Prior to this month I had exactly three front page Hogs Haven posts that I categorized as Draft related (probably a few more that I miscategorized). Since then I've had eighteen. On 4/20 (Hiyooo!) alone I had five Draft tagged posts, as an example. I am growing increasily tired of reposting someone else's unoriginal Draft post, but the truth is I'm at a loss for what else to write. So, here goes another Best all-time first-round picks complements Charles Robinson at Yahoo! Sports. First, the set up:
With that particular draft in mind, we got to thinking. If first-round picks mean as much as NFL personnel gurus say they do, what were the greatest first-round picks in league history? Who was the greatest No. 1 ever? The greatest No. 2? And has there even been a greatest No. 32?
Phil Simms and Troy Vincent have compelling arguments. However, Bailey now belongs in the conversation for best cornerback in history, and has done so in an era when pass-interference and illegal contact rules put his position at an extreme disadvantage. He's arguably the only true "shutdown" cornerback left in the NFL, and it has become absurd to throw in his direction in the red zone...
18. Art Monk, WR, Washington Redskins (1980)
No. 18 overall hasn't churned out much more than a cast of solid talent. That makes Monk, who has near as you can get Hall of Fame credentials without actually getting in, the easy pick. Three Super Bowl rings, and he retired as the league's all-time leader in receptions, single-season catches and consecutive games with a catch. He was a quiet, humble star, which may have something to do with his detriment among Hall of Fame voters.
28. Darrell Green, CB, Washington Redskins (1983)
You have to be great to keep Derrick Brooks out of this slot. That applies to Green. While he may never had some of the dominant single-season performances of Brooks, Green did play in seven Pro Bowls and held down a starting cornerback spot for an astonishing 20 years in Washington (tied with Jackie Slater for the most seasons with one team). That's a feat we will undoubtedly never see again at the cornerback spot. The fastest player in the NFL for many of his years, Green notched 54 career interceptions and won two Super Bowls with the Redskins, while maintaining his reputation as one of the best character guys in the NFL.
The list is fair to the Redskins, as we really haven't had all that many Round One picks. From 1984-1990, for instance, we never had a single one. Ditto 1969-1979. And I doubt that anyone here would argue that our first round busts in the 1990s -- Desmond Howard [ED Note: As TexSkins correctly pointed out he would have a very productive career after leaving Washington, so "bust" isn't a fair tag on him] and Heath Shuler among them -- would warrant mention on any Best Draft pick list.