The NFL draft is not just about getting the best football players so your team can be better, it is about changing lives for families who have been in a generational cycle, kids who have been homeless, and parents who sacrifice everything so that their child could succeed. The NFL Draft is the opportunity to change an entire franchise and give a city hope. Like what else is there to do in Green Bay? Just kidding. All jokes aside, we have seen NFL franchises changed by one player. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, Erik Dickerson, Ricky Williams, etc. As we approach this years draft, it is important to take a look back at previous NFL drafts and how teams were changed by taking certain players, and not taking others.
2016 NFL Draft
It may still be early for these guys, but 4 years is a pretty good time frame to show what you can do. #1 and #2 in this draft both has a Super Bowl under their belt, one’s team came up short and the others team one. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz show promise, but Goff took a huge step back last year and Wentz was on that Super Bowl team, but didn’t play in the playoffs nor the super bowl. Wentz has not taken that next step yet. These 2 picks were followed by Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliot, Jalen Ramsey, Deforest Buckner, Laremy Tunsil, and more. Then you get to day 2 and realize that the players in the first round were okay; however, teams like the Giants who drafted Eli Apple or Arizona who drafted Robert Nkemdiche missed out on big talent. Hunter Henry, Myles Jack, Chris Jones, Xavien Howard, Derrick Henry, and Michael Thomas all went in the 2nd round and now are at the top of their positions. Dak Prescott was taken in the 4th round! Tyreek Hill was taken in the 5th at pick 165.
2017 Patrick Mahomes Oversight
Coming out of college, Mahomes had the talent, but was raw and that scared teams from looking at him as the top QB. While the guys that went before him are turning out to be really good players, such as Christian McCaffrey and Jamal Adams, RB’s and Safety’s don’t win championships (although Henry was close). The Bears took Mitchell Trubisky at #2 and they gave up a lot to get to that spot. While we haven’t seen Trubisky’s ceiling, Mahomes already has an MVP and a Super Bowl. I watched Trubisky in college and was not impressed, so why Chicago would leverage their future for him is bananas… (B.A.N.A.N.A.S Gwen Stefani voice). They would have put the franchise in a better position if they would have just taken Adams or McCaffrey. Either way teams 1-9 missed out on a player who has the potential to be truly great. What Matt Nagy, a defense, and Patrick Mahomes could have been.
2005 Aaron Rodgers Debacle
In 2005, 23 players were taken in front of future Hof Aaron Rodgers. Most of them that were taken were DB’s, RB’s, and only 1 QB who had a pretty solid career in Alex Smith. Cleveland thought Braylon Edwards was better than Aaron Rodgers? There are less than 10 people from this draft class who are still playing. While Aaron Rodgers got to succeed Brett Farve, with all his talent, Green Bay has only won 1 Super Bowl with Rodgers. Any team could have won with Aaron Rodgers, but especially the teams who thought Rex Grossman and Jake Delhomme were the answer. I actually really liked those guys and their grit, but sometimes you mortgage your franchises future on what you didn’t do instead of just what didn’t work. Aaron Rodgers continues to make crazy plays and climb up the record books. Only if teams new what they know now. In the words of Stephen A. “THAT’S A BAD MAN”.
2000 G.O.A.T Misinterpretation
This may be the most puzzling thing to understand if you’re not really a football fan. Arguably the greatest player of all time goes to the New England Patriots at pick 199. This obviously means that 198 players were drafted before Tom Brady. In all these teams defense, the Oakland Raiders took a kicker at #17 overall. While Sebastian Janikowski may go down as the greatest kicker in history, it’s a kicker! It makes you wonder if Brady was even on any of these teams board? Brady is still playing, and while the media says his skills are diminishing, I still see a QB who is probably healthier than he’s ever been; can move around in the pocket; and can still get the ball to wherever he wants. This has to be the biggest debauchery in NFL history because Tom Brady went at the 199th pick and he’s now won more games than that, thrown for almost triple the touchdowns, and has 6 Super Bowl Rings just for the irony of being drafted in the 6th round.
The draft is full of a lot of surprises and some may change lives, franchises, and cities. People’s life will be changed forever. Not just the players, but their families and friends as well. This upcoming draft is going to be a little different from years past with the situation in the world, but still life changing none-the-less. I hope people continue to contribute to these causes so we can continue to see generational curses broken and peoples lives change. Stay tuned for the draft next Thursday to see the lives that will be transformed next.
This is, NEWTON’S BALL ON THE BEACH!!!!