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|JaMarcus Russell, left, Matt Ryan and Adrian Peterson, right, all drafted high, but where did they end up in Rick Reilly's Re-Draft?|
LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell may have gone first in the first 2007 draft, but at the Official Re-Draft his phone never rings.
|First-round picks and where they'd be drafted now (255 picks in 2006 draft)|
And what do we learn from all this?We learn that there's a reason the re-draft champions, the New Orleans Saints, have finally become a power. They stopped wasting first-round picks (their worst, WR Robert Meachem, only fell 44 spots) and they've found more bargains than Yelp (linemen Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, to name two -- a combined +243 -- both of whom would be first-rounders now). We learn that the Seattle Seahawks draft like the Iraqi navy. They're the re-draft chumps, with two first-round picks who fell 160 places or more: DE Lawrence Jackson (-167) and CB Kelly Jennings (-210). We learn that one of the biggest thefts of those three years was the Denver Broncos' choice of RB Peyton Hillis, who jumped 221 places, from the seventh round to sixth overall. Hillis was like finding the crown jewels in a Goodwill store. Too bad the Broncos then hocked the crown for a Glad bag full of dirt by trading Hillis (and two picks!) to Cleveland for the nearly extinct Brady Quinn (-233). Easy come, hard go. We learn that Houston Texans DE Mario Williams may have gone first in the 2006 draft, but in the -- wait, he goes first in the re-draft, too. Lastly, we find out that over this three-year period, USC has the best publicity department in college football. The Trojans may have had a lot of players taken in those three first rounds, but no school's picks underperformed worse (Leinart, Reggie Bush, Keith Rivers and Sedrick Ellis fell a combined -382). Then again, Mark Sanchez and Clay Matthews will be counted when we get to fixing 2009-11. Next up: U.S. presidential elections.
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Rick Reilly is the 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year. He contributes essays and commentary to "SportsCenter" and ESPN/ABC golf and tennis coverage. He's also the host of "Homecoming," ESPN's unique, one-hour interview show set in the hometowns of legendary athletes. For more Rick, check out the archive.
Feel like taking a detour from sane sports? Try Rick's new book, "Sports from Hell."