Posted: Wednesday April 20, 2005 4:01PM; Updated: Wednesday April 20, 2005 5:29PM
NFC North Five-Year Draft Grades
This is a team that hasn't gotten it done despite usually drafting near the top. Brian Urlacher (1st) and Mike Brown (2nd) in 2000? Those two turned out well, but what about David Terrell (1st, 2001), Marc Colombo (1st, 2002) and Michael Haynes (1st, 2003), with quarterback Rex Grossman (1st, 2003) getting an incomplete? Running back Anthony Thomas (2nd, 2001) had a brief window of productivity, defensive end Alex Brown (4th, 2002) has started to make some plays and cornerback Charles Tillman (2nd, 2003) had a great rookie season.
If the Lions could get their inconsistent quarterback, Joey Harrington (1st, 2002) straightened out and receiver Charles Rogers healthy enough to stay on the field, their recent drafting would receive high marks. There was plenty to like about receiver Roy Williams and running back Kevin Jones (both 1st, 2004) last year. In addition, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers (2nd, 2001) is a stud. Talented linebacker Boss Bailey (2nd, 2003) has only played one season because of injury.
Green Bay Packers
After a strong 2002 draft that brought them receiver Javon Walker (1st), fullback Najeh Davenport (4th) and defensive end Aaron Kampman (5th), the trend has been negative. Linebacker Nick Barnett (1st) was the only positive to come out of 2003, and the top of the 2004 draft is forgettable so far with cornerbacks Ahmad Carroll (1st) and Joey Thomas (3rd) headlining. Throw in the Jamal Reynolds first-round mistake in 2001, and you have the makings for a below average first half of the decade.
Even when they don't get their selection card turned in on time, the Vikings do a bang up job in the draft. Of their past five first-round picks, only defensive tackle Chris Hovan (2000) is no longer with the team, but he at least gave the Vikings some production. Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (2002), defensive tackle Kevin Williams (2003) and defensive end Kenechi Udeze (2004) are all improving, and there have been mid-round finds such as receiver Nate Burleson (3rd, 2003), running back Onterrio Smith (4th, 2003) and running back Mewelde Moore (4th, 2004).