The Line Backers jumped out to an early lead in the last poll, and so they got the early nod. I knew that there are a lot of them and that this research would take some time. The D-line won by a vote so they're next, and then the CB's, so it looks like those areas that concerned us most going into the last draft win the ticket.

I immediately saw an improvement in the Line Backers over the Running backs. Just the fact that we are covering a 16 year span tells us that! (RB's started in 99', 13y)

The Bronco's have had some very solid, and exceptional talent at the LB spot. Everyone remembers the names of (4th Rnd Pick) **Tom Jackson** (73' - 86', **14y**), (1st) **Randy Gradishar** (74' - 83', **10y**), (UDFA) **James Ryan** (79' - 88', **12y**), (12th) **Karl Mecklenburg** (83' - 94', **12y**), (2nd) **Simon Fletcher** (85' - 95', **11y**), (1st) **Al Wilson** (99' - 06, **8y**)

via t1.gstatic.com

**LB Thomas Louie Jackson,** started the last 4 games of his rookie season and 177 **(93%)** of the 191 he played in. He was selected to 11 All Pro teams and 3 Pro Bowls.

via t0.gstatic.com

**LB Randolph Charles Gradishar,** started the last 3 games of his rookie season, and held that roll until he retired. Starting 133 **(92%)** of the 145 games he played in, he was a 1st and/or 2nd team All-Conf/All-NFL, All Pro selection 27 times those 10 years, and was named the 1978 NFL, AP Defensive Player of the Year. He also played in 7 Pro Bowls. Fortunately, we found the next two guys during Randy's career!

via t1.gstatic.com

**LB James Joseph Ryan** started 91 **(61%)** of the 150 games he played in. Un-drafted, he watched 52 LB's drafted ahead of him. 10 of those were cut in camp, and only 3 players (2, 1st's & 1, 11th round pick) of the fifty selected matched or surpassed his longevity!

**LB Karl Bernard Mecklenburg,** started 141 **(78%)** of the 180 games he played in. Karl was named to 22 All Pro teams and played in 6 Pro Bowls.

via t3.gstatic.com

**LB Simon Raynard Fletcher,** started 143 **(83%)** of the 172 games he played in, and recorded 97.5 sacks in those 11 years. He was grossly under rated and snubbed every year by all the All Pro/Pro Bowl selectors.

via broncotalk.net

**LB Aldra Kauwa Wilson,** started 119 **(95%)** of the 125 games he played in. He was selected to 4 All Pro Teams and played in 5 Pro Bowls during his 8 year career. So, have you guessed what these 6 men have in common? It certainly wasn't the round they were selected in as only two were first rounders and one went un-drafted.

They all played their entire careers in Denver, and everyone of them played with at least one of the other guys in the group. You may have noticed that the first four guys on this list were all together for one year (1983) before Gradishar retired. Tom Jackson lit the torch in 1973, and these men passed it along for 33 years until Al Wilson retired in 06'.

A fairly true statement could be made that "Denver Bronco fans have been spoiled when I comes to the LB position", since we had at least one stand out player over a 33 year stretch. Of course there were others like Bill Romanowski who contributed, but he wasn't a "Bronco for Life" so he didn't make my list.

**Now we jump to the rest of the league,** and begin with **the 1996 draft**, which is where we find our longest tenured player who remained on last years roster, and then we'll end at the five year cut off. An argument can be made (if you wish) that a player who lasts 4 years or less in the league still has value. I enthusiastically agree.

But they had better be the very best of the best, for those short years. If they are the best, then it would have to be a catastrophic injury that ended their career. However, with all the money spent by teams to "train them up", one would hope that the investment pays off!

When you think about the serious commitment of a students time just to get to the NFL for a shot at stardom, then even a five year stretch is far too short. Any player who has dedicated that much of their lives to the sport will be disappointed with anything less than a long career.

The joint purpose of both the players and the league has always been about finding the perfect player/team match that produces long careers. The billion dollar question has always been "How can we be sure that this is one of those guys?"

A recent statement by Jack Del Rio about Derek Wolfe says it all:

'This is the kind of guy that Pittsburgh takes, and he plays for the next 10 years. They just had a guy like that who just retired.' "

That would be Aaron Smith, the former Northern Colorado star who just finished a 13-year career with the Steelers that included two Super Bowl rings.From the Denver Post

"A good, smart player who is going to play a long time," Del Rio said. "He cares. He's intelligent. He plays hard. I see this (Derek Wolfe) being that kind of guy. He's a worker. He's got rush ability. He's not a big tackle right now. So right now his body type is probably more of a base end that can slide inside (in the nickel). We'll play him at both spots. That's extra value. That's like a guy who can play center and guard. That's OK. You need guys who can do multiple things."

