Big Lead Sports Bar



AFC East

Buffalo Bills

1 – Willis McGahee, running back

2 – Chris Kelsay, defensive end

3 – Angelo Crowell, linebacker

4 – Terrence McGee, cornerback

4 – Sam Aiken, wide receiver

5 – Ben Sobieski, guard

6 – Lauvale Sape, defensive tackle

7 – Mario Haggan, linebacker

Len Pasquarelli – C+

Richard Harris – C-

Mel Kiper – B

The Bills had their choice of RBs in the draft, passed on Larry Johnson, and took McGahee, who didn’t play in ’03 and averaged less than 4.0 yards/carry in his three seasons with the Bills. Now with the Ravens, he’s been ok, but not special. Kelsay is a good starter on the defense. The same goes for Crowell and McGee, who's made a Pro Bowl as a return man.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Three good defensive starters, a special teams Pro Bowl and three years of Willis McGahee, B.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Wide receiver Sam Aiken has nice size, doesn't run very well, but is very polished and should make a nice possession guy.” – Len Pasquarelli.

Aiken is averaging 4 receptions a season. Very polished, Len. Too bad he doesn’t run very well, because wide receiver that can’t run seem to be what teams are looking for.

Miami Dolphins

2 – Eddie Moore, linebacker

3 – Wade Smith, tackle

3 – Taylor Whitley, guard

5 – Donald Lee, tight end

5 – J.R. Tolver, wide receiver

6 – Corey Jenkins, linebacker

6 – Tim Provost, tackle

6 – Yeremiah Bell, safety

7 – Davern Williams, defensive tackle

Len Pasquarelli – D+

Richard Harris – F

Mel Kiper – C

Miami didn’t have a first rounder because they traded for Ricky Williams. Moore had 18 career tackles. Smith started his first full year, but was gone after year two. After two years, Lee left for Green Bay and has begun to flourish as a first year starter. Some minor production and some starts from 6th rounder Bell.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – No real impact from this draft and the Williams risk blew up in smoke. 2003 was the beginning of the end for the Wannstache, F.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Miami reached some in taking Eddie Moore in the first round.” – Mel Kiper.

A misspeak by Mel Kiper, Jr?! Moore was Miami’s first pick but a second rounder and a reach at that. He sucked.

New England Patriots

1 – Ty Warren, defensive end

2 – Eugene Wilson, cornerback

2 – Bethel Johnson, wide receiver

4 – Dan Klecko, linebacker

4 – Asante Samuel, cornerback

5 – Dan Koppen, center

6 – Kliff Kingsbury, quarterback

7 – Spencer Nead, fullback

7 – Tully Banta-Cain, linebacker

7 – Ethan Kelley, defensive tackle

Len Pasquarelli – A

Richard Harris – B

Mel Kiper – A

Warren is a solid four-year starter. Wilson was a starter and had made two nice catches in the ’04 AFC Championship game….from Ben Roethlisberger. Not much from Johnson or Klecko, but Samuel is a three-year starter and a Pro Bowler this year. Koppen, a good starter and ’07 Pro Bowler, was a good find in the 5th round.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Two Pro Bowlers coming in the 4th and 5th rounds, two other solid starters, A.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Dan Klecko, the son of the former Jets standout, is a guy built like a fire hydrant.” – Len Pasquarelli.

Is being built like a fire hydrant a good thing?

New York Jets

1 – Dwayne Robertson, defensive tackle

2 – Victor Hobson, linebacker

3 – B.J. Askew, fullback

5 – Derek Pagel, safety

5 – Matt Walters, defensive end

6 – Brooks Bollinger, quarterback

7 – Dave Yovanovits, guard

Len Pasquarelli – B-

Richard Harris – C+

Mel Kiper – C

Robertson was a five-year starter, but never seemed to live up to his #4 overall expectations. He’s now in Denver. Hobson started three years. He’s now in New England. Nothing else out of five picks round three or higher.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Robertson and Hobson were good starters for a time, but neither remains with the team, D-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Fifth-round safety Derek Pagel of Iowa is a very strong player, a guy who lacks great range but likes to play down "in the box" and is a solid tackler. He's a little like current Jets safety Jon McGraw, but not nearly as athletic. That said, he'll contribute, and the Jets got him about a round later than some people had him rated.” – Len Pasquarelli.

