The biggest disappointments from the class of 2007

J. Anderson.jpgThey say you can’t judge a draft class for at least three years. 

So on a slow-moving Tuesday in July, let’s take a look back at the first round of the 2007 draft. This item about No. 9 overall pick Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson being on the bubble got us thinking.   How many players in the first round have proven to be disappointments?

Here’s how we’d categorize 31 first-round picks from that class. We gave consideration to where the player was taken when evaluating the success of the pick.

(Note that the late Gaines Adams tragically passed away last year and we’ll keep him out of the discussion.)

Home run picks (6): Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis, Jon Beason.

Great picks (4): Leon Hall, Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather, Anthony Spencer.

Good picks (7): Lawrence Timmons, Aaron Ross, Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Joe Staley, Ben Grubbs, Greg Olsen.

That’s the good news.  17 of 31 picks can be seen as net positives.  Now for the rest . . .

Vaguely disappointing (5): Levi Brown, LaRon Landry, Amobi Okoye, Marshawn Lynch, Anthony Gonzalez.

Next stop b-word, but still with original team (5): Jamaal Anderson, Justin Harrell, Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson, Craig Davis.

Given away for scraps (3): Ted Ginn, Adam Carriker, Brady Quinn.

JaMarcus Russell deserves his own category (1): JaMarcus Russell.

It’s interesting to note that the top 11 includes four of the best players at their positions, but the last eleven picks had fewer misfires.  Picks No. 23-29 included a string of seven straight solid players: Bowe, Meriweather, Beason, Spencer, Meachem, Staley, and Grubbs.

MDS also pointed out that the Jets’ trade down to Carolina was a classic case of a win-win for both sides.

Thanks for joining us in this exercise of random list-making.

84 responses to “The biggest disappointments from the class of 2007

  1. Throw Amobi into the “bust” category. His own coach passed on him, but didnt do much better in Anderson. Hey, at least the Texans got Matt Schaub out of the deal.

  2. I’d like to see the same analysis of 2004-2006 and then rank the NFL teams front offices over that 4 year span.

  3. It’s a shame, JA is a nice guy he’s good against the run but his performance as a pass rusher has never materialized.

  4. I’m guessing more than a handful will snicker at the placement of CJ, but they’re wrong.

  5. Believe I buy what you’re selling, but there’s no way Leon Hall doesn’t go in a great category, or in a tween category at worst. I’m not a nit picker or anything though.

  6. Laron had a chance to be a great pick at STRONG safety but after Sean passed he was put out of position and its been downhill ever since.

  7. Seriously, Ben Grubbs has played since he was drafted and is in All Pro category for this year. He didn’t miss a game in 08 or 09 and he’s a key cog in a Run first offense, BETWEEN the tackles. 2 playoff teams, 1 afc championship game. Terrible analysis like usual. stick to the gossip and breaking down how rapistburger can’t keep his pants up in public.

  8. # mr_snrub says: July 20, 2010 1:55 PM
    I’m guessing more than a handful will snicker at the placement of CJ, but they’re wrong.
    ——————————————————
    CJ is definitely a home run pick. He is a top 5 receiver in the league IMO.

  9. 2007 – Green Bay Packers
    Rd Sel # Player Position School
    1 16 Justin Harrell DT Tennessee
    2 63 Brandon Jackson RB Nebraska
    3 78 James Jones WR San Jose State
    3 89 Aaron Rouse SAF Virginia Tech
    4 119 Allen Barbre G Missouri Southern State
    5 157 David Clowney WR Virginia Tech
    6 191 Korey Hall FB Boise State
    6 192 Desmond Bishop LB California
    6 193 Mason Crosby K Colorado
    7 228 DeShawn Wynn RB Florida
    7 243 Clark Harris TE Rutgers
    BWAHA!!

  10. Agree on Meriweather being overrated.
    And Marshawn Lynch went to the PRO BOWL as a rookie. One year (that he was partially suspended for) should not ruin this guys reputation.
    Top 10 back in the NFL. Belongs higher on the list.

  11. Laron Landry hasnt been playing his natural position since the 2007 season. He will return to SS this yr then u may pass judgment. Imagine if ESPN hired a PFT writer, promised him that he could make up all kinds of speculative stories and then 3 months in said “you know what, we’d rather u write factual stories”. The former PFT writer would have a hard time w/ that adjustment wouldnt you say?