Perhaps we can learn from recent history, since it fits best with the game as it is today.

I am a firm believer that every team in this league who spends the time and money to develop a player needs to get more than 5 years pay back for that effort.

Look at 1st round picks, **Ray Lewis** (Drafted in 96', 16y), (1st) **James Farrior** (97', 15y), and 1st round picks **Keith Brooking** & **Takeo Spikes** (98', 14y). They are the four longest tenured on the 2011 roster, and are all first round picks. Coincidence? I doubt it. **I'd be very surprised if Von Miller didn't stick around for 15 or 16!** Just that thought excites me!

2nd round pick Mike Peterson & (3rd) Joey Porter (both selected in 99', 13y), are attop the 2nd & 3rd round groups, and so we now have the 2000 - 2007 years to look at before we reach the 5 year mark.

Why would four years ever be considered a pay off, unless it is the position of RB. That study showed that the vast majority of running backs are gone within 4 years. After a catastrophic injury in the 4th game of his 5th season, Terrell Davis effectively ended what could have been an incredible record breaking career!

How many TD's are out there? Not many, if any. It would be interesting to see a study on how many RB's careers were ended by injury, or how many just got beat out by better talent. Here is where you can find a list of every RB that has been drafted, from every year they were drafted, beginning with the year of the oldest tenured RB that played last year.

With that list, you can begin with every player that was cut, and never made an NFL roster, and google all those names, and then the 1 year guys, and then...Well, we won't complain if you take the time to bring that to us!

This study covers a 12 year period of drafts (1996 - 2007), begining 16 years ago and of course the focus is on the line backer position. After presenting the facts that I was able to gleen from this, I included the year by year listing as I did in the running back post.

At the end of each year is the AVGY (Average years of tenure based upon that draft class) along with a few short notes on that group, but first I'll summarize my findings for those of you who don't have the time or interest to wade through all of that.

The first thing that stood out was the difference in AVGY from that of the running backs. Since it was at least a year and a half to 4 years better in one case, I decided that looking at the players who lasted 8 years or more could tell us something.

The example is that 34% of the selections in 96' had careers lasting 8 or more years. I showed the player percentages over five years in the running back group and included that here as well. The table below shows both, along with the AVGY for that draft class.

**Draft Year:..5 years...8 years.........AVGY**

1996...............52%..........34%.............5.8

1997...............57%..........27%.............5.2

1998...............48%..........35%.............5.2

1999...............52%..........35%.............5.1**2000...............74%..........46%.............7.2**

2001...............50%..........**07%**.............4.3

2002...............58%..........35%.............5.8**2003...............63%..........44%.............5.7**

2004...............61%..........29%.............4.7

2005...............53%..........N/A..............4.5

2006...............53%..........N/A..............4.2

2007...............**65%**..........N/A..............4.0

You may want to take a look at the year 2000 group down below just to see who is in it! As you can see, that year blows away the all other years. 74% lasting 5 years, and almost 50% at 8 or more years is some amazing longevity (by NFL RB standards) to get from a group of 30 guys. A 7.2 year average for this group was exceptional, and 10% of the group were still playing last year!

That excellent year was followed by the absolute worst year, but 2003, 04' & 07' are showing a lot of promise since they still have active players who will only improve those numbers.

**What can we learn about the correlation of longevity and the draft round in which these guys were selected? **The table below shows the round, the number of players selected, the % of those players who made or exceeded the 5 year cut off, the % of players who made or exceeded the 8 year cut (which includes players from 2004 - 1996), and the average years this group played

**Draft round..Qty of Picks..5 years....8 years....AVGY**

1........................40.............**.90%**..........**68%**............**7.7**

2........................47..............83%..........38%............6.2

3........................60..............60%..........43%............5.9

4........................59..............70%..........38%............6.1

5........................53..............47%..........23%............4.3

6........................52..............38%..........12%............3.9

7........................58..............26%..........16%............2.9

**If you want to be certain to get a Line Backer who will last 8+ years then you better get him in the first round.** The following list shows the year of service to date and the (#) of 1st round players who have lasted that long. The astrisc indicates that there are active players in that group. *8 (7), *9 (4), 10 (1), 11 (2), *12 (1), *14 (2), 15 (1), *16 (1).

With 22 of the 40 1st round players still active, this groups numbers are going to improve even more. The following list shows the # of players still active in 2011, based upon the round in which they were selected.

