Analysis NFL Draft Opinion

What the past decade tells us about drafting at #32

The 2020 NFL Draft will kick off on April 23rd and the Kansas City Chiefs will have the last pick in the first round. Pick 32nd isn’t usually something to be too excited about but since the reason the Chiefs are picking at 32 is that they won the Superbowl, there is a lot for Chiefs Kingdom to be excited about. The Chiefs have not held the 32nd pick since the league had expanded to 32 teams. Obviously, this is because they had not won the Superbowl since the 1969 season. So, what does the past decade show us about pick number 32?

2010 – Saints pick Patrick Robinson CB, Florida State

Patrick Robinson returned to the Saints in 2018 after being traded from the team in 2015. He showed some inconsistency in his first stint with the Saints but was able to prove himself as one of the league’s best slot cornerbacks during his time with the Chargers, Colts, and Eagles. A broken left ankle early in the 2018 season landed him on injured reserve, which resulted in him losing his job to P.J. Williams. Robinson continued to play sparingly last season but has not returned to a starting role.

2011 – Packers pick Derek Sherrod OT, Mississippi State

Derek Sherrod’s career never really got off the ground for the Packers. In four seasons in Green Bay, he started just one game. He was plagued with a leg injury that kept him out of the 2012 season and was out of the league after the 2014 season.

2012 – Giants pick David Wilson RB, Virginia Tech

In his rookie year, David Wilson was pretty productive as a return specialist. He led the league in kick return yards with 1,533. He also ran for 358 yards with four touchdowns. He earned a spot on the AP All-Pro second team in 2012 for his role on special teams. With the release of Ahmad Bradshaw, Wilson became the starting back in 2013, but suffered a severe neck injury in week five. Even after surgery, Wilson was unable to play in 2014 and he retired in August of that year.

2013 – Ravens pick Matt Elam FS, Florida

Matt Elam had a promising rookie year with 77 tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception but his production fell off the following year. He would eventually lose his starting role. He suffered a bicep injury in 2015 and fell into some drug related legal issues that led to his release in 2017.

2014 – Vikings pick Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater had a very promising start with the Vikings. He was the Pepsi Rookie of the Year in 2014 and went to his first Pro Bowl in 2015, while also taking his team to the playoffs that same year. A severe leg injury in preseason the following year, knocked Bridgewater out for the next two seasons. The Vikings were unsure of how the quarterback would heal so they moved on from him in 2018. After one season with the Jets, the Saints traded for Bridgewater to back up Drew Brees. Due to an injury to Brees, Bridgwater was finally able to showcase himself as a starter for five games. He won all five. As a result, he landed a contract with the Panthers to replace Cam Newton as their starting quarterback.

2015 – Patriots pick Malcom Brown DT, Texas

Malcom Brown played four seasons with the Patriots and was a starter through most of his time there. He tallied 186 tackles and eight and a half sacks with New England. In 2019, Brown signed a three-year deal with the Saints.

2016 – Browns pick Emmanuel Ogbah DE, Oklahoma St

Emmanuel Ogbah was actually the first pick in the second round, but because the Patriots had to forfeit their first-round pick, there were only 31 picks in the first round. He started all 16 games for the Browns as a rookie, finishing with 53 tackles and leading the team with 5.5 sacks. A promising year two was cut short by a foot injury and he was traded the following year to the Chiefs. He had a similar story with the Chiefs. He was leading the team in sacks with 5.5 but his season ended with a pectoral injury. In March, Ogbah signed a two-year deal with the Dolphins.

2017 – Saints pick Ryan Ramczyk OT, Wisconsin

Ryan Ramczyk has been a starter for the Saints since day one. He was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team after his rookie year. He became a Second-Team All-Pro the following season and a First-Team All-Pro the following year. He was the highest graded Tackle by Pro Football Focus after allowing zero sacks in 2019.

2018 – Ravens pick Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson is without a doubt the best player on this list. Starting the final eight games of his rookie year, Jackson led the Ravens to the playoffs. The following season, Jackson became the leagues unanimous MVP. He became the first player to throw 30 touchdowns and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season and the first player to rush for 1,000+ yards and pass for 3,000+ yards in a single season.

2019 – Patriots pick N’Keal Harry WR, Arizona St.  

N’Keal Harry’s rookie campaign was limited due to an ankle injury that sidelined him for all but seven games last season. During his time on the field, Harry only brought in 12 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The hope is that he will be able to provide more of an impact in 2020.

So, while there have been a couple of flashes at pick 32, there have definitely been some duds. The good news for Chiefs fans is that Brett Veach has proven that he can find quality players no matter where the team is picking. Guys like Mecole Hardman, Juan Thornhill, and Tanoh Kpassagnon were all picks after the first round. In fact, if the Chiefs hang on to pick 32, it will be the highest that Veach has drafted since he became the general manager in the summer of 2017. With his recent success in finding talent, I trust that he will land the right guy at 32.

Leave a Reply