Get Ready For The Meaningless Draft Grades

In roughly a week from right now, the so-called experts will begin to issue grades to each team based on the picks they’ve compiled in the 2009 NFL Draft.
We can issue our own grades right now — they all get an Incomplete.
It’s impossible to determine once the draft ends whether the players who were drafted are going to be any good.  So it’s likewise impossible to issue grades to the teams who have taken them.
And we have some hard evidence to support our view.  A league source has found and forwarded to us Mel Kiper’s grades from the 2005 draft.
History proves that Mel’s effort as to some teams deserves an F-minus.
Here’s what Mel said regarding the Bengals, in giving them an A-minus grade:  “Defensive end David Pollack and linebacker Odell Thurman were teammates at Georgia and are immediate upgrades for the front seven on Marvin Lewis’ defense.  The Bengals helped the offensive line with another pair of teammates, center Eric Ghiaciuc and tackle Adam Kieft from Central Michigan, and thanks to his great physical attributes receiver Chris Henry is a good gamble in the third round despite some character questions. Fellow wideout Tab Perry was a sensible pick in the sixth.”
Pollack was limited to one season, due to injury.  Thurman was limited to one season, due to an inability to avoid substances of abuse.  Henry turned out to be anything but a “good gamble.”  Ghiaciuc remains unsigned after the expiration of his rookie deal.  Kieft didn’t appear in a single game in two seasons and wasn’t tendered as a restricted free agent.  Perry also left the Bengals after three seasons, with no RFA tender offer.  He signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins, suffered a season-ending injury four days later, landed on injured reserve, and currently is unsigned and unemployed.
The Vikings got a B-plus, with this explanation:  “The Vikings targeted speed on their board and they definitely got it with wide receiver Troy Williamson, who wowed Minnesota enough that the Vikings passed on Mike Williams.  Defensive end Erasmus James gives them much-needed help up front, guard-tackle Marcus Johnson will solidify the offensive line and running back Ciatrick Fason has the potential to be a terrific steal in the fourth round.  Dustin Fox is a good cornerback and defensive tackle C.J. Mosley is a motivated overachiever.”
Um, in hindsight, the effort should be given an F-minus.  Williamson was a colossal bust, as was James.  Fason, the guy who could have been a “terrific steal,” was taken two spots after Brandon Jacobs and three after Marion Barber.  Fason is long gone — the other two became stars.  (And when Fason was drafted, Darren Sproles was still on the board.)  When Marcus Johnson left Minnesota for Oakland recently, it left the Vikings without a single member of the Class of 2005 on the roster.
Mel also gave a couple of teams lower grades than what they should have received. Here’s how he supported giving a C to the Patriots:  “Guard Logan Mankins was a reach in the first round but the Patriots obviously like his size and nastiness, and he will help fill the void left by Joe Andruzzi’s departure via free agency.  Ellis Hobbs has good size but not enough skill to be more than a nickel back, and safety James Sanders was a teammate of Mankins at Fresno State and both were helped by the relationship between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Fresno State coach Pat Hill.  Tackle Nick Kaczur could play guard as well but came off the board a little early and Matt Cassel is a big project at quarterback.”
Mankins, the “reach” in round one, has started every game in his career and has become an anchor of the offensive line.  Kaczur has likewise been solid.  And to the extent that Cassel was a “big project,” he turned out a lot better than Peter Brady’s volcano.
Mel’s biggest blunder might have been his assessment of the Bolts.  He gave the Chargers a C for what still could become a ’74 Steelers type of draft:  “I like end/linebacker Shawne Merriman as an addition to the pass rush, but the rest of the players the Chargers selected were taken a little early.  Defensive tackle Luis Castillo did not have a first-round grade and receiver Vincent Jackson was a reach in the second round as the Chargers were desperate to add a receiver.  Darren Sproles should be a nice situational back who can also return kicks, but the remainder of the players San Diego took were more toward the undrafted free-agent category.”
Um, Merriman has been one of the best players from a bust-filled 2005 first round, and Castillo has become a very good defensive lineman.  Jackson is developing into an excellent option in San Diego’s supercharged passing game, and Sproles has shown that he’s much more than a “nice situational back,” as that franchise tag confirms.
Look, we’re not saying that we expected Kiper to be able to divine the future the morning after the 2005 draft ended.  Our point is that he shouldn’t have tried.  No one should.
Instead, grades should be handed out like we recently did for, issuing a “pass” or a “fail” to the first-round picks three years after the fact.  Or as Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe recently did for the entire 2006 draft.
Still, if someone wants to predict prematurely the ultimate outcome of a process that, on a pick-by-pick basis, is a complete and total crapshoot, it’s their prerogative.  But it’s basically a game of Russian roulette — without, you know, the potentially fatal consequences.