One career tackle for this guy lacking range and not as athletic as the great Jon McGraw. You know, Jon McGraw. He must have spent too much time in the box.

AFC South

Houston Texans

1 – Andre Johnson, wide receiver

2 – Bennie Joppru, tight end

3 – Antwan Peek, linebacker

3 – Seth Wand, offensive tackle

3 – Dave Ragone, quarterback

4 – Domanick Davis, running back

6 – Drew Henson, quarterback

6 – Keith Wright, defensive tackle

7 – Curry Burns, defensive back

7 – Chance Pearce, center

Len Pasquarelli – B

Richard Harris – B

Mel Kiper – A-

Johnson is a two-time Pro Bowler and an excellent receiver. Peek and Wand had one full year as starters, but each now with other teams. Davis (now going by his apparent maiden name in Williams) is the Texans all-time leading rusher with over 3,000 career yards in three seasons.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Johnson’s been great. Davis was good for a time, but no real impact beyond that, C-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “It would not be a surprise if tight end Bennie Joppru starts.” – Len Pasquarelli.

Joppru has caught as many NFL passes as you and I: zero.

Indianapolis Colts

1 – Dallas Clark, tight end

2 – Mike Doss, safety

3 – Donald Strickland, cornerback

4 – Steve Sciullo, guard

4 – Robert Mathis, defensive end

5 – Keyon Whiteside, linebacker

6 – Cato June, linebacker

6 – Makoa Freitas, tackle

Len Pasquarelli – C

Richard Harris – C-

Mel Kiper – B-

Clark has been an excellent five-year starter and I’m surprised that he’s never made a Pro Bowl. A starter out of the 5th round in Mathis and a starter and Pro Bowler out of the 6th round in June.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Great picks later in the draft, an excellent tight end, B+.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “The rest of the team’s selections (rounds 4 and later) were questionable, and the defense may once again be an area of concern for the club.” – Richard Harris.

In reality, they found two starters and got a Pro Bowl out of Cato June.

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 – Byron Leftwich, quarterback

2 – Rashean Mathis, cornerback

3 – Vince Manuwai, guard

4 – George Wrighster, tight end

4 – LaBrandon Toefield, running back

6 – Brandon Green, defensive end

6 – David Young, safety

6 – Marques Ogden, tackle

7 – Malaefou MacKenzie, fullback

Len Pasquarelli – B

Richard Harris – C+

Mel Kiper – B+

Leftwich was good, never great. Mathis has started from day one and made a Pro Bowl in ’06. Manuwai has consistently started all five years as well. Wrighters plays regularly at tight end.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Leftwich, Mathis, Manuwai and Wrighters, B+.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Byron Leftwich was my favorite quarterback heading into the draft.” – Mel Kiper, Jr.

Certainly he out performed other first rounders in Boller and Grossman, but hard to argue with Carson Palmer, even with his zero career playoff victories, as the best QB in the draft.

Tennessee Titans

1 – Andre Woolfolk, cornerback

2 – Tyrone Calico, wide receiver

3 – Chris Brown, running back

4 – Rien Long, defensive tackle

5 – Donnie Nickey, safety

7 – Todd Williams, tackle

Len Pasquarelli – B

Richard Harris – A

Mel Kiper – C+

Woolfolk has pretty much been a bust. Calico didn’t pan out. Brown had some bright spots at the running back position, but was never a full-time starter.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – No real lasting impact from this draft, F.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “The sleeper draft of the league might be in Tennessee. Cornerback Andre Woolfolk will be a starter by 2004, and wide receiver Tyrone Calico could be the deep threat that Chris Sanders wasn't. Chris Brown is a nice back to develop for the 2005 season as a challenger to Eddie George. And defensive tackle Rien Long, a fourth-rounder, could become a big-time player in two years with Jeff Fisher's coaching and playing next to Albert Haynesworth.” – John Clayton.

