Ryan Leaf and the NFL Draft
cynthia yoo | April 25, 2008 at 03:21 pmby
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And it seems many are marking this one as the tenth anniversary of the rather infamous "Ryan Leaf" draft.
Ryan Leaf. To football fans everywhere, the name still brings a certaincringe and subsequent shake of the head as to how the NFL draft can beso torturous. You know the story. It was the 1998 NFL draft, and thetop two prospects were cannon-armed quarterbacks who played big-timecollege football.
RyanLeaf, out of Washington State, had just finished up with the Rose Bowland a successful Pac-10 career. Peyton Manning, out of Tennessee, wasthe Heisman trophy runner-up and compiled a 39-6 record as a 4-yearstarter.
The Colts held the first pick, taking Manning. TheChargers TRADED UP to reach the second pick, selecting Ryan Leaf. Fastforward ten years, and you can see the results. Manning brought a SuperBowl to Indianapolis and is on track to be the greatest statisticalquarterback in history. Leaf went 4-17, hated the NFL, and quit.
Thusis the unknown nature of the big draft, of which the 2008 version isthis Saturday. The Miami Dolphins hold the first pick, and they havealready signed RT Jake Long to be their offensive lineman of thefuture. After that, it is all a crap shoot. Could Darren McFadden bethe next Adrian Peterson? Is Matt Ryan really worth the No. 3 spot?
WillGlenn Dorsey's history of injuries scare teams away from the monsterdefensive tackle? Evidently, the draft is so based on perspectives andpotential that is nearly impossible to make the best decision.
Thusthe Ryan Leafs of the world occur. But to be fair, Leaf is not the onlygigantic disappointment that has slammed certain franchises back a fewyears. There have been plenty of busts, and to get you ready for thedraft party I know you are going to this Saturday, I present a few ofthe most notable draft disasters of all-time..
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