Monday, January 10, 2011

Was the 2010 NFL Draft the best ever?

I was perusing the results of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft recently, and noticed something strange. A large amount of the teams that picked in the top ten improved dramatically this year. Here's a look at the top ten from last year, along with their 2009 record...

  1. St. Louis (1-15)
  2. Detroit (2-14)
  3. Tampa Bay (3-13)
  4. Washington (4-12)
  5. Kansas City (4-12)
  6. Seattle (5-11)
  7. Cleveland (5-11)
  8. Oakland (5-11)
  9. Buffalo (6-10)
  10. Jacksonville (7-9)
So taking a look at that list, here are their final 2010 records...

  1. St. Louis (7-9) Missed playoffs by one game.
  2. Detroit (6-10) Ended on 4 game winning streak, robbed in at least one game.
  3. Tampa Bay (10-6) In playoff hunt until the very end.
  4. Washington (6-10) Still a mess, but improved by 2 games.
  5. Kansas City (10-6) Made playoffs.
  6. Seattle (7-9) Improved by two games, and made playoffs.
  7. Cleveland (5-11) Same record, but beat the Saints and Patriots.
  8. Oakland (8-8) Went 6-0 in their division.
  9. Buffalo (4-12) There had to an exception.
  10. Jacksonville (8-8) One game improvement.
So those ten teams went from a combined 42-118 for a winning percentage of 26.25 percent, to 71-89, or 44.38 percent. The winner of the NFC West had a winning percentage of 43.75 percent. I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin...

So was it the players selected, or that long standing myth called "parity"? Of the top five candidates for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, 3 were top ten selections. Here's a quick rundown of the top ten players selected...

  1. Sam Bradford-Finalist for ROY, led Rams to near-playoff berth.
  2. Ndamukong Suh-Voted as Pro Bowl starter, dominated at times.
  3. Gerald McCoy-3 sacks in a solid year. Overshadowed by fellow rookies Blount and Williams.
  4. Trent Williams-Started 13/14 games at Left Tackle.
  5. Eric Berry-92 tackles,2 sacks, and 4 INTs.
  6. Russell Okung-Played in 10 games. Suffered ankle injury.
  7. Joe Haden-Tied for 3rd in NFL with 6 INTs.
  8. Rolando McClain-Finished 5th in tackles by a rookie in 15 games started.
  9. CJ Spiller-Disappointing year for the only team to finish with a worse record.
  10. Tyson Alualu-Started all 16 games and finished with 3.5 sacks.
So once again, Buffalo is the only exception/disappointment. When you add in players from outside the top ten like Devin McCourty, Mike Williams, LaGarrette Blount, and the New England tight ends, and this was an amazing draft. If you can think of any drafts with a better immediate impact from the top 10, let me know.

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