JC missed on all accounts.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

1 – George Foster, offensive tackle

2 – Terry Pierce, linebacker

4 – Quentin Griffin, running back

4 – Nick Eason, defensive tackle

4 – Bryant McNeal, defensive end

5 – Ben Claxton, center

5 – Adrian Madise, wide receiver

6 – Aaron Hunt, defensive end

7 – Clint Mitchell, defensive end

7 – Ahmaad Galloway, running back

Len Pasquarelli – C-

Richard Harris – C+

Mel Kiper – C+

Foster was a solid, three-year starter, but essentially nothing else out of nine other picks.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – This draft sucked, F.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Terry Pierce was a good pickup in the second round.” – Mel Kiper.

4 career tackles out of you second round pick isn’t very good. In fact, to put it into perspective, Terry Piece = Alonzo Jackson. More on him later.

Kansas City Chiefs

1 – Larry Johnson, running back

2 – Kawika Mitchell, linebacker

3 – Julian Battle, cornerback

4 – Brett Williams, tackle

5 – Jordan Black, tackle

6 – Jimmy Wilkerson, defensive end

7 – Montique Sharpe, defensive tackle

Len Pasquarelli – C+

Richard Harris – B

Mel Kiper – C

KC traded out of the 16 hole with the Steelers and still was able to pick Larry Johnson, a nice move. Mitchell provided several solid years as a starter and Black started some, but not much more to crow about.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Johnson is the only impact player remaining from this draft, but he’s pretty darn good, C-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Defensive back Julian Battle of Tennessee played in a high-profile conference and there is no denying his athletic prowess and versatility.” – Len Pasquarelli.

Four career passes defended, 14 tackles for the current Calgary Stampeder.

Oakland Raiders

1 – Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback

1 – Tyler Brayton, defensive end

2 – Teyo Johnson, tight end

3 – Sam Williams, defensive end

3 – Justin Fargas, running back

4 – Shurron Pierson, defensive end

5 – Doug Gabriel, wide receiver

6 – Dustin Rykert, tackle

7 – Siddeeq Shabazz, safety

7 – Ryan Hoag, wide receiver (Mr. Irrelevant)

Len Pasquarelli – C-

Richard Harris – A

Mel Kiper – C-

Asomugha is an excellent starter and made his first Pro Bowl last year (because of an injury) hours before the game started. Unfortunately, he was unable to travel to Hawaii in time to play. Brayton has decent production for three seasons and is now in Carolina. Some minor production from the 3rd rounders and from Gabriel in the 5th. Hoag never made it off any practice squads.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Asomugha saves this draft from being really bad, D+.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Fourth-round pick Shurron Pierson, a college defensive end who has to play linebacker in the NFL, has a good combination of size-speed.”

That big, fast guy made one career tackle. Not so good.

San Diego Chargers

1 – Sammy Davis, cornerback

2 – Drayton Florence, cornerback

2 – Terrence Kiel, safety

3 – Courtney VanBuren, tackle

4 – Matt Wilhelm, linebacker

5 – Mike Scifres, punter

6 – Hanik Milligan, safety

7 – Andrew Pinnock, fullback

Len Pasquarelli – B-

Richard Harris – C-

Mel Kiper – B-

Davis never panned out to his first round potential. Florence and Kiel are solid contributors to the defensive backfield. Williams made his first real contribution last year. Scifres is a kicker pick that has worked out pretty well for the Charger special teams, as did Milligan.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Some contributors, but nothing to scream and shout about, C-.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

1 – Terrell Suggs, end/linebacker (Defensive Rookie of the Year)

1 – Kyle Boller, quarterback

3 – Musa Smith, running back

4 – Jarret Johnson, defensive end

4 – Ovie Mughelli, fullback

5 – Aubrayo Franklin, tackle

5 – Tony Pashos, tackle

6 – Gerome Sapp, safety

7 – Trent Smith, tight end

7 – Mike Mabry, center

7 – Antwoine Sanders, defensive back

Len Pasquarelli – A+

Richard Harris – A (#1 overall)

