When you reflect on where the top 14 picks have wound up, it might be safe to say that there’s never been an NFL draft like the 2007 NFL draft.
It feels like just yesterday the Oakland Raiders took JaMarcus Russell first overall. And while so much has happened in the last nine years, it’s crazy to think it’s still been less than a decade.
That’s because the top pick, Russell, has already been out of the league six years and is widely considered to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history. Three other notable top-12 picks — No. 2 selection Calvin Johnson, No. 11 selection Patrick Willis and No. 12 selection Marshawn Lynch — are also out of the league (or at least it appears that way). But amazingly, all three are viewed as legends rather than busts. Despite the fact they were all drafted just nine years ago, all three may be Hall of Famers.
No. 3 pick Joe Thomas, No. 7 pick Adrian Peterson and No. 14 pick Darrelle Revis remain active and look like surefire Hall of Famers, which at the very least means that the draft that gave us arguably the biggest bust of all time also gifted us with half a dozen legends in the top half of the first round.
It gets weirder. Sadly, No. 4 pick Gaines Adams has been dead more than half a decade. No. 6 pick LaRon Landry has been suspended for, like, ever, and inexplicably has the biggest muscles on the planet. No. 9 pick Ted Ginn is an oft-maligned drop machine, but he was the MVP’s top target in 2015 and is coming off a Super Bowl appearance with the Panthers.
And then there are more busts, like No. 5 pick Levi Brown, who only lasted seven seasons because the Cardinals were in denial, and No. 8 pick Jamaal Anderson, who played for three teams in as many years between 2010 and 2012 before exiting the league for good.
These dudes are just all over the map.
The only guys among that top 14 who had borderline normal careers without hitting extremes were No. 10 pick Amobi Okoye, who was a regular if unspectacular starter for four years in Houston before having cups of coffee with Chicago and Dallas, and No. 13 pick Adam Carriker, who started 58 games in six seasons with the Rams and Redskins.
Those two are both gone now as well, which means that if Johnson and Lynch stick to their guns we’ll have just four players still active from that group of 14. Three of them should be Hall of Famers, which could bring the Hall of Fame total from the top of a boom-or-bust draft to as high as six.
Crazy, just crazy. The top of the ’07 draft will never be forgotten.