80 responses to “Get Ready For The Meaningless Draft Grades

  1. You should write one Florio. 2009 Grades. See how it goes.. otherwise make sure not to read or enjoy any of the opinions these other guys stick their necks out on.

  2. I still wonder what makes Mel Kiper a expert? He hardly gets these picks right in his mock draft and his prospect rankings. They should just leave it alone until draft day and leave it to the writers or keep him to and not on tv like he’s some kind of guru. Now that got McShay alongside him who really isn’t any better.
    He’s just there to make for the good cop bad cop deal but they both suck.
    None of their opinions matter and look worse on draft day and when they’re wrong its “Oh! what a shocker. I thought…” No one gives a monkey’s nut-sack what you think.

  3. outstanding post, florio. thanks for putting this up.
    remember when everyone was shocked the texans took mario williams over reggie bush? or when they passed on vince young?
    point is, the draft is an almost complete crapshoot. it’s fun to speculate, but impossible to say anything significant about it until maybe 2 or 3 years afterward.

  4. You can’t blame any team in the top ten though of 2005, it was one of those weird never gonna happen again drafts each one a bust . its crazy….

  5. I’m about to go on a rant so bare with me, but this is why Mel Kiper has the best job in the world. Every year Mel Kiper trots out from hibernation and starts spouting off nonsense about this years draft picks. He always anoits a couple of picks as “sure fire Hall of Famers” and some as “busts”. Then during the actual draft we get to see Kiper go on rants ripping teams for not choosing who he said they should have and praising the teams that do follow his advice.
    The only problem? Like Florio said, you can’t rate a draft class until 3-4 years after the fact. Guess what? No one remembers what Kiper said 3-4 years ago (To call him out for being full of crap), therefor creating a vicious cycle. This allows him to keep his job despite being wrong on the top prospects year after year.
    Best. Job. Ever. (If you can live with being the guy who spews crap for a living)
    Also wanted to add that the only reason Kiper is famous is because he brought the NFL Draft to the public spotlight, not because he is a draft savant.

  6. Also grades should be assessed 3 years after the draft, because by the look of it, kiper is a moron

  7. Kiper tends to really fault people for “reaching” past where his mock drafts say players should go.
    Clearly, if a team identifies a player they feel really fits their team, they need to look at Kiper’s mock draft before they pick him and try to trade down to a pick before that player is taken.

  8. It makes a lot more sense to wait 3 years, but who ever reads those articles? The fans want to know right now how they did in the draft and Mel tells them what they want to hear. Of course he is wrong, but I bet it is less than most of the guys making the picks.

  9. Some people make WAY too big a deal out of post-draft grades. They’re something interesting to look over at a time when there really isn’t all that much going on. For some reason, some people and website (like this one apparently) act like they’re somehow offended by predictions. Kiper might be wrong about plenty of teams three years from now, but at least he has the guts to actually put his predictions out there instead of giving everyone incompletes. I don’t see anyone getting all ruffled and saying “we’ll just have to wait and see” during preseason when the “so-called experts” (I love how everyone uses that phrase thinking it’s clever, Florio forgot the quotations around “experts” though, that would have been even more witty) are making their season standing prognostications. If I recall correctly, this site does those every year.

  10. Florio,
    People in high school recruiting make the same mistake. I agree with you but we know it will never end because the average fan out there reads them and takes them to be law. It is truly sad.