Mel Kiper – A

How about that slurp-fest? The experts just LOVED the dirty birds' draft. Suggs is a two-time Pro Bowler and a defensive menace. Boller sucks. Smith didn’t pan out. Johnson has started for two seasons. Mughelli was a serviceable fullback. Nothing from Franklin. One year of starting from Pashos. Nothing from Sapp, Smith, Mabry or Sanders. One stud in Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Tony Pashos and a fullback.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – There was nothing exceptional about this draft. One stud in Suggs, a first round quarterback bust, Jarret Johnson, Tony Pashos and a fullback, C-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Newsome might want to switch his brew of choice to Maxwell House coffee, because this brilliant windfall was good right down to the last drop. Even safety Antwoine Smith (pick No. 7c) is likely to make the roster. The only caveat is that Baltimore had to swap its 2004 first-round choice to secure the pick needed for quarterback Kyle Boller. Let's hope coach Brian Billick, who has yet to start the same quarterback in consecutive openers, can make something of the young passer.” – Slurp #1 from Len Pasquarelli.

“The Ravens arguably came away with the most collective talent, including two top-15 prospects. After using the tenth overall selection to take DE Terrell Suggs, the team traded its second-round pick and 2004 first-rounder to the Patriots for the 19th overall pick, which it used to take QB Kyle Boller, who will challenge Chris Redman for the starting job. Possessing a rare combination of size, strength and speed, Boller has the potential to become a top-notch signal caller.” – Slurp #2 from Richard Harris.

But the most, most ridiculous: “While Boller was slightly overrated at No. 19, there is no way they would have gotten a good young QB like him next year.” – Mel Kiper, Jr.

Yeah, because the Giants, Chargers and Steelers had an empty cupboard to fill their quarterback need with the next year. NOOOOOO good young quarterbacks in 2004. Definitely no Manning, Rivers or Roethlisberger.

Cincinnati Bengals

1 – Carson Palmer, hotdog muncher (#1 overall)

2 – Eric Steinbach, guard

3 – Kelly Washington, wide receiver

4 – Dennis Weathersby, cornerback

4 – Jeremi Johnson, fullback

5 – Khalid Abdullah, linebacker

6 – Langston Moore, defensive tackle

7 – Scott Kooistra, tackle

7 – Elton Patterson, defensive end

Len Pasquarelli – A-

Richard Harris – A (#2 overall)

Mel Kiper – B+

More slurp-fest with another team in the AFC North, not the Steelers. Palmer, after sitting out his first year, has turned in four solid seasons, two Pro Bowls and zero playoff victories. Palmer has started 61 games, 104 TDs, 63 Interceptions, 244 yards/game average and a 64.1% completion percentage. His record is 32-29 and he has engineered 7 4th quarter comebacks. As a comparison, Big Ben has started 55 games, 84 TDs, 54 Interceptions, 208 yards/game average and a 63.2% completion percentage. His record is 39-16 and he has engineered 13 4th quarter comebacks. He’s 5-2 in the playoffs and was the youngest quarterback ever to win the Super Bowl. Enough, national media, with he Carson Palmer love fest and his beautiful spiral. Palmer is a very good quarterback, but not great. Winning a playoff game or two wouldn’t hurt his cred.

Thanks, I feel better, now. Continuing on….Steinbach has been a good five-year starter. Johnson is a good fullback, Kooistra has been around as a back-up O-lineman, a good 7th round pick.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Like Baltimore, there was nothing exceptional about this draft. Palmer, Steinbach, Kooistra and a fullback, C-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “The impressive refurbishing job being undertaken by rookie head coach Marvin Lewis, who has brought order and discipline to the franchise, continued over the weekend. Watching the ESPN studio hosts without their usual foil was like seeking Letterman and Leno try to get through an opening monologue in the post-Bill Clinton days.” – Len Pasquarelli.

How short that harmonious order and discipline lasted.

