With a mere 18 days until the 2014 NFL Draft, I thought we’d take a look back to four years ago. Why review the 2010 draft? After months and months of evaluating players in preparation for the Dallas Cowboys portion of the upcoming draft, there is a tendency to believe every player taken in the first round has the potential to be a Hall of Famer. The fact is a majority of these top prospects don’t live up to the hype. And with the top selections from the 2010 draft now having three seasons under their belts, the trajectory of their NFL careers should be much easier to predict.
First, let’s take a look at those prospects selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
2010 NFL Draft First Round
Here are some of interesting facts about this draft class:
- Out of the 32 players selected in the first round, only 16 of them have been selected to attend the Pro Bowl in the last three years. The top pick in the draft, Ram’s quarterback Sam Bradford, is not one of them.
- Four of these players have Super Bowl rings. (Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul and Bryan Bulaga)
- Out of the 32 players, two of them are no longer in the NFL. (Tim Tebow, Jahvid Best)
- And another two play for different teams than the one who drafted them. (Rolando McClain, Jerry Hughes)
- Despite not having a first round selection in this draft, the Baltimore Raven would win the championship less than two years later.
As for the Cowboys, the acquisition of Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant could be looked upon as a turning point for the franchise. Bryant, who many considered a top-five talent, dropped steeply in the first round due to major concerns about various off-the-field issues. Dallas traded up three spots, from #27 to #24 to draft him. And their risk paid off big.
Although there have been some off-the-field issues, no one can deny Bryant’s impact on it. Only two wide receivers in NFL history have compiled 275 receptions, 4,000 yards and 40 TDs through their first four NFL seasons: Randy Moss and Dez Bryant. For Dez, the sky is the limit. He’s seen as one of the top young wideouts in the NFL. Other players drafted in his class aren’t as lucky.
The truth is, there aren’t many Dez Bryants out there. Despite bolstering 16 Pro Bowl players, a lot of those prospects are still trying to prove they were worthy of being a first round selection. Players like Bradford, McClain, Ryan Matthews and C.J. Spiller. Some players, like Tebow for instance, are just trying to prove they belong in the NFL. But that’s the thing about first rounders. Most of them will get every opportunity to prove themselves.
So when these “great” players are being selected in the first round of next month’s draft, just remember this: Out of the 322 total players selected in the first round from 1990 until the 2000 NFL Draft, only eight of them have actually been named to the Hall of Fame. Greatness is a rare thing. And most of these new elite prospects won’t live up to their first round billing either.