  12. The biggest dissappointment is the entire QB class. Zero starting NFL caliber QBs from that draft. Only Kevin Kolb may make it a total of 1.
    1 NFL QB in the entire bunch???

  13. “Leron McClain is a great pick. 2-time pro-bowler in the 6th round.”
    Maybe you just missed the part that said this was a list of 1st round picks?

  14. You know what’s funny? Kevin Kolb is already the best QB from that class and he just got the starting job on his team.

  15. Leon Hall for now is a great pick, but after another great year in 2010 could be placed in the “Home Run” category. While everybody loves Revis, Hall is a VERY good corner in his own right as well.

  16. CdnMike says:
    July 20, 2010 2:17 PM
    Do you think Ryan Leaf is happy he is no longer the biggest draft bust in history?
    _____________________________
    Until another team gives up 2 first round picks, a second round pick, and a 3 time probowler to move up one spot to select another loser like Leaf, Leaf will always be the biggest bust. JR was and is completely worthless, but the Raiders gave up nothing but winning some football games to get him handed to them. The Chargers traded WAY too much to get Leaf for him to be leapfrogged by Jamarcus.

  17. Harrell’s certainly a bust. If it takes the average “1st round pick” no less, 4+ years to become productive, then we either need to get our heads outta our homer asses, or give every GM an “A” for drafting – just like all kids that participate getting a trophy….if it helps ya sleep better at nite …

  18. Allday: I am a fan of Lynch’s game, but that only makes his declining play the last two years more disappointing. There’s no doubt the Bills are disappointed in him overall.
    jamaltimore: i wrestled with putting grubbs a spot higher. you have a solid argument there, especially considering where he was taken.
    my thought w leon hall: where would have he ranked after first or second year? Let’s see one more awesome year before anointing him.

  19. Remembering all the Dolphins fans who had a fit that Miami selected Ted Ginn instead of Brady Quinn… look at how that turned out. And then Miami took John Beck in the 2nd. In fact, Miami’s first four picks that year aren’t on the team anymore.
    How Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron found further gainful employment is beyond me.

  20. @Gregg Rosenthal:
    Lynch had one bad season (so did almost every other player on the Bills offense last year). You can’t say that his play has been declining over the last two years. In 2008, he had more yards from scrimmage, more TD, and a higher YPC than he did in 2007. And he played in the probowl.

  21. Interesting
    Why don’t you compare the entire draft classes
    No one missed worse than the Raiders in round 1, but they got a darn good TE in round 2 (probably a pro-bowler on a better team), their starting left OT in round 3, RB Michael Bush and a backup WR (Johnnie Lee Higgins) in round 4 a rotational DE (Jay Richardson) in round 5 and a FB in round 6.
    It’s funny that people who only look at the first round will call this draft a failure for the Raiders when in fact it was a smashing success

  22. MosesZD says:
    July 20, 2010 2:52 PM
    As bad as Leaf was, he’s not going to jail…
    ___________________________________
    Only because he plead guilty. He did get ten years probation, though.

  23. The Onion is reporting: “Raiders Excited About Prospect Of Signing Free Agent JaMarcus Russell”

  24. I’m a Pats fan and while Merriweather was very good last year I wouldn’t overlook the 2 disappointing year and don’t think he should be considered great yet. Another good year will get him there, but he’s not there yet.

  25. jamaltimore says:
    July 20, 2010 2:11 PM
    Seriously, Ben Grubbs has played since he was drafted and is in All Pro category for this year. He didn’t miss a game in 08 or 09 and he’s a key cog in a Run first offense, BETWEEN the tackles. 2 playoff teams, 1 afc championship game. Terrible analysis like usual. stick to the gossip and breaking down how rapistburger can’t keep his pants up in public.
    ___________________________________
    Boo Whoo!!! Really? It’s an opinion you don’t pay for it. You don’t like it maybe Art can steal one for you. Or you could go to a homer site if that’s what you wanna hear. BOO WHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Meachem might put up the numbers to justify moving him up the list once 2010 is over. Of course, those are numbers only made possible by Drew Brees and nobody will confuse Meachem as a better receiver than Calvin Johnson.
    I can imagine Joe Staley getting a little more respect if the 49ers ascend their division this year. The 49ers have one of the youngest and most intriguing offensive lines in football after taking 2 linemen in the first round in this year’s draft.
    My heart’s always behind Joe Staley because he was a terrific high school track and field competitor. All-state in the 200 meter dash, 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relays? That was only 8 years ago. No doubt he can’t run a sub-22 second 200 anymore, but this isn’t your typical NFL Chubs McGee, he is definitely an athlete.