Cleveland Browns

1 – Jeff Faine, center

2 – Chaun Thompson, linebacker

3 – Chris Crocker, safety

4 – Lee Suggs, running back

5 – Ryan Pontbriand, long snapper (highest drafted long snapper in history, 2nd ever)

5 – Michael Lehan, cornerback

6 – Antonio Garay, defensive tackle

Len Pasquarelli – C-

Richard Harris – C-

Mel Kiper – B

Faine was a good center that started for the better part of three years, but had some injuries and moved on. Thompson started two years, backed up three and moved to Houston this year. One starting year out of Crocker. Ryan Pontbriand is a Pro Bowl long snapper, so I guess that one worked out ok, (except maybe for West A’s Kirk McMullen who had vied for that job around that time).

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – There was some production, but nothing to write home about. The only Pro Bowl came from Pontbriand this year, D-.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Jeff Faine will be a great anchor on the offensive line for years to come” – Mel Kiper, Jr. That anchor averaged 12 starts a season before being traded to New Orleans after year three.

Your Pittsburgh Steelers

1 – Troy Polamalu, safety

2 – Alonzo Jackson, linebacker

4 – Ike Taylor, cornerback

5 – Brian St. Pierre, quarterback

7 – J.T. Wall, fullback

Len Pasquarelli – C+

Richard Harris – C-

Mel Kiper – C+

Not much love for the Steelers 2003 from the experts at the time. Hard to argue trading their third and their sixth to go up to get Troy Polamalu, who has made four Pro Bowls, two times more than any other person in this draft. I think that worked at every level and credit the Steelers for going up to get their guy. Jackson was a complete disaster, two tackles in two years. Ike is a solid starter in the defensive secondary. St. Pierre was never more than a practice squadder and signed with Whiz in Ariz. Wall didn’t make any inroads.

Lee Tunnel, 5 years later – Traded two picks to get arguably the best player in the ’03 draft, one other starter and a 2nd round nightmare, B.

Most ridiculous thing an expert said: “Here’s a prediction on a future transaction – the Steelers will end up with Giants halfback Ron Dayne, unless the Cowboys outbid them.” – John Clayton.

What? Was T.J. Duckett not available as the “Thunder Back” yet?

More ridiculousness: “Fullback J.T. Wall is a late-bloomer who has really made strides athletically. He is a tough kid, a good lead-blocker and has become a much better receiver. It will be hard for him to fit into a crowded backfield, but he might be a better athlete than incumbent Dan Kreider.” – Len Pasquarelli.

Still more: “Alonzo Jackson will be a good outside linebacker.” – Mel Kiper, Jr.

So there you go, sports fans. The Steelers got one of the best players out of the draft, the Ravens got Kyle Boller and the Bengals got their hotdog munching, no playoff winning quarterback.

The NFL draft is a really fun weekend of speculation about the future of your favorite NFL ball club. And if Mel Kiper or Len Pasquarelli or Todd McShay or Peter Muffinstuffin says your draft sucks – it probably doesn’t. If they say your draft was great – it probably won’t be. Ignore the draft grades, they mean nothing! Just hope the boys in the front office find a Pro Bowler and two or three more starters and not Alonzo Jackson.

Check or Hold? Lee Tunnel, out.


Petey said...

Are you kidding me?? We get a B for that draft, despite the Alonzo Bust!!! Polamalu has had 2 or 3 lights out seasons but has battled injury of late. Ike Taylor had one really good year and then fell behind Deshea on the depth chart. Tunnel Vision is an understatement.

LeeTunnel said...

Fair enough criticism. I moved them up from a C to a B on the strength of drafting Polamalu, arguably the best player in the draft. They traded two picks to do it.

Alonzo was an absolute bust.

Ike didn't so much fall behind Deshea as much as he fell into Cowher's doghouse. He started his entire first year under Tomlin and covered the other team's best receive.

The bottomline is if you come up with the best player in the draft, with your first pick coming into the draft as a late first rounder, I think you had an above average draft.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

We got one superstar safety and one serviceable corner in that draft.

The rest sucked, and the Alonzo Jackson bust is almost unforgiveable.

I give us a C based on Polamalu and the fact that we got an average (maybe slightly above average) corner that has started the better part of 3 years. But nothing else.

Ok, maybe a C+ if you count St. Pierre's clipboard holding abilities, and ability to stay on our sidelines every year for 5 years, EXCEPT for the year when we won the Super Bowl incidentally. No ring for St. Pierre!