**Round...Total Selected..Total active...% active (2011)**

1........................40..................22..............**55%**

2........................47..................15..............32%

3........................60..................10..............17%

4........................59..................13..............22%

5........................53..................09..............17%

6........................52..................05..............10%

7........................58..................05..............09%

After the first two rounds even the percentage of players still active is not significant enough to create much change in the above information. The fact that the actual number of players picked in each round following the first two are fairly equal, shows that this is a very reliable group of statistics.

**It appears that the league as a whole is pretty good at judging LB talent. **The later picks simply appear to be grab and hope picks, although there have been a few gems as you can see by the list below.

**Rnd..Name..........last Year Played**

5 Zach Thomas.........2008 (13 y)

7 Carlos Emmons......2006 (11 y)

4 A Singleton.............2006 (10 y)

4 Shawn Barber........ 2007 (10 y)

4 Rosevelt Colvin......2008 (10 y)

5 Eric Barton.............2010 (12 y)

6 Dhani Jones...........2010 (11 y)

6 Adalius Thomas.....2009 (10 y)

7 Danny Clark.......... 2010 (11 y)

4 Na'il Diggs..............2011* (12 y)

5 Clark Haggans...... 2011* (12 y)

4 Kevin Bentley........ 2011* (10 y)

4 Larry Foote........... 2011* (10 y)

5 Andra Davis.......... 2011* (10 y)

5 Scott Fujita............ 2011* (10 y)

**That ends the summary.** In the rest of the information are the anual break downs for those of you who may want to use them as a quick reference. Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you found something interesting or useful. There are additional notes at the end of each list below.

**1996:** **16 years ago 29 players were selected.** 2 were cut in camp, 4) played 1year, 3) 2y, 2) 3y, 3) 4y, 4) 5y, 1) 7y, 2) 8y, 1) 9y, 1) 11y, 1) 12y, 4) 13y, and Ray Lewis tops the group with a 16 year career that is still ongoing. He is currently listed on the Baltimore Ravens 2012 roster. 52% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Kevin Hardy............2004 (9 y)

1 John Mobley...........2003 (8 y)

1 Reggie D. Brown....1997 (2 y)

1 Ray Lewis...............2011* (16 y)

2 Randall Godfrey.....2007 (12 y)

2 Patrick Sapp..........1999 (4 y)

2 Gabe Northern.......2000 (5 y)

3 Steve Conley.........1998 (13 y)

3 Tedy Bruschi......... 2008 (13 y)

4 Donnie Edwards.... 2008 (13 y)

4 Percell Gaskins..... 1997 (2 y)

4 Sean Moran.......... 2003 (8 y)

4 Ray Farmer........... 1998 (3 y)

4 LaCurtis Jones...... 1996 (1 y)

4 Earl Holmes........... 2005 (5 y)

4 Eric Unverzagt........1997 (2 y)

5 Whit Marshall........ 1999 (4 y)

5 Zach Thomas........ 2008 (13 y)

5 Alan Campos.........1996 (1 y)

6 Doug Colman.........2000 (5 y)

6 Dexter Daniels.......1996 (1 y)

6 Tom Tumulty..........1998 (3 y)

6 Scott Galyon..........2002 (7 y)

6 Craig Sauer............2000 (5 y)

7 Jeremy Asher..........CUT

7 Sedric Clark...........1996 (1 y)

7 Dan Brandenburg..1999 (4 y)

7 Carlos Emmons......2006 (11 y)

7 Sam Manuel...........CUT

(AVGY = **5.8**)

10 of 29 (**34%**) of the selections in 96' had careers lasting 8 or more years. Although the 29 players selected combined for 171 years of NFL play, the ten longest tenured accounted for 116 (68%) of those years!

What exactly can we learn from the fact that 34% of the group accounts for 68% of the longevity? Perhaps if we were to take a demographic from the longer tenured players in this 12 years of drafts, it could teach us something about the body types best suited for long careers. We may also find other things that contribute such as their style of play, etc.

**1997: 15 years ago 37 players were selected.** 3 were cut in camp, 6) played 1year, 5) 2y, 1) 4y, 3) 5y, 4) 6y, 3) 7y, 2) 8y, 3) 9y, 3) 10, 1) 12y, 1) 14y, and James Farrior completed his 15th last year and was released by the Steelers this summer. 57% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Peter Boulware......2005 (9 y)

