NFL Draft: Analyzing The Last Decade, Pick By Pick

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From the FanPosts. -Joel

In just a few days, the Chiefs will (unless they trade down) pick at No. 1 in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that they will select Luke Joeckel, left tackle from Texas A&M. If and when they trade Branden Albert, KC will have a glaring hole at tackle. This would make a trade down far less likely, since they will be pigeonholed into selecting Joeckel. He likely won’t be available outside of the top few picks, so if they want him, they pretty much have to take him at No. 1.

And don’t give me this Eric Fisher business. Yeah, yeah, all the experts say Fisher has a higher ceiling than Joeckel. I get it. But in my opinion, when you’re picking at No. 1 and you have the choice between two players who play the same position, you should take the player who is most NFL-ready and has the highest floor. Joeckel has Fisher beat there. Just take Joeckel and call it a day. No need to roll the dice on an unproven player that may or may not have a higher ceiling, and almost definitely has a lower floor.

So I got to thinking... Just how successful have No. 1 picks been in the last decade? Who IS the best No. 1 pick lately? ...which then got me thinking about who is the best No. 2 pick in the last decade... then No. 3, and so on. So even though the research was time-consuming, and probably boring to most people, I went through every 1st round pick in the last ten years (2003-2012) and picked the best player picked in each draft position (No. 1 - No. 32). I’m 100 percent positive that I’ll get some flack in the comments that follow this post, but I’m a big boy and I can take it.

So let the debates begin...

First round

#1. QB Eli Manning - 2004 to the Chargers errr Giants... You can make a case for Luck or Newton or maybe even Stafford, but those guys are obviously unproven and none of them have Eli’s two Superbowl MVP awards and rings. Eli is vastly underrated, and some of that might be due to his struggle to stay consistent in his early years. But he has developed nicely into one of the better QBs in the NFL. Is he Peyton, Rodgers, Brady or Brees? No, of course not, but he does have the hardware to make a case for being the best #1 pick in the last decade.

#2. WR Calvin Johnson - 2007 to the Lions. If you disagree, you need your head examined. Megatron not only has the coolest nickname in the NFL, but he might be the most athletic WR to ever live. The guy is a super freak on the field, and his numbers are gaudy.

#3. Tyson Jackson (hahaha just kidding)... WR Larry Fitzgerald - 2004 to the Cardinals. You could maybe argue Joe Thomas or Andre Johnson here, but out of the three, Fitz is the most likely to end up in Canton.

#4. WR A.J. Green - 2011 to the Bengals. I might be jumping the gun here, but I think Green will be one of the top three WRs in the league every year for a long time. Plus, his biggest competition at #4 is Phillip Rivers, and as a Chiefs fan, I can’t give Rivers any credit. Rivers sucks.

#5. CB Terrance Newman - 2003 to the Cowboys. This is a tough one. Not much to choose from here. The 5th overall pick in the draft hasn’t produced a whole lot in the last decade. Really it’s between Newman and Eric Berry, and since Newman has been successful over a longer period of time, I have to give it to him.

#6. WR Julio Jones - 2011 to the Falcons. Another tough one between Jones and Vernon Davis. It’s really a coin flip between those two. Davis was heads, Jones was tails. Tails never fails.

#7. RB Adrian Peterson - 2007 to the Vikings. No debate here. Absolutely none. AP’s bust will be in Canton one day.

#8. CB DeAngelo Hall - 2004 to the Falcons. Jordan Gross is a close 2nd, but Hall has stayed consistent for longer. Hall’s three Pro Bowls beats Gross’s two.

#9. LB Luke Kuechly - 2012 to the Panthers. 164 tackles is stupid-good, especially for a rookie. It reminds me of what Patrick Willis did in his rookie year. There is actually some competition for this spot, but Kuechly has hit the ground running in the NFL. He’s a tackle-machine.

#10. LB/DE Terrell Suggs - 2003 to the Ravens. Suggs is an animal. Every team wants someone like him, and for good reasons. The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year can disrupt any offense and get to the opposing QB in the blink of an eye.

#11. LB Patrick Willis - 2007 to the 49ers. Willis makes tackles in his sleep. His numbers are eye-popping and he beats out studs like J.J. Watt, DeMarcus Ware and Ben Roethlisberger for this spot.

#12. DE/NT Haloti Ngata - 2006 to the Ravens. It was so hard for me not to say Marshawn Lynch here, because he has been my fantasy football super-stud for the last couple of years, and he’s an exciting player to watch. But if I were a GM and had to choose between the two, I would build my defense around Ngata. He is one of the best interior D-lineman in the game today.

#13. LB/DE Brian Orakpo - 2009 to the Redskins. With the exception of his major injury in 2012, he has been consistently good every year.

#14. CB Darrelle Revis - 2007 to the Jets. Revis has dominated his position, and there really isn’t much contention for this spot.

#15. LB Derrick Johnson - 2005 to YOUR... KANsas CITY CHIEEEEFS!!!! Yeah, this is a bit of a homer pick, and other top contenders (Brian Cushing and Jason Pierre-Paul) certainly aren’t scrubs. But since this is a Chiefs blog and a Chiefs fan is writing this post, the Chief gets the edge. G’job, DJ.

#16. FS Troy Polamalu - 2003 to the Steelers. This is the obvious pick for this spot. No other 16th pick comes close. Seven Pro Bowls and four all-pros. ‘Nuff said.

#17. OG Mike Iupati - 2010 to the 49ers. The second O-lineman the 9ers drafted in 2010, a year where they seriously bulked up their O-line. Iupati is a stone-cold stud, and will be for a long time.

