Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Badger draft busts and steals

With Crazylegs approaching Saturday, it must be time for the NFL Draft. Not much going on Badger-wise on the first day, unless someone reaches for Taylor Mehlhaff. Paul Hubbard, Nick Hayden and maybe Jack Ikegwuonu are other possibilities to be picked, and I wouldn't bet against Luke Swan signing a free agent contract.

For as terrific as our program has been over the past 15 years, we have still turned out our fair share of stinkers. Mr. Man, a frequent excellent commenter on Badgercentric, today had a post on his blog, Camp Lambeau, about a site called Football Outsiders that ranked the biggest draft busts from 200-2003, among many interesting lists.

Wendell Bryant and Chris McIntosh head the list of busts. Hard to argue, unfortunately. Wendell, a fan favorite who is responsible for so many fond memories from his college days, seemed to party his way out of the league, and Mac was hurt a lot. You could argue that among recent first rounders, Aaron Gibson (if the list started a year earlier) and Jamar Fletcher belong on this list, although they managed to stick around and contribute more than the other two guys.

On the bright side, Chris Chambers is on the list of top 10 second and third round steals, and Mark Tauscher on the list of top 10 second day steals. Both very deserving.


Will said...

Sad about Bryant as well. The guy was huge, but a gifted athlete and very nimble.

From the what it's worth department: read on a Giants blog that Hubbard was brought in for a visit and they've been talking about grabbing a WR late to replace Toomer in a couple of years.

frank said...

FWIW Wendell had a kid before Thanksgiving and seems to be doing well. Saw him on the field after a preseason game, probably his last year, and he just seemed like he hated the pro game (definitely hated the Cardinals). And I can see that too -- smart guy, seemed to truly love the game in college, went to a disastrous situation in Arizona, just never took to it. The reporters there said he was really standoffish, which is a shock to us all who covered him at UW and a good sign of how much being in that environment must have changed things for him. I might be biased but I always thought he could play and it might have been a different story had he ended up in a better situation.