1 James Farrior........2011* (15 y)

1 Reinard Wilson......2002 (6 y)

1 Dwayne Rudd........2003 (7 y)

2 Jamie Sharper.......2005 (9 y)

2 Greg Jones............2002 (6 y)

2 James Darling....... 2006 (10 y)

3 Dexter Coakley......2006 (10 y)

3 Ryan Phillips..........2001 (5 y)

3 Michael Hamilton....2000 (4 y)

3 James Hamilton......1998 (2 y)

3 Derek Smith...........2008 (12 y)

3 Kinnon Tatum.........1998 (2 y)

3 Mike Vrabel............2010 (14 y)

3 Derrick Rodgers.....2004 (8 y)

3 Ronnie Ward......... 1997 (1 y)

4 Henri Crockett....... 2003 (7 y)

4 Pete Monty............ 2001 (5 y)

4 Tyrus McCloud...... 1998 (2 y)

4 Tarek Saleh........... 2001 (5 y)

4 A Singleton.............2006 (10 y)

4 Matt Russell............1997 (1 y)

5 Twan Russell......... 2003 (7 y)

5 Anthony Hicks.........CUT

6 Tim Scharf..............CUT

6 Mike Crawford....... 1997 (1 y)

6 Canute Curtis.........2002 (6 y)

6 M Kazadi................1997 (1 y)

6 Dennis Stallings.... 1998 (2 y)

6 Scott Von der Ahe..1997 (1 y)

6 Tony McCombs......1998 (2 y)

6 Cornell Brown.........2004 (8 y)

6 Richard Hogans......CUT

7 Toran James..........1997 (1 y)

7 Artie Ulmer..............2005 (9 y)

7 Jon Hesse..............1998 (2 y)

7 Richard Jordan.......2002 (6 y)

(AVGY = **5.2**)

10 of the 37 (**27%**) selections in 97' had careers of 8 or more years. Although the 37 players selected combined for 194 years of NFL play, the ten longest tenured accounted for 114 (59%) of those years. This time, 27% of the group accounted for 59% of the longevity. **1998: 14 years ago 31 players were selected.** 5 were cut in camp, 3) played 1year, 3) 2y, 2) 3y, 3) 4y, 2) 5y, 2) 7y, 4) 8y, 2) 9y, 2) 10y, 1) 12y, and 2 players lasted for 14 years and counting. 48% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

Keith Brooking, and Takeo Spikes were the only two left in 2011. Brooking was released by the Cowboys and Spikes is still with San Diego.

1 Keith Brooking.......2011* (14 y)

1 Takeo Spikes.........2011* (14 y)

1 A Simmons.............CUT

1 Brian Simmons......2007 (10 y)

2 Sam Cowart...........2005 (8 y)

2 Kailee Wong..........2006 (9 y)

3 Steve Foley........... 2005 (8 y)

3 Brad Jackson........ 2002 (5 y)

3 Jamie Duncan....... 2004 (7 y)

4 DeShone Myles.....2001 (4 y)

4 Kivuusama Mays...1999 (2 y)

4 Shawn Barber....... 2007 (10 y)

4 Greg Favors.......... 2005 (8 y)

5 Darren Hambrick...2002 (5 y)

5 Casey Dailey.........1999 (2 y)

5 Antony Jordan........2001 (4 y)

5 Jerry Jensen..........1998 (1 y)

5 Ike Reese ..............2006 (9 y)

5 Ron Merkerson......CUT

5 Travian Smith........ 2004 (7 y)

6 Ron Rogers............CUT

6 Chris Draft..............2009 (12 y)

6 Zack Walz............. 2001 (4 y)

6 Chris Bordano....... 2000 (3 y)

6 Ryan Olson.............CUT

7 Jon Haskins...........1998 (1 y)

7 Jimmy Sprotte........1999 (2 y)

7 Antwaune Ponds...1998 (1 y)

7 Chester Burnett.....2000 (3 y)

7 Brandon Tolbert.....Cut

7 Nate Wayne...........2005 (8 y)

(AVGY = **5.2**)

11 of the 31 (**35%**) selections in 98' had careers of 8 or more years. Those 31 players combined for 161 years of NFL play, but the 11 longest tenured accounted for 110 (68%) of those years! This time, 35% of the group accounted for 68% of the longevity.

