Oct 9, 2011; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looses the ball as he is grabbed by Tennessee Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan (90) during the first half of the game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Approximately 24 hours have transpired since the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft. It’s around that time when draft pundits release report cards on the performance of each team’s draft. Without having seen any of the players take an NFL snap, these experts submit their final grades on which teams had the best and worst drafts. Occasionally, they’ll “re-grade” everything after they’ve had a few seasons to watch these prospects.
I’m not a fan of such “impatient report cards.” Grading players before they’ve played one down is an unfair and unwarranted stamp of approval or disapproval. Teams and players deserve at least three seasons before they’re evaluated with a grade. The “re-grading” process should occur sometime within the 10-year anniversary of that draft class.
This “3-10” process is the idea behind the draft report cards that Titan Sized will conduct. Starting in May, some staff members will issue their personal grades on each individual prospect from the 2010 NFL Draft class. An overall grade for the entire draft will follow that. Repeat process for the 2003 NFL Draft class.
Titan Sized wants to get our readers involved. For each prospect, we’ll poll our readers for a number-grade (100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 20, 0). We’ll add those totals and divide them by the number of votes. This will give one grade from the readers and one grade from staff members.
Let’s begin with a review of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: 2010 NFL Draft Class
Round 1, Pick 16: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Round 3, Pick 77: Damian Williams, WR, USC
Round 3, Pick 97: Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 104: Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA
Round 5, Pick 148: Robert Johnson, S, Utah
Round 6, Pick 176: Rusty Smith, QB, Florida Atlantic
Round 6, Pick 207: Myron Rolle, S, Florida State
Round 7, Pick 222: Marc Mariani, WR, Montana
Round 7, Pick 241: David Howard, DL, Brown
Of those nine players, Morgan and Verner will enter the 2013-14 NFL season as starters. Smith appears to have a firm grasp on the No. 3 quarterback role—at least for now. Williams and Johnson are barely hanging on to their roster spots. Before Mariani broke his leg, he was a Pro Bowl-caliber return specialist. Curran appeared in nine games, making seven tackles. Rolle and Howard never accumulated a regular-season statistic.
Two starters, a No. 3 quarterback, two average-at-best depth players, a return specialist and three players who provided little-to-no value on the 53-man roster. Morgan is a very good player who’s still improving. With that said, it’s worth mentioning that picks No. 14-15 (Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul) and No. 17-18 (Mike Iupati, Maurkice Pouncey) all have Pro Bowl selections on their resume. Morgan doesn’t.
An additional note: this was the draft when LenDale White and Kevin Vickerson were traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
Good draft, bad draft, average draft? Answer in the poll below. Staff members will assess their final grades sometime next month. Individual grades will start long before that.