Examining the recent history of No. 23 pick in the NFL Draft
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 11:00 AM
By Justin Rogers | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Detroit Lions hold the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Let's take a look at the previous 20 players to be selected at that spot.
2011 -- Philadelphia Eagles -- Danny Watkins, G
Watkins started 12 games at right guard for the Eagles as a rookie, but according to Pro Football Focus, he graded out in the bottom half of the players at his position as both a run and pass blocker. That said, it's way to early to pass judgement on the pick.
2010 -- Green Bay Packers -- Bryan Bulaga, T
Bulaga struggled mightily as a rookie in 2010, allowing the most sacks among starting offensive tackles, but he made major strides in his sophomore campaign. In 2011, he allowed just one sack and graded out as a top 10 run and pass blocker by PFF.
2009 -- Baltimore Ravens -- Michael Oher, T
The Blind Side made him famous before he even played a down as a professional, and a solid rookie campaign had many thinking the sky was the limit for Oher. But he has been inconsistent over the last two seasons, especially struggling in 2010, when he took over as the Ravens' starting left tackle. He was moved back to the right side in 2011, but continued to battle penalty and pass protection issues.
2008 -- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Rashard Mendenhall, RB
Outside of a rookie campaign that was ended early by a shoulder injury, Mendenhall has been steady force in the Pittsburgh backfield. Over the past three seasons he has started 43 games and ran for over 3,000 yards.
2007 -- Kansas City Chiefs -- Dwayne Bowe, WR
In five seasons with the Chiefs, Bowe has developed into a reliable number one receiving threat. He's topped 1,000 yards three times and hauled in 36 touchdown passes, including a league-leading 15 scores in 2010.
2006 -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Davin Joseph, G
While he's never scored highly on PFF's grading scale, Joesph has made two Pro Bowls (2008, 2011) in six season with the Bucs. The 6-foot-3, 318-pounder has started 83 games for Tampa Bay.
2005 -- Oakland Raiders -- Fabian Washington, CB
Washington was a classic case of Al Davis falling in love with speed after a 4.29 40-yard dash before the draft. Washington started 25 games in his first two seasons with the team, but only three in his third and final season in Oakland. He went on to play another three seasons with the Ravens. He had 53 passes defended and six interceptions in six seasons. After spending the 2011 season on injured reserve, he is currently a free agent.
2004 -- Seattle Seahawks -- Marcus Tubbs, DT
Tubbs started 11 games in his second season, racking up 5.5 sacks and 40 tackles from an interior position on the defensive line. His promising career was unfortunately derailed the following year by a serious knee injury which required microfracture surgery.
2003 -- Buffalo Bills -- Willis McGahee, RB
Before suffering a serious knee injury in his final collegiate game, McGahee was considered a top-10 pick. He ended up sitting out his entire rookie season, but has gone on to have a very productive career. In eight seasons with the Bills, Ravens and Broncos, he has rushed for more than 1,000 yards on four occasions and has scored 64 total touchdowns.
2002 -- Oakland Raiders -- Napoleon Harris, LB
Harris started 73 games in his career for the Raiders, Vikings and Chiefs, but he's probably best known for being part of the blockbuster trade that sent Randy Moss from Minnesota to Oakland. Harris eventually signed a lucrative, six-year deal with the Chiefs in 2007, and followed it up with a career-high 116 tackles that season, but he was still cut the next year. His career quickly fizzled after that.
2001 -- New Orleans Saints -- Deuce McAllister, RB
Another productive running back at the No. 23 spot, McAllister spent his entire eight-year career with the Saints. He ran for over 6,000 yards in that time, topping 1,000 yards four times. He scored 44 total touchdowns (39 rushing).
2000 -- Carolina Panthers -- Rashard Anderson, CB
Anderson might be a cautionary tale for those who still believe the Lions should consider troubled cornerback Janoris Jenkins at No. 23. Heading into his third year, Anderson was suspended for the 2002 season after multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy. When he was finally reinstated, the Panthers cut him. He never played another down in the NFL.
1999 -- Buffalo Bills -- Antoine Winfield, CB
Winfield has been a long-time starter in the NFL and is still in the league with the Minnesota Vikings. He's started 158 games in 13 seasons, racking up 77 pass defenses and 24 interceptions. He's made three Pro Bowl rosters and was named to the 2008 All-Pro second team.
1998 -- Oakland Raiders -- Mo Collins, T
Collins started 64 games (23 at tackle, 41 at guard) in six seasons with the Raiders. He was forced to retire after multiple knee injuries.
1997 -- Buffalo Bills -- Antowain Smith, RB
Smith started 75 games in nine seasons with the Bills, Patriots, Titans and Saints. He amassed 6,881 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns on the ground, At the age of 29, he ran for 1,157 and 12 touchdowns in his first season with the Patriots. He added another 204 yards in the postseason that year, including 92 in the Patriots' Super Bowl victory over the Rams.
1996 -- Detroit Lions -- Jeff Hartings, G
Hartings started 71 games at right guard for the Lions before signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001. In Pittsburgh, Hartings moved to center. He started 89 games in six seasons for the Steelers, being named an All-Pro in 2001 and 2004 and making the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2005.
1995 -- New England Patriots -- Ty Law, CB
Probably the best player on this list, Law was a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time first team All-Pro. In 15 seasons with the Patriots, Jets, Chiefs and Broncos, Law started 189 games, intercepted 53 passes, and returned seven of those picks for touchdowns.
1994 -- Dallas Cowboys -- Shante Carver, DE
Carver was a bust, even though he disputes that claim. He registered just 11.5 sacks in four seasons with the Cowboys. After his career in the NFL ended, Carver had short stints in the XFL and AFL.
1993 -- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Deon Figures, CB
After winning the 1992 Jim Thorpe award as the nation's best defensive back, Figures had a rather unremarkable professional career. He appeared in 93 games, starting 40, in six season with the Steelers and Jaguars. He finished his career with just nine interceptions.
1992 -- San Diego Chargers -- Chris Mims, DE
Mims played eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the Chargers, but his best production was in the early part of his career. He played in all 48 games his first three seasons, including 27 starts, racking up an impressive 28 sacks. He managed only 14 quarterback takedowns his final five years in the league. Mims passed away less than a decade after his playing career ended because of an enlarged heart. Reports suggest he was over 450 pounds at the time of his death.
Last 20 players selected No. 23 by position:
5 -- Cornerback
4 -- Running back
3 -- Offensive tackle
3 -- Offensive guard
2 -- Defensive end
1 -- Linebacker
1 -- Defensive tackle
1 -- Wide Receiver
- Seven of those 20 players made a Pro Bowl roster (Bowe, Joesph, McGahee, McAllister, Winfield, Hartings, Law).