**1999: 13 years ago 31 players were selected.** 3 were cut in camp, 4) played 1year, 5) 2y, 2) 4y, 2) 5y, 3) 7y, 5) 8y, 2) 9y, 1) 10y, 1) 12y, and Mike Peterson & Joey Porter have lasted for 13 years and counting. Mike Peterson is a UFA, & Joey Porter is no longer on the Arizona Cardinals roster as of this summer. 52% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Chris Claiborne..... 2006 (8 y)

1 A Katzenmoyer...... 2000 (2 y)

1 Al Wilson................2006 (8 y)

2 Barry Gardner........2005 (7 y)

2 Mike Peterson........2011* (13 y)

2 Rahim Abdullah......2000 (2 y)

2 Johnny Rutledge....2003 (5 y)

3 Joey Porter.............2011* (13 y)

3 Larry Atkins............2003 (5 y)

3 Dat Nguyen............2005 (7 y)

4 Hannibal Navies.....2007 (9 y)

4 Warrick Holdman....2006 (8 y)

4 Nate Stimson..........CUT

4 Rosevelt Colvin......2008 (10 y)

4 Keith Newman........2006 (8 y)

4 Wali Rainer............2005 (7 y)

5 Bryan Jones...........CUT

5 Eric Barton.............2010 (12 y)

5 Jay Foreman..........2006 (8 y)

5 Chris Jones............CUT

6 Clint Kriewaldt........2007 (9 y)

6 Marc Megna...........2000 (2 y)

6 Kendall Ogle..........1999 (1 y)

6 Jeff Kelly.................2002 (4 y)

6 Antico Dalton..........2000 (2 y)

7 Chad Kelsay..........1999 (1 y)

7 Phil Glover.............2000 (2 y)

7 O.J. Childress........1999 (1 y)

7 Kory Minor.............2002 (4 y)

7 J.J. Syvrud.............1999 (1 y)

7 Corey Terry............2000 (2 y)

(AVGY = **5.1**)

11 of the 31 (**35%**) selections in 99' had careers of 8 or more years. The 31 players selected combined for 159 years of NFL play, and the 11 longest tenured accounted for 106 (67%) of those years. This time, 35% of the group accounted for 67% of the longevity. (This was an almost exact duplication of the previous year.)

**2000: 12 years ago 30 players were selected.** 2 were cut in camp, 2) played 2years, 2) 3y, 1) 4y, 1) 5y, 3) 6y, 5) 7y, 2) 8y, 2) 9y, 2) 10y, 5) 11y, and Brian Urlacher, Na'il Diggs & Clark Haggans have lasted 12 years and counting. Brian Urlacher (Bears 2012 roster), Na'il Diggs (FA) & Clark Haggans (FA) may still add to their totals. 74% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 LaVar Arrington..... 2006 (7 y)

1 Brian Urlacher....... 2011* (12 y)

1 Julian Peterson..... 2010 (11 y)

1 Rob Morris............ 2007 (8 y)

1 Keith Bulluck......... 2010 (11 y)

2 Ian Gold.................2007 (8 y)

2 R Thompson......... 2004 (5 y)

2 Barrett Green........ 2005 (6 y)

2 M Washington....... 2008 (9 y)

3 Mark Simoneau..... 2010 (11 y)

3 Jeff Ulbrich.............2009 (10 y)

3 Corey Moore..........2001 (2 y)

3 Nate Webster........ 2008 (9 y)

4 Na'il Diggs..............2011* (12 y)

4 Brandon Short........2006 (7 y)

4 Antonio Wilson.......2002 (3 y)

4 Marcus U. Bell........2002 (3 y)

4 Isaiah Kacyvenski..2006 (7 y)

4 Peter Sirmon......... 2006 (7 y)

5 Clark Haggans...... 2011* (12 y)

5 Frank Chamberlin..2005 (6 y)

6 Dhani Jones...........2010 (11 y)

6 Adalius Thomas.....2009 (10 y)

7 Sekou Sanyika...... 2001 (2 y)

7 Orantes Grant....... 2003 (4 y)

7 Lester Towns......... 2005 (6 y)

7 James Cotton.........CUT

7 Casey Tisdale........CUT

7 Danny Clark...........2010 (11 y)

7 DaShon Polk..........2006 (7 y)

(AVGY = **7.2**)

14 of the 30 (**46%**) 2000 years' selections had careers of 8 or more years. The 30 players selected combined for 217 years of NFL play, but 14 longest tenured accounted for 145 (67%) of those years. This time, 46% of the group accounted for 67% of the longevity.

This was a LB draft class to remember! Almost 50% made the 8 year mark, and 5 had careers of 7, which is why the 8 and over group didn't score higher than 67%. The 7.2 AVGY beats the previous three drafts by two full years!

