By Scott Kacsmar
Cold, Hard Football Facts Man of the Match


Our last stop in the 2009 NFL Draft review is the AFC West.
 
It is the division with the drafts that gave us laughs, perhaps made some fans cry (or rant), but in the end, it did not deliver a good payoff for any of the four teams.
 
The Oakland Raiders may have set a record for reaching with their first two picks, while the Denver Broncos burned through five picks in the top 64 selections with little to show for.
 
San Diego’s low-key performance had nothing on Kansas City blowing up mock drafts with their pick at No. 3 overall.
 
Three years later, and the one team we ridiculed the most after the draft is sitting at the top with their class.
 
2009 Draft Reviews
Part I: NFC North
Part II: AFC North
Part III: NFC South
Part IV: AFC South
Part V: NFC East
Part VI: AFC East
Part VII: NFC West
 
Notes: Players listed in bold are still on the active roster of the team that drafted them. A player with his games played (GP) and games started (GS) listed in red has appeared in games for a team other than his draft team. “CarAV” refers to data from the Approximate Value system at Pro-Football-Reference.com. References to snap data credited to Pro Football Focus.
 

4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Stunning pick at the top headlines brutal class

The Kansas City Chiefs were starting over in 2009 with new general manager Scott Pioli replacing head coach Herm Edwards with Todd Haley. Pioli sent the 34th overall pick in the draft to New England in exchange for Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. The Chiefs would also trade tight end Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta for a 2010 second-round pick.
 
Still holding the No. 3 pick in the draft, most would have imagined linebacker Aaron Curry was going to be the pick for Kansas City. Instead, the Chiefs stunned everyone and went with LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson. It was a year earlier the Chiefs had taken Glenn Dorsey, also from LSU, with the No. 5 pick in the 2008 draft.
 
It should be considered taboo to draft a 3-4 defensive end that is not a great pass rusher with such a high pick, but Pioli came from New England where they had players like Ty Warren and Richard Seymour on the line.
 
The immediate returns on Jackson were terrible, as he bombed in his rookie season, making just 38 tackles on one of the league’s worst defenses. Jackson was demoted in 2010, making just three starts and playing 338 snaps.
 
Last season saw Jackson return as a starter in 14 games, and he had a career-high 55 tackles. He has just 2.0 career sacks.
 
Regardless, Jackson is the best non-kicker the Chiefs found in what was a very poor draft class.

The Class

Rnd Pick Player Pos. College GP GS CarAV 2012 Team
1 3 Tyson Jackson DE LSU 44 31 15 Kansas City
3 67 Alex Magee DE Purdue 25 1 2 None (AFL)
4 102 Donald Washington DB Ohio St. 32 5 4 Kansas City
5 139 Colin Brown OT Missouri 11 1 1 Buffalo
6 175 Quinten Lawrence DB McNeese St. 6 1 0 Miami
7 212 Javarris Williams RB Tennessee St. 4 0 0 None
7 237 Jake O'Connell TE Miami (OH) 27 8 2 Kansas City
7 256 Ryan Succop K South Carolina 48 0 0 Kansas City
 
Best Pick: K Ryan Succop (7.256) - A good sign it has been a bad draft is when your kicker, Mr. Irrelevant, is the best pick. It was at least entertaining when the elderly announcer appeared to call him “Suck up” at the conclusion of the 2009 draft.  Succop has made 69 of 85 field goals (81.2 percent) and played in all 48 games for the Chiefs.
 
Worst Pick: DE Tyson Jackson (1.3) - You know there is trouble when the first Google auto-complete after your name is “bust”, which is what we found on Jackson. The worst part of blowing such a high pick is when the player has a contract worth $57 million with $31 million guaranteed. Fortunately the NFL has fixed that problem. At least Jackson took a pay cut this past April and remains on the team. For now.

