2005: QB Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

Grade: C

Smith turned into an average NFL quarterback. Not what the miners expected taking him with the top pick. 

Best player in the 2005 draft: Aaron Rodgers (24th overall)

2006: DE Mario Williams, Houston Texans

Grade: B-

Mario was pretty good for Houston, but not like what J.J. Watt is doing for them now. The game changer Williams that was at NC State didn’t entirely translate to his pro game. 

Best player in the 2006 draft: WR Brandon Marshall (119th overall)

2007: QB JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders

Grade: F

Not much can be said for Russell. Look up biggest busts in NFL history on any site, and I’m willing to bet you’ll see his name at the number one spot. 

Best player in the 2007 draft: RB Adrian Peterson (7th overall)

2008: OT Jake Long, Miami Dolphins

Grade: A

Long has seen a successful career. He went to four straight pro bowls, and is a top tackle on the game. He’s no longer a Dolphin but Miami did well with this pick. 

Best player in the 2008 draft: OT Jake Long (1st overall)

2009: QB Matthew Stafford, Derroit Lions

Grade: B

Stafford lights up the stat sheet as well as anyone but he not your prototypical leader of a team. He’s the best quarterback in this draft class so the Lions couldn’t have done much better. 

Best player in the 2009 draft: LB Clay Matthews (26th overall)

2010: QB Sam Bradford, St Louis Rams


Bradford’s heisman college career never translated to the pro game. In a stacked draft class, the Rams failed to take one of the stars who came out of it. 

Best player in the 2010 draft: TE Rob Gronkowski (42nd overall)