**2001: 11 years ago 28 players were selected. **3 were cut in camp, 1) played 1year, 2) 2y, 2) 3y, 5) 4y, 4) 5y, 4) 6y, 4) 7y, 2) 8y. No players from this draft class lasted beyond 8 years. We go from the best to the worst all in one year. Did a bunch of great players opt out of college early last year? 50% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Dan Morgan...........2007 (7 y)

2 Kendrell Bell...........2007 (7 y)

2 Tommy Polley........ 2005 (5 y)

2 Quinton Caver....... 2005 (5 y)

3 Sedrick Hodge........2005 (5 y)

3 Torrance Marshall..2004 (4 y)

3 E Westmoreland.....2004 (4 y)

3 Brian L. Allen..........2004 (4 y)

3 M Greenwood.........2008 (8 y)

4 Matt Stewart...........2006 (6 y)

4 Karon Riley.............2004 (4 y)

4 Orlando Huff...........2006 (6 y)

4 Brandon Spoon......2001 (1 y)

4 Carlos Polk.............2008 (8 y)

4 Markus Steele........2003 (3 y)

4 Ed Hartwell.............2006 (6 y)

5 Jeremiah Pharms...CUT

5 Zeke Moreno......... 2005 (5 y)

5 P Chukwurah......... 2007 (7 y)

5 Hakim Akbar...........2002 (2 y)

6 Riall Johnson......... 2003 (3 y)

6 Jason Glenn...........2006 (6 y)

6 Roger Knight..........2004 (4 y)

6 Rick Crowell............CUT

7 Alex Lincoln.............CUT

7 Anthony Denman....2002 (2 y)

7 Keith Adams............2007 (7 y)

7 T.J. Turner..............2001 (1 y)

(AVGY = **4.25**)

Just 2 of the 28 (**7%**) selections in 01' had careers of 8 or more years. The 28 players selected combined for 119 years of NFL play, and the 2 longest tenured only accounted for 16 (13%) of those years! This time, 7% of the group accounted for 13% of the longevity. AVGY dropped 3 years from the previous year.

**2002: 10 years ago 26 players were selected. **1 was cut in camp, 4) played 2 years, 2) 3y, 3) 4y, 3) 5y, 3) 7y, 2) 8y, 1) 9y, and 6 players have lasted ten years and counting. 58% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Napoleon Harris.... 2008 (7 y)

1 Robert Thomas..... 2008 (7 y)

2 Levar Fisher..........2003 (2 y)

3 Saleem Rasheed.. 2005 (4 y)

3 Ben Leber............. 2011* (10 y)

3 Will Witherspoon....2011* (10 y)

3 Will Overstreet.......2003 (2 y)

3 James Allen............2005 (4 y)

3 Akin Ayodele......... 2010 (9 y)

4 Kevin Bentley........ 2011* (10 y)

4 David Thornton..... 2009 (8 y)

4 Ben Taylor.............2006 (5 y)

4 Larry Foote........... 2011* (10 y)

4 Rocky Boiman....... 2009 (8 y)

4 John Taylor........... 2006 (5 y)

5 Andra Davis.......... 2011* (10 y)

5 Scott Fujita............2011* (10 y)

5 Nick Greisen..........2008 (7 y)

5 Bryan Knight......... 2003 (2 y)

5 Courtland Bullard...2003 (2 y)

6 Nick Rogers.......... 2005 (4 y)

6 Wesly Mallard....... 2006 (5 y)

6 Tyreo Harrison.......2003 (2 y)

7 M Rodriguez...........CUT

7 Quincy Monk..........2004 (3 y)

7 D Stevenson..........2004 (3 y)

(AVGY = **5.8**)

9 of the 26 (**35%**) selections in 02' had careers of 8 or more years. The 26 players selected combined for 150 years of NFL play, the 9 longest tenured accounted for 88 (59%) of those years. This time, 35% of the group accounted for 59% of the production. It is obvious at this point that the six players still playing have a great opportunity to change these numbers. After just ten years in the league, there will certainly be some of those who match the longevity of players who have gone before them.

**2003: 9 years ago 32 players were selected, and not 1 was cut in camp,** 2) played 1 year, 6) 2y, 4) 3y, 2) 5y, 2) 6y, 2) 7y, 6) 8y, and 8 players have lasted 9 years and counting. 63% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Terrell Suggs........ 2011* (9 y)

