Wednesday, May 29, 2013
John Clayton re-examines the 2009 draft
By Dan Graziano
Our man John Clayton has a look back at the 2009 NFL draft, from which just 60 players remain with their original teams only four years later and very few have received long-term second deals with the teams that drafted them. We know already that the Dallas Cowboys, who didn't have a first-round pick or a second-round pick that year, have no players left on their roster from that draft. We know that the NFC East star of that draft turned out to be Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who wasn't taken until the middle of the second round (53rd overall). We know the New York Giants are pleased with tackle Will Beatty, who was one of their two second-round picks that year, because they just gave him a long-term contract extension. And Andre Brown, whom the Giants picked in the fourth round that year, is in their plans at running back this season.
LeSean McCoy has rushed for 3,866 yards and scored 38 TDs in four seasons with the Eagles.
So there were some hits, but a lot more misses, and the three first-round picks the NFC East's teams made that year are all facing significant final seasons of their contracts:
Linebacker Brian Orakpo was the ninth overall pick in 2009 and looked very good in his first two seasons with the Washington Redskins before injuries began to trouble him in 2011 and 2012. It's possible Orakpo could get a long-term extension prior to the start of this season, but as he's coming off a season-ending Week 2 pectoral muscle injury, it's also possible the Redskins could let him play out the year and prove he's healthy.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was the Eagles' first-round pick, No. 19 overall, and has flashed No. 1 wide receiver talent but has had too much trouble staying on the field. Maclin is entering the final year of his deal and now playing for a new coaching staff that had no role in drafting him. The Eagles will surely have the money and the cap space to commit long-term to Maclin next offseason, but whether they do or not likely depends on how healthy he can keep himself and how well he plays in 2013.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks went 29th overall that year to the Giants and has, at times, performed like one of the very best in the league at his position. He was a major contributor to the Giants' most recent Super Bowl title and profiles as a perfect No. 1 wideout for Eli Manning. But Nicks, too, has struggled with injury and enters the final year of his deal needing to prove he can stay on the field consistently. With fellow star wideout Victor Cruz looking for a long-term deal as well, the Giants may not be able to keep both, making this a big year for Nicks.