  11. Hey I bet if you tried you could find some grades that Kiper got right. Isn’t the point that he’s paid to do that like ten to twenty other people on the NFL and like websites? They grade on needs filled and talent as shown in college. It’s understood that no one can predict greatness or failure with any degree of certainty. They can’t speculate on future injuries or character issues ( unless a problem had already surfaced ) can they? Isn’t it all just entertainment value for fan consumption? Isn’t that what you do Florio?

  12. You mean the Almighty Big Haired ESPN Draft Guru is wrong about something? No way! What a shocker!

  13. Classic….Giants get a C for Corey Webster,Brandon Jacobs, and Justin Tuck (should have gone back to Notre Dame). There should be a moritorium on grades for three years after a draft…thanks for sharing.

  14. “He gave the Chargers a C for what still could become a ‘74 Steelers type of draft:”
    Florio, since you are a fellow Steelers fan, you shouldn’t even joke about that.
    Show me 4 Hall of Famers out of :
    Shawne Merriman
    Luis Castillo
    Vincent Jackson
    Darren Sproles
    Wesley Britt
    Wes Sims
    Scott Mruczkowski
    And I will match it with just 4 picks out of that draft.
    Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – 1st round (21st overall)
    Jack Lambert, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers – 2nd round (46th overall)
    John Stallworth, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – 4th round (82nd overall)
    Mike Webster, C, Pittsburgh Steelers – 5th round (125th overall)
    Out of all their picks, only one really has any kind of chance at the Hall. Sproles is a return man and a 3rd down back, Jackson is an average receiver, Castillo is a 3-4 end (thus not really able to get great stats, although he is a solid player), and Merriman has to continue to rack up the stats after two major knee surgeries (which usually don’t get better with time).

  15. Really Florio? Is is that slow of a day where you have to write a report on why draft grades are meaningless. I am sure you can go back to past drafts and find players kiper was right about too. But no, you soley focus on the negative like usual. Who cares. Sometimes its hard to tell if a five rear old or a grown man are writing these articles. They are unprofessionally done and serve no point. Its hard to read an article done by yourself because there is always an agenda you have and never state the facts correctly.

  16. I’ve been getting ready for the meaningless draft grades by reading these meaningless PFT articles.

  17. I thought it was funny that when I clicked on the Kiper link, it wanted me to pay to hear the ridiculous moronic statements that he was wrong about 4 years ago, just like espn to try to suck every dollar they can out of you. Kiper is a joke!

  18. I think if you wanted to, you could find just as many examples where a guy was right on.
    Also, post-draft grades aren’t a 3 year projection. They’re an evaluation given what you know at the time about a player, the situation with the board, and the team building strategy of that moment. They’re not a prediction. But then again it really is easier to rip something that you don’t understand than it is to actually use your head.
    So ripping draft grades is just as dumb as saying the draft grading itself is.

  19. This is why you should never take Kiper or McShay seriously. If anyone could make a career off of a job where all you do is guess, then we’d all be millionaire wouldn’t we? Good players should hate these guys, because they always point out their downside, bad players should give them half their paycheck because if it wasn’t for them they may not be drafted nearly as high as they were. *cough*Mark Sanchez does not deserve to be a top 10 pick*cough*

  20. This is exactly why I refuse to give immediate draft grades on Draft King. In my estimation, you can give preliminary grades only after three years and true grades after five years.
    In defense of Mel Kiper, he deserves a great deal of credit for being well ahead of the curve this year in projecting Baylor OT Jason Smith as a high pick.

  21. I just hate the way Kiper acts like his word is the absolute truth, and he talks like a huge douche.

  22. This was pretty interesting, especially how wrong Kiper has been. However, I don’t see how you can expect the general public to wait 3 years to hear anything about how their prospects in the draft are doing. The only reason they give out grades is because people want them, any well informed person knows that the grades don’t mean anything, but it’s still fun to just look and see what the so called “experts” think of your teams draft.

  23. Ask any Patriots fan, Kaczur sucks and should be replaced immediately by either a new OT or Matt Light (who could use a replacement as well).

