FanPost

What the Steelers and Packers did right

Fnbix1_medium

via i55.tinypic.com

What is the difference between the Jaguars and the this years Superbowl 45 bound teams? The 1st Round of the draft. This sounds relatively simple right, but the Jaguars lost out on their chance on competing for a Superbowl because of this very fundamental difference. Let's start with the Jaguars's draft history which most of us sadly remember all too well. As you can see below here is a list of the Jaguars first round picks and a quick description:

2002 - John Henderson (DT) - Overview: Pro Bowler DT, but released after 2009 season

2003 - Byron Leftwich (QB) - Overview - Released after 4 mediocre and injury plagued seasons

2004 - Reggie Williams (WR) - Overview - Average wide out at best, did not resign

2005 - Matt Jones (WR) - Overview - Flashed occasional talent, too many run ins with law, released

2006 - Marcedes Lewis (TE) - Overview - Pro Bowl TE, still with team

2007 - Reggie Nelson (DB) - Overview - Promising rookie season, struggled after. Traded

2008 - Derrick Harvey (DE) - Overview - Average DE statistics, is now considered a back-up and/or tradeable

2009 - Eugene Monroe (OT) - Overview - Missed only 2 games so far, good play so far.

2010 - Tyson Alualu (DT) - Overview - Great first season, have to wait and see how he does in 2011

 

I can count 4 of these picks as sure fire busts (Leftwich, Williams, Jones and Nelson) with Harvey on the border not because of terrible play but because he wasn't worth the #8 pick. Then if you add in the fact that Henderson is no longer on the team you are looking at 3 good 1st round picks left with the team out of 9 years of drafting with Monroe and Alualu only having 3 seasons experience between them. Now I understand Gene Smith has pretty much tried to start over in 2009 and we are rebuilding. Now a lot of fans are calling for free agent signings to help improve the team and in many cases they can work out but the draft is even more crucial. Just looking at the Jaguars drafts compared to the Steelers and Packers makes you realize how much the first round of the draft matters.

Since 2002 the Steelers have drafted in the first round 4 Pro Bowlers since 2002 (Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, and Maurkice Pouncey), a Super-Bowl MVP and stud wide out (Santonio Holmes), a RB who has rushed for 2,381 yards and 20 TD's in 2 seasons (Rashard Mendenhall) and a quality starting LB (Lawrence Timmons). That is a pretty impressive draft resume in 9 years. Now just look at the Packers draft since 2002. They have drafted 3 Pro Bowlers (Javon Walker, Aaron Rodgers, and Clay Mathews III), a Second Team All-Pro (Nick Barnett), two All-Rookie team and quality starters (A.J. Hawk and Bryan Bulaga) and a monster DT (B.J. Raji). The Packers though not as impressive as the Steelers also boost a very nice 1st round resume. Both of these teams have drafted their franchise and Pro Bowl QB's in the first round of the draft, they also both have drafted great defensive players and leaders, and the both have reduced the amount of busts drafted. Obviously sometimes you can't predict players are going to bust do to injury or other circumstances but overall the Steelers and Packers have made their first round picks count and that one of the main reasons they are in Superbowl in two weeks. I know we have talked a lot about the Jaguars terrible 1st round draft history but this is a prime example of how the drafting makes all the difference. 

 

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big Cat Country

You must be a member of Big Cat Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Cat Country. You should read them.

Join Big Cat Country

You must be a member of Big Cat Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Cat Country. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker