Tuesday, May 28, 2013
John Clayton revisits 2009 NFL draft class
By Jamison Hensley
With wide receiver Michael Crabtree injuring his Achilles, ESPN's John Clayton took time to look back at the underwhelming NFL draft class in 2009.
According to Clayton, only 60 of the 256 players drafted that year remain with their original teams (23.4 percent). The AFC North fared slightly better than the league average. Of the 34 players drafted by division teams that year, 10 are still with their original team (29.4 percent).
All four first-round picks remain: Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith, Browns center Alex Mack, Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher and Steelers defensive lineman Ziggy Hood. But Oher never became a franchise left tackle and Hood hasn't lived up to expectations.
The Bengals had the most successful draft in the AFC North that year. Five of their 11 picks remain, including their top three in Smith, linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive end Michael Johnson. The disappointment was tight end Chase Coffman, a third-round pick. But, as Clayton pointed out, Smith and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews are the only 2009 first-rounders who received big contract extensions with the teams that drafted them and figure to keep the money.
The Browns easily had the worst. Only one of the eight picks are still in Cleveland, and that's Mack. The two wide receivers taken in the second round (Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi) never developed as expected. Another second rounder, linebacker David Veikune, was taken one pick before running back LeSean McCoy and is now with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Ravens have two starters from that draft in Oher and cornerback Lardarius Webb. They lost pass rusher Paul Kruger to Cleveland in free agency this year. The Steelers have two players left from the 2009 draft (Hood and tight end David Johnson). Pittsburgh had two other starters from that class, but the Steelers couldn't keep third-rounders Mike Wallace and Keenan Lewis because of salary-cap restraints.