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1996 Draft Revisited

In succession, looking back at the past drafts of recent memories, how they contributed or adversely affected the teams, and the outlook by the “so-called” experts going in, a look at the 1996 NFL draft.

It was widely regarded as one of the better years for wide receiver and surely did not disappoint.  St. Louis traded Jerome Bettis and their 3rd round pick to Pittsburgh for this years 2nd round pick and next years 4th round pick…this turned out to be Jerome Bettis and LB Steve Conley for TE Ernie Conwell and OL Ryan Tucker.

In the end we saw 2 sure fire Hall of Fame linebackers in Ray Lewis and Zach Thomas, and 7 other HOF probables; Jonathan Ogden, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins, Marvin Harrison, Lawyer Milloy, Mike Alstott, and Tedy Bruschi.  For the 2nd straight year, a team built the nucleus of a Super Bowl team with 2 first round picks, Baltimore picking Ray Lewis and Ogden.

The top 5; #1, Keyshawn Johnson to Jets, #2 Kevin Hardy to Jacksonville, #3 Simeon Rice to Arizona, # 4 Jonathan Ogden to Baltimore, and #5 Cedric Jones to the NY Giants, and our only official flop in the Top 5.

10 Running Backs were drafted on Day 1, and only Eddie George (14) had a

 decent NFL career.  The others, Lawrence Phillips (6), Tim Biakabutuka (8), Leeland McElroy (32), Detron Smith (65), Winslow Oliver (73), Moe Williams (75), Karim Abdul-Jabar (80), Jerald Moore (83) and Reggie Brown (93).

1st Round Honorable Mention: Baltimore T Jonathan Ogden (4), Cincinnati T Willie Anderson (10), Indianapolis WR Marvin Harrison (19), Buffalo WR Eric Moulds (24), Baltimore LB Ray Lewis (26)

Rest of Day 1 winners: Tampa Bay (35) FB Mike Alstott, New England (36) DB Lawyer Milloy, Carolina (43) WR Muhsin Muhammad, Philadelphia (61) DB Brian Dawkins, Tampa Bay (71) DB Donnie Abraham, New England (86) LB Tedy Bruschi, San Francisco (89) WR Terrell Owens.

Day 2 Winners: Kansas City (98) LB Donnie Edwards, Washington (102) RB Stephen Davis, Houston (109) T John Runyan, Pittsburgh (126) LB Earl Holmes, Kansas City (135) WR Joe Horn, St. Louis (141) T Fred Miller, Chicago (152) G Chris Villarial, Miami (154) LB Zach Thomas, Oakland (166) DT La’Roi Glover, Green Bay (208) G Marco Rivera, Buffalo (244) TE Jay Riemersma.

In contrast to the 1995 draft, its fair to say that this was a great draft!

Top 3 Winners:

#1. Baltimore – LB Ray Lewis and T Jonathan Ogden, thats enough for me, although WR Jermaine Lewis had some success as a receiver but more as a return man.

#2. Kansas City – their first 2 picks formed a strong safety tandem in Jerome Woods (28) and Reggie Tongue (58).  DT John Browning was helpful, and LB Donnie Edwards (98) and WR Joe Horn (135) highlighted their draft.

#3 (Tie). New England – They came in with 13 picks, but only needed their first 3; Terry Glenn, Lawyer Milloy and Tedy Bruschi.

#3 (Tie) Green Bay – You cant not put a team that builds 2 centerpieces to their OL in one draft, Marco Rivera and Mike Flanagan.  Despite, using their first pick on a T bust, John Michels.

Bottom 3 Losers:

#1. Arizona – The Cardinals had 9 picks, and even though their 1st, DE Simeon Rice enjoyed some fine seasons, none of them were with Arizona.

#2. Oakland – Oakland selected TE Ricky Dudley #9 overall, and despite a good pick in DT La’Roi Glover, he played a mere 2 games with them.

#3. New Orleans – I give the Saints an ‘A’ for cool names; Mercury Hayes, Ricky Whittle, Terry Guess, Keno Hills, but an ‘F’ for success, including first rounder Alex Molden.

December 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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