  27. @MosesZD:
    “On May 21, 2009, Leaf was indicted on burglary and controlled substance charges in Texas. He was reportedly undergoing drug rehab in British Columbia at the time of the indictment and would be arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States from Canada. On June 17, 2009, he posted $45,000 bond in Washington for the charges out of Texas. On April 14, 2010 Leaf pleaded guilty in Amarillo, Texas to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance, all felonies. State District Judge John B. Board sentenced Leaf to 10 years of probation and fined him $20,000”

  28. Marshawn Lynch will have the best season out of the guys on this list, except for maybe Peterson.
    He made a couple of bad choices – tame by NFL standards – and he is a bad mofo when he is playing with a purpose. Last years Bills lacked any purpose at all. This year he is playing for respect, and a new contract, either in Buffalo, or elsewhere.
    He is one of the most un-self-centered, team first guys out there. His teammates love him, and he loves ’em back. Let there be no doubt, Buffalo is gonna run the ball every which way but loose.
    The Bills will shock the football world in 2010!!!

  29. I like the comments.. Hey why dont you do this for others years or entire drafts or 4 a series of years and then rank the front offices.
    yeah so everyone can then comment on how totally wrong those lists are too.

  30. Jamaal Anderson has to be the most dissappointing draft pick since Aundray Bruce for the Falcons. At least Mike Vick helped us get to a NFC Championship game.
    Not only did we move up for that pick, we used Matt Schaub to do it. Bobby Petrino was our coach, and Mike Vick was indicted for dog-fighting a few months later. That has to be the worst season in Falcons history.
    Talk about a triple whammy. The silver lining was that was what led up to bringing in the new regime. Thank goodness for Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith, and Matt Ryan.

  31. “It’s funny that people who only look at the first round will call this draft a failure for the Raiders when in fact it was a smashing success”
    I love Raiders fans, always picking out the corn out of a massive turd.

  32. @ Alldayaday
    Yeah, Marshawn Lynch, a 3rd string running back on a bad football team that was drafted 12th overall is a “good” draft pick lol
    The guy is total garbage

  33. Another cheap punch line about JaMarcus Russell.
    Sure, he was paid more, but at least he actually played some games and showed a glimmer of promise his second year. That’s a helluva lot more than can be said for Justin bygod Harrell or Craig “Don’t call me Buster because I’m a freaking WIDE RECEIVER, not a linebacker or center” Davis …

  34. John El Way says:
    July 20, 2010 4:12 PM
    “It’s funny that people who only look at the first round will call this draft a failure for the Raiders when in fact it was a smashing success”
    I love Raiders fans, always picking out the corn out of a massive turd.
    ==================
    You seem to have an inordinate fascination with “turds”. Does your mommy know you’re surfing the web?

  35. And by the way, Ryan Leaf is a much bigger turd than Russell has ever or will ever be.
    Russell had more wins, better stats (by far, which given Russell’s numbers, is pretty telling of Leaf’s complete and total ineptitude) and Leaf is guilty of every single “intangibles” indiscretion that Russell is guilty of. Oh, and of course Leaf COST MORE in real football terms, since the Chargers traded so much to get him.
    It’s not even close. This is just a bunch of punk kid haters who aren’t old enough to remember just how freakishly bad Ryan Leaf was.

  36. Why is Anthony Gonzalez vaguely disappointing? Because he got hurt in 2009. He had a pretty darn good year rookie year. Marvin was still there (With a gun in his hand) and Reggie Wayne was #2.
    You should of put their stats up there.
    Marshawn Lynch? gimme a break

  37. I wish tha Pack had been BAD enough the previous year to pick 7TH !!!!!!!!
    But of course we never are THAT BAD
    2007 – Green Bay Packers
    Rd Sel # Player Position School
    1 16 Justin Harrell DT Tennessee – Injured
    2 63 Brandon Jackson RB Nebraska -Solid backup
    3 78 James Jones WR San Jose State -Excellent
    3 89 Aaron Rouse SAF Virginia Tech -Bad Pick
    4 119 Allen Barbre G Missouri Southern State -Bad Pick
    5 157 David Clowney WR Virginia Tech Good pick No room for him
    6 191 Korey Hall FB Boise State – solid pick
    6 192 Desmond Bishop LB California – Solid backup
    6 193 Mason Crosby K Colorado Good Pick, not great
    7 228 DeShawn Wynn RB Florida Good talent for the 7th but dumb
    7 243 Clark Harris TE Rutgers 243rd pick UFL
    BWAHA!!