  24. Hey Florio, how in any way is your bashing of ESPN and Mel Kiper the “Latest News & Rumors” that I clicked on. If I wanted to read an”Op Ed” section, I’d pick up the New York Times.
    Anyone with common sense knows any draft expert is going to be wrong at times and it’s obvious Kiper has been wrong in the past.
    Speaking of being about drafts, aren’t you the one who has Matthew Stafford falling to ten in your latest mock? Hold on, I’ll send that to Kiper and have him pick that apart and try to make it a news story.

  25. It would be awesome if Todd McShay just halled off & cold clocked Mel after the first stupid thing he said Saturday. ESPN needs to retire Mel’s sorry ass along with that hack Mort ASAP!

  26. Glad someone finally said it. It’s a joke that these clowns, who never played a single down in the NFL, grade a bunch of kids who have yet to play a single down in NFL.

  27. Mel Kiper is the biggest tool in football. Anyone that listens to this fool is a bigger fool than him!!!!!!

  28. Amen Florio! It drives me nuts that they don’t give out draft grades 2or3 years later. You just cant tell until these guys get on the field. Or take a dump in a clothes hamper. Or pack a wizzonater in his luggage.

  29. Mel Kiper is a blowhard windbag. He gives his allegedly expert opinion simply because ESPN is willing to pay for any lip wiggling they think people will watch.

  30. Mel Kiper is for entertainment value for the public. Oh
    that’s us the football information starved fan. We can’t
    get enough! Well some of us find value in Mel and some of
    us laugh at the effort to predict the unpredictable.

  31. how exactly is this a great article? stating something that everyone with a damn brain already knows? I bet I could go thru this website and pick out a bunch of dumbass predictions and articles that florio has posted and go nit pick thru them… big deal drafts grades are all BS and anyone who actually pays attention to that knows the same… it’s all for fun.. same way as predicting who is going to win from year to year can be.. thanks for nothing.. pft is becoming the emmitt smith/matt millen of football news

  32. Dear Mr. Florio,
    We know Mel is “for entertainment purposes only”. His is only an educated assessment as he see’s it. But starved football fans really enjoy his assesments. And do you know what. He NEVER has shut off our comments.
    Way to go Mel!!!!

  33. Um Florio, that Chargers draft is more comparable to the Iggles ’02 draft than the ’74 Stillers. Nice try.
    Chargers 05:
    Shawne Merriman
    Luis Castillo
    Vincent Jackson
    Darren Sproles
    Wesley Britt
    Wes Sims
    Scott Mruczkowski
    Iggles 02:
    Lito Sheppard
    Michael Lewis
    Sheldon Brown
    Brian Westbrook
    74 Stillers:
    Lynn Swann
    Jack Lambert
    John Stallworth
    Mike Webster

  34. Well let’s just stop doing mock drafts also, since those are never right. So is no one supposed to give an opinion on how the teams did in the draft? I guess prospects shouldn’t be rated either since you don’t know how they’ll do until a few years later. Give me a break with this article.

  35. It’s simple. ESPN has to fill the tube 24/7 and so they some up with these hustlers like Kiper and the sad thing is that there are actually people (mostly youngsters) who listen to this idiot.

  36. @ Draft King
    “This is exactly why I refuse to give immediate draft grades on Draft King. In my estimation, you can give preliminary grades only after three years and true grades after five years.”
    I only read one pick on your website, in which you incorrectly point to Ryan Fowler as the Titans’ starting MLB. Of course, as you’d know if you weren’t a hack, Stephen Tulloch was actually the starter for most of last season, and the Titans organization really likes his big-play ability.
    Also, thanks for making your site impossible to use the back arrow to get out of. The constant reloading as I attempted to back away quickly from your terrible draft must have been a boon to advertising income.
    Please, no one give this douche the satisfaction of clicking on his crappy website that he managed to mention in the most contrived way possible.

