So before I begin, I'd like to express an interest in this post not becoming a war of words over Armanti Edwards and his future with the team...That being said, it had been interesting to note the general demeanor of much of the fanbase over the trading of our 2nd rounder (33rd this year) in order to move back into the 3rd round last year and pick him up. The argument has been one of conventional wisdom: We could've drafted a potential impact player with that 33rd pick, instead of drafting a bench warming WR. However, it's occured to myself (and others) that having such an assumption might not be correct, and in our case could be dead wrong given our history with 2nd rounders. Factoids to follow....
Ok, so here's the skinny; I'm going to examine the 33rd pick for each draft from 2002-2010, followed by our 2nd round pick that same year.
2002- Jabar Gaffney/Deshaun Foster: This is a bit of a push, since both had their moments during their careers. However, Foster was limited early by injuries and never really regained his burst, while Gaffney has been inconsistent at best
2003- Eric Steinbach/ Bruce Nelson: Steinbach is a mainstay on the Giants line, so chalk up a win for the 33rd pick column. Nelson on the other hand was victim of a career ending hip injury and was out of the league within 2 seasons unfortunately.
2004- Karlos Dansby/ Keary Colbert: Chalk up another win for the 33rd pick. Dansby has been a consistent (if sometimes unspectacular) LB in Arizona, while Colbert followed up a promising rookie campaign with a bust worthy career.
2005- David Baas/ Eric Shelton: Slight edge to 33rd, since Baas is still in the league; however, he hasn't become a mainstay for the 49ers and only recently received starting action due to injuries on the line. Shelton was a complete waste of a pick though, logging in something around 8 carries for 25 yards (I believe) before being let go and doing nothing with the Skins...He is currently suing the Redskins for disability pay
2006- Demeco Ryans/ Richard Marshall: Ryans by a longshot; While he's gone on to become a valuable contributor to the Texans LB corps, Marshall has been an inconsistent player who looks far more comfortable as a nickel back than as a starter, and is most likely done playing for us now.
2007- Alan Branch/ Dwayne Jarret and Ryan Kalil: Interestingly enough, Kalil was drafted after DJ but as this one stands we definitely beat the Branch pick. Branch has accomplished little out in Arizona, and while DJ was a huge bust Kalil has become a top 10 center and looks to continue as a Panther.
2008- Donnie Avery/ Jeff Otah: What would've been our 2nd rounder ended up becoming Otah. Avery has been slightly effective, although he was injured for the 2010 season. This one is a bit unfair, seeing as Otah was a 1st round selection, but seeing as the trade to move up included our 2nd rounder it counts. Otah has been a dominant RT when healthy, and seeing as he also missed the 2010 season I'd have to give him the edge in terms of impact. If you'd like a lower round comparison than Otah for this draft, I'd take Godfrey and Connor over Avery as well (they were our 3rd rounders).
2009- Louis Delmas/ Everette Brown: OK, so these next two years are going to be a bit shady since it can be very hard to judge a player based on his first three years. Delmas has become a FT starter in Detroit, although his rookie year was better than this just finished season. All in all though, he is looking to be a mainstay for the Lions secondary and should be a consistent performer provided he stays healthy. Brown has shown many flashes, but for whatever reason hasn't been able to nab that FT spot on the D-line. I personally think Brown will breakout next season (much like CJ did this year), but based on current impact Delmas gets the edge.
2010- Rodger Saffold/ Jimmy Clausen: As of now, Saffold gets the edge for earning the starting LT spot in St. Louis and keeping it throughout the season. Jimmy's season went...well it's been discussed enough lol. Like I stated for the 2009 one (and really applies to the 2008 draft as well), it will be hard to gauge their true impacts until a few years pass (as is the case with most draft picks).
So as we can see, this is one of those situations where both camps have very legitimate arguments regarding the 2nd rounder we traded. On the one hand, the 33rd position has been (for the most part) a productive spot for teams and has produced many FT starters. On the other hand, Hurney definitely seems to miss more than he hits when it comes to 2nd rounders (I'm excluding Brown and Clausen from that record since their lasting impact, if any at all, is really yet to be determined). He's a bit like a QB with no medium accuracy; he can bomb it all day (better than average track record with later round picks), and is good with the short passes (Great 1st round evaluator), but that 15-20 yard range is maddening (his third rounders, at least at a glance, are a crapshoot as well). My take? I think the fact that we lack a 2nd rounder is being overblown, since we still have 6 other picks (at least) to choose from, including a number friggin' 1! But hey, that's what the comments section is for :p