  38. John El Way says:
    July 20, 2010 4:12 PM
    I love Raiders fans, always picking out the corn out of a massive turd.
    ________________
    Denver Broncos 2007 draft
    1. Jarvis Moss – Bust
    2. Tim Crowder – bust, waived
    3. Ryan Harris – possible starter at RT
    4. rotational DT
    That’s pathetic!

  39. 2007 – Green Bay Packers
    Rd Sel # Player Position School
    1 16 Justin Harrell DT Tennessee
    2 63 Brandon Jackson RB Nebraska
    3 78 James Jones WR San Jose State
    3 89 Aaron Rouse SAF Virginia Tech
    4 119 Allen Barbre G Missouri Southern State
    5 157 David Clowney WR Virginia Tech
    6 191 Korey Hall FB Boise State
    6 192 Desmond Bishop LB California
    6 193 Mason Crosby K Colorado
    7 228 DeShawn Wynn RB Florida
    7 243 Clark Harris TE Rutgers
    One of the worst drafts for any team in the history of sports.

  40. I think Dwayne Bowe is no where near being a good player… Its funny someone made the comment about Lynch being good his rookie year…Look if all the coach does is feature his 1st round rookie he WILL put up decent numbers. As soon as another coach comes in or they try to make every piece (or player) make the total group as efficient as possible (or not just featuring 1 player) things change. I can tell you right now he might be a good slot receiver, even though I think he is too slow to be good enough to truly start at either WR spot in a base offense…

  41. How do they figure gonzo for the colts disappointing? Hell if they didn’t have so much damn depth in WR he would catch for over 1500 yards every year. Watch he will catch for over 1000 yards this season. He was injured last year. Colts the best team ever in a 10 year span. I feel extra sorry for anyone who plays the colts this year. Manning and company will embarrass everyone this year.

  42. I tend to disagree with people saying Dwayne Bowe is a bad player.
    Also, if you call someone a good player, that doesn’t necessarily mean one good player was just as good of a pick as another. Examples: Robert Meachem and Greg Olsen vs. Leon Hall and Joe Staley. Leon Hall and Joe Staley are good at what they do and what they do is important, making them good value.
    Robert Meachem looks like he could be a great starting receiver next year. I’m counting on it. However, based on his first three years in a pass-heavy Sean Payton offense, his production is more like that of a third receiver. Again, he’s a good player but he’s not as important as Hall or Staley. Additionally, Greg Olsen may be a good tight end, but they couldn’t count on him as a blocker so he wasn’t out there as much as Hall or Staley.
    In Meachem’s career, he’s amassed 57 catches, 1011 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Dwayne Bowe had 86 catches, 1022 yards and 7 touchdowns in the KC offense in 2008.

  43. I think the Eagles trading out of that round with the cowboys was a win win too.
    The Cowboys got Anthony Spencer and the Eagles got Kevin Kolb, Stewart Bradley, and Brent Celek.

  44. The 07 Broncos draft was bad, but Ryan Harris is still better than any Oakland Raider lineman. Leave it to the Raiders to run my boy McFadden’s NFL career. I watched him tear it up for 3 years at Arkansas, and another 3 when he lived 30 minutes away from me at Oak Grove high school. He was a stud, the Raiders get him, now he’s borderline bust…

  45. “# John El Way says: July 20, 2010 2:02 PM
    Raider nation baby!”
    _____________________________________
    Oh it must really frost you that someone as bad as JaFatone still beat your donkeys last year. That’s gotta hurt.
    Oh, and speaking of fat. Has anyone seen YOU lately? Your gut was hanging 2′ over your belt at the last golf tournament you entered. Nice look, Mr. Ed.

