Draft Day Minus 26: Mike Kenn was the 26th Best Pick Ever

Tweet If a great player does his best work for bad teams, does he still qualify for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? From 1978 to 1994 the Atlanta Falcons played 264 games. They won 106 of those games, lost 157, and tied once. In 251 of those games, their starting left tackle was Mike Kenn. Kenn’s career spanned the Joe Theismann incident when Lawrence Taylor broke Theismann’s leg on…

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Draft Day Minus 27: Mel Blount is the *26th Best Draft Pick Ever

Tweet Mel Blount is one of 11 Steelers Super Bowl draft choices to make it to the Pro Football  Hall of Fame. A few days ago I sang the praises of Al Davis and his remarkable talent for finding talent on Draft Day. I also know how great Tex Schramm was at running the Cowboys’ personnel department, but what about the Steelers? The Steelers were the team of the decade…

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Draft Day Minus 28: Ray Guy is the *26th Best Draft Pick Ever

Tweet Al Davis outsmarts the rest of the NFL again. In recent years popular culture offered us the cliché that “He’s playing chess while everybody else is playing checkers,” but I think it applies to Al Davis in the 1960s and 1970s. His Raiders would have gone to another Super Bowl or two if not for the odd Immaculate Reception or another bad break, but they were as good as…

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Draft Day Minus 30: Ronde Barber is the 31st Best Draft Pick Ever.

Tweet There is no safety in numbers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shouldn’t Ronde Barber be a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, and defensive players who sack the quarterback tend to get the automatic nods for inclusion. Defensive backs, interior defensive linemen, and offensive linemen usually exist too far from the limelight. When the highlights are shown they usually include…

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Draft Day Minus 31: Patrick Mannelly is the 31st Best Draft Pick Ever. Who?

Tweet It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how long you play the game. Yesterday the NFL announced the Bears and Packers would play the opening night game to kick-off the 2019 football season. Today, absolutely by coincidence, I post that the best Bears draft pick of all-time is long snapper Patrick Mannelly. It may offend some football sensibilities to rank a long snapper among the best draft picks,…

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Draft Day Minus 31: Shane Lechler

Tweet Since 1967 the NFL drafted more kickers than punters, but drafted punters played in more games. Which is a more difficult job, punting or kicking? Which is more valuable to a team? Since 1967 and the start of the Super Bowl era, the NFL drafted 210 kickers, more or less. In a few instances, like Denver’s Jason Elam, things get a bit confused. Elam both punted and kicked in…

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Draft Day Minus 32: Art Shell

Tweet Al Davis was probably the best Draft Day performer in NFL history. Virtually every Super Bowl winner experienced a spasm of great drafting, two, three, or four years of acquiring an inordinate amount of talent in a short time, but the greatness never seems to last. Often the lack of continuity arises out of political infighting over credit for success. I watched the Bears run a series of good…

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Draft Day Minus 33: Monte Coleman was the 33rd Best Draft Pick Ever

Tweet If you draft a player to make your roster deeper and he adds depth for 16 years, that’s a great draft pick. Monte Coleman played in the NFL for sixteen years and 215 games, played in four Super Bowls and won three of them. Remarkably, of the 215 games, Coleman started in only sixty-two of them. He was listed as a linebacker, but in reality, he should have been…

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Draft Day Minus 34: Lomas Brown is the 34th Best Pick Ever

Tweet Lomas Brown played long enough to be a stud tackle and a journeyman lineman. I’ve read several references to Lou “The Toe” Groza, the kicker/offensive lineman of the great Cleveland Browns teams of the 1950s and early 1960s, and I assumed he was both for his entire career. It turns out Groza was an offensive lineman until he became a kicker, but he was never both at the same…

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Draft Day Minus 35: Rickey Jackson is the 35th Best Draft Pick Ever

Tweet Did the Saints draft a single great player before 1981? Who was the first truly great player drafted by the Saints? I’ve narrowed the options down to three, but with the possibility of a Saints fan setting me straight. Defensive end, Derland Moore was taken in 1973, played in New Orleans for thirteen years and 170 games. I don’t remember if he was great or not, but if they…

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Draft Day Minus 36: Randy White was the 36th Best Draft Pick Ever

Tweet The 1974 Steelers were not the greatest draft class ever. In 1974 the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted players who went on to win 4 Super Bowls, 21 Super Bowl rings, send 4 players to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, play in 902 NFL games including 732 in a Steelers uniform, and are by popular notion the greatest draft class ever. In 1975 the Dallas Cowboys drafted players who went…

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