  37. Being that the link is for ESPN Insiders only, could someone see how many he graded correctly?
    I’m not sticking up for him, but I would venture that he probably is right 50 percent of the time just as he is wrong 50 percent of the time.
    Think about it, he only has two choices to say about a player: good or bad. So it’s pretty logical he’ll pick half right and half wrong. And it’s easy for us to point out his mistakes while overlooking his correct picks.
    The point is, he’s a guy who offers a strong opinion that gets every teams fans all riled up and that’s good for football in general. If you take it as fact, you’re an idiot. If you take it as a fun way to speculate your teams needs, you’ll enjoy the whole process and enjoy the dullness that is football offseason.

  38. The reason draft grades are done is because the fans are interested. I’m an avid NFL fan, but don’t follow college ball very much. Since I don’t know jack about the players that were drafted, I like to read what the “experts” think. Obviously the experts will be wrong a lot of the time just as GM’s are often wrong. I like the draft grades for the same reason I like mock drafts and this site…because I love football

  39. I hate to stick up for Kiper since his job is a sham–but he’s not grading teams on the way the players will work out 2 or 3 years after the draft. He is grading the teams on how they addressed their needs, used their picks, and worked the draft board. Nobody can predict the future, so he analyzes how the teams used the data at hand and the resources available. To make the point that somebody can’t predict the future seems like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but I know it makes the author feel better about not being on ESPN.

  40. The reason I think Kiper’s criticism is deserved is because he behaves like he’s stating facts instead of offering predictions.
    Just like when NFL analysts are graded over the course of the season on how well they do at predicting the outcomes of games, I think it’s completely fair to do it here too.
    I don’t have access to the full article, but it would be nice to see the entire thing and grade his entire set of grades. If he’s batting around 50% overall, it sure would raise some eyebrows.

  41. As the good old Dr. Z used to say, a monkey could give out grades 3 years after the draft, having the balls to give them right after… that takes balls, well those were not Dr. Z’s extact words, but you get the point.
    Also, I find it sad that you, Florio, have not mentioned a thing about Dr. Z’s 3 strokes back in november, it is something you should talk about, seeing as how not only a fellow writer, but one of the very best ones is bravely trying to get back from such a devastating event, the NFL is really missing him.
    Dr. Z was a feisty, corageous writer, never affraid to say what he was thinking, and I think you share, to some degree, some of those qualities Florio, maybe you should mention him once in a while in this site, it is a moving subject, to say the least.

  42. My theory is that Mel Kiper is a blow hard know-nothing talking head. If he were really that smart, insightful, or God forbid, accurate, he could triple his salary by working for any NFL team of his choosing.
    Instead, we get to listen to his nonsense every spring without anybody being able to challenge his BS.

  43. What a surprise no mention of the Giants draft grade of a C after having only 4 picks and coming away with a top 10 corner in Corey Webster, one of the league’s best defensive players in Justin Tuck, and Brandon Jacobs.

  44. HouTex says:
    April 19th, 2009 at 5:55 pm
    that whole big paragraph can be summed up into 4 words: mel kiper is a moron
    Ummm. By my count that’s 5. God bless the Texas education system.

  45. I agree with JTKIII, only in the sense that the grades are meaningless…’s a function of situation, coaching, and opportunity…tom Brady (and cassel) being great examples….I wonder how many players are no longer in the league because they were drafted to a team that wasn’t a good fit? or went through a coaching change? impossible to say…so why bother…

  46. It’s no shock that the draft grades 3 years later look horrible when reading them now, because obviously hindsight is 20/20. What gets Kiper in trouble is the way he is so vehement about his player evaluations. When Mike Williams went #10 and he treated it as a steal while others had reservations about him being a successful wide receiver, Kiper said something along the lines of “I’ll see you at his Hall of Fame induction.” When you have that little respect for the people who criticize you and are so vehement in your righteousness, it’s no surprise everyone wants to knock him down a peg or ten.