  46. FoF says: July 20, 2010 4:51 PM
    2007 – Green Bay Packers
    Rd Sel # Player Position School
    1 16 Justin Harrell DT Tennessee
    2 63 Brandon Jackson RB Nebraska
    3 78 James Jones WR San Jose State
    3 89 Aaron Rouse SAF Virginia Tech
    4 119 Allen Barbre G Missouri Southern State
    5 157 David Clowney WR Virginia Tech
    6 191 Korey Hall FB Boise State
    6 192 Desmond Bishop LB California
    6 193 Mason Crosby K Colorado
    7 228 DeShawn Wynn RB Florida
    7 243 Clark Harris TE Rutgers
    One of the worst drafts for any team in the history of sports.
    I wouldnt go that far…it wasnt the best draft but you gotta consider having 11 pics instead of 7 your going to take a couple chances on players in the later rounds.
    Jackson is our 3rd down back, jones is a good receiver and would upgrade any team. Clowney is a contributor for the jets. Hall and Bishop are both good pics and excellent special teamers. crosby is not the worst kicker out there. i bet he has a good year in 2010.

  47. JaMarcus played in three wins against Denver in three years.
    In fact, he was 10-for-11 in a 31-10 ROUT of the Br0ncos his second season.

  48. chhutson27 says:
    July 20, 2010 5:32 PM
    The 07 Broncos draft was bad, but Ryan Harris is still better than any Oakland Raider lineman.
    ============
    That’s funny ’cause my Athlon Guide says he’s about to lose his job to 2010 2nd round pick Zane Beadles. I’m sure no one here believes that a team with as little talent as the Broncos has the ability to draft replacements for starting quality players

  49. Before last season, with only 2 years of evaluation, Anthony Spencer of the Cowboys would have been only a ‘good’ pick. It wasn’t until mid-way through the 2009 season that the light bulb coaches wait desperately to come on finally popped on over his head. For some guys that light bulb never comes on.
    He didn’t even look like the same guy the second half of the season, he was all over the field making tackles. Whatever it was that happened, I hope it continues.

  50. Wipackman says: July 20, 2010 4:34 PM
    I wish tha Pack had been BAD enough the previous year to pick 7TH !!!!!!!!
    But of course we never are THAT BAD
    ___________
    Just curious, but wasn’t A.J. Hawk drafted with the 5th (as in 2 spots before the 7th) pick in the previous year’s draft? And wasn’t B.J. Raji drafted with the 9th overall pick, following a 6-10 campaign, which happens to be the same record that secured the 7th pick for the Vikes?
    Weird…

  51. Ryan Leaf was the second pick of the 1998 draft. He took less than $20 million from the Chargers in his three years on the team.
    JaMarcus Russell was the FIRST pick of the 2007 draft. He cost the Raiders more than $31.5 million (the guaranteed amount) in three years on the team.
    JaMarcus Russell = Biggest bust in NFL history, case closed. He may have the biggest bust in league history as well.

  52. MosesZD says:
    July 20, 2010 2:52 PM
    As bad as Leaf was, he’s not going to jail…
    It was a close run thing, to be fair. Russell showed signs of promise late 08 and his stats are better than leafs.
    Also, Leaf appeared thoroughly detestable, can’t we just hang it on him and end the debate?

  53. This is specifically why I have issues with grading drafts within two days of the draft. You can’t truly grade a draft until 3-5 years down the road.
    Last year the Cowboys picks were all in the second day. You have to see what develops before you can make any basis on that.

  54. Adrian Peterson a “home-run pick”? Maybe in fantasy leagues. Sure the guy ran for a million yards but Fumblemeister pretty much threw away the NFC Championship all by himself.
    EPIC FAIL!

  55. “Colts the best team ever in a 10 year span.”
    You owe me a new keyboard.
    Didn’t anyone else pick up on this ridiculous claim?
    Clots 2000-2010 playoff record: 9-10, 1 SB
    Patriots 97-07 playoff record: 15-5, 3 SB
    49ers 81-91 playoff record: 14-5, 4 SB
    Steelers 72-82 playoff record: 14-5, 4 SB
    That’s not even counting the 3 SB Cowboys of the 90s or the 5-time NFL champ (2 SB) Packer teams of the 60s.
    Best to keep your mouth shut and be presumed a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
    I prescribe an autocranioequuirectalectomy. You’ll be better in no time.

  56. “RUSSELL RIPPING” is largely a function of how he got paid! Fact is, he had a better rating(77.2) and TD-INT ratio (13-8) in his first full year staring than favre (72.2) and Sanchez(63.3) both of whom had negative td-int ratio and Sanchez was 12-20 TD-INT.
    U hatin on the brother cuz 2009 was a disaster and he NEVER had any weapons or protection. he’s only 24 and will return to NFL soon.

  57. lets not forget the top bust not listed Gaines Adams, I think he might deserve his own category too

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