The Others

DE Alex Magee (3.67) - Played 198 snaps at both defensive end positions as a rookie (one game started). He only played 51 snaps for the Chiefs in 2010, even registering four quarterback hurries against the Browns according to Pro Football Focus. The team traded him for conditional picks to Tampa Bay, where he played in only eight games before the team released him. Magee is now in the Arena Football League.
 
DB Donald Washington (4.102) - The Chiefs have had pretty good talent at cornerback in recent years. Washington only saw 21 defensive snaps as a rookie. He started playing safety in 2010 and played 197 snaps with two starts. Last season he had 313 snaps, but really struggled in the three games he started. At best, Washington provides some depth in the secondary for the team.
 
OT Colin Brown (5.139) - Brown never made the Chiefs’ active roster or played a game for them. He was signed by Buffalo in 2010 and is still currently with the team. He started one game for the Bills in 2011. He also played a year in the UFL in 2010.
 
DB Quinten Lawrence (6.175) - Drafted as a wide receiver, Lawrence played just 19 snaps with the Chiefs. He had one reception for nine yards. He has since been signed by the Miami Dolphins, and they have turned him into a defensive back.
 
RB Javarris Williams (7.212) - Carried the ball six times to gain six yards in his 29 snaps played with the Chiefs in 2009. He has not played in the NFL since, and was last with the Houston Texans.
 
TE Jake O’Connell (7.237) - Maybe the Chiefs needed more seventh-round picks in 2009. O’Connell has managed to hang around as a backup blocking tight end. He played 69 snaps in 2009, 124 in 2010, and 281 in 2011.
 

3. DENVER BRONCOS

Lots of moves, but little to show for them

Denver collected a lot of high draft picks, but they did a poor job when it came time to turn those cards in for players.
 
Thanks to the Jay Cutler trade with Chicago, the Broncos now had two picks in the first round: their original No. 12 pick, and then the No. 18 pick. These picks became Knowshown Moreno and Robert Ayers, respectively.  Also, the Bears would get a fifth-round pick from Denver, and Chicago got Johnny Knox, who was one of the best players taken in the second half of the draft.
 
Denver gave up their first-round pick in 2010 to get Seattle’s second-round pick (37th overall). That was used on Alphonso Smith, who is no longer with the Broncos. Seattle would draft Earl Thomas in 2010, meaning the Seahawks really won out on this one.
 
Also acquired in the Cutler trade was the No. 84 pick in the third round. This pick, along with Denver’s 79th overall pick were traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for the 64th and 132nd overall picks. The Steelers ended up getting Mike Wallace. Denver only got Richard Quinn and Seth Olsen.
 
It was a lot of effort for not a lot of value.

The Class

Rnd Pick Player Pos. College GP GS CarAV 2012 Team
1 12 Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia 36 24 15 Denver
1 18 Robert Ayers DE Tennessee 42 24 14 Denver
2 37 Alphonso Smith CB Wake Forest 38 11 9 Detroit
2 48 Darcel McBath S Texas Tech 21 1 2 None
2 64 Richard Quinn TE North Carolina 30 4 2 Washington
4 114 David Bruton S Notre Dame 45 4 4 Denver
4 132 Seth Olsen G Iowa 9 1 1 Indianapolis
5 141 Kenny McKinley WR South Carolina 8 0 0 Deceased
6 174 Tom Brandstater QB Fresno St. 1 0 0 St. Louis
7 225 Blake Schlueter C TCU 0 0 0 None
 
Best Pick: DE Robert Ayers (1.18) - Really a default selection here, Ayers has at least started 24 games for the Broncos. He played 426 snaps as a rookie, 661 snaps as a starting outside linebacker in 2010, and 751 snaps starting at defensive end again last season. His play has been nothing spectacular, with 4.5 career sacks, a fumble return for a touchdown, and 97 career tackles. But it is the best Denver did with their five high picks.
 
Worst Pick: CB Alphonso Smith (2.37) - Looking to add a starter opposite Champ Bailey, Smith only played 150 snaps as a rookie. He was traded just before the 2010 season started to Detroit in exchange for tight end Dan Gronkowski, who is certainly no Rob. After coughing up the 14th overall pick in the 2010 draft to take Smith this high, the Broncos decided to not even give him a second season. Smith has not been good for the Lions either, but this was one of the worst moves in the entire draft.

