SteelerNation.com

2009 NFL Draft. The Worst Draft in NFL History?

By G. Stryker
SteelerNation.com

With the last pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ziggy Hood from Missouri. Ziggy had to change positions from defensive tackle to defensive end, and never developed into a difference maker, though he enjoyed a long career. Even with his longevity as a player, he was still considered a disappointment by some Steelers fans, due to his first round pedigree and lack of production. Though, before anyone else laments the fact that the Steelers missed in the 2009 NFL Draft, so did everyone else. Why you may ask? Because the NFL Draft was full of mediocre players and devoid of difference makers. So mediocre in fact, that the 7th pick in that Draft was the 5th or 6th best receiver on the Steelers roster for the past few years (currently a free agent). I’m talking of course about Darrius Heyward-Bey.

The Steelers may have found the best receiver in that Draft when they got Mike Wallace in the third round. Percy Harvin had the most talent, but he lacked character and will suffer as an NFL journeyman since he is not likable by his former teammates. Johnny Knox was the only other wide receiver to make a Pro Bowl. He did it in 2009 as a special teams player. Jeremy Maclin had promise, but will he ever be able to make it through a whole year healthy?

The best quarterbacks in that Draft were Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford. Stafford is having a good career, but he’s yet to win a playoff game or win any spot on a Pro Bowl ballot. Sanchez had two AFC championship games in a row to start his career, now he’s doing well as a backup, but at best, no one would rate these QB’s as anything higher than average to slightly above average QB’s.

The most productive player from that year wasn’t even drafted. Arian Foster put together a nice career with four Pro Bowls, two All-Pros, and led the league in rushing in 2010. LeSean McCoy was the only great running back drafted.

Personally, I think the best player in that Draft was center, Alex Mack. I know centers don’t always get a lot of love, but Mack has been a nice anchor for the Cleveland Browns. Max Unger is another center putting it together now in Seattle, and Eric Wood had a good year of note. The only other linemen to make a Pro Bowl? Guards Louis Vasquez and T.J. Lang.

The best defensive lineman was Brian Orakpo who can’t stay healthy, and B.J. Raji whose regressed after his first two seasons.

Zero notable offensive tackles, and Vontae Davis was the best and most notable corner back.

Jarius Byrd is an All-Pro at safety and may be the best defensive player in that Draft. Malcolm Jenkins and William Moore are also very good safeties.

The argument can also be made for Clay Mathews for being the best defensive player in that Draft. He’s definitely the most identifiable player drafted that season. Brian Cushing is also a good linebacker for the Houston Texans.

Are there any Hall of Fame potential players in this group? Mack has the best chance. Byrd and Mathews possibly can if they have another couple years of solid contribution. And that’s a BIG if.

This is a terrible Draft from top to bottom. It being 10 years since these players entered the league, it is fair to assess the talent of that Draft. Sure, a lot of these players still contribute as role players, but only a handful of difference makers were drafted.

It’s amazing that the Steelers were even able to find one great player while drafting last that year. The fact that the Green Bay Packers got Raji and Mathews is a miracle, and they by far had the best Draft in what might have been the worst Draft for talent in league history.

Agree or disagree? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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