  47. Every draft can be graded at any time. Simply because a player doesn’t work out for injury or off-field issues has nothing to do with how good or bad the pick was. Mercy Florio, should we go back and review anything you wrote at the time? I think not. Every team deserves a grade for the draft at the time. Some picks were reaches that worked out. Some were stud players that didn’t.
    Case in point, should be say that the Packers were stupid for taking Tony Mandrich? Sure, but it wasn’t a dumb pick at the time. Who knew that “The Best Lineman Prospect Ever!” (SI headline prior to the draft) would have a reaction to the HGH that he was taking and end up as a foot note. No, it was a good pick and the grade changed later.
    Also, your comparing the ’74 Steeler draft to the ’05 SD draft is just ridiculous. Shawn Merriman has been busted for steriod use and V Jackson and D. Sproles have a LONG way to go to become worth mentioning in that group. You are comparing them to some of the great players of all-time. Wow.
    I rarely think this, but “Bad job Florio!”

  48. Kiper also told Merril Hoge that he would see him at Mike Williams’ hall of fame induction when Hoge disagreed with him at that draft. Has anyone seen Mike Williams since he didn’t even make it past the Titans’ 75 man cuts last year?

  49. Kiper’s wrong on his draft grades a significant amount of the time. Well, the same goes for the actual NFL teams. So what’s the big deal.
    Hating on Kiper is one thing but hating on the practice of grading the drafts is incredibly dishonest. Tell me that as soon as the draft ends you don’t immediately go on a few draft websites and try to get a consensus of opinions on your favorite team’s draft?
    What’s ESPN supposed to do? Just broadcast the draft without analysis? Stay tuned for Sportscenter where we’ll simply read each draft pick without any commentary because that would be presumptious of us.
    I know it’s cool to bag on Kiper but you have to respect the guy. In some ways, Kiper created the draft as a watchable event. Before the internet, Kiper really was the only source of draft info for most fans.
    Now everybody wants to shoot Kiper in the eye like Mo Green in the Godfather and leave him for dead without even a statue of him at the spectacle he created.

  50. DanSnydersPetCeratto nailed it. Kiper’s ego is so big he cannot hide his anger when a team dares to draft a player he did not chose in his mock draft. If he were truly an expert he would work for an NFL franchise. How do you become an expert? All you need is to become an employee for ESPN. The Giants draft is a great example:
    Cornerback Corey Webster was slowed by nagging injuries last season but is a tremendous cover man when healthy and had a top-10 grade after his junior season. Justin Tuck is an OK end in the third round but should have gone back to Notre Dame; Brandon Jacobs should carve a niche as a power back; and end Eric Moore is also an OK pick. The Giants just did not have enough selections to make a big impact on their football team.
    Justin Tuck is an OK end? He gives the Giants a C for not having alot of picks even though they gave up their 1st from this draft class for Eli Manning and came away with what he described as a top 10 pick the year before, Brilliant!

  51. Florio has to make much of a point about nothing.
    They ask him to come up with grades, and he says on paper this is what things look like and this team needed to go out and do this for their roster and did that. It’s more of an evaluation of their draft philosophy for the weekend, not a projection of who’s going to be a Hall of Famer or who’s going to break his neck or get Leukemia.
    Florio proving to be a douche for no reason other than to take a shot at ESPN, worthless post.

  52. How can a player be drafted “a bit too early”? If a team needs a TE and they are picking, what are they supposed to do – not pick a TE because Kiper says the guy should go 2 spots later?
    What a pompous jackass.

  53. dbartdog says:
    April 19th, 2009 at 10:30 pm
    Sproles has showed nothing.
    Thats not entirely true. Sporles has shown he can be a returner, 3rd down back, backup running & overated spot starter. He has also shown how desperate the bolts are to replace whats left of LT.

  54. Mel does a lot of research on college players and he records and watches a lot of college football. It is a big job.
    My criticism of Mel is that he does not know the NFL as well.
    The article is not a criticism of Mel, as stated. His immediate post draft grades were used as an example. Some of you focus on 2 sentences and miss the point of the article.
    Every GM has made draft mistakes but nobody knows it for awhile. Rookies rarely contribute significantly.
    Remember that the great prospect of April become dumb rookies by July.
    Be glad it is not like baseball or hockey where they project what type of a player an 18 year old will be in 6 years.
    Some GM’s get fired before their drafts can be fully judged.

