With the 15th pick ... a historical look

As we have discussed many, many times our New York Giants have the 15th pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. We have debated who the Giants should take until -- in many ways -- we are all sick of hearing each other's opinions on the topic.

I thought I would approach the draft from a little different angle today. I thought I would look back at the last 10 players picked at No. 15 and see what kind of careers they have had. In no way is it a scientific study, but I thought it might give us an idea of what type of value the Giants could get at 15.

In fact, maybe I will eventually do this for the Giants first three picks -- at 15, 46 and 77. Today, though, let's just focus on that 15th pick. I will be honest -- I may not have real memories or knowledge of some of these guys. Feel free to offer your opinions on some of these guys.

  • 2000: Deltha O'Neal, CB, California (Denver Broncos) -- Had a very good 9-year career with three teams in which he made the Pro Bowl twice and was named All-Pro once. Likely proved worthy of the 15th selection.
  • 2001: Rod Gardner, WR, Clemson (Washington Redskins) -- Had a career-best 71 receptions in 2002, his second season. Never duplicated that success in a six-year career. A disappointment that high in the draft.
  • 2002: Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee (Tennessee Titans) -- One of the most dominant forces among defensive lineman in the game today. A two-time All-Pro entering his ninth season. Might even be acknowledged for the great player he is if he wasn't such a jerk.
  • 2003: Jerome McDougle, DE, Miami (Philadelphia Eagles) -- Injuries derailed McDougle's career. He missed the 200 and 2007 seasons entirely and is now out of football after spending four forgettable games with the Giants in 2008.
  • 2004: Michael Clayton, WR, Louisiana State (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) -- Had 80 receptions as a rookie, but no more than 38 in any season since. A disappointment.
  • 2005: Derrick Johnson, OLB, Texas (Kansas City Chiefs -- Did not start a single game for Kansas city in 2009. Johnson has never stepped into a starring role, and appears to be out of favor with the Chiefs.
  • 2006: Tye Hill, CB, Clemson (St. Louis Rams) -- Started 10 games as a rookie. Has started just 11 since, none in 2009. A disappointment.
  • 2007: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State (Pittsburgh Steelers) -- His role has expanded each season with Pittsburgh. Started 13 games in 2009. Could still justify this selection.
  • 2008: Branden Albert, OT, Virginia (Kansas City Chiefs) -- The first guard taken in the 2008 draft, Albert has yet to blossom in Kansas City. Right now it looks like a bad pick.
  • 2009: Brian Cushing, LB, USC (Houston Texans) -- Made the Pro Bowl and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has set the bar pretty high for Rolando McClain.

There you have it. Only Haynesworth and -- probably -- Cushing could be considered stars. A couple of good players in O'Neal and Timmons. And several disappointments.

Just goes to show there is no guarantee of getting a long-term useful player at this, or any, point in the draft.

(E-mail Ed at bigblueview@gmail.com. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)

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