The Others

RB Knowshon Moreno (1.12) - A talented back that played at Georgia with Matthew Stafford, Moreno has been a disappointment in the NFL. He rushed for 947 yards as a rookie, but only has 958 yards in the last two seasons combined. Moreno lost his job to Willis McGahee last season, and Moreno’s season ended early after an ACL injury.
 
S DarcelMcBath (2.48) - He only played 128 snaps as a rookie, but did have two interceptions. McBath played 165 snaps in 2010, and was waived before the start of 2011. He played one defensive snap for Jacksonville, who released him in April He is currently a free agent.
 
TE Richard Quinn (2.64) - As the last pick of the second round, Quinn was an insignificant piece in Denver’s offense. He had just one reception for nine yards and played 249 snaps for Denver. Quinn received an injury settlement from the team last year, and played five snaps for the Washington Redskins. He remains on their roster today.
 
S David Bruton (4.114) - Has been a backup with four starts for Denver. He played 76 snaps as a rookie, with 71 coming in his first career start against Oakland. In 2010 he played 175 snaps, and had 282 snaps at free safety in 2011. A solid depth pick.
 
G Seth Olsen (4.132) - In 2009, Olsen played in three games for Denver, but never on the offense. He was released in final roster cuts for 2010, and spent the year on Minnesota’s practice squad. He played 33 snaps for Indianapolis last season, which is where he is at now.
 
WR Kenny McKinley (5.141) - He spent his rookie season as a special teams player, and finished the season on injured reserve. McKinley was found dead after committing suicide on September 20, 2010.
 
QB Tom Brandstater (6.174) - As the first pick of the sixth round, Brandstater was released by the team in 2010 after never playing in a game for them. He has since bounced around to the Colts, Dolphins, Cowboys and made his first appearance with the Rams last season. He is a backup to Sam Bradford.
 
C Blake Schlueter (7.225) - Failed to make final roster cuts in 2009. Spent brief time with Seattle and Atlanta, but never played in a regular season game. Schlueter remains a free agent.

2. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Need a little help with the English here

San Diego had a quiet draft, which is often the case when you use your first four picks to draft a linebacker out of Northern Illinois, two guards, and the first ever Canadian university football player drafted as an underclassman.
 
The defining name here is Larry English. Taken in the middle of the first round, the Chargers were hoping to get a pass-rusher that could do what Shawne Merriman once was able to do for their defense.
 
Instead, they got what is one of the most disappointing and least productive players in the first round of the 2009 draft. English does have seven career sacks, but he has only started four games in three seasons.
 
It may already be too late for English to succeed in San Diego, as the team drafted Melvin Ingram in the first round of the 2012 draft.
 
The Chargers did not have a second-round pick, as they traded that to New England in 2008 to draft Jacob Hester 69th overall.

The Class

Rnd Pick Player Pos. College GP GS CarAV 2012 Team
1 16 Larry English LB Northern Illinois 29 4 4 San Diego
3 78 Louis Vasquez G Texas Tech 38 38 19 San Diego
4 113 Vaughn Martin DT West. Ontario 36 15 8 San Diego
4 133 Tyronne Green G Auburn 28 15 8 San Diego
4 134 Gartrell Johnson RB Colorado St. 19 0 0 None
5 148 Brandon Hughes CB Oregon St. 14 1 1 Philadelphia
6 189 Kevin Ellison SS USC 13 9 4 None
7 224 Demetrius Byrd WR LSU 0 0 0 None
 
Best Pick: G Louis Vasquez (3.78) - After Houston took guard Antoine Caldwell on the previous pick, the Chargers added Vasquez in the middle of the third round. He has been the better layer, with 38 career starts at right guard. He may not be a strong run blocker, but the Chargers have been transformed into a passing offense anyway. The LaDainian Tomlinson era feels like a long time ago.
 
