The Inexact Science Of The NFL Draft
I picked up a copy of Michael Holley's new book "War Room" and as an NFL Draft geek I'm plowing through it. In the fourth chapter Holley describes the preparation for the 2006 draft and it serves as a reminder of how inexact the selection process can be.
The New England Patriots, a franchise that already had a reputation for hitting the jackpot year after year, were zeroing in on a wide receiver from Florida by the name of Chad Jackson. Full disclosure: like the Patriots I too was high on Jackson and thought the Packers should've grabbed him in the second round. Well, if you don't remember him you're not alone.
New England was so desperate to get Jackson that they traded up in the second round to get him. The team New England traded up with? The Green Bay Packers. I remember being in the Lambeau Field Atrium for our annual draft show and the boos could be heard throughout the room. People didn't want to see Ted Thompson trade down again.
Jackson never materialized or matured and ended up tearing his ACL in the 2006 AFC Championship Game. After New England went on an offseason binge in the spring of 2007 that netted Randy Moss and Wes Welker Jackson became an afterthought. By 2008 he was done in New England. Jackson would then be cut by Denver, Buffalo and Oakland. Part of why I love the draft is because of the speculation on who will make it and who won't. So it goes, draft geeks both professional and amateur can miss by a mile when evaluating prospects.
Oh, and the player the Packers took with New England's pick? A wide receiver named Greg Jennings.