With the NFL draft a few weeks away in Arlington, Texas. We continue to look back at some of the past drafts that make the current NFL. If you want to take a look at my previous draft reviews click to see 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. The next draft we are looking at is the 2008 draft and what made it underwhelming; and kind of interesting at the same time.
This draft has a couple of unique points of interest:
- This is the first draft ever where Picks 1 and 2 have the same last name. Jake Long drafted by the Miami Dolphins and Chris Long drafted by the St Louis Rams. If you didn’t know, they are unrelated.
- This draft has the distinction of being the first draft since the common draft began in 1967 to have ZERO wide receivers picked in the first round. The first WR picked was Donnie Avery by the St. Louis Rams in the 2nd round and 33rd pick.
- This draft set a record for 34 trades made during the draft itself. Coincidentally, that record was broken in 2017 when 37 trades were made.
- There were 31 picks made in the 1st round because of penalties enforced upon the New England Patriots due to the “Spygate Scandal.” This was the first time since 2001 when there were only 31 teams in the league. In 1999 Houston was awarded a franchise, but it wasn’t until 2002 when Texans were born that there would be 32 teams.
- This is the draft when the NFL replaced it’s logo which had been used since 1970. The debuted NFL logo features eight white stars that represent each of the league’s eight divisions. The football in the new logo is rotated to the same angle as the football on top of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.’
As noted the first pick of this draft was Jake Long. He played his college ball at Michigan where he worked as a tackle on the offensive line. Long had what I would consider an ‘alright’ career. He started all 16 games his first 3 seasons and earned himself a trip to the Pro Bowl 4 times. Injuries hurt him the rest of his time in the league. He ended up playing for 9 seasons with 4 teams; spending most his time with the Dolphins and finishing in 2016 with the Vikings.
If you want to see my ranking of the best picks from the 2008 draft check them out here!
“Mr. Irrelevant” in this draft is a guy by the name of David Vobora. The St Louis Rams selected him with the 252nd pick. He was a linebacker from University of Idaho. Go Vandals! Vobora was in the league from 2008-2011. He saw some playing time with the Rams as well as the Seattle Seahawks. He finished his NFL career with 57 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.
After retiring from the NFL in 2012, Vobora opened a sports performance training center for elite athletes and U.S. Special Forces called “Performance Vault Inc.” In 2014, following a meeting with US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who is a quadruple amputee, Vobora started a 503(c)3 non-profit called “Adaptive Training Foundation.” The mission of “ATF” is to empower the human athlete, restore hope through movement, and redefine the limits of individuals with disabilities. Vobora also goes around the country as a professional speaker talking about seeing beyond the daily grind, moving past mediocrity, and tapping into deeper potential.
That’s a pretty cool story for the guy who was the last pick of the draft.
Now to the still active Pro Bowlers. To mark a “successful” career in this draft class I will list players who have been selected to multiple Pro Bowls and are still active. There are currently 9 players on that list. My list will have them by name, position and current/most recent team. As well as, the team that drafted them with the round number and pick they were.
Matt Ryan – Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
– Atlanta Falcons, Round 1 Pick 3
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Safety, New York Giants
– Arizona Cardinals, Round 1 Pick 16
Chris Johnson – Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
– Tennessee Titans, Round 1 Pick 24
Duane Brown – Offensive Tackle, Seattle Seahawks
– Houston Texans, Round 1 Pick 26
DeSean Jackson – Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– Philadelphia Eagles, Round 2 Pick 49
Calais Campbell – Defensive End, Jacksonville Jaguars
– Arizona Cardinals, Round 2 Pick 50
Jamaal Charles – Running Back, Denver Broncos
– Kansas City Chiefs, Round 3 Pick 73
Josh Sitton – Offensive Tackle, Chicago Bears
– Green Bay Packers, Round 4 Pick 135
Matt Slater – Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
– New England Patriots, Round 5 Pick 153
The 2008 draft should be considered one of the weakest in NFL history. Yeah, there were some solid player that were selected, but you can find that in every draft. With all the hype and hope that comes with every draft, still this one in particular was kind of disappointing. Chris Long was drafted in this group, but never been to a Pro Bowl. I don’t think he minds with his 2 Super Bowl rings. I don’t think Joe Flacco minds either, YEAH he was drafted in this class and he’s never been to a Pro Bowl, but he has a ring too.
Oh well, this wasn’t the first disappointing draft group and it most certainly won’t be the last.