Worst Pick: LB Larry English (1.16) - The plan and need were obvious, but English has been very disappointing each season. Last year, he played in just five games and made seven tackles on 77 snaps. This is coming after a season in which he only played 150 snaps. He saw the field most as a rookie, with 561 snaps, but he only had two sacks and 36 tackles.

The Others

DT Vaughn Martin (4.113) - Martin played college ball at the University of Western Ontario. He was able to participate at Michigan’s Pro Day, which is where he caught the attention of several scouts. After 162 snaps as a rookie and 185 snaps in 2010, Martin moved into the starting role at left defensive end in 2011. Martin has also been drafted to the CFL, but remains with San Diego.
 
G Tyronne Green (4.133) - Only saw 66 snaps at left guard as a rookie. He had 620 snaps (seven starts) in 2010, with most of his time spent at right guard. Last season he spent time at four different positions, and played 564 snaps (eight starts). His shaky pass protection makes him a liability for the not-so-mobile Philip Rivers in the pocket.
 
RB Gartrell Johnson (4.134) - With back-to-back picks, San Diego added another running back to a crowded backfield. Johnson was released early into the 2009 season, and he has played in 19 games for the Giants and Falcons. He has 23 carries for 79 yards, but never played for San Diego. Johnson is a free agent.
 
CB Brandon Hughes (5.148) - After never playing in a regular season game with the Chargers, Hughes was moved to the Giants’ practice squad in 2010. The Eagles claimed him, and he has played in 14 games for them.
 
SS Kevin Ellison (6.189) - A safety at USC, Ellison played 440 snaps as a rookie for San Diego, with 52 tackles. Not long after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance in 2010, San Diego released him. Pete Carroll claimed him in Seattle, but he was released before the season. He was arrested two weeks ago for arson after starting an apartment fire. He claimed God told him to do it. A free agent, and a troubled mind.
 
WR Demetrius Byrd (7.224) - This was San Diego taking a low-risk chance at a talented player. Byrd was seriously injured in a car accident just six days before the draft, but the Chargers picked him anyway. He spent 2009 on injured reserve, and was released by the team in 2010.
 

1. OAKLAND RAIDERS

Maybe Al Davis was not so crazy after all in 2009

Flashback to the 2009 draft and it was a good time to be a non-Oakland fan and watch what was about to happen in the first two rounds.
 
With everyone expecting Michael Crabtree to be the first wide receiver off the board, Al Davis and the Raiders pulled a fast one at No. 7 overall by taking Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey. He was of course the fastest receiver in the draft, but far from the most productive.
 
In three years at Maryland, Heyward-Bey had 138 receptions for 2,089 yards and 13 touchdowns. In two years at Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree -- in a pass-happy system mind you -- had 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns.
 
If that was not enough of a surprise, let’s go to the second round and the No. 47 pick. The Raiders scraped the barrel to draw up Mike Mitchell, a safety from Ohio University. Not THE Ohio State University. Just “Ohio.”
 
The reaction to the pick was most entertaining. NFL.com did not have analysis ready on Mitchell, since he was not expected to be drafted. NFL Network’s draft expert Mike Mayock had a seventh-round grade for Mitchell. ESPN’s Mel Kiper had Mitchell between the 40th and 70th best safety in the draft.
 
Even if other teams may have taken Mitchell at some point, it was Oakland again overvaluing athleticism over production in the draft.
 
Yet, here we are three years later and both of these players are still on the roster, and they made a few more pickups in the later rounds as well. Maybe there was actually a plan and vision all along.

