This time of year always gets me fired up for the sporting world's biggest non-event event.......the NFL draft. So in the spirit of the season, I present to you my choices for Biggest Winner, Bust, & Steal from each of the past 10 drafts. Join me, will you?
Winner - Peyton Manning (#1) - Please.....it's Peyton Manning!
Bust - Ryan Leaf (#2) - Please......it's Ryan Leaf!
Steal - Matt Birk (#173) - One of the best Centers in the league, and a steady lineman for the Vikes
Winner - Champ Bailey (#7) - Don't get me wrong, a strong case could be made for Holt (#6), but by a hair it goes to Bailey
Bust - Tim Couch (#1) - Thrown to the wolves in his rookie year (NFL leading 56 sacks), lost his confidence and never recovered
Steal - Donald Driver (#213) - Has led the Pack in receiving 4 times, has over 500 catches and is closing in on 7000 yards
Winner - Brian Urlacher (#9) - A dominant Bears MLB? Of course.
Bust - Courtney Brown (#1) - A Penn St. D-lineman flops? Of course.
Steal - Tom Brady (#199) - How did he make it to nearly 200?
Winner - tie: LT (#5) and Richard Seymour (#6) Hard to pick just one with these guys back to back. Each is currently (and has been for a few years) the best at their position and the heart of their team
Bust - Jamal Reynolds (#10) - This DE only played in 18 games over 3 seasons. Career sacks.....3
Steal - T.J. Houshmanzadeh (#204) - The Bengals 7th rounder has been one of the best receivers in the game over the past 4 seasons.
Winner - tie: Julius Peppers (#2) and Ed Reed (#21) The most complete 4-3 DE in the game or the most complete Safety in the game........hmm, decisions, decisions
Bust - Wendell Bryant (#12) - Yea, I know what about Carr and Harrington? At least their still playing. Bryant's 2.5 year career totaled 9 starts and 1.5 sacks
Steal - Aaron Kampman (#156) - One of the best pass rushers in the game the past two seasons
Winner - Kevin Williams (#9) - In a first round that saw 1/3rd of the picks go DL, Williams was the best. He's anchored the Vikes line ever since
Bust - Charles Rogers (#2) - The Lions and their 1st round receivers.....shocking, isn't it?
Steal - David Tyree (#211) - Seriously, did you see that catch? With his helmet, people!
Winner - Tommie Harris (#14) - Pro Bowler 3 of his 4 years, and currently the only 2-time All Pro in this draft
Bust - Robert Gallery (#2) - Mountain of talent, but can't find a position and is the most penalized lineman in football
Steal - Jared Allen (#126) - The top DE on the free agent market, and one of the league's best pass rushers
From here, it gets a little sketchy.........3 or less seasons isn't a large body of evidence to work from but here goes:
Winner - Shawn Merriman (#12) - The Chargers seem to know something the rest of us don't when it comes to the draft. Merriman has been a Pro-Bowler every season
Bust - David Pollack (#17) - A true tough luck situation. Pollack had a world of promise, but injuries shortened his career to just 6 starts.
Steal - Lofa Tatupu (#45) - Has played every bit like a top 10 pick for the Hawks.
Winner - AJ Hawk (#5) - A LB the Pack can (and have) build(t) their D around with success
Bust - Broderick Bunkley (#14) - Still time for the chiseled DT, but so far....not so good.
Steal - Marques Colston (#252) - 70 catches his rookie year, nearly 100 this year.......nice 7th round pick up
Winner - nah.....way to early to even guess.