#18. C Maurkice Pouncey - 2010 to the Steelers. He is probably the best center currently in the NFL. He’s been an all-pro every year since entering the league. And other than the eye test, we really have no standard upon which to measure O-linemen except for awards. Pouncey’s shelf is already full of hardware.

#19. CB Antonio Cromartie - 2006 to the Chargers. It was kind of slim pickin’ for this slot, but Cromartie has been above average, not only as a defensive back, but as a return man as well.

#20. LB/DE Tamba Hali - 2006 to the Chiefs. No surprise here. Tamba is an animal. In the last few years, he has developed into quite the sack artist. And if it weren’t for him getting double-teamed and held every play, he would have even better numbers than what he currently boasts. And how come the nickname Tambahawk never really caught on???

#21. NT Vince Wilfork - 2004 to the Patriots. Wilfork is the standard as far as nose tackles go. You can build an entire defense around a nose tackle like Wilfork.

#22. WR Percy Harvin - 2009 to the Vikings. Not much competition for this spot. Unless you consider Brady Quinn real competition. It’s a good thing Romeo Crennel isn’t making this list... I mean, boom.

#23. RB Willis McGahee - 2003 to the Bills. You can argue D-Bowe. You can even argue Mendenhall. But McGahee has had four seasons with over 1,000 yards, which is something neither Bowe nor Mendy can say. Plus, Mendy is a 911 truther, and that just rubs me the wrong way, so Mendy sucks.

#24. QB Aaron Rodgers - 2005 to the Packers. This controversial pick back in 2005 has paid massive dividends for the Packers. Rodgers might currently be the best QB in the league. Even if you disagree with that statement, you must concede that he is in the absolute top tier on the QB pyramid. His name can be spoken in the same breath as Manning, Brees and Brady.

#25. LB Jon Beason - 2007 to the Panthers. This one was easy. Beason, when he’s not on IR, is one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL.

#26. LB Clay Matthews - 2009 to the Packers. Another easy one. Matthews has no real competition for this spot. We’re starting to get down to the nitty gritty, where these picks get easier and easier, since a lot of their competitors are either out of the league or backups by now.

#27. WR Roddy White - 2005 to the Falcons. I wish I could place good ole LJ here, but when you burn out after getting big money and start beating women, you tend to spiral down into oblivion, which is exactly what Larry did. So Roddy White, the consummate pro, gets the easy nod here. Go ‘head, tell me the last time Roddy had a down year, i’ll wait...

#28. LT Joe Staley - 2007 to the 49ers. The 9ers have the best O-line in the NFL, and Staley is the cornerstone of that unit.

#29. LB Nick Barnett - 2003 to the Packers. I flipped a coin on this one. Couldn’t decide between Barnett and Nick Mangold, center for the Jets. Initially, Hakeem Nicks was in the discussion too, but he remains a somewhat distant 3rd as Barnett and Mangold each have far more impressive resumes. Barnett has had eight seasons with over 100 tackles, and if it weren’t for injuries, he would have had over 100 tackles in all ten of his seasons played. He might be the most underrated linebacker in the last decade.

#30. RB Joseph Addai - 2006 to the Colts. I realize this is a weak selection, but Addai is the lesser of the evils, because no one else drafted 30th overall in the last decade deserves the nod.

#31. RB Doug Martin - 2012 to the Buccaneers. I really wanted to put Nnamdi Asomugha here, but he has flaked out recently. Martin dominated last year, amassing almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his rookie campaign. We’ll see if he can keep it up, but so far he has been stellar.

#32. OG Logan Mankins - 2005 to the Patriots. Five Pro Bowls is an accomplishment that speaks for itself. And with no real competition at #32, Makins gets the easy nod.

But why stop there??? We’ve only just begun!! Let’s dive into the rest of the draft. Ok, I won’t go through each and every pick like I did for the first round. Let’s just go with every round as a whole. In the last decade, who has been the best 2nd round pick, 3rd, 4th, etc.?

2nd-7th rounds

2nd round: Anquan Boldin - 2003 to the Cardinals. This was a toss-up between Boldin and Ray Rice. Ultimately, while Rice might be the better player at the moment, Boldin is still pretty damned good, and has been since entering the league in 2003. I’m a big fan of longevity.

3rd round: Frank Gore - 2005 to the 49ers. No wonder the 9ers are so good. They’ve dominated the draft for the last decade. Gore is no exception. He has been the centerpiece of their offense for several years.

4th round: Jared Allen - 2004 to the Chiefs. The best long snapper ever drafted?? Jared Allen already has 117 career sacks and he’s only 31. He could retire tomorrow and be a Hall of Famer.

5th round: Michael Turner - 2004 to the Chargers. I was starting to wonder if I would find a fifth rounder worthy of this list. Turner is the best of the bunch. Three seasons of over 1,300 yards and double-digit TDs.

6th round: Alfred Morris - 2012 to the Redskins. One thing is for certain: Mike Shanahan knows how to spot running back talent. Morris had 1,600 yds and 13 TDs in his rookie campaign. Not too shabby.

7th round: Marques Colston - 2006 to the Saints. How has Colston never made a Pro Bowl? Six seasons with over 1,000 yards, two with double-digit TDs, zero Pro Bowls. Hmmm... Maybe his numbers are inflated because of a hall of fame QB tossing footballs to him, but Colston seems to be the definition of consistency.

Undrafted Free Agent: Flip a coin between Wes Welker and Arian Foster.

Welp, I guess writing this was one way to waste an entire night. Hope you enjoyed it! Let’s argue in the comments (/cracks knuckles and prepares for battle).

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.