So the head coaching search is over and the reloading season can begin anew. Completely anew, as hasn't been the case in many a year. (14 years, to be precise.) It is a time when we can pretend to be GM's, ogle at big-name free agents and demand ludicrous signings and draft picks. By far, the NFL Draft is the most exciting part of this reloading season. New talent is brought in to replace old cogs; young faces are labelled as the futures of franchises. As Bronco fans, we share a certain amount of extra excitement heading into this year's draft. We have a new head coach, thoroughly trained in "the Patriot way." The way that drafted, you know, Tom Brady.
Throughout the years, Mike Shanahan put on a draft clinic equal in scale to Josh McDaniels's mentors in New England. Except, when people used Mike Shanahan's drafts as lessons, they usually conveyed something along these lines: "Whatever you do, do not effing do anything that this guy did."
It has recently been imparted to the faithful denizens of MHR the actual process that Mike Shanahan used to draft his players. Per Michael Lombardi, Shanny's assistant coaches would compile highlight reels of players they liked, show them to Shanny, and then Shanny would draft the ones he liked best. Seriously. Hopefully, McDaniels' new "Bronco Way" of doing things will be a little more involved than that.
To fully understand the scope of Shanny's draft failures, I hereby present to you... Shanny's draft failures. Here are the first round choices made by Shanny since he took over in 1995, and whether or not Papi decides that they are busts.
1995- no pick. (Can't be a bust if you don't pick anyone, right?)
1996- John Mobley, MLB. (Not a bust. Started 102 games for us.)
1997- Trevor Pryce, DE/DT. (Not. Recorded 65 sacks in 9 years with us.)
1998- Marcus Nash, WR. (BUST! Out of the NFL by 2000.)
1999- Al Wilson, MLB. (Nope. Don't we all miss Big Al?)
2000- Deltha O'Neal, CB. (BUST! Currently with Bungles.)
2001- Willie Middlebrooks, CB. (I think you all know that he's a BUST!)
2002- Ashley Lelie, WR. (BUST. Our trash is the Raiders overpaid trash.)
2003- George Foster, T. (BUST! Just finished losing 16 games in a season)
2004- DJ Williams, LB. (Not a bust. Currently our best LB.)
2005- No pick. (Thank God. The busts were starting to pile up.)
2006- Jay Cutler, QB. (Not a bust at all. The Magnificent Six is our future.)
2007- Jarvis Moss, DE. (BUST! Jury may be still out if Mike Nolan can save him.)
2008- Ryan Clady, T. (Not a bust.)
So there you have it. In 14 years, Shanny drafted in the first round 12 times. Of those 12, 6 were busts. That's a 50% success rate. Compare that to McDaniels' Pats, who since 1995 have drafted Ty Law, Terry Glenn, Tebucky Jones, Damien Woody, Richard Seymoure, Daniel Graham, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Benjamin Watson, Logan Mankins, Laurence Maroney, Brandon Merriweather, and Jerrod Mayo. All in the first round. That's 13 non busts out of 16 picks. Compare that to their supposed 'genius' at drafting in the later rounds. Yeah.
Where Shanny was below average at first rounds, he was truly abysmal at mid-to-late-round picks. Take a look at some of these drafts:
4 Ken Brown BUST 5 Phil Yeboah-Kodie BUST 6 Fritz Fequeire BUST 6 Terrell Davis :) 7 Steve Russ BUST 7 Byron Chamberlain
1 John Mobley :) 2 Tory James BUST 3 Detron Smith :| 3 Mark Campbell BUST 4 Jeff Lewis BUST 4 Darius Johnson BUST 5 Patrick Jeffers BUST 6 Tony Veland BUST 7 Leslie Ratliffe BUST 7 Chris Banks BUST 7 L.T. Levine BUST 7 Brian Gragert BUST
1 Trevor Pryce :) 3 Dan Neil :| 4 Cory Gilliard BUST
1 Marcus Nash BUST 2 Eric Brown BUST 3 Brian Griese BUST!!!!!! 4 Curtis Alexander BUST 5 Chris Howard BUST 7 Trey Teague BUST 7 Nate Wayne BUST
1 Al Wilson :) 2 Montae Reagor BUST 2 Lennie Friedman BUST 3 Chris Watson BUST! 3 Travis McGriff BUST 4 Olandis Gary :| 5 David Bowens BUST 5 Darwin Brown BUST 6 Desmond Clark :| 6 Chad Plummer BUST 7 Billy Miller BUST 7 Justin Swift BUST
1 Deltha O'Neal BUST 2 Ian Gold BUST 2 Kenoy Kennedy BUST 3 Chris Cole BUST 4 Jerry Johnson BUST 4 Cooper Carlisle :| 5 Muneer Moore BUST 6 Mike Anderson :) 7 Jarious Jackson BUST 7 Leroy Fields BUST
1 Willie Middlebrooks BUST 2 Paul Toviessi BUST 3 Reggie Hayward BUST 4 Ben Hamilton :) 4 Nick Harris BUST 6 Kevin Kasper BUST
1 Ashley Lelie BUST 2 Clinton Portis :( 3 Dorsett Davis BUST 4 Sam Brandon BUST 5 Herb Haygood BUST 6 Jeb Putzier :| 7 Chris Young BUST 7 Monsanto Pope BUST
1 George Foster BUST! 2 Terry Pierce BUST! 4 Quentin Griffin BUST! 4 Nicholas Eason BUST! 4 Bryant McNeal BUST! 5 Ben Claxton BUST! 5 Adrian Madise BUST! 6 Aaron Hunt BUST! 7 Clint Mitchell BUST! 7 Ahmaad Galloway BUST!
1 D.J. Williams :) 2 Tatum Bell :| 2 Darius Watts BUST 3 Jeremy LeSueur BUST 5 Jeff Shoate BUST 6 Triandos Luke BUST 6 Josh Sewell BUST 7 Matt Mauck BUST 7 Brandon Miree BUST 7 Bradlee Van Pelt :|
2 Darrent Williams :`^( 3 Karl Paymah BUST 3 Domonique Foxworth BUST 3 Maurice Clarett OMGBUST 6 Chris Myers BUST 7 Paul Ernster BUST
1 Jay Cutler :D 2 Tony Scheffler :) 4 Brandon Marshall :) 4 Elvis Dumervil :\ 4 Domenik Hixon BUST 5 Chris Kuper :) 6 Greg Eslinger
1 Jarvis Moss Bust? 2 Tim Crowder BUST 3 Ryan Harris :) 4 Marcus Thomas
1 Ryan Clady >:O 2 Eddie Royal <@:) 4 Kory Lichtensteiger :) 4 Jack Williams :o 5 Ryan Torain :| 5 Carlton Powell :| 6 Spencer Larsen :) 7 Josh Barrett :| 7 Peyton Hillis >:^O
What we have learned from these charts is not only that I suck at at making charts, but Mike Shanahan can't draft. Excluding the last 3 drafts, We have 99 draft picks and 73 busts. Ouch. Regardless of whether you believe some of my bustsare busts, or vice versa, you cannot deny that Mike busted a lot in his tenure as GM/Coach.
With the Goodmans and Xanders in place, and McDaniels trained in his Patriots drafting ways, we are set to have one of the most efficient heirarchies in the entire NFL landscape. You will notice that the lone bright spots are 2006 and 2008. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is the future. Prepare for a long string of excellent drafts, starting in 2009, with the "rebuild the defense:stage 1" plan in place.
All I can say is, please, Mac Daddy, do better than Shanny did!! (Not that it will be that hard to.)