Fooch's Note: Whether you agree with the conclusions, this is a great FanPost, so I figured it was worth moving to the front page.
The more and more I read about Ndamukuog Suh, the more i like him. Yet I am happy the 49ers are not in position to draft him. History works against drafting interior linemen in the top 10 of the 1st round and it is extremely possible that despite his college dominance and freakish athletic ability, Suh may end up a bust. Yes I said it, A BUST. Do I think he will? NO!!! Yet NFL Drafts do have a way of trending together over the seasons. Examples include when multiple QB's go in the top 5, one is almost destined to become a bust, the other is taking guards in the 1st half of the first round and the other would be interior linemen on the defensive side.
Fooch's Note: I've moved the rest of it after the jump...
In 1990 Cortez Kennedy was selected by the Seahawks two picks ahead of Junior Seau and well before Emmitt Smith. Although Kennedy had an okay NFL career his selection wasn't warranted with the 3rd overall pick. Meanwhile, both Seau and Smith ended up becoming perennial pro bowlers and future Hall of Famers.
In 1991 Russell Maryland was selected with the 1st overall pick in a draft that ended up being laden with busts, including Dan McGwire and Todd Marinovich. Maryland did end up having a decent NFL career and even received a couple Super Bowl rings, but in terms of what you expect from the #1 overall selection he didn't live up to expectations.
In 1992, Sean Gilbert was selected by the Rams with the 3rd overall pick. He ended up not making one single pro bowl. Despite that fact, Gilbert was drafted ahead of Troy Vincent in what ended up to be the 2nd extremely thin draft class in 3 years.
In 1994, Dan Wilkinson was drafted as the 1st overall pick and ended up being an incredible bust. The irony behind this is the fact that our own San Francisco 49ers selected Bryant Young, another interior linemen, just a few picks later. To add insult to injury Marshall Faulk was the 2nd overall pick
Teams strayed away from defensive tackles for 5 years after the bust that was "big daddy" until the Cleveland Browns selected Courtney Brown with the 1st pick in the 2000 draft. Even then Brown wasn't considered a true DT and ended up playing DE for the better part of his pedestrian career
2001 took on a little bit different of a theme as two DT's were selected in the top 10. Gerard Warren (3rd by Cleveland) and Richard Seymour (6th by New England), although in this case neither really played the DT position. Of the two Seymour has had a great career, but as a defensive end. Warren had his moments but really never lived up to the 3rd pick billing.
Ryan Sims was selected by the Chiefs with the 6th pick of the 2002 draft. He ended up being an absolute bust and the last time I heard about him he was low on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers depth chart. In terms of John Henderson, who was selected by the Jaguars with the 9th pick, he has been a darn good NFL player. However, keep in mind that I am speaking solely about the top DT taken in each draft.
The New York Jets selected Dewayne Robertson with the 4th overall pick in the 2004 draft. Robertson, a bust in the true sense of the word, is no longer even in the NFL
Of the last 5 NFL drafts only Sedrick Ellis who was selected in 2006 by the Jets has panned out. In some cases it is too early to tell whether or not a certain player will be worth his selection. I really don't see Amobi Okaye panning out, as neither have shown much in their first couple seasons in the NFL. My point is of any position, DT has the worse track record in regards to the 1st player selected at each position in the NFL draft. While other great defensive tackles such as Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Jamal Williams, Aubrayo Franklin, Jay Ratliff etc... have been selected way further down in the draft.
QB busts usually get the most notice because of the position, but in general the most risky top five pick would have to be a defensive tackle. I mean this list is absolutely filled with busts. From Shawn Gilbert to Dewayne Robertson it is a laundry list of players that failed to live up to expectations. In some cases, such as Robertson the selectee was an outright failure. So when thinking about the difference between Suh and say Terrence Cody, reference this list and see where the value of waiting until later in the draft may come in. I understand that some of these players listed had decent careers, but is that what you're looking for with a top pick? That's is not what I am looking for. So for once I am glad the 49ers are not in the position of the St. Louis Rams who select 1st or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who select 3rd, or even the Detroit Lions who most likely will take either Suh or Mccoy depending on the 1st pick.
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