The Class

Rnd Pick Player Pos. College GP GS CarAV 2012 Team
1 7 Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland 41 39 13 Oakland
2 47 Mike Mitchell S Ohio 45 7 5 Oakland
3 71 Matt Shaughnessy DE Wisconsin 35 13 8 Oakland
4 124 Louis Murphy WR Florida 41 19 11 Oakland
4 126 Slade Norris DE Oregon St. 9 0 0 Detroit
6 199 Stryker Sulak DE Missouri 0 0 0 None
6 202 Brandon Myers TE Iowa 42 12 6 Oakland
 
 
Best Pick: DE Matt Shaughnessy (3.71) - Played 409 snaps as a rookie and was productive at both stopping the run and rushing the passer. He moved up to 649 snaps with eight starts in 2010, and had a career-best 7.0 sacks and was very stout against the run. He ranked 5th against the run among all 4-3 defensive ends in 2010, according to Pro Football Focus. Shaughnessy’s 2011 was cut short after just three games because of a shoulder injury.
 
Worst Pick: S Mike Mitchell (2.47) - Even if he has done more than the average seventh-round pick, he is still not a player that should have been taken 47th overall. He has only missed three games in his career, but only has seven starts. He played 217 snaps as a rookie, and gave the Raiders good depth at safety. 2010 saw him move up to 509 snaps, and he struggled with the increased playing time. Last season was very similar with 507 snaps and poor marks in his run defense and pass coverage. He has made 98 tackles and two interceptions. William Moore, drafted 55th by Atlanta, would have been a much better pick for 47th.

The Others

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (1.7) - Who’s laughing now? Give him some time, non-JaMarcus quarterback play, and Heyward-Bey had 975 yards in 15 games last season. Crabtree’s best season is 874 yards. This will be a comparison disputed in the Bay Area for years to come, but right now, the Raiders can feel some retribution for everyone that said Crabtree was clearly the best receiver. Of course, most people would rather just take Hakeem Nicks and Mike Wallace than anyone else in this draft.
 
WR Louis Murphy (4.124) - Florida receivers have earned a bad reputation in recent years, but Murphy was a good value pick in the fourth round. After starting nine games in each of his first two seasons, Murphy had 1,130 yards. Last season he was pushed down the depth chart because of better talent, and only had 15 receptions for 241 yards.
 
DE Slade Norris (4.126) - He only played on special teams in four games for the Raiders in 2009. No defensive snaps. Norris was put on the practice squad in 2010, but released during the season. He has been with Seattle, Jacksonville, and now is with Detroit.
 
DE Stryker Sulak (6.199) - With the “Tom Brady pick of the draft”, the Raiders went for their third defensive end. However, Sulak was released before even signing a contract with the team. Green Bay had him in camp briefly, but released him. Sulak never played a NFL game.
 
TE Brandon Myers (6.202) - Myers has been a good late-round depth choice for Oakland. He has 12 starts and 32 receptions for 250 yards in his career. His snap counts: 84 in 2009, 215 in 2010, and 407 in 2011.
 

SUMMARY

Team Oakland San Diego Denver Kansas City
Players 7 8 10 8
Still on team 5 4 3 4
Total GP 213 177 230 197
Total GS 90 82 69 47
Total CarAV 43 44 47 24
 
Kansas City at least got a kicker, and Jackson will still try and make something out of his career there. Other than that, all that remains are two warm bodies for depth.
 
Denver has one starter on defense, a running back that could contribute something if healthy, and a depth player at safety. These two teams could flip flop if Jackson ever lived up to expectations, while Ayers and Moreno declined.
 
San Diego has one good guard starting, another that needs to improve, a defensive tackle that needs to improve, and a first-round linebacker that is likely headed for a do-or-die season.
 
Oakland got two wide receivers (one being clear starter material), a good defensive end, an overvalued safety, and tight end depth.
 
In the 2009 NFL Draft, apparently getting anyone to fill a roster spot is a noteworthy accomplishment. This was not a good draft by any means.
 
Scott Kacsmar is a football writer/researcher who has contributed large quantities of data to Pro-Football-Reference.com, including the only standardized database of fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. The Three Stooges:  Knowshon Moreno, Larry English, and Tyson “Curly” Jackson? You can send any questions or comments to Scott at smk_42@yahoo.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @CaptainComeback.