  55. No love lost here for Kiper but a lot of your readers are right on here. At least Kiper stated an opinion.
    Look, there is no way anyone is going to be able to grade a draft and predict the injuries that affect that grade. Well, maybe God, but last time I checked he wasn’t all that interested in the NFL draft.
    Of the six guys the Bengals selected, three of them had careers derailed by injury: Pollack had a broken neck, Kieft blew out his knee in the first camp and again a year later, and Perry came up with year ending injuries every year he was on an active roster. The other three included Thurman who is out of the league for a raging addiction problem, Henry, who should be Vick’s cell mate.
    Of the six the only pick I think was blown was Ghiaciuc. Don’t know if he can play in a division where they play a 4-3, but he sure as hell can’t handle the massive anchors of the AFC North’s 3-4 defenses.
    From a fan’s point of view I would love to have five of those six still playing for the Bengals because I think they could play. They aren’t. That’s football.

  56. People like to laugh at Matt Millen’s draft picks, but for the first few years he wa given high grades by most of the experts. I remember when they got Mike Williams and Kevin Jones early and everybody said how great of a draft it was for the Lions.

  57. I call the entire process “Kiperization”, i.e., creating an illusion in fandumb that 19-22 year olds are somehow saviors. About 30 percent of players drafted in the top rounds ever work out, and if you count across the league, a few, but not many, first round picks become anything more than just average, if they make the grade at all.
    The draft is a hype sham of the highest level, perhaps second only to our political process. ESPN and the NFL triumph by having another day to sell advertising, all along perpetuating the myth that this is somehow a sporting event. Question: how many freshmen in college are difference makers? What makes you think freshmen in the NFL will be?

  58. I haven’t read all comments, so apologies if I’m repeating. To me your post illustrates the whole point of draft grades: to show how easy hindsight is. With hindsight we see that the Bengals ’05 draft was terrible, but in 2005 Pollack, Thurman, Henry and Tab Perry were all integral members of a division winning team and looked like a great rookie class. Pollack and Perry would probably still be making great contributions but for serious, random injuries they suffered, and while Thurman and Henry were known problem children there was always the chance they could fly straight and be great.
    The whole point of the grades is to evaluate the decisions given the information we have on hand at the time. The whole point is so that people can’t bash the draft four years later and say ‘see, I told you he’d be a bust’….unless you actually did predict the guy would be a bust at the time.

  59. You know what I hate? I hate all these people that Bash the Bengals 2005 draft. Yeah Thurman was a risk for reward kind of guy who couldn’t get himself clean. Adam Kief (5th) and David Pollack(1st) were looking extremely promising before they went down to career injuries that can’t be blamed on poor drafting… Tab Perry(7th) Was awesome for 3 seasons on special teams and even contributed to the playoff run in third down situations. He would have been protected except for the fact he was comming off injury and the Bengals didn’t think they would lose him. Still he was good enough that he was signed away in free agency even comming off the injury the year before.
    Then there is Henry… Everyones bashing boy. Can I at least remind people that he is still playing. Working hard, married, and possibly starting this year. Even with all his Dumb A** moronic behavior you can’t really call him a bust yet. People have righted there personal ships in the past, and this might be the case here. If so this might turn out to be one hell of a pick yet.
    Either way I would take this draft again with the exception of Thurman and all the bad luck that came with it.

  60. Mel Kiper is wrong more often than he is right. The only saving grace is the fact that the Vikings know even less than Mel.

  61. The draft is basically entertainment. That’s all. The talking heads and so called experts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are in the same boat as the meteorologists on the weather channel. They can be consistantly wrong and won’t get fired. They have no accountability. The funny thing is when they’re wrong you won’t hear about it or they’ll make up some lame excuse. But when they’re right they’re geniuses and they can’t stop crowing about it.

  62. Mel looks like Eddie Munster @ 60, and his draft sense has to have been affected from years under the stairs with a fire- breathing rhino. Get a hair-cut Mel. Even Jimmy Johnson is sayin’ “Dammnnn!”

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