Draft

Tim Couch was a bad pick for the Brown's but was he the worst of the 1999 NFL Draft?

With last weekend’s NFL draft still fresh on our minds we can speculate all we want about who was a hit and who was a miss but the truth is that no matter how much we think the Raiders blew it we won’t really know until we see these guys careers pan out. In 1999 the Cleveland Browns thought they had their franchise quarterback in Tim Couch. They couldn’t have been more wrong with the overall top pick in the draft. Meanwhile, Jeff Saturday went undrafted out of North Carolina and became a three-time Pro Bowl selection for the Indianapolis Colts.

Taking a stroll back to 1999 here are the hits and misses of the first round along with the steal of the draft and the overall worst pick.

1. Tim Couch, Cleveland Browns – Miss – Couch only played five NFL seasons, throwing 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions.
2. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles – Hit – In eleven seasons McNabb has thrown 194 touchdowns to 90 interceptions, making the Pro Bowl five times and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl. He was also the 2004 NFL offensive player of the year.
3. Akili Smith, Cincinnati – Miss – Smith only stayed in Cincy for four seasons before jumping around to the Packers and Buccaneers before finally washing out of the NFL in 2004.
4. Edgerrin James, Indianapolis Colts – Hit – James was the offensive rookie of the year in 1999 and played seven seasons for the Colts rushing for 9,226 yards and 64 touchdowns. In his seven seasons for the Colts he made the Pro Bowl four times.
5. Ricky Williams, New Orleans Saints – Miss – The Saints traded up to select Williams as the fifth overall back but he never really fit in the Big Easy. He was gone just three seasons later with the highlight coming in the form off a cover photo for ESPN the Magazine.
6. Torry Holt, Saint Louis Rams – Hit – In ten seasons with the Rams, Holt went to seven Pro Bowls and helped the team win the Super Bowl XXXIV.
7. Champ Bailey, Washington Redskins – Hit – Bailey established himself as one of the leagues best shutdown corners. He was four-time Pro Bowl selection for the Skins before being traded to Denver in 2004 along with a second round draft pick for Clinton Portis.
8. David Boston, Arizona Cardinals – Miss – Stayed in Arizona only four seasons and washed out of the NFL after playing for Tampa Bay in 2006.
9. Chris Claiborne, Detroit Lions – Miss – Claiborne was gone from the motor city by 2002 and from the NFL in 2007.
10. Chris McAlister, Baltimore Ravens – Hit – McAlister has racked up 339 tackles and 26 interceptions in ten seasons with the Ravens. He’s been to the Pro Bowl three times and helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XXV.
11. Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota Vikings – Hit – With Randy Moss as Culpepper’s go-to guy he led the Vikings to the NFC championship game in 2000. Playing seven seasons in Minnesota, Culpepper made the Pro Bowl three times.
12. Cade McNown, Chicago Bears – Miss – McNown only lasted two seasons in Chicago and four in the NFL. He threw 16 touchdowns to 19 interceptions during his short career.
13. Troy Edwards, Pittsburgh Steelers – Miss – Edwards survived just three seasons in the Steel City before bouncing around to five other teams until 2007.
14. John Tait, Kansas City Chiefs – Hit – Tait played five seasons for the Chiefs and made the Pro Bowl in 2001. He returned to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl again in 2006 as a member of the Chicago Bears.
15. Anthony McFarland, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Hit – McFarland never made a Pro Bowl appearance but was a mainstay on a Bucs defensive line that won Super Bowl XXXVII.
16. Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans – Hit – Kearse led the NFL in sacks in 1999 and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. In five seasons for the Titans Kearse made the Pro Bowl three times.
17. Damien Woody, New England Patriots – Hit – Woody was a Pro Bowl selection in 2002 and help anchor the Patriots’ offensive line when the won Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII.
18. Matt Stinchcomb, Oakland Raiders – Miss – When you spend a first round pick on an offensive lineman he’s got to stick around more than five years.
19. Luke Petitgout, New York Giants – Hit – Played eight seasons for the Giants.
20. Ebenezer Ekuban, Dallas Cowboys – Hit – Played five productive seasons for the Cowboys before leaving as a free agent after the 2003 season.
21. L. J. Shelton, Arizona Cardinals – Hit – Shelton was a mainstay on the Cardinals offensive line for six seasons. He is currently with the Chargers.
22. Lamar King, Seattle Seahawks – Miss – King has been out of the NFL since 2003 after a short injury plagued season.
23. Antoine Winfield, Buffalo Bills – Hit – Played five productive seasons for the Bills before leaving as a free agent in 2004.
24. Reggie McGrew, San Francisco 49ers - Miss – Was gone after the 2001 season.
25. Antuan Edwards, Green Bay Packers – Miss – Played five injury plagued seasons for the Packers.
26. Fernando Bryant, Jacksonville Jaguars – Hit – Played five productive seasons with the Jaguars. Bryant is currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
27. Aaron Gibson, Detroit Lions – Miss – Only played in 16 games during three seasons with the Lions.
28. Andy Katzenmoyer, New England Patriots – Miss – Only lasted two seasons in New England due to injury.
29. Dimitrius Underwood, Minnesota Vikings – Miss – Underwood didn’t even make it through the 1999 training camp for the Vikings.
30. Patrick Kerney, Atlanta Falcons – Hit – Played eight productive seasons for the Falcons and made the Pro Bowl in 2004. Kerney is currently with the Seattle Seahawks where he returned to the Pro Bowl in 2007.
31. Al Wilson, Denver Broncos – Hit – Wilson was a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Broncos. In eight seasons he recorded 580 tackles, 21.5 sacks and 5 interceptions.

Worst Pick of the Draft: Cade McNown, Chicago Bears (12th overall)
Steal of the Draft: Donald Driver, Denver Broncos (213th overall, 7th round) – 577 receptions, 7,989 yards, 43 touchdowns, three Pro Bowls