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Draftback: 1997 NFL Draft

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I've been lazy with this blog for a few months now so no surprise I'm only getting around to second Draftback before the draft. Decided might as well do one from 10 years ago with the 1997 Draft and it is interesting to look at because one first rounder is in jail and another is dead. Can't beat that combo.



1. St. Louis - Orlando Pace, T, Ohio State


Not always glamerous to pick a lineman with the first pick overall but hard to argue with the Rams choice here. Selected to seven Pro Bowls.


2. Oakland - Darrell Russell, DT, USC


Lived up to the hype his first few years in the league but drug problems would derail his career among various other issues. Out of the league by 2004 and out of this life by 2005 when he was killed in a car accident.


3. Seattle - Shawn Springs, CB, Ohio State


Very good corner all be it a bit inconsistent at times during his career.


4. Baltimore - Peter Boulware, LB, Florida State


Would win Defensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to three Pro Bowls.


5. Detroit - Bryant Westbrook, CB, Texas


Not a total bust but pretty close to one considering he was a Top 5 pick.


6. Seattle - Walter Jones, T, Florida State


A complete bitch when it comes to contracts but he gets the job done. Six Pro Bowl selections.


7. N.Y. Giants - Ike Hilliard, WR, Florida


Okay receiver but when you take a receiver this high you'd hope they'd have at least one 1000 yard season and Hilliard has had none.


8. N.Y. Jets - James Farrior, LB, Virginia


The Jets had the #1 pick but they traded down. Farrior was considered a bit of a dissapointment while with the Jets but excelled with the Steelers.


9. Arizona - Tom Knight, CB, Iowa


It's the Cardinals, so really what did you expect? Three interceptions in his career.


10. New Orleans - Chris Naeole, G, Colorado


Big risk taking a guard this high but Naeole has been a solid player.


11. Atlanta - Michael Booker, CB, Nebraska


Not very good at all.


12. Tampa Bay - Warrick Dunn, RB, Florida State


Has a chance to pass the 10,000 yard mark in rushing this year and one of the true good guys in the NFL.


13. Kansas City - Tony Gonzalez, TE, California


Likley on his way to the Hall of Fame but he went to Cal so fuck him.


14. Cincinnati - Reinard Wilson, DE, Florida State


Well I guess on the plus side Wilson wasn't horrible like most Bengals' 90's first round picks but still not anything to get excited about.


15. Miami - Yatil Green, WR, Miami


Tore his ACL on literally the first day of training camp and never fully recovered. Only played one season in 1999.


16. Tampa Bay - Reidel Anthony, WR, Florida


I thought he'd be awesome. I was wrong.


17. Washington - Kenard Lang, DE, Miami


Average at best.


18. Tennessee - Kenny Holmes, DE, Miami


Another unspectacular Miami end.


19. Indianapolis - Tarik Glenn, T, California


Has developed into a very good tackle and selected to the last three Pro Bowls. But another Cal product, bleh.


20. Minnesota - Dwayne Rudd, LB, Alabama


A complete beast at Alabama...not so much in the NFL. Best known for his helmet tossing incident in 2002 that cost the Browns a game.


21. Jacksonville - Renaldo Wynn, DE, Notre Dame




22. Dallas - David LaFleur, TE, LSU




23. Buffalo - Antowain Smith, RB, Houston


Decent although he has to be one of the worst backs ever to have two 1,000 yard seasons.


24. Pittsburgh - Chad Scott, CB, Maryland


Has been a solid DB.


25. Philadelphia - Jon Harris, DE, Virginia


Two years. Two sacks. Bust.


26. San Francisco - Jim Druckenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech


Jesus tap dancing Christ, I had blocked this pick out of my memory. Horrible. Seriously do not know what the fuck they were thinking here especially with Jake Plummer on the board who seemed like a pefect fit for the 49ers offense at the time.


27. Carolina - Rae Carruth, WR, Colorado


Yessss it's everyone's favorite hiring a guy to kill your pregnent girlfriend and get found hiding in the trunk of your car wide receiver. Complete disphit.


28. Denver - Trevor Pryce, DE, Clemson


The string of mediocre ends, um, ends here. Four time Pro Bowl selection.


29. New England - Chris Canty, CB, Kansas State


Lasted four years and no one really noticed.


30. Green Bay - Ross Verba, G, Iowa


I just like the Deadspin entry on him.



Other Players of Note


34. Baltimore - Jamie Sharper, LB, Virginia

36. N.Y. Giants - Tiki Barber, RB, Virginia

42. Arizona - Jake Plummer, QB, Arizona State

43. Cincinnati - Corey Dillon, RB, Washington

44. Miami - Sam Madison, CB, Louisville

52. Buffalo - Marcellus Wiley, DE, Columbia

60. Green Bay - Darren Sharper, S, William & Mary

65. Dallas - Dexter Coakley, LB, Appalachian State

66. Tampa Bay - Ronde Barber, CB, Virginia

69. Chicago - Bob Sapp, G, Washington

71. Philadelphia - Duce Staley, RB, South Carolina

73. Miami - Jason Taylor, DE, Akron

91. Pittsburgh - Mike Vrabel, LB, Ohio State

98. Tennessee - Derrick Mason, WR, Michigan State

108. Chicago - Marcus Robinson, WR, South Carolina

229. N.Y. Jets - Jason Ferguson, DT, Georgia

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