1 Nick Barnett.......... 2011* (9 y)

2 Boss Bailey........... 2008 (6 y)

2 E.J. Henderson..... 2011* (9 y)

2 Pisa Tinoisamoa....2010 (8 y)

2 Kawika Mitchell..... 2010 (8 y)

2 Eddie Moore......... 2005 (3 y)

2 Terry Pierce...........2004 (2 y)

2 Chaun Thompson. 2009 (7 y)

2 Victor Hobson........2008 (6 y)

2 Alonzo Jackson..... 2005 (3 y)

3 Antwan Peek......... 2007 (5 y)

3 Lance Briggs..........2011* (9 y)

3 Gerald Hayes........ 2010 (8 y)

3 Cie Grant.............. 2003 (1 y)

3 Angelo Crowell...... 2007 (5 y)

4 Bradie James..........2011* (9 y)

4 Matt Wilhelm...........2010 (8 y)

4 Solomon Bates.......2004 (2 y)

5 Khalid Abdullah......2003 (1 y)

5 James Davis...........2005 (3 y)

5 Keyon Whiteside... 2004 (2 y)

5 H Hillenmeyer.........2010 (8 y)

6 Corey Jenkins........2004 (2 y)

6 Jimmy Wilkerson... 2011* (9 y)

6 Mike Nattiel............2004 (2 y)

6 Joe Odom............. 2005 (3 y)

6 Cato June..............2009 (7 y)

7 Mario Haggan........2011* (9 y)

7 Tully Banta-Cain....2010 (8 y)

7 Scott Shanle..........2011* (9 y)

7 Steve Josue...........2004 (2 y)

(AVGY = **5.7**)

14 of the 32 (**44%**) selections in 03' have had careers of 8 or more years, just 2% less then the 2000 draft. The 32 players selected combined for 182 years of NFL play, but the 14 longest tenured accounted for 120 (66%) of those years! This time, 44% of the group accounted for 66% of the longevity. *By the time the 8 players who are still on rosters have completed their careers, this draft class could surpass the 2000 group!*

**2004: 8 years ago 31 players were selected, and for two years in a row, not 1 was cut in camp,** 3) played 1 year, 2) 2y, 2) 3y, 5) 4y, 7) 5y, 1) 6y, 2) 7y, and 9 players have lasted 8 years and counting. 61% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 Jonathan Vilma..... 2011* (8 y)

1 D.J. Williams......... 2011* (8 y)

1 Jason Babin.......... 2011* (8 y)

2 Karlos Dansby.......2011* (8 y)

2 Teddy Lehman......2008 (5 y)

2 Daryl Smith........... 2011* (8 y)

2 D Thomas............. 2008 (5 y)

2 Courtney Watson.. 2005 (2 y)

3 Gilbert Gardner..... 2008 (5 y)

3 Marquis Cooper.... 2008 (5 y)

3 Caleb Miller........... 2007 (4 y)

3 Jorge Cordova...... 2007 (4 y)

3 Keyaron Fox......... 2011* (8 y)

4 Reggie Torbor.......2011* (8 y)

4 D Williams..............2011* (8 y)

4 Kendyll Pope........ 2004 (1 y)

4 Leon Joe................2007 (4 y)

4 Niko Koutouvides.. 2011* (8 y)

4 Richard Seigler..... 2006 (3 y)

4 Brandon Chillar..... 2010 (7 y)

5 Alex Lewis............. 2008 (5 y)

5 Roderick Green.....2008 (5 y)

5 Tony Bua...............2004 (1 y)

5 Robert Reynolds... 2006 (3 y)

6 Cody Spencer........2008 (5 y)

6 Sean Tufts............ 2005 (2 y)

6 Charlie Anderson.. 2010 (7 y)

7 Raheem Orr.......... 2004 (1 y)

7 Darrell McClover....2009 (6 y)

7 Derrick Pope......... 2007 (4 y)

7 Colby Bockwoldt.....2007 (4 y)

(AVGY = **4.7**)

There is no point in continuing the comparison of the percentages of players who contributed to the longevity factors, since this is the 8 year cut off. The 9 players continuing their careers will quickly change all of those numbers, including AVGY.

**2005: 7 years ago 30 players were selected.** 4 were cut in camp, 3) played 1 year, 3) 2y, 1) 3y, 4) 4y, 1) 5y, 3) 6y, and 12 players have lasted 7 years and counting. 53% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 DeMarcus Ware.... 2011* (7 y)

