20 for 20: 2003

20 for 20

Editor’s Note: Doug Kyed, our intrepid staff writer, will be doing some extra work for the final twenty days before the 2011 NFL Draft, taking a look at the last twenty NFL Drafts.

Today he looks at the 2003 NFL Draft Class.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the 2003 draft is just how much better the undrafted free agents were than the 7th round picks. Out of the 48 7th round picks, only seven remain in the league (Scott Kooistra, Josh Brown, Mario Haggan, Tully Banta-Cain, Chris Johnson (CB), Scott Shanle, Kevin Walter). Combined: zero pro bowl appearances, zero all pros.

Compare that to the undrafted free agents where there are twenty players still in the NFL, fourteen starters, nineteen total pro bowl appearances and eleven all pros. Some of those players include Leigh Bodden, Gary Brackett, Jacque Cesaire, Stephen Cooper, Kris Dielman, Antonio Gates (yes, the Chargers killed it this year), Earnest Graham, Rod Hood, Fred Jackson, Cullen Jenkins, Quintin Mikell and Tony Romo.

My Top Ten for the 2003 NFL Draft Class:

Andre Johnson: Rd. 1 Pick 3 – Houston Texans
Kevin Williams: Rd. 1 Pick 9 – Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Suggs: Rd. 1 Pick 10 – Baltimore Ravens
Troy Polamalu: Rd. 1 Pick 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Nnamdi Asomugha: Rd. 1 Pick 31 – Oakland Raiders
Lance Briggs: Rd. 3 Pick 68 – Chicago Bears
Jason Witten: Rd. 3 Pick 69 – Dallas Cowboys
Asante Samuel: Rd. 4 Pick 120 – New England Patriots
Tony Romo: Undrafted – Dallas Cowboys
Antonio Gates – Undrafted – San Diego Chargers

Other Significant Players – Carson Palmer, Terence Newman, Jordan Gross, Dallas Clark, E.J. Henderson, Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora, Terence McGee, Brandon Lloyd, Robert Mathis, Mikell, Dielman

My Top Player: Polamalu
Consensus Top Player: Polamalu
No Hall of Famers
Possible Future HOF: Johnson, Polamalu, Nnamdi, Gates
Best Value: Gates
Biggest Bust: Charles Rogers
Best Patriots Pick: Patriots had a great in ’03 with Ty Warren in the first round and found great value with Samuel, Dan Koppen and Tully Banta-Cain late.
Worst Patriots Pick: Bethel Johnson, Boldin went later in the same round.

Best Team Class: Lots of good team drafts in ’03, it’s between the Colts (Clark, Mike Doss, Mathis, Cato June, Gary Brackett), Chargers (Drayton Florence, Terrence Kiel, Mike Scifres, Dielman, Gates, Jacques Cesaire, Stephen Cooper, Kassim Osgood), Cowboys (Newman, Witten, Bradie James, Romo) and Giants(Umenyiora, Visanthe Shiancoe, David Diehl, David Tyree, Kevin Walter). I’m picking the Chargers, the first team with the best draft class to not make a Super Bowl since.

Overall Grade: B+, some great players and decent depth.

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