1 Shawne Merriman. 2011* (7 y)

1 Thomas Davis....... 2011* (7 y)

1 Derrick Johnson.... 2011* (7 y)

1 David Pollack........ 2006 (2 y)

2 Barrett Ruud......... 2011* (7 y)

2 Kevin Burnett........ 2011* (7 y)

2 Lofa Tatupu...........2010 (6 y)

2 Odell Thurman.......2005 (1 y)

2 Matt McCoy........... 2011* (7 y)

3 C Crowder..............2010 (6 y)

3 Kirk Morrison......... 2011* (7 y)

3 Alfred Fincher........2008 (4 y)

3 Jordan Beck...........2007 (3 y)

3 Darryl Blackstoc.....2011* (7 y)

3 LeRoy Hill............. 2011* (7 y)

4 Brady Poppinga.... 2011* (7 y)

5 Boomer Grigsby.... 2008 (4 y)

5 Adam Seward........2009 (5 y)

5 Robert McCune.....2008 (4 y)

5 Jeb Huckeba..........CUT

5 Michael Boley........2011* (7 y)

5 Rian Wallace.........2006 (2 y)

5 Lance Mitchell.......2005 (1 y)

5 Ryan Claridge.......CUT

5 Tyjuan Hagler........2010 (6 y)

6 Jared Newberry..... CUT

6 Pat Thomas...........2008 (4 y)

7 Mike Smith.............2006 (2 y)

7 C Wortham............2005 (1 y)

7 David Bergeron......CUT

(AVGY = **4.5**)

There are 12 players from this group who are continuing their careers in 2012.

**2006: 6 years ago 29 players were selected. **1 was cut in camp, 5) played 1 year, 2) 2y, 1) 3y, 3) 4y, 4) 5y, and 13 players have lasted 6 years and counting. 53% of this draft class played for 5 or more years.

1 A.J. Hawk................2011* (6 y)

1 Ernie Sims..............2011* (6 y)

1 Chad Greenway.....2011* (6 y)

1 Bobby Carpenter...2011* (6 y)

2 DeMeco Ryans......2011* (6 y)

2 D'Qwell Jackson.....2011* (6 y)

2 Rocky McIntosh......2011* (6 y)

2 Thomas Howard.... 2011* (6 y)

3 Abdul Hodge......... 2010 (5 y)

3 Anthony Schlegel.. 2007 (2 y)

3 Jon Alston............. 2009 (4 y)

3 Clint Ingram............2009 (4 y)

3 James Anderson....2011* (6 y)

3 Freddie Keiaho......2009 (4 y)

3 Gerris Wilkinson....2010 (5 y)

4 Stephen Tulloch....2011* (6 y)

4 Jamar Williams......2010 (5 y)

5 Terna Nande.........2006 (1 y)

5 Brandon Johnson..2011* (6 y)

5 Tim Dobbins..........2011* (6 y)

5 A.J. Nicholson........2006 (1 y)

5 Omar Gaither........ 2011* (6 y)

6 Keith Ellison...........2010 (5 y)

7 Ryan LaCasse.......2006 (1 y)

7 Tim McGarigle....... 2007 (2 y)

7 Charles Bennett.... 2006 (1 y)

7 Spencer Toone......2006 (1 y)

7 Anthony Cannon... 2008 (3 y)

7 Kevin Simon...........CUT

(AVGY = **4.2**)

There are 13 players from this group who are continuing their careers in 2012.

**2007: 5 years ago 34 players were selected.** 3 were cut in camp, 1) played 1 year, 3) 2y, 2) 3y, 3) 4y, and 22 players have lasted 5 years and counting. 65% of this draft class played for 5 or more years,

1 Patrick Willis..........2011* (5 y)

1 L Timmons............2011* (5 y)

1 Jon Beason.......... 2011* (5 y)

2 Paul Posluszny......2011* (5 y)

2 David Harris...........2011* (5 y)

2 Justin Durant........ 2011* (5 y)

2 Sabby Piscitelli......2011* (5 y)

3 Quincy Black..........2011* (5 y)

3 Buster Davis..........2008 (2 y)

3 Stewart Bradley.....2011* (5 y)

3 Michael Okwo........CUT

3 Anthony Waters.....2010 (4 y)

4 Stephen Nicholas...2011* (5 y)

4 Zak DeOssie......... 2011* (5 y)

4 Antwan Barnes.......2011* (5 y)

4 Clint Session..........2011* (5 y)

5 Dallas Sartz............CUT

5 Johnny Baldwin......2007 (1 y)

5 Will Herring........... 2011* (5 y)

5 Tim Shaw.............. 2011* (5 y)

6 Rufus Alexander....2008 (2 y)

6 H.B. Blades............2010 (4 y)

6 Justin Rogers.........2009 (3 y)

6 Adam Hayward.......2011* (5 y)

6 Korey Hall...............2011* (5 y)

6 Desmond Bishop....2011* (5 y)

6 Jacob Ford.............2010 (4 y)

6 Prescott Burgess....2011* (5 y)

7 Oscar Lua...............CUT

7 Zach Diles..............2011* (5 y)

7 Kelvin Smith...........2009 (3 y)

7 Marvin Mitchell.......2011* (5 y)

7 Brandon Siler.........2011* (5 y)

7 Chad Nkang...........2008 (2 y)

(AVGY = **4.0**)

There are 22 players from this group who are continuing their careers in 2012.

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